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Edison board reviews reopening plans

RICHMOND — Edison Local school board officials reviewed plans in light of the COVID-19 lockdown and hope to proceed with reopening school doors in August.

The board discussed the matter during its June 25 regular session at Edison High School and is eyeing a traditional start for classes, barring any changes from the state level. But officials are also looking at ways to help educate students remotely in the upcoming year and Superintendent Bill Beattie said the goal is to be prepared for whatever looms on the horizon.

“As of right now, our plan is to come back in a traditional setting for five days a week, but we will prepare for any option moving forward,” Beattie said. “We’re going to use Google Classroom as a learning management system and Google Meets as a means for teachers to meet and communicate with kids.”

He said surveys were mailed to district parents which are not due until July 10, but so far 63 percent of the 168 recent respondents support having their children back in the classroom. Currently, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine has given county health departments and local school districts the lead in reopening plans and options range from traditional schooling to blended learning and a completely remote education online. In any case, Beattie said the Google systems will play a role in student learning.

“We want to see if any directives come from the governor, and if the plans are up to the local health department and school districts we will move forward accordingly. Our plan is to try to provide some professional development for teachers during August so we’re ready to be up and running on day one.”

Further talks entailed how to utilize three school resource officers at the school buildings since services were affected by the lockdown. Beattie said the board discussed how to proceed if the district faces a similar situation in the future and schools close once again.

Meanwhile, the board was updated on projects continuing throughout the district. Beattie said a bid was approved for Playing Surface Solutions of Meadville, Pa., to undertake the bulk excavation of the master facilities in preparation for walkways, plaza areas, the grandstand relocation and a building entrance gate on the high school campus. The project costs an estimated $1,014,000 for phase one, but phase two plans were put on hold regarding the addition of baseball and softball fields on campus. Beattie explained there were financial constraints but leaders will decide how to proceed by the end of the year. When that phase proceeds, hopes are to have the ballfields ready for action in the spring of 2022.

Change orders were also approved with Vasco of Massillon for a concrete stabilization plan for unified athletics facilities at EHS, but officials learned that portion was not necessary and costs were reduced, saving the district an estimated $110,000. Beattie added that costs for work at Stanton and John Gregg Elementary were more than $400,000 over the district’s allotted $6 million budget and the contract was reviewed again to eliminate the overrun. Those projects include updating windows and HVAC units, among other renovations. In other matters, the board:

— Employed Josh Haspel as computer technology teacher, Shannon Small as a Language Arts teacher, and Elizabeth Conley as the vocal music teacher, all three positions at EHS;

— Entered into an agreement with the Columbiana County Educational Service Center for occupational therapy services;

— Approved extended time for guidance counselors Sara McGee and Samanda Pepperling for 40 hours of extended time from June 1 to July 31, 2020;

— Approved a contract with Trinity Health System for trainer services;

— Contracted with the Jefferson County Board of Developmental Disabilities (JCBDD) for special education services;

— Approved the treasurer’s reports and donations such as the Dean Boring-Sarah Schaefer Scholarship for $200, the Mr. & Mrs. Bill Schaefer-Sarah Schaefer Scholarship for $800 and $228 from the East Springfield Jr. Women’s Club for EHS lunch accounts;

— Approved a contract with BJAAM Environmental Services Inc. of Canal Fulton for environmental engineering services for ongoing monitoring and testing of 30 wells on the high school campus following a diesel fuel leak years ago which seeped into the ground;

— Accepted a $3,000 grant from the Children’s Hunger Alliance of Ohio to help cover costs for the seamless summer feeding program;

— Approved supplemental contracts for JoAnn Stagani as athletic director; Todd Smith as assistant athletic director; Shane O’Brien as head varsity football coach; Jason Fogle, Alfred Johnson, Mike Collopy, Greg Marsh and Nolan Marcus as assistant football coaches; Josh Waggoner, Mark Pittman and Tyler Stagani, volunteer varsity football; Collin Skeeles, Byron Rufkin, Bruce Palmer and James Evans, junior high football; Shane O’Brien, elementary football; Kodi Peterson, varsity golf; Andy Lesnansky, varsity boys’ soccer; Jordan Tice, varsity girls’ soccer; Kim Judy, volunteer girls’ soccer; Todd Smith, varsity volleyball; Keely Drabick, assistant varsity volleyball; Holly Johns and Tonyea Roberts, volunteer varsity volleyball; Sarah Louda and Samanda Pepperling, junior high volleyball; Maddie Brown and Casey Mozingo, fall junior high cheerleading; Jamie Evans, EHS Yearbook, district annual report/calendar and district website coordinator; Marc Sansone, EHS Band and extended band time; and Bev Sansone and David Schultz, EHS Band assistants;

— Set the next meeting for July 23 at 6 p.m. with the location to be determined.

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