School Year Update from Superintendent, Douglas Fries
Greenville City Schools has had a great first semester to the 2014-2015 school year, both academically and with extra-curricular activities. Thanks to the hard work of our students and staff and support of our parents and community, the first semester is nearing the end and has been very educational.
Students return from Winter Break on Monday, January 5, 2015. There will be no school on Martin Luther King Day, January 19, 2015 and the first semester ends on Friday, January 23, 2015. Monday, January 26, 2015 is a teacher workday and students will not be in session.
We have been fortunate so far this school year to only use one calamity day. We are again this year operating on days, not hours, for our school year requirements. Thus, we have four calamity days available to us before implementing any make-up days. The established make-up days for this school year, if needed, are February 16th, June 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th. February 16th 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, scarf, 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.
As the second semester approaches us this school year, many instructional issues are on the horizon. First, we soon will be implementing online PARCC testing for our grades four through eight Ohio Achievement Assessments. This is likewise true for our upcoming end of course exams at the high school in required areas. I salute our curriculum and technology teams for preparing for these online assessments and thank them for their dedication. I also thank the students for their preparation for this new experience. We believe our recent experience with taking online MAP (Measurement of Academic Progress) testing will assist us with this new testing experience. There is no doubt there will be a learning curve with necessary adjustments as we implement the new testing model.
By next year, we are also working to implement the new College Credit Plus curriculum at the high school. The CCP replaces Ohio's Post-Secondary Enrollment Options Program (PSE0) and all alternate dual enrollment programs. Our curriculum staff, high school counselors and administrators have been attending workshops in preparation of implementing this requirement signed into law on June 16, 2014 under House bill 487. College Credit Plus requires two fundamental conditions being the students who choose CCP courses must enroll in both college and high school and the student is to earn both college and high school credit upon successful completion of these courses. Our district is presently reviewing and certifying as many high school teachers as possible to instruct under the CCP program. Each public high school must participate in the program next year and have developed two pathway opportunities through CCP for a student to earn 15 or 30 college credits. We presently have signed a letter of intent to participate in this program with Edison Community College.
Instructionally we are establishing a five year rotation to upgrade our textbook and supplemental materials. This year our curriculum personnel and principals are looking to purchase new materials in grades 5-8 mathematics and in high school geometry.
After more than a year of design phases for the new construction of our K-8 building, visual construction should begin as soon as winter breaks and continue approximately 18 months until mid-November 2016. The early site package of the new site has gone well and should be completed the first of the year. A small area of the front parking lot and driveway on Ohio Street required soil stabilization but for the most part the underground work went smoothly. Our early structural steel package came in high on the budget estimate causing our CMR at Risk Shook Touchstone, Garman and Miller Architects and Owner Agent Gilbane all to recommend to us to redesign the exterior structural steel bearing walls to CMU block bearing walls. This also required an adjustment to the foundation drawings. Thus, after allowing time to redesign in these respects, the foundation rebids are due in mid-January with the post bid meetings to follow shortly after.
The board of education and the Ohio School Facility Commission are presently finalizing the Guaranteed Maximum Price for Shook Touchstone to build the new facility. This price should be approved by both controlling boards within the next month. The construction documents for the K-8 facility should be prepared by Garmann Miller Architects and Engineers by late January and be on the street for review in preparation of bidding. We expect the Guarantee Maximum Price bidding for the entire building to take place in mid-February with construction to begin as the weather breaks. The date of contract completion is now scheduled for November 15, 2016. Of course, this is subject to no weather delays in the process over the next couple of years.
There are two late packages that are bid out in the new K-8 facility. These will be the furnishings and technology packages. These two packages are typically delayed and bid closer to completion of construction. Estimated money is set aside for these two packages.
Renovation continues at the high school. On December 22, 2014 we started phase 5 of 9 on the upstairs front hallway next to the courtyard. Approximately the end of January, to the first of February we will enter phase 6 downstairs front hallway of academic wing. During this phase the evening community walkers will have to do a U turn or go up the stairs and back down to complete their walking laps. During each phase we continue to remove ceilings and add piping to prepare for the new HVAC system. The rooms are being painted, improvements are being made to one white board in each room, new windows and doors and ceiling tile have been added, as well.
I would like to thank our high school staff and students for their flexibility and patience as we work through the renovation project. Likewise, I want to thank Brumbaugh Construction, Garmann Miller Architects and all the sub-contractors for completing this renovation work while we continue to move forward academically.
Phase 9 of the high school renovation will be the major challenge next summer as we renovate the high school media center, as well as the science wing. We will also be painting all the hallways, installing new lockers and remodeling the kitchen, public restrooms outside the kitchen and enhancing the concession stand in the cafeteria all over the summer. There will also be work done at the front doorways and at two of the entrance walks by the flagpole and next to the cafeteria on the front side. The renovation at the high school this summer will again be on a tight schedule.
Because of the renovation schedule this summer at the high school there will be no building rentals from graduation through the start of the school year to allow construction and renovation to take place. Summer school for 2015 will be assigned to appropriate approved areas. Our goals for both construction projects continue to be to get the best educational facility for student achievement in the twenty first century and maintain the safest environment within the allotted budget. At the K-8 new facility this also requires following all the established rules of the Ohio School Facilities Commission.
I remind everyone that construction site pictures are available on the school website (www.greenville.k12.oh.us). Please feel free to monitor construction pictures throughout the length of the projects. We have also added a camera that will take pictures daily of the new K-8 site once construction begins.
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.
Special congratulations to our thirty two high school juniors and seniors who were inducted into National Honor Society at Greenville High School on November 25, 2014. 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.
Likewise, congratulations to Logan Emrick who was elected as Secretary for the State of Ohio Business Professionals of America. Also, congratulations to instructor Jim Anderson for being elected to the position of Vice Chairman of National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation beginning in January. He will become Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the 2016 year.
The results of our community survey conducted on demolition of buildings following new construction were as listed in each case in favor of demolition - East School 91.5%, Junior High 82.1%, South School 92.1%, and Woodland Heights 69.1%.
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.