The North Central Local School district served a total of 13,086 meals to students since the COVID-19 pandemic closed school buildings and donations from the community and beyond paid for nearly every single one of them.

During Monday’s regular school board meeting, Superintendent William Hanak said it cost the district about $10,000 to serve the meals to every student whose family expressed a need. And the community stepped up to support the program, Hanak said, donating more than $10,000 to cover the costs.

“That tells you about the good people in our school district here,” he said during the meeting, which was held at in the board office but also livestreamed on Facebook to allow for better social distancing. “When people want to support something, they put their money where their mouth is.”

Separately, Hanak said he is hopeful that North Central will mostly return to in-person learning when the 2020-21 school year gets underway. He and other superintendents of districts in Williams County met on Friday with county Health Commissioner Jim Watkins to discuss and coordinate policies and procedures for the upcoming school year.

Hanak said officials are developing a broad set of guidelines for schools throughout the county while individual schools will be able to implement their own plans for abiding by those guidelines.

He added that he anticipated Gov. Mike DeWine will provide some guidance on the issue on Thursday. Hanak’s understanding is that Ohio counties will be coded by color with more restrictions for schools in counties with higher probability of infection.

He anticipated Williams County will be labeled “green” or at lowest risk.

In other action, the board approved the second reading of legislation to put an emergency property tax levy to vote on the November general election ballot.

The proposed five-year property tax levy would generate $420,000 annually, if approved by voters.

This comes after a proposed 0.5% tax on earned income, which would have generated $338,000 annually for the district, failed by a margin of 498 to 361 in the March primary.

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