National Trail school board talks facility improvements, pre-school transportation, dress code changes | #Education | #parenting | #parenting | #kids

NEW PARIS — National Trail Local School District Board of Education members and administrators discussed an ongoing project intended to enhance air quality and reduce energy consumption in school facilities during their regular monthly meeting Tuesday, May 25.

Facilities Director Brian Smith updated the board on the project, which includes improvements to the school’s HVAC systems to combat viruses, mold and bacteria and flat-panel LED lighting that will reduce the facility’s electricity consumption by one-third.

Lighting upgrades are “90 percent done,” according to Smith, while supply chain difficulties have led to delays upgrading the school’s heating and air conditioning system.

The high school office, lecture hall and elevator will also receive upgrades, according to superintendent Bob Fischer. The improvements will be paid for using a combination of capital improvement funds and Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds provided by the federal government as part of its ongoing efforts to address the impact of COVID-19.

The funds are available for two years, according to Fischer, and can be used for coordination of COVID-19 response between school districts and public health departments; providing principals and other school administrators with the resources necessary to address the needs of their individual schools; and activities to address the needs of low-income students, children with disabilities, homeless students and foster care youth.

The funds can also be used for sanitation training and efforts to minimize the spread of infectious disease; purchasing sanitizing and cleaning supplies; planning and coordination during long-term school closures; and facility repairs and improvements that reduce the risk of virus transmission by improving air quality, according to Fischer.

Pre-School Transportation

Fischer also plans to use the funds to help transport students in the National Trail district who attend pre-school at the Preble County Educational Service Center in Eaton, saying that transportation difficulties currently prevent some students from attending.

“We have to find ways of helping get kids past those barriers,” Fischer said.

Fischer also outlined plans to improve the school’s phone and intercom system, which is more than 20 years old and currently does not allow communication in some areas.

“We’re being very diligent to see that we get as much money out of it as we possibly can,” Fischer said of efforts to maximize the benefit of the ESSER funds.

Handbook Changes

Middle School principal Jen Couch updated the board on revisions to the Student Handbook, including efforts to incorporate staff and student feedback and coordinate with the high school to address inconsistencies in the school’s dress code.

“With fashion these days, the shorts are getting shorter,” Couch said.

Couch said that violations of the dress code will be addressed privately, rather than calling students to the office via the intercom system and potentially causing embarrassment. High School principal Mike Eyler, meanwhile, said it was important that rules be “consistently enforced,” and that students aren’t penalized for issues that are beyond their control, such as not being able to replace dirty or worn-out clothes.

National Trail Board of Education meetings take place the fourth Tuesday of each month at 6:30 p.m. in the High School Media Center.

National Trail Board of Education members and administrators discussed an ongoing project intended to enhance air quality and reduce energy consumption in school facilities during their regular monthly meeting Tuesday, May 25.

Reach Anthony Baker at 937-683-4057 or on Facebook @mproperenglish

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