Plans are in motion for Grove City Area School District leaders to offer a few options for students when classes resume Aug. 31.

“People should anticipate flexibility to come from it,” Superintendent Dr. Jeffrey Finch said at Monday night’s board meeting.

Finch and the administrative leadership team will continue to discuss health and safety measures and curriculum plans as they prepare to reopen the school buildings following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Classes were held via remote instruction starting in late March through the end of the school year.

Administrators expect to be able to permit students to continue with remote instruction if the family prefers that to in-person classes, Finch told board members, who were gathered in the board conference room; other meeting attendees participated by video or phone.

The district wants to support students by offering an “array of hybrid considerations” for flexible scheduling, he said.

Families will soon be receiving a survey about their interest and options, and then focus groups will be created. 

The state has come up with guidelines for public schools that reopen for the 2020-21 school year.

The district will use those recommendations as a guide, but in the end, the final plan has to be approved by the board for submission to the state.

“Right now it’s our plan to build,” Finch said.

In other business at Monday’s meeting:

• Board members approved the extension of the student meal program through the summer. Any student 18 and under who lives in the district is eligible to receive the meals at no cost, even if they do not attend Grove City schools.

The meals can be picked up between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. at Hillview Elementary School. Families are asked to register by visiting and clicking on “GCASD Food Service Update” under “Family Updates” on the homepage.

• Board members approved the Chromebook initiative, which would ensure each student has a computer for school use. Funding is available through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

The district has sent out a request for proposals, and learned that 1,025 Chromebooks would cost $267,648 through COSTARS, the state’s cooperative purchasing program.

The program will also help with remote instruction if there is another quarantine, said board member Dr. Constance Nichols.

• Assistant Superintendent Dr. Joshua Weaver announced that a traditional graduation ceremony is planned for June 18, with the students being split into two groups at Forker Field.

The families will be receiving more information, and the rain date is June 19.

Nichols added that graduates who are unable to attend this year’s ceremony are invited to participate in future commencement exercises.

• Board President Lee McCracken noted that the board will meet at 7 p.m. June 24 to adopt the final budget for 2020-21.

Details will be released about meeting dates in July. The board also meets at 7 p.m. Aug. 3 and 10.

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