By Liz Shepherd
WARSAW — Warsaw Community Schools’ summer school program will look slightly different this year in order to be in accordance with state guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dr. David Robertson, assistant superintendent of elementary education; and Dani Barkey, assistant superintendent of secondary education, addressed the WCS Board of School Trustees via a Zoom meeting about the plan. Robertson noted that the program is subject to change depending on any changes made by Gov. Eric Holcomb or the state’s department of education.
There will be two summer school sessions for high school students and one session for students in grades K-5.
School leaders have created a hybrid approach so the school corporation will have a plan in place if summer school is allowed by the governor and supported by IDOE.
Warsaw Community High School’s summer school program will offer an online format from June 1 to June 26. Students will complete lessons four mornings a week. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday will be considered “online summer school days” with Wednesdays and weekends off. Students will have a WCS certified teacher assisting each student through approved lessons online via a program called APEX. The tentative July session will be in-person at Edgewood Middle School. Dates for July are yet to be announced.
“If we are not able to do it in person, the July session will be digital delivery as well,” said Barkey.
WCS is also in the process of creating a hybrid approach to a summer school program for kindergarten through fifth grade. The plan is to provide one summer session. Organizers have created a hybrid approach to be ready to go with a plan in place if summer school is allowed by the governor and supported by IDOE. Summer school for grades K-5 will be a 15-day program from July 20 to Aug. 7. The school day will run from 7:45 a.m. to 12:20 p.m. at Lakeview Middle School.
Robertson also said school staff is talking with United Way of Kosciusko County about the elementary program.
“We’re looking at how we can help fund and expand the program for more students in grades K-3,” said Robertson.
WCS Board President Heather Reichenbach asked Robertson and Barkey what differences there are this year in how parents are being contacted about summer school for their children.
Barkey said parents who have secondary students attending summer school have been notified via mail; she also noted the latest updates on summer school programming are posted on the school website, along with a Q&A list.
Robertson said staff is currently working with principals to identify elementary students who are in need of summer school enrollment.
Contact information and full details on summer school programming are available on the district and WCHS websites under the news sections.
The school board also approved the recommendation to hire Brett Eberly as an assistant principal for WCHS.
Eberly is a 1996 graduate of Manchester High School. He went on to Huntington University to major in physical education and minor in math. In 2009, Eberly earned a Masters in Educational Leadership from Indiana University. He has 19 years of classroom experience as a math teacher. In 2011, Eberly served on the launch team for Eagle Tech Academy, a project-based learning school. Additionally, he has been the head basketball coach for Columbia City for the last four years.
Eberly’s wife is a third-grade teacher; the couple has three children.
“I’m excited about the challenge ahead and meeting the Class of 2024,” said Eberly. “I’m looking forward to sharing what I’ve learned as a new tech teacher and trainer. I can’t wait to be part of this team.”
To conclude the meeting, WCS Superintendent Dr. David Hoffert told the board that registration for the 2020-21 school year will open on Wednesday, May 20.
“The biggest question out there is ‘What does the fall look like?'” said Hoffert. “Our number one thing is we are working to be prepared. We want to be able to get students back into our schools in a physical setting as soon as we possibly can. Right now, we are thinking that will be in July with our summer school program.”
Hoffert said the school corporation is working with multiple organizations and people regarding students’ and staff safety, including the Kosciusko County Health Department, Warsaw Mayor Joe Thallemer, and Gov. Eric Holcomb’s office.
“We are working very diligently to make sure we have safe environments,” said Hoffert. “We are waiting on some specific guidance on what some of those environments will look like, but please know there are a lot of things going on behind the scenes right now, especially with cleaning.”
Hoffert said announcements on the schools’ reopening will be made during the summer.
The board also:
- Recognized WCHS Principal Troy Akers for being awarded District 2 Principal of the Year; and WCS Assistant Director of Food and Nutrition Services’ Stacie Light for being awarded the Indiana School Nutrition Association Assistant Director/Supervisor of the Year.
- Thanked donors for supporting the schools’ meal distribution and Boomerang Backpacks programs.
- Approved a quote in the amount of $28,255 from Bowman Construction for the creation of two calming rooms at Claypool Elementary School.
- Listened to a presentation from Eisenhower Elementary School Principal Steven Boyer on the school’s Dual Language Immersion program. A separate article on Eisenhower’s DLI students will be posted Tuesday, May 19.