SUNBURY — The Big Walnut Local School District Board of Education has been busy since before the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year.
At board meeting in July 2020, Superintendent Angie Hamberg “shared a thank you to the Big Walnut staff and community members that have taken their time to create a school reopening plan and the efforts of our staff to answer hundreds of questions over the last week,” the meeting minutes read.
The board then approved a negotiated agreement through June 30, 2022, with OAPSE/AFSCME Local 4/AFL-CIO #524. The board also approved student handbooks and a revised school calendar for the school year.
In August 2020, the board approved the remote learning and restart plans for the district. Bus stops and school fees for the school year were approved. They also approved amending the handbooks “and other documents as appropriate based on recommendations from health officials.”
Donations of equipment to the athletic department from Metro Fitness Sunbury, along with protective masks and face shields from the county EMA, were accepted. The Sunbury VFW later donated $2,500 to BWHS.
For September 2020, the board approved the District Service Plan for the current school year, and the annual appropriations for fiscal year 2021. Student Board Representative Jacob Ross from Big Walnut High School began giving presentations. A revised policy, “Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Sex in District Programs or Activities,” was approved by a 4-2 vote.
One of October 2020’s two board meetings was canceled. The other featured a presentation from General Rosecrans Elementary Principal Kate Thoma, and an update on graduation requirements from Penny Sturtevant and Kelley Bloomer.
In November 2020, the board scheduled a work session the next month “to further discuss the district vision and plans” for the next 10 years.
Two board members, Doug Crowl and Liana Lee, attended the Facilities Planning & Economic Development Committee meeting in November 2020. Discussion items included heating and cooling costs at the Harrison Street building.
Director of Facilities Doug Swartz said the new high school is “currently on schedule to have the ability to begin moving in by early December 2021. He shared that the stadium complex has begun with much of the utilities completed and footers beginning soon.”
Hamberg said “the idea of moving into the high school mid-year would be to provide time to make updates to our current high school facility prior to becoming the middle school.”
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0906 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.