Editor’s Note — This story was updated on Friday, Dec. 18 to include additional comment from the school district.
The Lynchburg-Clay Local School District will return from its winter break on Monday, Jan. 11 instead of Monday, Jan. 4.
The district’s board of education voted during its Wednesday regular meeting to extend the break.
A Thursday evening post to the district’s Facebook page stated, “This extended break is an effort to reduce the transmission of illness due to holiday gatherings and to reduce the number of potentially quarantined students directly after the holidays.”
Board vice president Brad Hess added Wednesday that the decision was recommended by the district’s school nurse and administrators.
Superintendent Brett Justice told The Times-Gazette after the meeting that the district is working on a contingency plan in the event that Lynchburg-Clay schools must close due to Covid-related illness and quarantines. The district hopes to release details of the plan to parents and guardians in “a few days,” according to Justice.
During the district’s November meeting, board member Kristen Greenawalt requested that Justice and his administrative team create a “disaster plan,” similar to the district’s reopening plan, that the district could follow in response to high numbers of positive Covid cases or quarantines.
Earlier this week, Lynchburg-Clay High School postponed its homecoming ceremony due to Covid quarantines, according to the district’s website, lynchclay.k12.oh.us.
A Tuesday post on the district’s Facebook page stated that the ceremony will be rescheduled. The rescheduled date was not available as of press time.
As of Thursday, the district reported that 68 students and two staff members were in quarantine. The district did not report any active Covid cases.
The district’s self-reported Covid statistics are available on the district’s website, lynchclay.k12.oh.us, and updated daily at 3 p.m.
In other news from the Lynchburg-Clay Local Board of Education’s Wednesday regular meeting:
* Lynchburg-Clay basketball games have a new addition in the near future: a Hudl Focus smart camera.
Board members expressed dissatisfaction with how the district had been live-streaming games as of Wednesday and voted to enter a contract with Hudl immediately. The Hudl Focus smart camera automatically tracks the ball.
“I think we need to do something because we need to have some positivity,” board member Bobbi Jo Ernst said. “What a great thing to be able to go ahead and watch the game. I could see that being something positive for the future: maybe I’m sick or I’m working late, and I can still watch my grandson. I just think it’s a gesture to the community and parents.”
Board members also discussed using the camera to live-stream other events throughout the school year, such as graduation.
* Board member Bret Malone asked the district to look into hiring at least two additional full-time counselors: one for the elementary and one who would serve students in both the middle and high schools.
These counselors would go beyond guidance counselors.
“I think it’s a need — it’s always been a need; we just never did it,” Malone said. “A lot of elementaries don’t have [a counselor] we need one. We’ve needed them, and it’s even worse now. I don’t know if we should wait for next school year, to be honest with you.”
Board members agreed to start the search.
* Board members also heard a presentation from Duro-Last Commercial Roofing Systems representative Brian Gottron.
Gottron visited Lynchburg-Clay in early November to measure the district’s elementary, middle school, and high school buildings.
According to Gottron, the middle school building’s roof is in the worst shape. Contractors will need to tear out and replace the full roof.
However, the high school and elementary buildings’ roofs will require only the installation of a roofing membrane over the existing roofs.
According to Gottron, Duro-Last custom-makes these membranes in the factory, which allows for simplified installation and fewer seams where leaks could occur later. Contractors can also install these membranes while classes are in session as the installation does not cause significant disruption.
Work on the middle school would occur during the summer, however, as the middle school project requires more in-depth construction.
According to Gottron’s estimate, the project will cost $2.8 million for all three buildings, though Gottron said the district could save money by choosing to complete the projects through The Interlocal Purchasing System (TIPS), a national purchasing cooperative.
After an executive session, board members agreed to move forward with Duro-Last.
For the next step in the process, Gottron will gather proposals and bids from contractors to present to the district. The district will then be able to decide whether or not to proceed with the roofing projects.
The next regular Lynchburg-Clay Local Board of Education meeting will be held on Wednesday, Jan. 13 at the board of education building. The annual budget meeting will take place at 6 p.m. The organizational meeting will take place at 6:30 p.m.
Reach McKenzie Caldwell at 937-402-2570.