School board discusses end of school year

By Kevin O’Boyle [email protected]om

BROOKVILLE – With graduation ceremonies soon upon them, members of the Brookville Local School Board of Education discussed several items related to the annual event during their May general meeting on May 18.

The meeting was held via an on-line teleconferencing program.

Superintendent Tim Hopkins praised the efforts of district and Brookville High School staff for not just arranging graduation exercises, that were held over two days, May 22-23, but the first ever senior reverse parade, which was held on May 20.

It was estimated that over 500 vehicles driven by members of the Brookville community traversed the parade route. A video shot by drone by Brian Harvey has been posted on the Brookville Star Facebook page.

“It has been a tremendous team effort, they have worked tirelessly,” Hopkins said about staff efforts for the graduation.

“I think it will turn out well,” he added.

Normally the school holds graduation exercises at Salem Church of God in Clayton, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic and protocols in place for social distancing, etc. past practices regarding graduation were changed.

The graduation events were held through out the day on May 22 and during the morning on May 23. Students went to several different stations inside the school with their families. District and school staff wanted to have the senior for 2020 experience, albeit in different forms, the same traditions experienced by previous graduation classes.

Videos were also produced which included the announcement of the names of senior award winners, as well as the speeches given by the 2020 valedictorians and salutatorians.

Hopkins reviewed the reports submitted by district and school administrative staff with the board.

One such report was submitted by Brian Sprada, Brookville High School Director of Athletics.

In that report Hopkins noted that Sprada had produced a video of seniors doing their college athletic signings for post-secondary athletics.

“He has been doing a nice job of recognizing our seniors,” Hopkins noted.

Hopkins also noted that there has been some confusion from the state health and Ohio High School Athletic Association officials about school facilities being available for summer and spring sports participants (for teams outside of school competitions).

“We’re having to get some clarification (from the state),” Hopkins said, about whether summer select teams can use school owned facilities.

Along with the senior reverse parade, whereby members of the community paraded in their cars around the high school to salute the seniors, who were lined up along the driveway, third grade students will be taking part in a clap-out parade on May 28, a tradition of sorts where by the district’s third grade students have left Brookville Elementary School in anticipation of attending fourth grade at the intermediate school.

According to Hopkins and Board President Joe Mellon the third graders will be driven around the circular drive in front of the elementary school by their parents or guardians, and school staff will be standing out front “clapping” them out to fourth grade.

That was scheduled for May 28 at 5:30 p.m.

Mellon also said that it was nice that the members of the National Honor Society and the Brookville 2020 prom court were recognized by Hopkins in his report given to the board.

“I wish them well and will be exciting to see what they do in the next chapters of their lives,” said Mellon.

Hopkins said that a special committee is being formed to help plan for all contingencies for the 2020-2021 school year. This committee was expected to consider all plans being proposed for schools on how to operate come the fall.

In explaining this committee’s work, he said, “They will look at how do we meet recommendations from the Ohio Department of Education and the Ohio Department of Health.”

He noted that as of the time of the May meeting there were only 13 weeks until the start of the next school year.

“We’re eight or nine weeks of having a game plan in place on what it (next school year) will look like,” said Hopkins. “The worst case would be to get to Aug. 1 and have no plan.

“We need to get on it and know what to do,” he added.

He said he would keep the board informed about these plans during the summer months.

It was noted at the May 18 meeting that three district staff members, Kim Williams (food service), Cheryl Hoops (transportation) and Dawn Strain (food service), have retired and while no official retirement ceremony was held, like past years, Hopkins did wish all three the best.

Information about the contract renewals of school personnel approved at the May 18 meeting is on file with the school district.

On June 11 the board will hold its monthly workshop session and at 6:30 p.m. on June 15 the board will have its monthly regular meeting.

By Kevin O’Boyle [email protected]