Delaware City Schools Board of Education got an update on the plans for Hayes High School’s return to an “all-in” learning model and bid farewell to its student board member during Monday’s meeting.
Hayes Principal Dr. Ric Stranges gave his regular annual update to the board and said he is working with the team at Hayes to prepare for the upcoming school year, when the district plans to return education to a five-days-a-week learning model.
Stranges began by reflecting on the last school year and said he was worried about how it would go. However, students rose to the challenge.
“Everyone exceeded my expectations,” Stranges said. “Honestly, they were superstars. … I’m truly blessed to be part of this great team. I hope (my experience) and leadership has provided at least a little bit of comfort for students, staff, and families this past 18 months.”
Stranges said he is already working with the team at Hayes to work on plans for the upcoming school year and “the new PPE will be Post Pandemic Engagement,” instead of the personal protective equipment acronym.
“As we plan to reconnect we’ll use our house system as the vehicle to rebuild those relationships,” Stranges said, adding he’s working to introduce new programs and initiatives at the school to reconnect students and staff.
“We not only survived, but thrived during this pandemic and now we work together to reconnect, recalculate and revitalize the high school. You have my word that I will lead Hayes High School’s effort to reconnect our students. I’ll reconnect our staff and our community. We’ve already begun to plan activities and initiatives to provide opportunities to reestablish those relationships and connections with one another.”
Superintendent Heidi Kegley said the district will have more information about the upcoming school year in July.
The board meeting was the last for student board member Mackenzie Collett, who graduated last month and will be attending the University of Cincinnati to study political science and law.
Kegley said she was thankful for Collett’s input and service to the board.
“I appreciate you always taking input from all of our students,” Kegley said. “We will miss you greatly. We look forward to hearing about your adventures. … I know we will see your name in the future. … Thank you for being an amazing Pacer, and I wish you all the best.”
Collett said she’s thankful to the district for her education and for having been selected to serve on the board.
“I’m grateful beyond words to Delaware City Schools for the opportunities this district has provided me (and the class of 2021) over the past 13 years,” Collett said. “I’m incredibly grateful for members of this board for listening to what I have to say. My time on the board has been a culmination of all my past experiences as a Pacer in the Delaware community, and it’s a stepping stone towards my future, and it’s truly an experience like no other.”
Board President Frances O’Flaherty thanked Collett for her service on the board and said she appreciated her perspective.
“(I) certainly have appreciated all your input,” O’Flaherty said. “Your hard work has been appreciated. Thank you.”
The board approved a 2.65% salary increase for administrative and exempt administrative assistant employees and approved an hourly pay increase for classified substitutes, including custodians, cooks/cashiers, bus drivers, educational assistants and administrative assistants.
The board also approved the resignations of Charles Bleakmore, an intervention specialist at Dempsey Middle School; Michael Freado, a social studies teacher at Dempsey; Lisa Hess, an ELA and math teacher at Dempsey; Lauren Koloini, a math teacher at Hayes; Alison Carr, an educational assistant at Hayes; Elizabeth Palmer, a School Aged Child Care program assistant at Carlisle; Kamryn Sutherland, a SACC program assistant at Carlisle and Ian Tumey, an educational assistant at Dempsey.
Additionally, the board approved a proposal from ElitAire to replace the HVAC units in the Hayes art room. The contract costs $69,810 and will be funded from ESSER grant money.
The board will meet next at 6 p.m. June 21.
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.