Staff Writer

Liberty-Benton will accept bids from those interested in farming the 10 acres the school district purchased last year on Hancock County 9.

Bids will be opened March 20, and the one-year lease would start April 1, Treasurer Lisa Dobbins said at Wednesday’s school board meeting.

The board approved a resolution to advertise and receive bids.

In other business, the board heard from Superintendent Mark Kowalski that the district is on track to have 116 kindergarten students in the fall, though that could change after the screening on March 22.

Also, Liberty-Benton has received confirmation that 284 students who open-enroll in the district will be back next school year. The open enrollment total could still grow.

Separately, Bruce Otley will take a new role as director of operations next school year. He is currently the middle school principal.

The board approved a three-year contract for Otley, who will oversee maintenance, transportation, and health and safety in the new combined role.

Separately, school will be in session for calamity make-up days on April 18 and 22. The school district would still have more school hours than the state-mandated minimums without those days, but the make-up days are required by employee contracts.

Ohio requires 1,001 hours of school for students in grades seven through 12. Full-day kindergarteners through sixth-graders must attend 910 hours of school, and half-day kindergarteners must go at least 455 hours.

Liberty-Benton has had seven full-day cancellations and seven two-hour delays, Kowalski said.

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