Poland School Board votes on superintendent’s request for first day of school

Local News

POLAND, Ohio (WKBN) – Poland will start the school year with a delay. That was the expectation from the superintendent Monday, and on Tuesday, the School Board voted to approve that delay.

The delay will be so teachers and maintenance workers have time to prepare the school for students. The district had four big projects done this summer and work will be finished this week.

Classes will now start on Thursday August 26 instead of Monday.

Sounds of demolition come from behind Poland’s McKinley Elementary and Middle School where Baird Mitchell Stadium is coming down.

The former Board of Education offices at the high school are being turned into arts and tech classrooms.

These are among the four projects that should be done Friday, but the turnaround to Monday’s class start would be too tight.

“We have about 32 teachers and staff that cannot get into their rooms because of projects going on,” said Poland Schools Superintendent Craig Hockenberry.

The work projects finish a master plan for the district. With some halls still having material that needs moved, Hockenberry plans to ask the Board of Education to consider a delay for starting class.

“Right now, we’re looking at three days that we need,” he said.

The extra time would also allow the district to meet professional development requirements before school starts.

The board meeting was announced Friday and gives the required notification time before the meeting. Only the school board can adjust the school calendar, and a change to the end date will not be considered, but the main plan everyone wants to know is if students or teachers have to wear masks.

“It’s a very difficult decision. We’re taking it very seriously. We’re waiting it out. We’re looking at all the information we possibly can, and our goal is to hear from everybody and listen to every single person that reaches out to us,” Hockenberry said.

Poland’s Board of Education did not consider a mask policy at Tuesday’s meeting. That decision will follow the most recent guidance and virus conditions closer to the start of school.

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