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CVSD approves 2022-25 comprehensive plan; prepares for fall semester

The Conewago Valley school board heard promising updates from administration and school leaders during the board’s meeting on Monday evening.

Administrators praised district staff for focusing on training and preparations for the upcoming school year over the summer.

Christopher Bowman, principal of New Oxford High School, praised the custodial and office teams, saying the buildings are ready for students.

“I know the cleaning process is extensive, and our buildings are not, by any stretch of the imagination, new, but when you walk into our building, they’re pretty pristine,” Bowman said. “They look amazing.”

Stephanie Corbin, director of special education, said the training and collaboration by staff will mean there are more resources for students.

“It kind of gives me goosebumps just to think about what we’re going to be able to hopefully do and to support even more of our students throughout this upcoming school year,” Corbin said.

Christopher Cobb, principal of New Oxford Elementary School, and Autumn Zaminski, principal of Conewago Township Elementary, said they worked to continue the tradition of visiting incoming kindergarten students at home.

They also praised staff for preparing for the coming school year, but Cobb cautioned that the planned new playground may be temporarily stalled.

“Unfortunately, the supply chain issue has hit metals, plastics and paints for our playground system, so there is a slight delay right now,” Cobb said.

He promised to continue to follow up on the situation.

Superintendent Sharon Perry said she appreciates seeing the efforts of the staff and faculty as they prepare to welcome new and returning students.

“One of my favorite parts of this time of the school year is watching everybody pull together to bring back our young Colonials,” Perry said.

Perry said the district has a “phenomenal crew we’re bringing on board” and has focused on professional development as well as safety, both “emotional and physical.”

Health and safety

One person addressed the board with concerns about potential school violence, referencing the mass shooting in May at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.

The individual said they have created a safety app they are selling to schools. They offered a “small pilot” of the program to the Conewago Valley school district.

“It runs on smartphones, and if you touch a button, everybody in administration knows what’s happening,” the person said. “Live audio/video is saved to the cloud for a chain of evidence and it’s sent to the parents and loved ones of the person that activated the product.”

The board did not discuss the offer during the open portion of the meeting.

Among other items, the board approved the 2022-23 Health and Safety Plan, which currently lists masks as optional.

“The Conewago Valley School District will continue to monitor and review both CDC and PA Commonwealth guidance, mandates, and orders,” the plan states. “If required, students and staff will be reminded of the correct way to wear a mask and/or face shield.”

Other items

The board also approved the district’s 2022-25 Comprehensive Plan.

Several new hires were also approved, including teachers, instructional aides, reading specialists, a high school nurse and more.

The board recognized the achievements of the welding fabrication team that won first place at the SkillsUSA national competition recently held in Georgia.

“Hopefully we have a team that’s ready to follow in their footsteps for this year,” Edward Groft, president of the school board, said.

Executive sessions and future meetings

Groft announced that the board discussed personnel issues in a closed session before the open meeting and would do so again after the open session. He said the board would likely hold another executive session during a special meeting on Monday, Aug. 15.

The special meeting will be held to discuss a feasibility study by Crabtree and Rohrbaugh. It will be held at 6 p.m. Monday, Aug. 15, earlier in the evening than the board’s typical meeting time.

A committee of the whole study session will be held at 7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 12.

The next regular public meeting will be held at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 19.

Meetings are held in the district board room and are also livestreamed on the district’s YouTube channel.

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Imari Scarbrough is a freelance journalist. She was a staff newspaper reporter for five years before becoming a freelancer in 2017. She has written on crime, environmental issues, severe weather events, local and regional government and more.

You can visit her website at ImariJournal.com.

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