City schools partners announced

Marietta City Schools introduced six of its partners in education as part of the district’s revamped program for the new school year at the district’s regular board of education meeting Monday evening.

Paving the way for the 2014-2015 school year, the board and representative schools recognized partnerships with six area businesses and institutions.

The district’s Partner in Education and Partner at Large programs are designed to help enhance education with community involvement through programming, volunteering and donations.

“We are all excited to have these partners working with us next year,” said Tasha Werry, director of community outreach.

Wendy’s, Dough Boyz, WesBanco and Solvay in Marietta were all recognized as renewed Partners in Education, and Marietta College and Heartland nursing home were recognized as Partners at Large.

The PIE program means that businesses will work with specified schools in the district, and the PAL businesses will serve the entire district.

“We really hope to be able to do more in the Marietta area and have a good relationship with the schools,” said Dough Boyz owner Sam Skinner.

Marietta College has been a partner with the district for years, and will continue as a Partner at Large, helping out in any way throughout all four elementary schools, the middle school and high school.

“We’ve been a part of the schools in so many ways already, and it’s great that we are recognizing all of that natural collaboration we have already had,” said Karyn Sproles, provost and dean of faculty at Marietta College. “They share our mission to educate students and students of the world, and we’re excited to continue that.”

Other partners will be recognized at future board meetings as contracts continue to be completed, Werry said.

Partners can work with Marietta schools in a variety of ways, including volunteering to tutor, donating school supplies, speaking at career days and even providing summer part-time employment to students.

The district, following no public input at the meeting, also approved its new hours-based school calendar for 2014-2015, with a full spring break and the year running from August 18 to May 26.

“We have to build a calendar to allow for some cushion,” said Superintendent Harry Fleming.

The new state-implemented hours system means that schools can schedule the year by hours rather than days, allowing schools to schedule extra hours to avoid having to make up snow days.

Any full missed day or delay counts as hours off the school year, but as long as seventh through twelfth grade students are in class for 1,001 total hours and kindergarten through sixth are in for 910 hours, the district will not have to worry about making up days.

“If we had a winter next year like the one we had this year, we would have to make up a lot of time,” Fleming said. “This is why we have to work this out.”

At its meeting, the board of education also:

Accepted the retirement of five teachers, effective at the end of the school year.

Accepted the resignation of fourth grade teacher Vanessa Echard and fourth and fifth grade teacher Laura Harrell.