Twinsburg schools will provide clear backpacks

District adopts formal mask policy, approves reimbursing for canceled trips

April Helms
Kent Weeklies

TWINSBURG — For students planning to return to the buildings, the district will provide clear backpacks for them to use.

The school board approved 3-0 to pay $33,809 to Visual Marking Systems in Twinsburg for the backpacks.

Powers said that to cut down on congestion in the hallways, lockers would not be used, so the district will provide the backpacks so students can store their Chromebooks and school supplies in them and keep their materials at their desks. Backpacks will be distributed during the district’s soft opening Aug. 31 through Sept. 3. Chromebooks will be inside the backpacks for students who need one. No other backpacks will be permitted, Powers added.

Chad Welker, the business manager for the district, said that the backpacks for students who will be using the bus system also will have a Z-pass, which will be used to tell if a student is on the right bus and if he or she is getting off on the right stop. In addition, the backpacks will have tags where the student’s name can be written.

In addition, the district also recently posted the school supplies list, Powers said. The lists can be found on the Twinsburg City School’s website at www.twinsburg.k12.oh.us. The district aimed to be “as paperless as possible in efforts to lessen the spread of COVID-19.” In addition, “efforts were made to decrease the school supplies we are asking our families to provide.”

Board members Angela DeFabio and Adrienne Gordon were not at the school board meeting, which was conducted in person at the Twinsburg City Center. Gordon stated in a public Facebook post that she was uncomfortable meeting in person due to the COVID-19 numbers and because of personal health issues, and that she had hoped the board would continue meeting remotely.

The school board had previously been meeting through Zoom, and meetings were livestreamed to the board’s YouTube channel. The Aug. 5 meeting was livestreamed.

DeFabio could not be reached for comment.

Board member Robert Felber said during the school board meeting that he was happy to meet in person again, and that “we cannot ask teachers to report to work if this board isn’t willing to meet in person.”

Formal mask policy approved

The school board approved the district’s mask policy, which follows the governor’s recent order that all students in grades kindergarten through 12 must wear masks.

The policy committee, which includes DeFabio and Gordon, initially met Aug. 3 to approve the plan, which had called mandatory masks for students in second grade and older, Powers said during the board meeting. However, the next day, the governor issued a mandate requiring facial coverings for all kindergarten through 12th-grade students, with limited exceptions. The legislation the board passed reflects the state mandate and adds that masks are encouraged for the district’s preschool students.

Money for school trips to be reimbursed

The school board agreed 3-0 to reimburse parents for the fees they paid for two planned field trips, one to Washington D.C. and one to Greenfield Village. These trips had been scheduled during the 2019-20 school year but were postponed due to the pandemic and were rescheduled for the 2020-21 school year.

The R.B. Chamberlin’s eighth-grade’s Washington D.C. trip scheduled for May 20 through 22 had been rescheduled for Oct. 6 through 8. The overnight field trips for fifth grade students to Greenfield Village, originally for May 7 and 8, and May 21 and 22, had been rescheduled for Sept. 24 and 25, and Oct. 1 and 2.

However, the trips must “now must be canceled due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” according to the legislation.

Proceeds from candy sales which reduced the fees for Greenfield Village will be deferred to pay students’ academic and/or co- extracurricular fees, according to the legislation.

Reporter April Helms can be reached at ahelms@recordpub.com