Greenville City Schools has had a great first semester of the 2016-17 school year, both academically and with extra-curricular activities. Thanks to the hard work of our students and staff and the support of our parents and community, the first semester is nearing the end and has been very educational and productive.
Students will return from Winter Break later this year on Thursday, Jan. 12. There will be no school on Martin Luther King Day, Monday, Jan. 16 and the first semester ends on Friday, Jan. 27.
Again, I would like to thank the entire school district for their support of the new K-8 facility that is about to open to the students and staff on Thursday, Jan. 12. The community is providing our students and staff with a state-of-the-art facility to enhance the delivery of 21st century learning and instruction for decades to come. The new facility also features updated security and life safety features throughout the building, improved accessibility for all handicapped students and adults, enhanced technology for learning and improved visual performing art classrooms and spaces.
Further improvements include updated efficient heating, ventilation, air conditioning and electrical systems throughout the complex utilizing geothermal heating and cooling. There is increased physical education instructional space, as well as, extracurricular practice space with two full size gym floors and a separate kindergarten gym. The commons/cafeteria space is a wonderful feature for the district both for student dining and for community performances and events. The area features a stage available for performances to a gym and the commons. It can also be closed off for additional academic space. All the classroom spaces are built to OFCC standards throughout the complex. Outside the facility features three playgrounds with the kindergarten playground fenced in. There are walking paths provided throughout the grounds and a delivery loading dock. The facility has a total of 460 parking spaces.
Over Winter Break the district has had Lewis and Michael Moving and Storage, Inc. move the curriculum and equipment content from our four existing buildings into the new K-8 complex. This move has gone smoothly and we appreciate the assistance of the company. We also sincerely thank the teaching and classified staff and all our wonderful community volunteers that have assisted us in packing and unpacking boxes, books and materials in preparation of opening the new school complex. Again, our grateful gratitude to all that have helped.
We will be having a parent/student walk-through on January 9 and 10. The 5-8 side will be on Monday, Jan. 9 from 4 to 6:30 p.m. The K-4 will be on Tuesday, Jan. 10 from 4 to 6:30 p.m. This will allow parents and students a chance to familiarize themselves a little bit with the building before the opening on January 12. The community Open House and Dedication for the new K-8 facility will be scheduled Sunday afternoon February 26. This will allow staff to unpack and set up for educational operation and contractors to work after hours on punch list items to prepare for this community dedication and open house. The dedication program will begin at 2 p.m. and be followed with a couple of hours for the community to walk through the facility. The entire district looks forward to this dedication.
School times, bus routes
Prior to the new facility opening on January 12, we have some informational items we want to communicate. The school day for the Middle School 5-8 will be from 7:35 to 2:25. The school day for the Elementary School K-4 will be 9:05 to 3:30. We will continue to run two bus routes. All buses will drop off and pick up from the back side of the complex. Only buses, staff and deliveries will use the Eric Street entrance off Main Street. All parent drop off and pick up of students will take place in front of the building. There are two front entrances to the parking lot off Ohio Street. Traffic flow in front of the building is one way from South to North on the drop off. Please drop off on the curb lane only. If you enter from the North entrance, once you get to the parking lot you will be directed around the back of the lot so you maintain the one-way flow. Any time a parent or visitor comes to the building they should park in front of the building and enter the front doors and report to the office on the elementary or middle school side using the front sidewalks and crossing lanes. The district will have administrators, teachers, and PTA volunteers to help students the first several days to help them get familiar with entry and routes to their classrooms.
Students in the walking zones can enter from the front of the complex off Ohio Street. We will have crossing guards provided at Greenmoore Street. Students walking may also walk in to the rear of the complex from Orchard Drive by way of a walking path. Students again should use provided walk paths and crossing zones when entering from the back of the complex and watch for buses providing drop off and pick up. There will be administrative and teacher/resource officer supervision, as well.
No students should walk in from Eric Street. Again, this is for buses and deliveries, as well as staff. Please walk to Orchard or Ohio Street and then in. Students on Redwood, Palm and Lea Lane can use the walkway that ties into the back-walking path.
There will be bricks from each building set out for pick up for free when each building is demolished. Staff and community members may feel free to pick one up if you so desire at the building site. This is a part of the demolition process and has been put in the specification plans.
