STOW — Small adjustments to start and end times at some buildings, a new hockey team and upgrades to the high school cafeteria are among the changes students will see when school resumes Aug. 20.
Not all of the buildings will have new start and stop times, but some will, said Superintendent Tom Bratten.
"These changes were made in large part due to making us more efficient in our bus schedules, making sure that we can keep our lunch programs with appropriate time to eat, and to make sure we can continue to offer the innovative programs that we have begun and have proven extremely fruitful," Bratten said.
The school start and end times for the 2019-20 school year are:
• High school — 7:30 a.m. to 2:40 p.m.
• Kimpton — 7:45 a.m. to 2:40 p.m.
• Lakeview — 8:30 a.m. to 3:10 p.m.
• Elementary — 9:05 a.m. to 3:35 p.m.
• Preschool at Indian Trail — morning, 8:35 to 11:05 a.m., and afternoon- 12:05 to 2:35 p.m.
Laura Forchione, director of Technology Integration & Public Relations, said the only two buildings that change are Kimpton Middle and Lakeview Intermediate schools, which both started at 8:10 a.m. last year.
Bratten said that letters were sent home to parents regarding the start and stop times. Information also can be found on the district's website at http://smfschools.org.
Also, there will be three delayed start days for the 2019-20 school year that will correspond with the already planned Wednesday late start at the high school, Bratten said.
"These late starts will allow the district to perform some much needed professional development for our staff without pulling numerous teachers out of the classroom, causing them to be away from their students and making for exorbitant costs in employing substitute teachers to cover the absences," Bratten said.
Forchione said the three delayed start days are Oct. 2, Dec. 4, and Feb. 5.
Thanksgiving recess is Nov. 28 and 29. Winter break is Dec. 23 through Jan. 3. Spring break is March 23 through 27. The last day for students is June 1.
Meal prices are $1.50 for breakfast for students in all of the buildings. Lunch is $2.75 for students in the elementary schools and at Lakeview Intermediate, and $3 for students at the middle and high school.
New high school hockey team debuts
Stow-Munroe Falls High School will have an OHSAA club ice hockey team starting the 2019-20 season.
"We currently have 14 players on the team," Bratten said. "We will be practicing and playing our home games at Kent State Ice Arena. The head coach is Ryan Schelien, who played college hockey at Ohio University and he will be assisted by Jeff Napieralski, who played collegiately at Kent State University. Chris Hricik will be the team manager and handle the off-ice aspects of the team including scheduling."
The new team will have six to 10 home and six to 10 away games, Bratten said. The team will be self-funded; to reduce per player cost the team has participated in Mulch Mania the last two years and had a Dine to Donate fundraiser at El Campesino.
"We are also selling inaugural season pucks for $7 and jerseys for $95, and are currently looking for some corporate sponsors to also aid us in our fundraising efforts," Bratten said. "The season will run from November through February and we are looking forward to seeing a large student and community following at our games."
The schedule will be posted on the website in the coming months, Bratten added.
New busing procedure
In an effort to increase efficiency and cut costs, the district is employing subscription busing at the high school, Bratten said.
"When we dug deeply into the data, we discovered that only roughly 850 of our 1,900 students were utilizing our busing services," Bratten said. "That meant that there are over 1,000 students that are arriving to the high school by a different means. However, many of these students were still on our transportation routes. So in an effort to clean this up we are reaching out to our parents and having them tell us whether busing will be needed for their student. If it is needed, they will need to go to to our website and sign up for it. If we do not hear back from them, we will assume that they are not requiring our busing services. If things change, they can always reapply so that they can resume the services again. This change allows us to streamline our routes, cut out the waste, and make us much more efficient."
The district also recently purchased four new buses, Bratten added
High school cafeteria improved
Earlier this year, Meijer, which opened a store in Stow, donated $25,000 to the district. Bratten said the money will be used to modernize the high school's cafeteria to "make it a more innovative space."
"This wonderful open space is used virtually every single day by by the greater Stow community for civic events and meetings, so this will make a significant impact that will positively impact thousands of people from around the area," Bratten said. "We would like to add tables that will make the space ADA compliant thus allowing students and community members with disabilities to feel welcome and included. In addition we would like to introduce some round tables that provide an environment where people can see one other and communicate and collaborate better - thus making it a better place for small meetings.
"We would like to provide state of the art tables that will display the school colors and will help to encourage school and community spirit. Specifically, we would like to incorporate modern tables and three ADA models which will allow for flexible seating options for those that are disabled. We also envision adding tables that can be used as stand around tables or have chairs around them for students to have a food court type of experience. These tables will allow for a number of eating and collaborative seating varieties to meet the demands of this multipurpose environment."
In addition, the district plans to add a multi-purpose Mobile Folding Table with capabilities such as receiving tickets to events, intake at concessions, AV equipment placement, displays, and food service applications for events hosted at the school, Bratten said.
High school gets silver medal from US News and World Report
Once again, the high school has received the Silver Medal from US News and World Report, Bratten said. "This award is an extremely high honor and one that is based on college readiness as defined by participation and scoring on Advanced Placement Exams, how many students took and passed multiple AP exams, math and reading proficiency from state-administered assessments, performance of students from underserved populations, and graduation rate," he said.
In addition, the high school achieved a 98 percent graduation rate, he added.
Reporter April Helms can be reached at 330-541-9423, firstname.lastname@example.org, or @AprilKHelms_RPC