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Frontier Local makes plans for school year

NEW MATAMORAS — While Aug. 19 is still the tentative start date for in-person class in the Frontier Local district, additional teacher in-service days may require that date to be pushed to Aug. 24.

Superintendent Beth Brown explained Monday to the district’s board of education that usually teachers will have a couple days to prepare classrooms with a half-day training before the regular Wednesday start date with students.

“But with adding temperature checks or changing how we do lunch to not serve those in a line there may need to be more time for our teachers to make sure they’re comfortable,” she explained.

Brown noted that she had joined other county school district superintendents to discuss adjustments with the Washington County Health Department and Marietta-Belpre Health Department and how to most practically and effectively return to a physical school year this fall.

Parents in the gallery of the board meeting, which never went virtual over the course of the early months of the coronavirus pandemic, not only lauded the discussions and explanations given Monday, but also thanked the teachers and staff for quickly acting in March both for continued learning at home and for feeding children in need.

But looking forward, Brianna Reese, of Newport, asked that the district also clearly outline what actions would be taken in the event of an outbreak or when a child spikes a fever.

Kylee Haught, also of Newport, noted her thanks, too as a parent when the board passed its resolution allowing for blended learning by classroom, building or district if needed this fall.

“An we still want hot lunches for our kids,” Brown reminded the gathered group. “If that means I have to serve everyone a tray, I will.”

The board also heard from Bruce Cassady, technology coordinator for the district and each member noted appreciation and pride for the district’s ability to supply Chromebooks for each student in first grade through their senior year.

The board unanimously approved the purchase of 80 more Chromebooks, which Cassady noted brings the district to a total of approximately 675 devices.

“We essentially should have a device for each of those students, with the carts having an extra for inevitable issues that can arise,” he said.

The board also unanimously approved an athletic eligibility resolution, allowing all students returning this fall to volleyball, golf, cheerleading and football to participate without grades from the third or fourth grading quarters to count against their eligibility.

Brown said eligibility continuing after the first nine weeks would then be assessed by that first quarter’s set of grades.

The board next meets on July 27 at 7 p.m.

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

At a glance:

•The Frontier Board of Education approved the purchase of 80 new Chromebooks and four carts Monday.

•The purchase brings the district total for devices to 675, allowing for a one-to-one ratio of devices per students from first grade to senior year.

•The start date for Frontier High/Middle School and both New Matamoras and Newport elementary schools is tentatively scheduled for Aug. 19, but may push to Aug. 24.

*If the date shifts it would require board approval at the next regular meeting.

•The board is next scheduled to meet in person in the cafeteria of the middle/high school at 7 p.m. on July 27.

Source: Frontier Local Schools.

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