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Outdoor classrooms discussed at Edison

RICHMOND — Students will have a chance to get fresh air while they learn with outdoor classrooms being completed in the Edison Local School District.

Superintendent Bill Beattie told board members at the Nov. 18 session that work continued on two structures at John Gregg and Stanton Elementary Schools while talks began for a third project at Edison High School. Beattie said the projects were spurred by COVID-19 to give students an alternative space to learn.

“When the pandemic hit, we were looking to get creative and provide spaces at the schools. They were going outside to get fresh air and we decided to move forward with the outdoor classrooms at each elementary,” Beattie explained. “We’re also looking to put a pavilion between the softball field and Vo-Ag building as well at Edison High.”

Construction has already begun on the sites at John Gregg and Stanton, which will feature a 30-foot-by-30-foot pavilion with a concrete pad, ceiling and roof as well as picnic tables for seating. The two buildings cost $50,000 each while designs were made for the third site at EHS.

“We’re waiting for the drawings to be approved to get estimates,” he said, adding that the space will be similar to the elementary locations. “It’s our main goal to provide outdoor learning for students and staff.”

Beattie anticipates all three outdoor classrooms to be complete in early spring.

Among other business:

≤ The Jefferson County Educational Service Center presented three $600 Best Practice Grants to Edison educators for their innovative projects. JCESC Coordinator Patty Ferrell announced the recipients were EHS Spanish teacher Angela Arbogast, Stanton literacy interventionist Emily Henry, and Stanton school counselor Megan McNear respectively for headphones, books and a STEAM multi-sensory space for emotional well-being;

≤ The board passed a resolution to modify education requirements for substitute teachers. The move is based on Senate Bill 1 which temporarily permits substitutes without post-secondary degrees to teach in classrooms when in need. The measure is in response to a shortage in substitute staff which has occurred in many school districts. On a related note, officials approved the substitute teachers’ list for Marie Highfield, Byron Mayers, Christina Bouchet, Nick Angelini, Devyn Carpenter, Colin Skeeles, Hayden Daley, McKenzie Morrison and Lindsey Breon;

≤ Supplemental contracts were approved for Jeb Banovsky, junior high wrestling; Jason Waggoner, volunteer junior high wrestling; Dawn Cable, volunteer assistant swimming; and Shane Heatherington, volunteer band;

≤ The board accepted resignations from Stanton teacher Jan Keeder, John Gregg physical education teacher Jim Marcus and Stanton librarian Dianna Snyder for retirement purposes effective this May;

≤ A resignation was also approved for Miranda Robinson as junior high girls’ basketball coach;

≤ Leaders approved a contract with Patricia Maple-Damewood to develop communications and marketing strategies for the district;

≤ The next regular board meeting was set for 6 p.m. Dec. 16 at John Gregg Elementary School.

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