Welcome to the 2015-2016 school year. Our administration and staff are eager to begin another year with the students, parents, grandparents, and community members throughout our district. We hope to have everyone work together to make this another successful instructional and enjoyable year for all.
I trust each of you have had a relaxing and enjoyable summer with your family and friends. I hope your vacations, special trips, and family gatherings have been fun, safe and educational.
As September is upon us, I hope all of you are looking forward to another exciting and rewarding school year. As you return to school, notice the new K-8 facility is continuing to be built with the hope of being close to closed in by winter break. The high school has also had extensive renovation work since last May. I hope you all share the same excitement and enthusiasm I have about our new and upcoming enhanced school facilities prepared for twenty first century education and learning.
As we begin the new school year at the high school, renovation work will begin to close. However, patience will still be needed to correct punch list items, return and unpack items from renovation storage and finally to coordinate distribution of keys, fobs and lockers to all necessary stakeholders. Opening up any facility from major renovations is always a challenge. Flexibility and patience to the final move in is the key to success. Please remember the final upgraded and new environment outweighs the short move in process at the high school.
At the K-8 facility, the masons are completing the center section of the facility, that being two gymnasiums and the cafeteria commons area bearing walls. They are also working on the south end two story section of the facility placing bearing walls which are the fifth grade through eighth grade side of the building. The steel erectors are finishing the span trusses and stage rigging beams in the second gymnasium and commons cafeteria area. These trusses were swung with the crane you see on site. Soon the roofer will begin installing material which will begin on the main gymnasium. This area of the building has insulation stacked on it right now.
Precision Concrete continues to prep and pour concrete slabs throughout the facility. The steel erectors, in addition to swinging high trusses, are putting detail decking on roofs. Electrical wall rough is continuing as work progresses, as well as, placement of panel tubs and above ceiling branch line conduit when and as available. Electrical site work for primary power is also nearly complete. Underground conduit for the generator is complete. Plumbing carriers and chase piping will continue as available. The HVAC and plumbing contractor are continuing with above ceiling piping and duct work in the gymnasium and locker room areas.
At the south end of the property, geothermal well drilling has begun. Eight wells are complete. A second drilling rig is scheduled to arrive soon. The final CMU foundations will begin soon in front of the main gymnasium which is the administration area. This area was left open for an access point to the gymnasium. The Eric Street storm work is also complete.
We have enjoyed our experience with Shook Touchstone Construction Manager At Risk thus far in the project. We look forward to the ongoing construction process this fall. Our community can continue to follow the construction site pictures on the home page of the website at www.greenville.k12.oh.us.
Our district will participate in two approved waiver days this year. These are non-instructional days for students that allow for additional professional development for our staff. These two days are scheduled for Monday, Sept. 28, and Monday, Oct. 19. Parents can coordinate now for these to be days the students will not be in session. The staff will be participating in professional development related to curriculum mapping, evaluation process, college credit plus, technology and one to one initiative, Twenty First Century teaching skills and updated safety training. All of these sessions will promote a current curriculum and safer environment for our students.
Greenville Schools has a tradition of excellence and we certainly are working to continue the excellence. The entire district wants to lead the way by making sure our students are ready for higher education and also jobs of tomorrow in a global economy.
Two major curriculum implementations our district is taking on this year include our one to one iPad technology initiative for our first grade students and College Credit Plus Program at the high school.
First-grade parents will have the option to participate in an insurance program so the devices can be taken home and used for instruction and education, as well. The one-on-one curriculum program we are working with is e Spark. Our intention will be to expand this program to another grade level next year.
The College Credit Plus program at the high school replaces the former post-secondary education program and allows students to receive high school and college credit while staying on our campus. Much of this affiliation will be with Edison State. We look forward to our partnership with Edison. We thank our high school staff who have dedicated themselves to become qualified to teach College Credit Plus.
Many of you are aware that the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) will not continue. These assessments for 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 will be held in safe harbor, or not applied, to student grade advancement, teacher evaluation score, or district report card. A new assessment for end-of-year Language Arts and Mathematics will be instituted. However, the American Institute for Research (AIR) and End of Course Exams will continue. It is possible the AIR assessments will take over the area of Language Arts and Mathematics, as well.
We had two legislative grants that have progressed nicely this summer. As the 2015-16 school year begins, many upgrades will be noticed at Memorial Hall in the auditorium, lobby and Anna Bier Civic Room, and also at the high school with the development of the new engineering advanced manufacturing lab. Again, these facility upgrades were a part of state legislative grants and are much appreciated. They will greatly enhance our education process.
Both of these grants came in at $500,000 to be used for facility upgrades. The manufacturing lab will not be complete at the high school for the beginning of school, but will be operational soon.
This fall on Election Day, our school district will have an operational renewal levy on the ballot. This levy will have no new taxes but is simply the renewal of an existing 5.50 mill tax levy that has been in existence since 1996. Again, this renewal levy will appear on the Nov. 3 ballot as approved by the board of education and it represents no new taxes, just continuation for another five-year cycle for what exists in our current operational cycle.
I invite everyone in the community to attend and support our students in the various extracurricular activities that take place throughout the school year. Your attendance is appreciated by the students and the school system.
Remember, the entire Greenville School faculty and staff is here to assist you — our students, parents and community. If we can be of assistance, please feel free to contact our principals or myself. I can be reached by phone at 937-548-3185. I can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Let’s all work together to make 2015-2016 an outstanding school year and keep Greenville Schools a great place for students to learn and teachers to teach.
Doug Fries is the superintendent of Greenville City Schools. He may be reached at email@example.com. Viewpoints expressed are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.