The new Abraham Depp Elementary School, in Jerome Village, opened its door for students Tuesday. The building is in the Dublin City School District. For several weeks the building will be in a hybrid orientation with less students in the building at one time. (Photo submitted)
The newest addition to Jerome Village is officially open.
Abraham Depp Elementary School in Plain City welcomed students into the building for the first time Tuesday.
“We are going to look at the beautiful new building we have, but also at our safety measures,” Ehrsam said.
Depp is Dublin City School District’s new elementary school in the Jerome Village housing development. The building, nearly 83,000 square feet, has capacity for about 650 students.
Principal Troy Ehrsam said about 200 students have opted for remote learning through at least the first semester.
He said that lower numbers will make the start, “a lot safer.”
Students in the Dublin District began online learning in August.
Tuesday the district began its hybrid orientation, meaning about one-quarter of students will be in the building at any one time.
Students were welcomed into the new building with balloons and staff members.
“We are trying to make it as normal as possible,” Ehrsam said.
The principal said teachers have done, “really a fantastic job.”
“We have been really excited to open this brand-new building and welcome students in,” he said.
Ehrsam said the teachers will be using the hybrid time to “really foster those relationships with them (students) as learners.”
The district will be “reviewing where we are” during the orientation period.
The district anticipates going to the full hybrid option, with about half the students in the building at a time, beginning Sept. 21. During that time, students who have elected in-person learning will be in the building for half a day, every day.
Students who chose the online platform will have the opportunity to opt into in-person learning beginning Dec. 18.
“We are pretty confident and pretty optimistic that our teachers and our students are going to be safe and successful,” Ehrsam said.
The building administrator said schools are always about building relationships, but that is especially true when some students are online, others are there half days and some students never see other students in their class.
“Our goal this year is to build relationships and to build culture,” Ehrsam said.
Part of the culture of the school will be incorporating the history of the area, and the school’s name sake into a variety of curriculum areas.
Abraham Depp was born a slave in Virginia. When his master died in 1831, Depp was granted his freedom. He eventually moved to the area, working as a blacksmith and buying land in Union, Delaware and Franklin counties.
Depp used his home on Harriot Road to help slaves escape to Canada.
A historical marker detailing Depp’s life will be placed near the school.
Ehrsam has a salary of $123,989 and a total compensation package of $161,186.
He is in his 26th year in the district and is its longest tenured elementary school principal with 19 years. Before taking the role at Depp, Ehrsam served as principal at Eli Pinney Elementary School since 2008 and was assistant principal at Grizzell from 2002-08.
Ehrsam said he already has a comfort level with many Depp students and parents as “a lot of them are from that school (Pinney).”
Ehrsam has a master of arts in educational administration and a bachelor of science in elementary education from Ohio State University.
Construction of the district’s fifth middle school, which will be adjacent to Depp, began in March and is on schedule. The anticipated construction cost of that school, scheduled to open in August 2021, is nearly $42.3 million.
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