Greenville Superintendent update on schools

Greenville City Schools has had a great first semester of the 2016-17 school year, both academically and with extra-curricular activities. Thanks to the hard work of our students and staff and the support of our parents and community, the first semester is nearing the end and has been very educational and productive.

Students will return from winter break on Thursday, Jan. 12. There will be no school on Martin Luther King Day, Jan. 16, and the first semester ends Friday, Jan. 27.

Again, I would like to thank the entire school district for their support of the new K-8 facility that is about to open to the students and staff on Jan. 12. The community is providing our students and staff with a state-of-the-art facility to enhance the delivery of twenty-first century learning and instruction for decades to come. The new facility also features updated security and life safety features throughout the building, improved accessibility for all handicapped students and adults, enhanced technology for learning and improved visual performing art classrooms and spaces. Further improvements include updated efficient heating, ventilation, air conditioning and electrical systems throughout the complex utilizing geothermal heating and cooling. There is increased physical education instructional space, as well as extracurricular practice space with two full size gym floors and a separate kindergarten gym. The commons/cafeteria space is a wonderful feature for the district both for student dining and for community performances and events. The area features a stage available for performances to a gym and the commons. It can also be closed off for additional academic space. All the classroom spaces are built to OFCC standards throughout the complex. Outside, the facility features three playgrounds with the kindergarten playground fenced in. There are walking paths provided throughout the grounds and a delivery loading dock. The facility has a total of 460 parking spaces.

Over winter break the district has had Lewis and Michael Moving and Storage Inc. move the curriculum and equipment content from our four existing buildings into the new K-8 complex. This move has gone smoothly and we appreciate the assistance of the company. We also sincerely thank the teaching and classified staff and all our wonderful community volunteers who have assisted us in packing and unpacking boxes, books and materials in preparation of opening the new school complex..

We will be having a parent/student walk-through on Jan. 9 and 10. The 5-8 side will be on Jan. 9 from 4-6:30 p.m. The K-4 will be on Jan. 10 from 4-6:30 p.m. This will allow parents and students a chance to familiarize themselves a little bit with the building before the opening on Jan. 12. The community Open House and Dedication for the new K-8 facility is scheduled for 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 26. This will allow staff to unpack and set up for educational operation and contractors to work after hours on punch list items to prepare for this community dedication and open house. The dedication program will be followed with a couple of hours for the community to walk through the facility.

Prior to the new facility opening, we have some informational items we want to communicate. The school day for the middle school 5-8 will be from 7:35 a.m. to 2:25 p.m. The school day for the elementary school K-4 will be 9:05 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. We will continue to run two bus routes. All busses will drop off and pick up from the back side of the complex. Only busses, staff and deliveries will use the Eric Street entrance off Main Street. All parent drop off and pick up of students will take place in front of the building. There are two front entrances to the parking lot off Ohio Street. Traffic flow in front of the building is one way from south to north on the drop off. Please drop off on the curb lane only. If you enter from the north entrance, once you get to the parking lot you will be directed around the back of the lot so you maintain the one-way flow. Any time a parent or visitor comes to the building they should park in front of the building and enter the front doors and report to the office on the elementary or middle school side using the front sidewalks and crossing lanes. The district will have administrators, teachers, and PTA volunteers to help students the first several days to help them get familiar with entry and routes to their classrooms.

Students in the walking zones can enter from the front of the complex off Ohio Street. We will have crossing guards provided at Greenmoore Street. Students walking may also walk in to the rear of the complex from Orchard Drive by way of a walking path. Students again should use provided walk paths and crossing zones when entering from the back of the complex and watch for buses providing drop off and pick up.

No students should walk in from Eric Street. Again, this is for buses and deliveries, as well as staff. Please walk to Orchard or Ohio Street. Students on Redwood, Palm and Lea Lane can use the walkway that ties into the back-walking path.

A special thank you over this winter break to our technology department which includes Stan Hughes (coordinator), Robert Warner, Shawna Wise, Nathan Sharp (administrator/instructor), and several of our computer information system (CIS) students who have coordinated and moved all our computers and technology devices to our new K-8 complex. This has been a wonderful real life training opportunity of which they have all done an outstanding job.

In closing, let me again thank our entire community for your ongoing support of the Greenville School District. I invite all community members, parents, grandparents to continue to be an active part of our school district. Please feel free to attend as many student activities as your schedule allows. The students, staff and administration appreciate your support.

Everyone is always welcome to call me at 937-548-3185 or email me at dfries@gcswave.com if you have any questions about our school district or school activities. I hope you all had a wonderful holiday break. Best wishes in the New Year and good luck to our students in the second semester.

By Superintendent Doug Fries

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