Kingston Schools makes summer plans
For Kingston Community Schools, there will be summer school and summer school projects.
The first will be offered from 9 a.m. to noon Tuesdays through Thursdays for eight weeks – June 15 to Aug. 12 – for grades 6-8.
“We are excited about our summer school opportunities that we are going to be able to do because of funds from the state to do that,” Superintendent Matt Drake said.
Drake told the district’s board of education at Monday’s session that the plan calls for some Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) activities and some outdoor science.
“We might have some fun field trips in there too,” Drake said. “I think kids will really enjoy it.”
But there is a primary goal, he said, to “also try to close some of the gaps we are discovering, especially in mathematics at the elementary level.”
The gaps came during the past school year, caused for some by being in online-only learning due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and for others by the fits and starts of the in-person learning year where students were thrust into online-only learning for weeks by COVID-19 outbreaks that forced them into quarantine.
Before it reapproved the district’s COVID-19 extended learning plan for another month, Drake told the board that attendance had dipped in April to the 80 percent range across all grades for both online-only and in-person learning, but for May it was back in the mid-80s to low 90 percent range for both online-only and in-person students.
The summer school projects also were brought on by COVID-19, or rather the funds made available by the pandemic. The board made plans to spend its Elementary and Secondary Schools Emergency Relief (ESSER) III funds, part of the American Rescue Plan Act money, to fix some things related to the pandemic.
Drake said the district wants to replace flooring tile in the traffic areas at the elementary school, replace some individual-room heating-ventilation-air conditioning units – adding ultraviolet virus-elimination units – at the elementary school and get bigger refrigerators-freezers for the school kitchen due to the need to have and keep more food on hand.
“Those all are issues that came about from having to do things differently as a result of the coronavirus,” Drake said.
The board also:
■ Set the high school graduation for June 6 on the football field “and we are going to be pretty open,” Drake said. The slide show will be at 8:30 p.m. on that same day.
■ Approved the Tuscola Intermediate School District’s budget and chose a representative to vote in the TISD biennial election
■ Had a second reading and approval of the spring NEOLA policies. North East Ohio Learning Associates helps school districts stay on top of new and changing laws and regulations. NEOLA serves more than 1,500 clients in six states
■ Set the 2021-22 school calendar, with teachers to work Aug. 24-26 and the students’ first day on Aug. 30.
■ Accepted the retirements of bus driver Arlene Smith and Spanish teacher Lynn Hable and the resignation of grade 5-6 science teacher Jessica Hahn. Smith is the second bus driver to retire, effective at the end of the year. Drake has posted the openings but said he hasn’t received a single response yet. “I’m not sure what that is going to mean for us but that is an issue, a problem.” He has until the fall to fill the openings, but if the candidate needs to be trained then it will take part of the summer to get them trained and licensed. “It is not a two-day process,” Drake said.
■ Had a closed session to discuss labor negotiations with the teachers. The district already has settled its contracts with the custodians and the bus drivers.