BELPRE - Officials with Belpre City Schools discussed preparations for the upcoming school year Monday night during the board meeting.
"I was down at the elementary school today for development and it was really nice to see all of the teachers and staff working together," said board president Fred Meredith.
Superintendent Tony Dunn said teachers, administrators and other staff have done professional development sessions Friday and Monday and will continue to do so today as they prepare for the new school year.
"I am happy to report both (Friday and Monday) sessions were not only well-attended, but also well participated in," Dunn said. "I received several compliments from teachers and support staff that it has been very productive."
All of the school district's employees from teachers and instructional aides to bus drivers and cooks have worked together in the development sessions, Dunn said.
"We are ready for kids to come back in," he said.
One new program this year will be the GradPoint program (by PEARSON), which includes core subject courses as well as online elective offerings to students.
The board approved the program Monday at a cost to the district of $31,295.
"This is our first foray into the blended learning environment - offering our students online learning experiences," Dunn said. "It's the way of the future."
Meredith congratulated Belpre High School Principal Dennis Eichinger on the change in dress code and cell phone usage, which was announced in early August.
"The board is behind you 100 percent," Meredith told Eichinger.
During the Aug. 3 and Aug. 4 weekend, Eichinger sent two missives to parents of his students, which includes grades seven through 12. The first announcement included changes to the dress code to lengthen shorts and skirts with guidelines for more appropriate shirts. The second announcement was the complete elimination of cell phone usage during school hours.
In other business
The board approved to waive tuition for three exchange students. Zhiqian "Shane" Zheng from China will spend the whole school year in Belpre while Emma Enticott from Australia and Hanna Kraska from Germany will spend one semester in the district.
Eichinger announced there will be a bonfire at the football field at 7 p.m. Friday for the first home football game of the season.