Fairbanks Board hears student perspective

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Monday’s meeting of the Fairbank’s Board of Education was closed to the public, though it was livestreamed on social media. The meeting was held with just Treasurer Aaron Johnson, left, and District Superintendent Adham Schirg, right, physically at the meeting. Board members and some guests were connected by Google Hangouts. Others were able to listen by phone. (Journal-Tribune photo by Mac Cordell)

Fairbanks senior Kalor Greve brought a different perspective to Monday’s Fairbanks Board of Education meeting.
Greve serves as the school board’s student representative.
At the meeting, she apologized that her report was a bit “dry.”
“Honestly, not much happened until Thursday and then everything kind of got turned upside down,” Greve told the Fairbanks Board of Education.
Thursday, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine ordered all schools in the state to close as a precaution against spreading the coronavirus which causes COVID-19. The governor closed schools for a minimum of three weeks, but has commented publicly that schools may not reopen this for the 2019-2020 school year.
“I think we are all just waiting to see, is three weeks going to be three weeks or is it going to be longer?” Greve said. “I think that’s what we are all waiting on.”
Monday’s meeting was closed to the public, though it was livestreamed on social media. The meeting was held with just District Superintendent Adham Schirg and Treasurer Aaron Johnson in the high school media room. Board members and some guests were connected by Google Hangouts. Others were able to listen by phone.
School board president Mark Lippincott asked about student concerns.
“I think the biggest concern is spring sports, for sure, and prom and graduation,” Greve said. “I think those are the three big concerns for now.”
Last week the Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) ordered a no contact period for all school-sponsored sports and a mandatory shut down of facilities until April 5. OHSAA Executive Director Jerry Snodgrass has a press conference scheduled for later this week when he is expected to address plans for the spring sports season.
“If you are hearing things, please let us know,” Lippincott told Greve.
He also asked about communication from the school district
“I think the communication is the best part,” Greve said. “Overall, I think we are just really confused. Just because none of us really knows what’s going on right now.”
She said communication from teachers and administrators is appreciated because it is “really nice to hear those things from someone who knows what’s going on.”
During the public participation opportunity, parent Kylie Daniel-Cantrell also praised the district communication.
“The constant updates and communication is not only appreciated but also comforting. I feel well informed and prepared. As a two-parent working household, we need this in order to keep going and trying to adjust to make this temporary change happen for our children as efficiently as possible.”
She told Schirg that his leadership “during this weird and strange time” is “greatly appreciated and not going unnoticed.”
In his message to parents, Schirg called Monday “pivot day.”
“Many of us are pivoting to our new world for the next several weeks,” Schirg wrote. “In any change, there are pieces that are easy and pieces that are challenging. We are working to minimize the inconveniences from an educational side.”
He told parents to continue looking for communications from principals, teachers and the district.
“If you have questions, please ask,” Schirg wrote. “As we pivot, we are doing it together.”
The superintendent said parents or community members can contact district offices at (937) 349-3731. 
He said the district will continue to follow the recommendations and orders from the Governor of the State of Ohio, the Ohio Department of Education, and our partner Health Departments.
He said he also wanted to “provide clarity since there have been questions about campus use.”
“Our campus is closed for student activities,” Schirg wrote. “There should not be gatherings of students on campus for any reason. This includes athlete-organized practices or club meetings. By practicing the measures implemented by the Governor, we hope we will be able to return to normal practices in the near future. We are operating with an abundance of caution for the duration of the extended closure.”



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