RICHMOND – Students will have the chance to get some fresh air while they learn with ongoing outdoor classrooms in the local Edison School District.
Superintendent Bill Beattie told board members at the Nov. 18 session that work continues on two structures at John Gregg and Stanton Elementary Schools as talks begin for a third project at Edison High School . Beattie said the projects were boosted by COVID-19 to give students an alternative space to learn.
“When the pandemic hit, we were looking to get creative and provide spaces in schools. They were going outside to get some fresh air and we decided to go ahead with outdoor classrooms every elementary ”, Beattie explained. “We are also looking to put a pavilion between the softball field and the Vo-Ag building as well as at Edison High.”
Construction has already started at the John Gregg and Stanton sites, which will include a 30-by-30-foot pavilion with a concrete slab, ceiling and roof as well as picnic tables to sit on. The two buildings cost $ 50,000 each while designs were done for the third site at EHS.
“We are waiting for the drawings to be approved to obtain estimates”, he said, adding that the space will be similar to elementary locations. “Our main goal is to provide outdoor learning for students and staff. “
Beattie anticipates that the three outdoor classrooms will be completed in early spring.
Among other matters:
≤ The Jefferson County Educational Service Center awarded three $ 600 Best Practice Grants to Edison educators for their innovative projects. JCESC coordinator Patty Ferrell announced that the recipients were Angela Arbogast, EHS Spanish teacher, Emily Henry, Stanton literacy worker, and Megan McNear, Stanton school counselor, respectively for headphones, books and a multisensory STEAM space for emotional well-being;
≤ The board passed a resolution to change the education requirements for occasional teachers. This decision is based on Senate Bill 1 which temporarily allows substitutes without a post-secondary degree to teach in classrooms when needed. The measure is in response to a shortage of replacement staff that has occurred in many school districts. On a related note, officials approved the list of substitute teachers for Marie Highfield, Byron Mayers, Christina Bouchet, Nick Angelini, Devyn Carpenter, Colin Skeeles, Hayden Daley, McKenzie Morrison and Lindsey Breon;
≤ Additional contracts have been approved for Jeb Banovsky, junior wrestler; Jason Wagoner, junior high school wrestling volunteer; Dawn Cable, volunteer swimming assistant; and Shane Heatherington, volunteer orchestra;
≤ The Board of Directors accepted the resignations of Stanton teacher Jan Keeder, physical education teacher John Gregg Jim Marcus and Stanton librarian Dianna Snyder for retirement effective May;
≤ A resignation was also approved for Miranda Robinson as a junior level women’s basketball coach;
≤ The leaders approved a contract with Patricia Maple-Damewood to develop communication and marketing strategies for the district;
≤ The next regular council meeting has been scheduled for December 16 at 6 p.m. at John Gregg Elementary School.