YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – For the first time since House Bill 70 was enacted, the Youngstown Academic Distress Commission and Board of Education met together on zoom.
There was an in-depth agenda. It included discussions about literacy, math, and science. Overall, the meeting had both groups collaborating on how to help scholars grow at all grade levels.
The topic of literacy took up a large portion of the meeting. It was mentioned that literacy is very important, no matter the subject.
“Literacy is the overall focus for the district. Literacy transcends into everything,” said Principal Robert Kearns.
The district’s finances were also discussed. Youngstown Schools CEO Dr. Justin Jennings said they will have a report later this summer explaining how the federal funds affect the general funds.
“I don’t want to say a side by side, but you’ll have both documents and you can see to Mr. Shadd’s question where the money from the ESSER (Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief) is going and how it is affecting teaching and learning in the classroom,” Jennings said.
The public was able to submit questions in writing. One of those questions was about COVID relief money for virtual schooling. Jennings acknowledged that some people want to continue virtual school, whether it is for safety or for academic purposes. He explained why they will not be using those funds for virtual schooling.
“One of the things that I think is important to us to do is not use the money for things that we won’t’ be able to sustain later on. That’s the reason why we are not using ESSER money to do that. We would have the ability to do that, but we chose not to because we want this virtual school to be sustainable later on, Jennings said.
The retirement of Youngstown City Schools Superintendent Joe Meranto was also recognized at the meeting. Many people spoke about his leadership and thanked him for his years of service.