As he awaited further state guidance, Shelby schools Superintendent Tim Tarvin updated the school board Monday on his hopes for the upcoming 2020-21 academic year.
"If it's up to the school district, the community, our plan, our hope is to be in session five days a week come August with full enrollment," Tarvin said of returning to local school buildings at "full capacity" for the first time since March 12.
"Now is that going to be able to take place?" he asked at the June 22 Shelby Board of Education meeting. "We don't know yet."
Meetings continue to be held within the Shelby district as plans are made.
"Our first and foremost plan is to go to school just as we traditionally and regularly would," Tarvin said. "That is our intention, 100 percent. The only way we won't do that is if restrictions are placed on school districts throughout the state of Ohio, not just Shelby."
"Our intention is to go five days a week, keep our kids safe," Tarvin added. "If we are in a brick and mortar building, we are going to take precautions, taking temperatures of kids, social-distancing as much as possible."
These conversations are taking place across Ohio and throughout the United States, he said.
"We are awaiting guidance and direction from Columbus," Tarvin said. "We'll see what that guidance and direction turns out to be. Unless they put obstacles or restrictions in the way of our school district, we intend to go every single day."
He hopes to get that information from the state soon and make everything known to the public by early July.
Tarvin also clarified information about Shelby schools presented in recent media reporting in the state.
Facebook recently "blew up," Tarvin said, when Shelby turned up on an early list for blended learning, which is a combination of classroom instruction and online/distance education.
Tarvin explained that Ohio school districts had been required to submit to the state Department of Education a blended learning declaration for the upcoming school year.
"I can't imagine one school district in the state of Ohio, who if they have not yet, won't turn this in," Tarvin said of the document.
Shelby's declaration was dated June 11.
"We were early on putting that in," Tarvin said.
"When it came to light," Tarvin recalled, the reaction was "Gosh, Shelby is doing a blended learning model for next year."
"We had to jump through this hoop 'in case' we have to do blended learning for next year," Tarvin said of the blended learning declaration.
"That's not our intention for the upcoming school year, but if we get to that point, we've got the declaration made and so we can move into that," Tarvin added. "There shouldn't be any school in the state of Ohio who hasn't turned in that declaration."
The school board meeting lasted nearly two hours. Other topics discussed included:
* An update on plans to build a new pre-kindergarten through eighth-grade school that would open in 2022 on the school district campus off Smiley Avenue.
* Information on the continuing deterioration of the Skiles Field football stadium facility and efforts to eventually relocate the football facility to the high school campus as part of an athletic facility. In school board discussions, concerns were raised about the potential seating size of a new football facility, the timing of the plan and cost-related economic/financial/budget issues.
* The proposed donation of bleacher seating, press box items and other materials for the potential new Shelby athletic facility. The items are being offered by businessman Grant Milliron of what is known as the Mansfield Motor Speedway, officials said.
During the public comment period, the board heard from Lisa K. Baker, retired from teaching music at Shelby High School where she served as longtime band director.
She requested that the vacant instrumental music director position be filled by an experienced person as current band director, citing several issues such as the current uncertain COVID-19 times and related factors, and turnover in the position in recent years. Baker, first hired in 1985, offered to fill the position on an interim basis, on an hourly basis, for the upcoming school year.
Tarvin later told the school board of the hiring process for the vacant position: "We hire the best candidate we can, young or old. It doesn't matter."
Check for updates on these issues in the Shelby Daily Globe.