Greenfield’s school reopening plan was approved by the board of education at Monday’s meeting, but that plan could change at any time, superintendent Quincey Gray said.
As things seem to change daily with COVID-19 and related guidelines, the district will be prepared to shift at any time from the currently-planned regular schedule to blended or online learning. Those who have put it together have taken into account the possible scenarios so that the district can transition seamlessly to blended or online learning should pandemic-related guidelines warrant that, Gray said.
The district’s task force crafted the reopening plan, which includes students returning to a regular schedule on Aug. 24. An online option is also available for those who wish to participate. The application for the virtual education program will be available July 21-31.
The district released a plan summary recently that can be found on the opening page of the district website (greenfield.k12.oh.us) and includes highlights of the reopening plan, the detailed version of which will be released Tuesday on the district’s website and Facebook page. A session on the reopening plan is also scheduled for Aug. 5 in the high school gym where there is space enough for those in attendance to spread out. Gray and Highland County Health Commissioner Jared Warner will be available to answer questions.
The task force has worked in collaboration with other school districts in the area and the health department in an effort to “stay on the same page” as much as is possible, Gray said. The plan, in part, has also been informed by parent/guardian surveys conducted in recent weeks.
One of the things Gray spoke about that is outlined in the full reopening plan is a part that identifies everyone’s rolls. She said it will take everyone to make it work, no matter what pieces of the plan are utilized.
“Face-to-face is the best option,” Gray said of students returning to the classroom. And it’s not just about academics, she said. For a lot of the kids it’s also about a meal, socialization, and just having someone to make sure they are alright.
Also part of the board meeting was the recognition of donors involved in the playground build in early March. The recognition comes at the first school board meeting since March where the public has been allowed to attend a school board session in the same room in which the meeting took place.
Those recognized were: project foremen — Archie Barber, Rod Halterman and Ray Sponcil; $1,000 or more donation — Greenfield Elementary School PTO, Greenfield Lions Club, Southern Hills Community Bank, Unger Farms, Faulconer Farms, and Dr. Richard Mizer, Christy Hill and family; donations of meals, snacks, bottled water, and paper products for workers — Greenfield Mothers Club, Y-Gradale, Greenfield Lions Club, Grow Greater Greenfield, Good News Gathering, Corner Pharmacy, the Presbyterian Church, and the Greenfield Elementary School PTO.
Gray said the district would have liked to have invited everyone that was a part of the project, but with the current atmosphere of social-distancing, it was not possible. She mentioned the hard work of all the volunteers, and noted that the school maintenance staff was also involved. She made special note of the student groups involved, who, she said, did not shy away from hard work. Those groups include New Directions, Girl Scout Troop 1645, the McClain FFA, and the McClain Cadet Corp.
The anticipated three-day project, which took volunteers only two days to complete, “is a really great example of a community coming together,” Gray said.
While tCOVID-19 shut everything down shortly after the build was complete, work has recently resumed at the playground and will include work on the parking, sidewalk, curbs, basketball, and four-square areas. Following that work will be landscaping, which will include green space, trees, and new brick pavers and a donation stone.
Items approved on the consent agenda included the resignation of Shane Paul, head wrestling coach; the resignation of Karen Shonkwiler, music teacher at Greenfield Elementary, for retirement; the school reopening plan; and an amended certificate of $114,504 in federal monies for funding toward pandemic-related materials and services.
Gray thanked Shonkwiler for her years of teaching children in the district and wished her well in her retirement. The superintendent also spoke well wishes for Paul, whose resignation is “a huge loss” to the district, she said. However, she said the district is happy for his new work endeavor that is taking him from coaching.
Employment recommendations approved by board members included Alessandra England, girls bowling; Jason Evans, boys bowling; Nathan Luke, boys track assistant; Jacob Orr-Zody, head coach girls track; Keith Penwell, softball assistant; Steve Roble, head coach boys track; Travis Snyder, fall weight room supervisor; David Weaks, girls track assistant; Tyler Carman, softball assistant; Bob Bergstrom, football assistant; Taylor Baker, football assistant and spring weight room supervisor; Kendra Barnes, junior high track; Ed Bolender, girls softball; Kenneth Branscom, head coach baseball; Faith Kobel, eighth grade volleyball; Andy Bolender, softball assistant; and Josh McCoy, softball assistant.
Angela Shepherd is a correspondent for the Greenfield Exempted Village School District.