ORANGE TOWNSHIP — The Mapleton Board of Education voted to give long-term substitute teachers a raise and also heard from a private company that wishes to build a 5G tower on the school’s property at its Monday meeting.

Short-term substitutes that work with the district less than 60 days will still receive $85 per day. But substitutes that work longer than that will now receive $190 per day.

“We have some dedicated substitutes that are here a lot in the district throughout the course of the school year and so reward them for their dedication to the district with extra compensation,” Superintendent Scott Smith said. “We have several long term situations where teachers are out and substitutes are being asked, in that long-term position, (to work in) the same classroom for weeks on end.

“They’re getting extra compensation for the lesson-planning, the grading and all the things that go along with the regular teachers.”

Mapleton has struggled to recruit substitutes recently, and on any given day the district is short three to five subs, Smith said. 

When the district doesn’t have enough subs, teachers have to give up their planning periods to teach classes that would otherwise go untaught.

“There’s no subs. I mean, right now it’s nationwide. There just aren’t subs,” Mapleton High School Principal Corey Kline said.

Mapleton pulls its subs from the Tri-County Educational Service Center (Tri-County ESC), which covers Ashland, Holmes, and Wayne Counties. 

But potential substitutes in Wayne County often do not want to make the trek to Mapleton, Smith said. Out of the Tri-County ESC’s pool, only 5 or 6 subs singled out Mapleton as a place they were interested in working, he added.

The school board also heard from Arcadia Towers, a cell phone tower company based in Milford, Ohio, that wants to install a 5G tower on the district’s land.

The district would rent out the land for the tower to Arcadia. In turn, Arcadia would rent out the tower to providers like AT&T and Verizon and give Mapleton a cut of the profits.

Arcadia initially reached out to the district after the company saw that Mapleton had almost no cell coverage, Smith said.

“Actually, they had a map, the software that they referenced in their presentation, and they had a screenshot of that and this whole area was all red because of the coverage,” he said.

The next step in the process is for the district’s lawyers and insurance company to get together with Arcadia to hash out a potential agreement before taking it to the board for a vote.

If approved, the tower would take around six months to build, Arcadia Co-Founder John Rolander said.

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