By Briley Gargis
LARWILL – Whitko Superintendent Dr. Brandon Penrod touted the speed in which the Whitko School Corporation was able to begin E-learning when the pandemic settled in and the last day of regular in-person classes ended in March.
“High-end schools spend a long time implementing distance learning, we left school on March 13th, and by the 17th we had our first virtual day. To accomplish what they accomplished was really good,” Penrod said at Monday’s meeting.
With the sudden closings, Penrod said that he was pleased with how quickly the schools were able to switch to the e-learning curriculum and improve over time.
Michele Smith, Pierceton Elementary School principal, reported that the return of devices after the school year ended was successful, along with student pick up day where about 40 students hadn’t come to grab their belongings. At South Whitley Elementary, bag return started slow but eventually picked up.
Career Academy Director Joe Luce announced that there will be a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Whitko Career Academy along with a banquet at 5 p.m. on Aug. 15. There is also an open house where honored alumni will be announced.
Staff meetings began Monday and other faculty met with Luce to begin preparations for starting up at the new facility.
All of the 220 middle school students enrolled in WCA classes, along with about 230 out of the 327 from the upper grades. Of those, 41 are enrolled in the machine, welding and manufacturing program; 38 students are enrolled in the engineering program, Luce said.
Physicals for sports that were done for the 2019 and 2020 school year will be recognized for the 2020 and 2021 school year. If a student had a health issue stated on that physical that no longer exists a doctor note is required. Students who did not get a physical last school year and wish to participate in sports still need to get a physical.
Athletic Director Julius May, on his second week on the job, announced that there will be an open position for the women’s volleyball team that will soon be posted. With the 2020-21 school year approaching the interest in different sports have shown that women’s soccer may not have enough interest to continue. However, men’s soccer has enough interest and will be moving forward.
May also said that more information regarding the yearly golf outing will soon be announced.
In-person graduation was voted as an essential function and is slated to happen on the football field July 17, with a rain date of the next day, July 18. Gathering limitations and social distance guidelines will be followed. There is more information to come.
Along with this, it was voted to continue having Tim Clark with the South Whitley Police Department be the school’s resource officer.
The Whitko Art gallery, featuring art from students, will host a ribbon-cutting event at 2 p.m. June 27, along Main Street in Pierceton near Market Street.