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Lordstown schools get donation to pay food debts

Energy center’s $10,008 also will buy protective equipment

LORDSTOWN — Officials with the Lordstown Energy Center have provided a $10,008 donation to cover the school district’s student cafeteria debt and also will provide funds to cover personal protective equipment such as masks, cleaning wipes and hand sanitizers.

Lordstown Superintendent Greg Bonamase said Wednesday that Drew Schneider of the energy center made the donation recently and also the offer to help with replenishing the PPE in upcoming months.

“We have been talking about the cafeteria debt situation and keeping an eye on it more. We appreciate the Lordstown Energy Center for helping us. This will allow the students to be able to start the new school year with no money being owed,” Bonamase said.

Bonamase said the board of education was planning to meet with the center about a grant program when they contacted the schools wanting to help.

“This generous financial gift will benefit our district, students and community. The LEC’s generosity to Lordstown Local Schools has been of tremendous benefit to the district and we appreciate the company’s continued support,” he said.

In other business at the July 30 special meeting, the board discussed reopening plans for the 2020-21 year.

Bonamase said smaller school districts, like Mathews, Jackson Milton and Weathersfield, will offer in-person, five-day per week learning for grades K-12.

“We are making the buildings as safe as possible. There are students and parents who have stress and anxiety,” he said, noting they have purchased a special Clorox disinfecting machine and hired additional custodial staff for day and evenings for cleaning buildings.

Also, students and staff entering the buildings will have temperatures taken with new thermal cameras.

Bonamase said the district’s building are very large with the high school able to hold 900 students and the elementary building being the former Gordon D. James Career Center. He said the district can spread students and staff around into different rooms and locations to handle social distancing.

“We have a lot of room available in the two buildings,” he said noting students can be placed at spaced apart tables in the cafeteria.

The school day also will end one half-hour earlier for students, with high school students attending 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and elementary students 8:15 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Board member Niki Reid said all school districts will need to be flexible.

Bonamase said families have an option for online learning if they want their child to stay at home. Parents must let officials know if they prefer this option.

He said in the event schools are forced to be closed by the order of state or county health department, all online learning will be provided via Zoom and other programs.

The board also:

– Hired Aaron Smalley as the district’s part-time athletic director at $6,456. He replaces Bryce Neilbach who resigned to accept a position with the Youngstown City School District.

– Discussed open enrollment will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis based on enrollment at each grade level and guidelines from the state.

bcoupland@tribtoday.com

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