Board distancing

Now a common sight at public government meetings, the Medina City School Board practiced social distancing at its March 16 work session.

MEDINA – While boards of education throughout Ohio have suspended meetings indefinitely, Medina City Schools Superintendent Aaron Sable said it's important his district, while taking extra precautions, presses on for now.

Board members and administrators all sat between 3 and 6 feet from each other when they met for a work session March 16, with Sable lightheartedly noting those present opted for "a few elbow punches or foot kicks" over handshaking.

"Our board has elected to continue our meeting this evening," Sable said, adding future meetings may be postponed, canceled or adjusted, "and the reason is we feel there's a level of business that needs to occur, some of which is relevant to the COVID-19 and making sure we're doing all we can to have our ducks in a row."

Because the future effects of the pandemic remain unclear for officials on the local level everywhere – and with numerous district employees already working from home – Sable said the district is bracing for the scenario of school being closed for the rest of this academic school year.

For now, the game plan for Medina is the implementation of age-appropriate "optional enrichment opportunities" available on the district's website (medinabees.org). 

Families are encouraged to use their own devices, as well as share in the case of families with multiple students, but for those who do not have access, a limited amount of Chromebook laptops will be made available to those who contact the district.

"Our goal is to keep students engaged," Sable said.

As far as grades are concerned, Sable noted the state's closure actually came at a convenient time for Medina, as the third grading period ended Friday, March 13, which Sable decided to call off following the governor's closure announcement. Sable said the district "froze third-quarter grades" on that day since a number of students may have had end-of-lesson tests that could have impacted their grades.

How fourth-quarter grades will be affected is still being discussed, Sable said. Other question marks come in the form what becomes of activities like prom and graduation, with Sable adding he wants to find a way for those kids to have those experiences.

Food distribution is also in place for families in need. On Tuesday and Thursday of each week of the closure, not including the week of spring break, bagged breakfast and lunch will be available for pickup at the front loop of Medina High School from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. A list of food pantry resources is also available on the district's website.

Among highlights in regular board business, a $529,920 bid was awarded to Tusing Builders Ltd. to replace the high school's roof.

The board also voted to join the Ohio Pipeline School Coalition, which plans to take NEXUS to court for paying school districts less than originally promised out of pipeline revenues.

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