School board
The Shelby Board of Education met on July 15 in Shelby High School. Shown left to right are school board President Lorie White, school board member Lynn Friebel, school district Treasurer Beth Lykins, Superintendent Tim Tarvin and Assistant Superintendent Paul Walker. Also in attendance were school board members Scott Rose and Carl Ridenour.

SHELBY — As Shelby City Schools continue navigating through the pandemic era, out-of-town learning opportunities are on the comeback when it comes to the district.

The Board of Education at its July 15 meeting approved plans for the Shelby Middle School sixth-grade trip to Camp Nuhop in Perrysville, Ohio. The visit is scheduled for Sept. 29, 2021 through Oct. 1, 2021.

In addition, the board OK’d plans for the Shelby Middle School eighth-grade trip to Washington, D.C. and Gettysburg, Pa., a trip scheduled for May 9 through May 12 of 2022.

Shelby Schools Superintendent Tim Tarvin spoke of the trips in the context of “us trying to return to some normalcy with regard to field trips.”

“I think everybody’s got their fingers crossed that we get the year started with that sense of normalcy and continue it,” he said.

“There’s many conversations going on throughout school districts, throughout the state of Ohio, throughout the United States with regard to 'What’s this school year going to look like?'” Tarvin said.
“Our hope is, our intention is to start it in a more traditional, typical perspective with the idea that if we have to pivot, go in a different direction, be flexible, we will, just like we’ve done for the last 18 months,” Tarvin added.

The coronavirus pandemic, which took hold in March 2020, not only closed school buildings around Ohio at the time but also led to the cancellation of such trips due to health restrictions. Such trips now are being added to planning calendars.

At the July 15 meeting, Tarvin mentioned that “a big part of our kids’ learning” involves trips, “whether it’s band trip to Florida or choir trip to New York City or eight-graders going to D.C.”

“I’ve always appreciated that our board and Shelby, Ohio for years has valued those out-of-classroom experiences,” Tarvin said. “You guys are cognizant of kids can make a lot of growth and really do some really neat things that they would never get the opportunity to do if we didn’t provide those for them as a school district.”

Tarvin said the trips to Washington, D.C. date back about 15 years, for example.

Shelby School Board President Lorie White expressed thanks. “We appreciate the teachers who are willing to coordinate those things," she said. People think it’s a vacation for them. It’s not. You’re trying to wrangle a couple hundred kids, parents. It’s a lot of pressure, really.”

“We appreciate their willingness to give our kids those experiences,” White added. “I think it’s amazing what our kids have the opportunity to do.”

Aug. 17 is the first day of school for students in the Shelby district where full in-school learning is planned for the 2021-22 school year.

Both the 2019-20 and 2020-21 academic years saw all Shelby school district buildings close for periods of time due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In-building instruction ended in mid-March 2020 and online/remote learning put into place for the remainder of that 2019-20 academic year. A surge in coronavirus cases in Shelby and Richland County late this past fall also prompted a return to remote learning from Nov. 23, 2020 through Jan. 8, 2021. In-class instruction resumed on Jan. 11, 2021 in Shelby and continued through the remainder of the 2020-21 school year.

In other business as detailed on the July 15 meeting agenda, members:

* approved the elimination of student instructional fees and athletic transportation fees for grades K-12 for the 2021-2022 school year. All other payments such as club and Chromebook fees, as well as class dues, will remain in place, the agenda noted.

* approved student handbooks for Shelby High School, Auburn and Dowds elementary schools and the pre-school in addition to changes to the high school and Shelby Middle School extracurricular handbook.

* hired Jeffery Kurtzman as boys varsity tennis coach

* accepted a $1,500 donation from Garmann Miller and a $100 donation from Guenther Mechanical.

“It’s our normal back-to-school professional development,” Assistant Superintendent Paul Walker said in explaining how the donated funds would be used. “We’re just trying to have more collaboration with the teachers and so forth. We have some more donations coming next month for that.”

School Board members in attendance were White, Scott Rose, Carl Ridenour and Lynn Friebel. Check for additional coverage of the latest meeting.

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