BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – Boardman Schools will resume class remotely and in-person on Sept. 14. However, it takes a lot of planning to get to that point, and with planning comes hunger.
Monday morning, DiBella’s Subs donated 700 lunches for faculty, staff, teachers, administrators and everyone else involved with the school.
“It’s wonderful,” Director of Food Services for Boardman Schools Natalie Winkle said. “Normally on our opening days, the cafeteria at Boardman High School, we cater the opening day brunch, so this allows me to have a little extra time to do other things that I have to do. But to know that everybody’s being fed is a relief for us.”
The donation totaled $10,000 and DiBella’s reached out to Boardman, offering to cater lunch to show thanks, appreciation and provide comfort to everyone for the hard work they’re doing to prepare for the year.
“To know where your lunch is coming from is always a good thing, and DiBella’s makes really good subs, so it’s a nice way to start the year off, nice touch,” said Patrick Birch, U.S History teacher and boy’s basketball coach.
Birch chose a turkey, sub but there was also ham, vegetarian and the “Godfather” to choose from.
When the year begins students learning remotely will still be provided lunch. They will fill out an order each week and get five lunches.
“Our biggest challenge is when the kids come back, we want them to feel like they never left, like this is the same Boardman School that they’ve been at their whole careers,” Winkle said.
She doesn’t want students to feel nervous or upset when they return.
“Especially on the cafeteria end, that’s my end, food is comforting. I just want them to be comforted and come back and have that moment of going ‘everything’s OK,’” she said.
In the classroom, Birch said the biggest challenge is the unknown.
“In terms of what are days going to look like, how many kids are going to be in our class,” he said. “I think the administration is still trying to iron through a lot of those details.”
He gave credit to the administration for getting them this far and said they’re in a thankless position.
“I think the next step is on us a little bit to figure out how to best teach these kids,” Birch said. “It’s not going to be easy. There’s no question it’s going to be difficult and it’s going to be a challenge, but teachers are adaptable and flexible and it’s kind of the first thing you learn in college so we’ll apply that this year.”
When it comes to sports, Birch said the summer was different for him and the basketball team.
However, he said it’s an important part of the learning process, so he’s glad they are taking steps to get them back in athletics.
“That’s a huge part of who these kids are,” he said. “The kids need to be there. They need to be part of those organizations and have that structure and discipline, and I hope we continue to make it an effort to have seasons and have kids playing.”
To help social distancing, Winkle, Communications Coordinator Amy Radinovic and others were delivering lunches to other buildings from the high school cafeteria.
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