We will soon be holding building auctions for the loose furnishings, desks, food service equipment and other selected items in each of the buildings. The first auction is scheduled at East School on Saturday, Jan. 28. The other auctions will follow approximately three to four weeks apart, estimated, and subject to change. We are pleased that Mike Baker, Midwest Auctioneers and Realty, Inc. will be handling the auctions. This is an opportunity for the community and staff to pick up a memory item or for other facilities, schools, businesses or individuals to pick up loose furnishings or items that may be of benefit to them.
We have been fortunate thus far this school year to have used no calamity days. We are again this year operating on days, not hours, for our school year requirements. Thus, we have five calamity days available to use before implementing any make-up days. The established make-up days for this school year, if needed, are Feb. 20, June 8, 9, 12 and 13. Feb. 20 would only be used if six days were missed before that day. As we enter the coldest of the winter season, I encourage everyone to dress for the weather, particularly at bus stops, with heavy coats, hats, scarves and gloves. We try hard to arrive on scheduled times at bus stops, but weather conditions sometimes dictate being a little behind to maintain safety. I encourage all student drivers to take their time driving to and from school and in and around parking lots of the school throughout the winter season.
For the second straight year, our district has successfully implemented the College Credit Plus Program at the High School. This program continues to benefit our students receiving college credit while in high school. We have more than one hundred students taking advantage of this program. Also at the High School, we have implemented the same MAP testing in grades nine and ten as we have for grades K-8. This is testing done three times during the year to measure student progress and help assist us in where students will perform on their end of course assessments. The High School is working hard to meet required curriculum standards to prepare students for these end of course exams.
At the elementary level, we have advanced our one to one IPad technology program through the third grade. So, all students K-3 are working with one to one technology initiative as well as the ESpark curriculum. The district has also been working the first semester in piloting some new language arts curriculum in the elementary and middle school related to the Ready GEN Program. The district is looking to expand on this language arts program and will continue to use the Measurement of Academic Progress (MAP) testing in the future. Again, the MAP test is a close measure on our student performance for end of year required state assessments.
We were pleased the first semester to be using our new Advanced Manufacturing Lab to instruct our high school students in career tech programs. Likewise, we are pleased to be working with Edison State in a joint agreement in doing various instruction programs in our Advanced Manufacturing Lab to prepare adults for work force jobs and training. We look forward to continuing this relationship.
We again had some wonderful school performances by our band, orchestra, jazz scene and choirs of many grade levels before leaving for our Winter break. I commend our students and directors and assistants for their dedication to these performances. The programs were each well done. Thank you also to the community for your outstanding support and attendance at these events. Many of these presentations were the last to be performed at Memorial Hall. We look forward to hosting some of these events in the future at our new K-8 complex.
Special congratulations to our 28 high school juniors and seniors who were inducted into National Honor Society at Greenville High School on Nov. 22, 2016. This was a wonderful Tap Assembly coordinated by Advisor, Amber Warner. I salute all our new inductees for their commitment to scholarship, leadership, service and character. I also thank their parents and grandparents for the guidance they provide these students.
Likewise, congratulations to our Greenville High School Fall 2016 Homecoming Queen Victoria Landis and Chief Greenwave Justin McMiller. These two students were selected by the Greenville High School student body during Homecoming Week.
A special thank you over this Winter Break to our Technology Department which includes Stan Hughes (Coordinator), Robert Warner, Shawna Wise, Nathan Sharp (Administrator/Instructor), and several of our Computer Information System (CIS) students who have coordinated and moved all our computers and technology devices to our new K-8 complex. This has been a wonderful real life training opportunity of which they have all done an outstanding job.
Thank you again!
In closing, let me again thank our entire community for your ongoing support of the Greenville School District. I invite all community members, parents, grandparents to continue to be an active part of our school district. Please feel free to attend as many student activities as your schedule allows. The students, staff and administration appreciate your support.
Everyone is always welcome to call me at 937-548-3185 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about our school district or school activities. I hope you all had a wonderful holiday break. Best wishes in the New Year and good luck to our students in the second semester.
As always, Strong School Strong Community. Greenville City Schools — a great place for students to learn and teachers to teach.
Doug Fries may be reached at 937-548-3185 or by email at email@example.com with any questions about the district. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.