By Matt Clevenger
COVINGTON — Members of the Covington Schools Board of Education held their regularly scheduled monthly meeting on Wednesday, March 8, discussing plans for several upcoming summer maintenance projects at school facilities.
“We’re getting ready for spring,” Maintenance Coordinator Shawn Naff said. “The mowers are ready; all of the outdoor vehicles are up and running, and ready to go.”
Projects planned for spring and summer include repairs to the K-8 building lobby doors and work on two outdoor drains for rainwater runoff, Naff said. The district also plans to do maintenance work on a retention pond located on school property.
Other projects include adding mulch and landscaping on the west side of the high school, and replacement of the stadium speaker system.
“New stadium speakers should be installed next week or the week after,” Naff said.
The district also plans to do additional landscaping around the K-8 building lobby doors, and installing picnic tables.
“What we talked about was having different zones, if a couple of different classes wanted to come out there at the same time,” Board President Lee Harmon said.
Maintenance on the district’s gym floors will be performed during the last week of July, Naff said.
In other business, board members also approved a $19,259.76 contract with the Mercer Group for treatments to the district’s competition fields, band field and practice fields, and a resolution approving the Covington high School Program of Studies. Board members also approved a revised crisis plan for the school district, and a $12,311.25 contract with META Solutions for technical services.
Board members also heard an update on curriculum and technology from Director of Curriculum and Technology Jim Segona.
“We’re still working on the curriculum revision,” Segona said. “We’ve done our initial materials evaluation, and the committee has narrowed it down to two different publishers for each grade band.”
“I anticipate that we’ll have recommendations in April or May for the board,” he said.
Segona also discussed upcoming changes to the district’s screening methods for dyslexia.
“The district literacy team is still meeting bi-weekly,” he said. “We have to implement a universal dyslexia screener in the fall.”
“Our dyslexia training plan is in place,” he said. “All of our K-3 teachers are going to receive the required Ohio Department of Education 18-hour training modules in August.”
“We’re already providing great services to these students,” Segona said. “We just think a better-defined system will help serve all of us, and the teachers and students, better.”
Board members also heard an update on athletics and transportation from Athletic Director Ashley Johnson.
“Last week we took 15 students who our teachers and coaches nominated to the Three Rivers Conference (TRC) Leadership Conference,” Johnson said. “They got to learn the ins and outs of leadership, and what it takes to be a leader and some different techniques to better themselves as leaders. They also got to listen to AJ Oulette talk about where he’s been, and what types of leadership strategies he’s learned and what has gotten him to where he is today.”
“The choir is going to sing the national anthem at the girls basketball state tournament game tomorrow at 1 p.m.,” she said. “That’s exciting.”
“Wrestling has three individuals going to state this weekend,” Johnson said.
Johnson also gave an update on a new bus that has been ordered by the district.
“We are waiting to hear when the new bus will possibly be done and delivered,” she said. “It could be after the start of the school year next year.”
Board members also heard an update on the district’s upcoming annual Chromebook replacement program.
“I’m currently collecting pricing on our annual Chromebook replacement cycle,” Segona said. “We’ll again be looking at replacing incoming fifth-grade and incoming ninth-grade Chromebooks, and I’ll also be looking at doing replacements on the kindergarten iPads.”
“I’m actively working on putting in touch-screen Chromebooks there, instead,” he said. “Those devices will be able to work both in the classroom for what they’re already using them for, as well as in their technology special, rather than having Chromebooks in one room and iPads in another.”
Board members adjourned their meeting to enter executive session to prepare for negotiations or bargaining sessions with employees. The board’s next regularly scheduled meeting will be held at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 19.