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Marietta BOE weighs first day results

Ron Kitter sprays Renegade 3X sanitizing spray onto bus seats before picking up students in the afternoon Monday in Marietta. (Photo by Janelle Patterson)

“We had our first real day of school today, as real as we could possibly make it and by all accounts that I’ve heard it’s going fairly well,” opened Superintendent Will Hampton at Monday’s meeting of the Marietta City Schools Board of Education.

“We’ve had kids in the building, we’ve had staff in the building [and] people are starting to find their way with this new process … It just feels good to be back with kids,” he said.

Hampton commended the time spent by not only teaching staff but also all of the supportive staff to prepare for students back in the buildings for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic closed building doors in March.

“I’m really proud of our staff, I’m really proud of our administrators and the community,” said Hampton. “They understand what’s behind it.”

Each of the board members expressed appreciation for the communication and grace of teachers and staff as preparations built up to Monday’s first in-person classes and Director of Curriculum and Technology Jona Hall shared the reminder that even in a non-pandemic year, the first two weeks of school are slower — academically — in instruction than the remainder of the school year and therefore she asked for families to have patience.

Treasurer Frank Antill also explained to the board that the option to pay for their children’s’ meals via credit card has expanded to include other student fees as well.

“To make it simple, we will have a machine in every building,” said Antill. “The secretaries will have a credit card swipe machine at the counter and will be able to take fees at that point.”

He said checks and cash will also still be accepted.

Antill also explained to the board that hotspots for families in need have been ordered, and 75 are expected to be delivered to the district by the end of the week.

Athletic Director Cody Venderlic also spoke to the board Monday explaining that ticket sales will all occur in pre-sale online and the board discussed that families of athletes will be given priority and that staff ticket policy has yet to be determined.

“Starting (today) they’ll be able to purchase tickets for specific events,” Venderlic said of parents of athletes. “That ticket will be brought to the venue or facility where we’re hosting the event.”

He explained that the ticket transactions moving online will help the district control and monitor the capacity to stay within pandemic guidelines.

Also addressing following pandemic guidelines Director of Facilities, Transportation and Safety Darrell Prim gave examples of how his supportive staff team are implementing the reopening plan for the district’s buildings and buses.

“We’re sanitizing buses in between routes,” Prim began. “The bus gets up to the high school … then before they start out for the elementary (route) we use a product called Renegade 3X, it’s a three-minute kill time so the driver will spray the bus down before they leave and by the time they get to the first pickup on the elementary run everything’s dry and sanitized for students.”

Prim explained that sanitization then occurs again at the garage after morning routes are complete.

“The buses are getting sanitized four times a day,” he added.

Prim also updated the board on ongoing remedial contract work happening at Marietta Middle School.

“They’re wanting to work 10-hour shifts … and the roof at the middle school we’ve had a couple more leaks that we have contained,” said Prim.

He suggested prioritizing the academic building at the middle school first for repairs, while potentially postponing work in the gymnasium.

The board is next scheduled to meet to discuss levy options for the November ballot on Thursday at 6 p.m.

Janelle Patterson may be reached at jpatterson@mariettatimes.com.

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