East Clinton Schools to give parents option this fall

Athletes, band begin to meet

By Gary Huffenberger - ghuffenberger@wnewsj.com

LEES CREEK — If there is a regular start-up for school this fall, East Clinton will provide an instructional option for parents and families who don’t want to send their kids back because of coronavirus concerns.

East Clinton Superintendent Eric Magee made the announcement Tuesday night during a board of education meeting. Like all educators, East Clinton administrators have the upcoming school reopening on their minds these days.

The State of Ohio is expected within a week to release a framework to reopen schools for the 2020-’21 academic year. At East Clinton, they have formed committees in various areas to make plans for the new school year.

“One thing we do know is, whatever the plan is, it’s going to have to be flexible,” Magee said, “so we can adjust and adapt to whatever the need is at the moment.”

The superintendent said that in conversations with the Clinton County Health Department, the local public health officials there have said they are going to be flexible as they perform their role to safeguard health, which could mean targeting their response to a particular school district, or a specific school building, or even to one grade level or a single classroom.

Magee noted that Monday was the start of a new phase of guidelines for student athletes. For the school board members he highlighted some of those practices such as a daily symptom assessment, and for contact sports a requirement to keep social distance except for game play, meaning six feet apart while on the sidelines, and no high-fives or huddling up.

If there are practice drills involving bodily contact such as a basketball rebounding drill, the prep athletes are supposed to spend a limited amount of time on those drills, said Magee.

In a written report to the board from High School Principal Michael Adams, he stated, “As the state has allowed us to begin reopening the buildings to our students for athletics and band, [Athletic Director and Assistant Principal] Mr. Marsh, staff, coaches, and myself have all noticed the smiles and the enjoyment of our students. They are truly excited to be back together, seeing each other, working toward their goals as teams.”

The band at this time has been mostly meeting outdoors and attendance has been very good, said the principal.

Adams also reported the high school staff is reading “The Growth Mindset Coach”.

A Google classroom was created for seven summer school students from the high school, and the summer school coordinator has set up an opportunity for Zoom meetings each day to meet with the students.

Sabina Elementary Principal Matt Willian, in his written report, noted they had an open position due to a staffer being on a one-year leave of absence in the Intensive Resource Room, which is a special education classroom. The board approved hiring Sarah Kasanicky, who comes from Pennsylvania where she has taught for the past five years. She and her soon-to-be-husband are moving to Clinton County this summer to work and live at a farm operation.

The couple is heavily involved in agriculture, specifically in show hogs and cattle, said the principal.

“Sarah is well spoken and confident, and brings a wealth of knowledge and strategies with her to work with our students with significant physical and academic needs,” Adams stated.

East Clinton Food Services Director Anne Woodruff reported she has been in contact with the county health department “and as of now their concern is no self-serve items.”

For lunch-time at the elementary schools, the norm has been one grade level at a time, but Woodruff thinks the cafeteria can control that so it will be about 15 to 20 students in line, with staggered groups coming in from the playground to the restrooms.

“We will have marks on the floor to show social distancing expectations. We may need the existing tables spaced apart, maybe even on the stage area. The same can happen at the high school/middle school, but we may need to stagger the schedule and add tables to the gym,” she said.

Woodruff added, “I plan to pare down our selections to include favorites and items that are easily transportable if we close and need to have meal pickup and/or delivery again. My thoughts are to keep our freezers with less variety in case we should have to change gears quickly as we did in the spring.”

In board action, members approved the technology purchase of 200 Chromebooks at an approximate cost of $38,436. The Chromebooks will be paid for using dollars from the PI (Permanent Improvement) fund.

Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.

Athletes, band begin to meet

By Gary Huffenberger