POMEROY — With the first day of school in the Meigs Local School District less than a week away, preparations for a year of classroom work aimed at high academic achievement is well under way.
All of the teachers and support staff in Meigs Local will be starting their year Monday with an assembly at Meigs High School where Superintendent Rusty Bookman will be giving his traditional “state of the district” address.
The approximately 1,850 students who will be attending classes in the district’s three school buildings will begin classes Wednesday. An open house for parents to get a look at the facilities and meet the teachers will be held at the Middle School at 5:30 p.m. Monday and at the Primary/Elementary School at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday. Meigs High School will hold freshman orientation Tuesday with registration to begin at noon and activities to start at 12:30 p.m., and finish at 3 p.m.
Twenty-three buses will be on the road at 5:45 a.m. and making their first pickup of students about 6 a.m. Every day they will be traveling about 1,500 miles, according to Dean Harris, transportation supervisor. He advises that single routing will be used again this year as the best and most economical way of transporting students to their respective schools.
There will be changes and additions to the teaching staff and other personnel in all three schools. Lorri Lightle and Kristin Hoffman have been hired as assistant principals. Lightle will be at the Intermediate School and Hoffman at the Primary School.
Bookman stressed that academic excellence continues to be the goal for all Meigs Local Schools. For three consecutive years, the district has been rated “Effective” by the Ohio Department of Education.
With crime on the rise a focus of district personnel over the summer has been on safety of students. All three schools have now been equipped with video intercom doors, have added resource officers for each building, and have updated the district’s safety policy and procedures to follow in the event of an emergency.
Since nutrition has been found to play a major role in a student’s ability to learn, the district will continue its policy of the past several years to provide free breakfasts for all students. This year, however, all Meigs Local students through a state funded program qualify not only for free breakfast, but also free lunch, without having to establish financial eligibility.
Bookman advises that 21st Century Community Grants have been received at all three schools totaling $750,000 — Pep grant of $276,420, Elementary Counseling $379,397, and Third Reading Guarantee, $68,700.
He also reported that the district has received $1.5 million in grant money which provides the district with 13 to 15 new professional staff members to help the students who need special assistance.
At Meigs High School where the enrollment is approximately 530 students with an incoming 9th grade class of about 150, Principal Steve Ohlinger reports that the start and end time for a school day will be the same as last year, 7:45 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
He also reported that the 21st Century After School program where students can get individual assistance with their class work will continue this year at the high school.
One of the exciting things coming to Meigs High School this year is Advanced Placement Chemistry. Ohlinger said the course will be taught by Bruce Martin. He explained that AP courses have to be approved by the College Board before being offered to students.
AP courses have rigorous curriculum that is parallel to a college curriculum. At the end of the course, students take an assessment test, called the AP Exam, and depending upon their individual scores, can “test out” of entry level college courses in chemistry. The threshold score is determined individually by each higher learning institution. Credit for AP classes is acceptable at most universities.
Ohlinger said he is excited about the new course of study and hopes to expand the AP course selection next school year.
Meigs High School will also be introducing a new Career-Technical course this year. It is in criminal justice and will be taught by Rick Smith. Emphasis of the course will be on introducing students to a career in public safety. It will be offered to both juniors and seniors. This school year the students will be introduced by Smith to the junior level justice curriculum.