LEES CREEK — East Clinton has changed its cutoff-date requirement for children to enter kindergarten, thereby allowing somewhat younger children to start school.
The East Clinton Board of Education voted unanimously to change the entry date to a child being 5 on or before Sept. 30 — instead of a child being 5 by Aug. 1. The board’s vote this month comes after a recommendation for the change was made by administration at the March meeting.
The change “allows a portion of our more at-risk population to access our system a year earlier in the developmental stages,” said East Clinton Local Schools Superintendent Eric Magee.
At that March meeting, Sabina Elementary School kindergarten teacher Jennifer Morrow said the change would mean some at-risk children can get into school sooner, and teachers can be hands-on with them and hopefully better prepare them for the future.
Also at the March meeting, school board member Tim Starkey said not all children can go to preschool, and there are families who cannot afford it. Those children, he feels, could benefit from starting kindergarten a year earlier.
A primary reason some educators give for favoring an Aug. 1 cutoff date is that, they say, it allows for additional maturation and preschool learning.
During the April meeting of the EC school board, Magee presented an update on conversations with the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission.
“We are anxiously awaiting word from the commission on when Ohio might be able to assist in funding the project,” the superintendent stated.
The project would consist of construction of a new middle school and substantial renovations to the elementary buildings and the high school.
“In looking at the potential building project and renovations, bringing our buildings up to the most advanced security features and practices would be a focal point,” Magee added.
When the State of Ohio is ready to commit to the project, it will contribute 76 percent of the costs for allowable portions of the project within its formulas.
Magee stated, “There will be local initiatives that do not fall within Ohio’s formulas, but the Board is interested in limiting the project to the essentials to keep the cost as low as possible.”
In personnel action, a resignation for purposes of retirement was accepted from long time high school teacher Kim Allen. Allen will be recognized at the annual Astro Pride Celebration on Saturday, May 26, prior to graduation ceremonies. All are welcome to attend that ceremony at East Clinton High School at 4:30 p.m. in the cafeteria.
East Clinton Middle School students presented their “Invention Convention” projects to the board. Several students will go on to compete in Columbus at the state level this summer.
Science Club members include Teddy Murphy, Liam McPherson, Sydney Bosier, Gage Beam, Isaiah Rowe, Bradyn Gaddis, Timmi Mahanes and Seth Rowley.