As the academic year comes to a close, Grove City school board members are putting things in motion for this summer and the new school year.
At Monday night’s school board work session, which was conducted remotely, school directors learned that the meal program for students can be extended.
The summer meal program would be for ages 18 and under, and any child who lives in district is eligible, even if they are not a Grove City student, Superintendent Dr. Jeffrey Finch said.
The district had been providing meals to students – at no cost to the families – during the pandemic shutdown via a drive-thru setup on school grounds.
The meal program typically ends when the school year does, but the district is able to continue the service at no extra cost if at least 240 students sign up.
A cost analysis was done, and the district sent surveys out to families, he said.
The district believes they will have at least that many students participating, said Lee McCracken, board president.
The meal program is expected to start today, June 3, and it would be held on Wednesdays through the end of August, Finch said.
The board plans to vote at its June 8 meeting on providing the program all summer.
More details about signing up for the program can be found on the district’s website. Visit www.grovecity.k12.pa.us and click on “GCASD Food Service Update” under “Family Updates” on the homepage.
Each bag will contain breakfast and lunch for five days. Meals will be distributed between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Wednesdays at Hillview Intermediate Center and Leesburg ECO Presbyterian Church.
Assistant Superintendent Dr. Joshua Weaver presented information about an initiative that would ensure the district provides each student with their own Chromebook for school use.
Funding is available through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
A bid from COSTARS, the state’s cooperative purchasing program, totals $267,648 for 1,025 Chromebooks.
The district also sent out a request for proposals; sealed bids are due June 17, Weaver said.
The district has to think about next school year and the possibility of online instruction if there’s another outbreak of the virus, board member Dr. Constance Nichols said.
For remote instruction this school year, the district provided nearly 350 Chromebooks to families who did not have computer access at home.
New Chromebooks could save the district about $200,000 because there would be no need to pay for certain upgrades in the school buildings, Weaver said.
The board is expected to vote on the proposal Monday.
In other business at Monday’s work session:
• McCracken announced that the finance committee held an executive session on May 28 to discuss personnel matters with the solicitor.
• Resident Esther Falcetta spoke during public comment, asking the board for more information on what was discussed during the executive session. Simply saying it was a “personnel matter” is not sufficient, she said.
She also asked if there were any budget presentation materials that could be posted online; and whether there would be an update on Grove City YMCA’s interest in using the Highland Primary Center building.
McCracken said the executive session description could not go beyond stating “personnel matters.” He added that there is no specific budget presentation to share, and that he did not have an update on the YMCA.
• McCracken said that a special budget meeting is tentatively set for June 22, when the board plans to adopt the final version of the spending plan for the 2020-21 school year.
• Board members heard from Finch that the YMCA wants to continue to use Highland for summer programs as the agency has done in the past. The agreement includes allowing the district to use the pool at the YMCA, and there has been no charge for the agency to use Highland in the summer.
The YMCA has expressed interest in school building, which the district will no longer be using after this school year. Because of financial strains related to the virus, the YMCA needs some time to recover before revisiting that discussion, Finch said.
• Finch reported that the turf project at Forker Field is going well, and the new surface looks great. It is ahead of schedule, and the track will be resurfaced later this month.
• McCracken announced that for the June 8 meeting, board members will be in the boardroom, and the public can attend via Zoom video or conference call. Access information will be posted on the district’s website.