Potential EES student move would be in 2024-25


Research into moving fifth graders continues

By Drew Stambaugh - [email protected]



Evergreen Local Schools administrators now see the 2024-25 school year as the time fifth grade students will move to the middle school, but the move has not officially been approved by the Board of Education.

“We continue to believe a move of the fifth grade to the middle school provides additional educational opportunities for our students,” said Superintendent Eric Smola.

Based on research, officials determined that if a move is made the 2024-25 school year would work better than the 2023-24 school year.

“We think waiting another year would allow ample time for transition teams to plan for building utilization, instructional planning, staff transition, and team building,” said Smola. “Up to this point all the planning has taken place administratively. So for a successful implementation to occur, teachers and staff involvement is critical.”

Smola said they were planning on submitting the move to the Board of Education for approval in February, but Board President Nora Kiefer asked for more time. She said next month seems “a bit quick” if they are going to wait another year.

“At this point, I think all of us have been supportive of the idea and the reseach,” said Kiefer. “I just don’t want to vote that it’s a definite ‘yes’ yet.”

She would like more feedback from teachers and others in the district.

Board member Don Smith agreed on getting more feedback. “I’m not sure what the harm would be in waiting at least another month,” he added.

Administrators have meetings planned with fourth and fifth grade teachers, and the middle school staff this week.

“Again, I am still open to feedback if community members have thoughts for or against, or questions, concerns. We are open to that for sure,” said Smola.

The Board also accepted a STEM Classroom Grant for $5,000, approved the five-year forecast, and approved an unpaid leave for elementary teacher Kim Reckner unti Jan. 31. Overnight trips were approved for the high school wrestling team for the Division III State Duals and the State Wrestling Tournament.

Early in the regular meeting, high school girls basketball coach Brittaney Cymbolin thanked the Board for approving their overnight trip to Florida in late December.

“We had two players, who it was their first time ever on a plane. So, they enjoyed it a little bit,” she said.

Cymbolin told the Board about the trip, including the games, team bonding, and other activities.

“We wanted to offer you guys, just our gratitude. Thank you so much,” said Cymbolin. “Sports are great, but it’s a lot about experiences, and making memories and you guys made that happen.’”

Being the first meeting of the new year, an organizational meeting was held prior to the regular meeting. In it, the Board elected Nora Kiefer as president and Jason Miller as vice president.

They also set the 2023 meeting schedule as the third Monday of each month at 6 p.m. February 21 will be the lone exception.

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Research into moving fifth graders continues

By Drew Stambaugh

[email protected]

Reach Drew Stambaugh at 419-335-2010

Reach Drew Stambaugh at 419-335-2010