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Indian Creek School District staffers praised

MINGO JUNCTION — Indian Creek Local Board of Education officials are praising positive efforts to maintain a normal school year in the wake of COVID-19 cases within the district.

Talks ensued at the Oct. 15 regular school board session at Indian Creek Middle School in Mingo Junction following the most recent incident of an assistant football coach and student testing positive for coronavirus. Those results led to the football team and other coaches being quarantined for 14 days and the cancellation of two games to ensure public safety, yet officials said things have been going smoothly and the district is taking all precautions to ensure students and staff have a safe and productive educational environment.

“It’s been a really great start to a difficult school year,” said Superintendent T.C. Chappelear.

“Our staff is working hard to make everything work (and) are committed to making sure we have face-to-face instruction. It’s not been an easy year but people are trying to stay positive.”

He said one bright spot is the work being done at the new Indian Creek High School and Cross Creek Elementary sites, as well as renovations at Hills Elementary. Construction is on target for the three sites and the buildings should be ready for occupancy next fall.

“It is fun to walk through the new building sites. After the coronavirus, we’ll be walking into new facilities.”

Amid further discussion, board member Kim Mark said she has received positive comments from parents about the district’s transparency involving COVID-19 cases.

“I think it’s very important. Our staff is working so hard with their instruction and busing and I appreciate that tremendously,” she commented.

“For me, it’s a matter of public health and safety to give the public health commission information on what needs to be opened and closed. I like to say we do the right things right.”

In other action, the board:

¯ Heard from Assistant Superintendent John Belt that corrective work at the ICMS parking lot was wrapping up;

¯ Approved an easement and right of way with American Electric Power for electric installation to the new Cross Creek Elementary School project on Bantam Ridge Road in Wintersville;

¯ Approved bus routes for 2020-21;

¯ Approved a staffing agreement with Jefferson County Educational Service Center for Greg Hoit as technology support liaison for the district from Aug. 1 to July 31, 2021;

¯ Approved Crystal Davis as secretary and family medical specialist on the classified substitute list;

¯ Named Karen Lloyd, Wintersville Elementary teacher, as a substitute for the Before and After School Care staff;

¯ Approved the employment of Paige Vantilburg as cook and cashier at ICHS;

¯ Hired Cary Smith as ICMS guidance counselor on a one-year contract effective Oct. 20 and included a extra-duty post as yearbook adviser;

¯ Hired Valerie Doan as school nurse, effective for the 2020-21 school year;

¯ Heard board member Kim Mark praise students and athletics including volleyball, football and band under her student achievement report;

¯ Had a celebratory cake for Mark and fellow board member Ted Starkey, who will be recognized with Ohio School Boards Association 2020 Veteran Board Member Awards. The awards will be given during the virtual OSBA’s annual conference in November for 25 years of service.

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