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Message from Superintendent, Douglas Fries
Greenville City Schools Update - June 2020
Doug Fries
With the close of the 2019-2020 school year being under an unusual Stay at Home Order it is still time to congratulate another group of outstanding graduates.  The Class of 2020 formerly became graduates on May 30, 2020.  Two hundred and three graduates received their diploma representing the Class of 2020 during a virtual ceremony as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic condition.  The class had many academic and extracurricular accomplishments while at Greenville High School and we commend each and every graduate.  We wish all graduates much success and happiness in their future endeavors.  Graduates are now welcomed into our Greenville High School Alumni.

I again want to thank all the students, teachers, staff, parents, grandparents, and community members for making our end of year virtual learning a success while the entire nation was working through the COVID-19 situation.  Thank you all for your hard work with remote learning.  All of your hard work was greatly appreciated. 

Our district is now turning its attention to opening school again for the 20-21 school year at the end of August.  We have a core group of administrators, principals, curriculum personnel, nurses, and teachers looking at different building and transportation scenarios as well as curriculum learning management systems to determine the best way to open school for 20-21.  Our core group is also monitoring input and guidance being discussed by the governor, Ohio Health Department, Darke County Health Department, Ohio Department of Education, Buckeye Association of School Administrators, Ohio School Boards Association, and various other curriculum committees.  We are gathering and reviewing best practices for whether school resumes in person, remotely online, or in some form of blended learning.  As more definite guidance becomes available from the governor, Ohio Department of Education, and state/local health departments our best option for educational planning for opening will be rolled out.  Again, we are planning for all scenarios of education as needed.  The most important thing to remember is we want to retain all our students in the safest environment as possible and provide quality instruction to every student.  We are hopeful that as much as possible this will be an in-person education.

The district has been discussing and preparing to order the necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) for next year to allow us to keep all students and staff safe.  Furthermore, we have been looking at ordering appropriate cleaning supplies and equipment as well as hand sanitizer to maintain a clean learning environment in both our buildings and on the buses.  We also plan to work with the requirements and recommendations of the Ohio Department of Education and the state/local health departments for appropriate school symptom monitoring, use of facial masks by staff and students, social distancing, and hand washing. 

With the end of the 19-20 school year being from remote learning it became evident that it would be helpful to have a districtwide Learning Management System (LMS).  An LMS is a software application for the administration, documentation, tracking, reporting, delivery of educational courses, training programs, and is a concept that emerged from e-Learning.  If you have taken any course online, it was most likely through an LMS, such as Canvas, Blackboard, or Schoology where you communicate in an online environment. 

Over the last several weeks, we have consulted with teachers and shared demonstrations of a variety of LMS providers, researched districts, and recommended the purchase and training to use Canvas.  Canvas was most of our teacher’s first choice and comes with strong recommendations from Hilliard and Delaware City Schools, as well as the Ohio State University, Miami University, Bowling Green State University, and the University of Cincinnati.  This will be a useful tool if we continue with eLearning at any time and also in the classroom.  The Board approved this purchase from grant funds and also included up to 6 hours of training for each teacher in the district. 

As we transition and train staff, students, and parents to the Canvas Learning Management System this should make remote learning more consistent moving forward.  We also plan to have students and staff practice using this LMS even in their in-person instruction so it becomes a seamless transition if remote learning becomes a necessity at any time. 

At the elementary K-4 level we continue to provide the summer Kids Read Now program.  I encourage our students to utilize this summer academic reading program to stay sharp with their academic skills.   I also encourage parents to utilize the comprehension questions located in each book to discuss the book and improve reading skills. 

At the high school next year, we continue to implement the College Credit Plus courses for the seventh year.  We now offer CCP from several colleges and universities including Edison State, Sinclair, and Wright State.  Many of our student continue to take advantage of the CCP program.  In fact, last year again we had three of our high school graduates receive associate’s degrees at the same time as a high school diploma.  

Across the district, other curriculum plans included the purchase of textbooks and supplemental material in the disciplines of foreign language, business education, and health this summer.  For the upcoming school year, we will study and purchase math textbooks and supplemental materials.  We continue to incorporate a six-year cycle to upgrade our curriculum material by content area.  We also purchased several remote access devices for usage with wireless access for our remote learning. 

With our career tech programs, we will be adding a Project Life program next year.  This program is a career transitional program for students with special needs.  All of our career tech students are continuing to take web exams in their fields with the opportunity to take work key tests as well. 

Summer school will again be offered at Greenville High School and the Greenville Elementary School.  The high school offers makeup courses through the virtual academy.  At the elementary, summer reading intervention is available for students who are not reading on grade level for the incoming 1st through 3rd grade students.  Elementary reading will be the weeks of August 3-August 26, 2020 and the curriculum department will send letters to families to invite identified students.

Permanent improvement and maintenance projects this summer include at the high school LED lights energy project, cement sidewalk upgrade at the south end of the stadium, and vaping restroom security devices installed.  At the K-8 complex we are adding our outdoor softball/baseball fields.  At Memorial Hall we have added an awning to our outdoor handicap entrance and plan to add a security buzz in camera at the same entrance in the future.  We are also sealcoating and striping the asphalt parking lot.  The district is also cleaning and varnishing the high school, middle school, and elementary school gyms as well as doing various upgrading to landscaping across the district. 

A special thank you and congratulations to our five Class of 2020 Valedictorians that gave addresses at the Greenville High School’s One Hundred and Forty Sixth Commencement.  These students were Andrew Bonfiglio, Amanda Chui, Joshua Galloway, Anthony Masso-Rivetti, and Natalie Milligan.  These student speeches were well presented at the May 30, 2020 virtual ceremony.

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 November 3, 2020 ballot as approved by the board of education and it represents no new taxes, just a continuation for another five-year cycle for what exists in our current operational cycle.  This renewal levy would also allow the homestead reduction factor to continue for qualifying residents. 

I am also pleased to announce that the district successfully refinanced the bonds at the K-8 building and the high school renovation this past year.  In restructuring the financing at both buildings, the district tax payers will save 18.35% over the life of the bonds.  This is an overall savings to the district tax payers on the K-8 building project and high school renovation of $10,528,594.00 again over the life of the bonds.  Treasurer Jenna Jurosic and myself worked with Municipal Advisors Bradley Payne Advisors, Bond Council Dinsmore and Shohl, and Underwriter Stifel Nicolaus and Company on the resale of the bonds to secure the savings on the recent building project.  The district continues to try to be ongoing fiscally responsible to the district tax payers.

The close of the 2019-2020 school year will mark the retirement of some of our employees.  Staff members retiring at the end of the year include Vicki Baker, Virginia Kagey, Tammie Riffle, and Mary Walling from the K-8 building, Tanya Brand from the special services department, and Tonya Wright from the food service manager position.  We wish all our retiring employees the very best in their future endeavors.  Please join me in thanking each of these retiring employees for their dedication to Greenville City Schools and our students.

We wish all of our students an enjoyable and safe summer vacation full of relaxing time with family and friends.  The Superintendent and Treasurer’s Offices are open all summer.  As always, feel free to contact me by phone at 937-548-3185 ext. 4010 or email at [email protected] with any questions you have about our district.  

To all our students, parents, staff, and community members, stay safe over the summer and enjoy your break.  We look forward to working with everyone again next fall.  Greenville City Schools is a great place for students to learn and teachers to teach.  Go WAVE!

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Phone: 937-548-3185

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