Citing a dramatic  increase in COVID cases in the schools, the Hancock County Board of Education voted to extend its mask mandate until further notice.  In making the recommendation to extend the mandate, Superintendent Dawn Petrovich reported on a significant spike in positive tests when students returned after the Christmas holiday.  She said  while only six positives were reported November  11-15, that number jumped to 44 the week of January 3-7.

       While no end date for the mask mandate has been set, Petrovich said health officials are looking for it (COVID) to slow down, hopefully in February.

       Board President Danny Kaser and Board member Larry Shaw indicated that they were talking with Kathy Dray, director of the school nurses, and school nurses and they are in agreement with the continuance of the mask mandate.

       “We are testing every day..all day,” said Petrovich who said she is working cooperatively with the Hancock County Health Department.

In other business, the Board:

**Accepted the resignation of Weir Middle School teacher Delaynie Campinelli;

**Accepted Campinelli resignation as the Builders’ Club sponsor at Weir Middle;

**Accepted the resignation of Ethan Delekta as Assistant Coach, Girls’ Track at Oak Glen High;

**Granted leaves of absences to S. Renee Barber, Della D. Eckstein and Karen Virden;

**Transferred Jenny Colaber from Secretary II, Weir High to Supervisory Aide II-IV/AM, New Manchester Elementary;

**Transferred Harry C. Edmond from Bus Operator #103 to Bus Operator #073;

**Transferred Substitute Aide Debra Hoffman to Supervisory Aide II-IV/AM, Weirton Elementary;

**Approved administrative release for Substitute Bus Driver Robert Hans;

**Approved payment of bills totaling $57,407.88; budget supplement fund, $6,202,152.82 and