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Vaughn: Parents want children back in classroom

LISBON — While what next school year will look like has yet to be determined, county Educational Service Center Superintendent Anna Marie Vaughn told the board it appears the majority of parents in the county want to see their children back in a classroom.

Vaughn said superintendents of local schools get together electronically every Tuesday morning. May meetings were filled with making sure graduations were handled safely and she congratulated them for all making it something special for the students throughout the county.

Now, Vaughn said, they are all turning their attention toward what can be done to reopen schools in the fall. While some guidance had been expected on June 15, she said it could be two more weeks before it comes. In the meantime, schools are working with county Health Commissioner Wes Vins, as well as the commissioners form the two city health departments in Salem and East Liverpool to try to come up with plans.

Some of the issues include providing transportation for large numbers of students, when schools really have only so many buses, and custodial staffs providing all the extra cleaning needed in the buildings. For preschools, Vaughn said parents have registered for this fall and the classroom rosters are full, which could make it extremely hard to social distance.

“There are a lot of unknowns and everyone wants answers,” Vaughn said, “but unfortunately we really can’t give them any.”

Vaughn said many of the schools are looking at backup plans for students who cannot attend or in case schools are forced to close again like they all did when the coronavirus came to Ohio this past March.

At the ESC offices, things have come back somewhat. The support staff is working in the office and providing fingerprinting services by appointment only. A facemask is required.

In other matters before the ESC board:

— The board accepted the resignation of Julia DeMassimo, preschool itinerant teacher, and Kera Recce, school psychologist. The board hired Gwendolyn Lyden and Benjamin Shaw, both as consultants; Leslie A. Biastro, school psychologist and Paula Lipke, special services/EMIS coordinator. The board also approved the retirement of Bea Jones, EMIS coordinator, and granted leave for Shelly Smith, receptionist.

— The board approved online teachers Ann Cooper, Erica Flowers, Jeremy McElroy, Matthew Mowery and Jill Sylvies.

— The board approved a list of paraeducators and transportation staff to help with the Crestview summer food service program, paraeducators for the upcoming school year, substitute teachers and classroom aides. Additionally, the board approved several resignations of paraeducators beginning June 1.

— Consignment agreements for the Reach for the STARS gift shop with Nicole Corbin and Lisa Gray. Vaughn reported the students employed at the store have learned to make a variety of team spirit wear and currently have items available.

djohnson@mojonews.com

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