•  East Knox Board Of Education
    23201 Coshocton Road
    Howard, OH 43028
     
    Phone: 740.599.7000 x1002
    Fax: 740.599.5863

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  • East Knox Construction Timeline

    As of 2 September 2020

    Subject to multiple changes

    2020

    Modular classroom project for Grades 7-12

    Sep. 14-30th    Civil Electric Water and Sewer installation

    Oct. 1st            Foundation/Blocking Begins

    Oct. 5-9th         Delivery/installation of 11-classroom units

    Oct. 12-16th     Delivery/installation of 13-classroom units

    Oct. 19th          11-classroom unit Connections, Fire and Data Installation Begins

    Oct. 26th          13-classroom unit Connections, Fire and Data Installation Begins

    Nov. 9th           Final preparations complete

    Nov. 16th         District takes occupancy of modular classroom buildings

    Dec. 18th         Last day of school before Christmas break

    Dec. 19th         Move to modular classrooms begins, complete by January 3rd

    2021

    Jan. 4th             School resumes with Jr/Sr High students in modular &1994 addition rooms

    Jan. 4-Feb. 23             Construction Phase I

    1. Jr/Sr High demolition

    Feb. 24-May 26          Construction Phase II

    1. Site preparation

    May 26-Aug. 18th       Construction Phase III

    1. Renovations to 1994 addition
    2. 1994 addition not available including Gymnasium

    8/19/21-2/28/2022      Construction Phase IV

    1. Construction of new Grades 7-12 academic building

    2022

    Feb. 28th                      Substantial completion of Phase IV

    2/22-3/18         Construction Phase V

    1. Old Vo-Ag building demolition
    2. Begin site clean up

    3/19-4/30         Construction Phase VI

    1. Finish site clean up
    2. Preschool playground
    3. landscaping

    May 27th          Remove modular classrooms

    Jul. 1st             Tentative start paving all parking areas

    Aug. 1st           New classroom furniture arrives

    Aug. 27th         Opening Ceremony, building tours

    9/1-9/2             Staff professional days

    Sep. 6th            Tentative 1st day of school including occupancy of NEW building!!!

     

     

    8 August 2020

    Greetings, 

       Parents have the option of enrolling your student(s) in the East Knox Digital Academy for online school during the 2020-2021 school year if you do not want your child to return to campus for classroom instruction. Students will receive instruction through the online program Edgenuity in Grades K-5 and Apex for Grades 6-12. The instruction will include oversight by East Knox certified staff.

       The August 17th deadline is to give the school an idea how many parents are interested in online instruction so we know how much online instruction to purchase. It will be a non-binding commitment until school actually starts on August 24th. 

       Parents wishing to enroll their student for the online school after August 17th will be considered on a case-by-case basis. While it may be possible to move from the traditional classroom to the online academy after school starts, students who enroll in the digital academy and wish to return to the traditional classroom may not do so until the first semester ends on December 18th.

       The EKLS Digital Academy Application is available on the left side under Announcements on our District webpage: www.ekschools.org

     

    9 July 2020

    Dear Parents, Students and Community Members,

       As you are well aware, the pandemic landscape continually evolves. Knox County school officials have worked with Knox Public Health to ensure we are in compliance with guidance from the Governor's Office, the Ohio Department of Health and the Ohio Department of Education. The result of many hours of work is the plan outlined below to open East Knox Local Schools on time for the 2020-2021 school year in a safe manner for our students and staff. Please be advised that plans may change at any time. As always, thanks for your time.

    Sincerely,

    Steve Larcomb, Supt.

    Opening East Knox Local Schools for the 2020-2021 School Year

    as of 9 July 2020

       The following plan for opening East Knox Local Schools follows the current rules and restrictions from the Governor’s office, the Ohio Department of Health, the Ohio Department of Education. It was developed in consultation with Knox Public Health professionals, Knox County Superintendents and the East Knox Administrative Team. The Administration continues to work closely with Knox Public Health and other Knox County schools to ensure the safety of all students and staff to the best of our abilities. With that in mind, please see the details outlined below for opening the East Knox campus for the 2020-2021 school year.

    East Knox Schools will open on time for the 2020-2021 school year on August 19th per the Board-approved calendar for all students.

    Parents may elect to keep their student(s) home fulltime and enroll their student(s) in remote learning provided by East Knox Local Schools. The District will provide a learning platform device (i.e. Chromebook) for online students to learn remotely. However, it is the parents’ responsibility to ensure internet service is provided. The District will work to establish wi-fi hotspots where needed.

    Parents of students attending school will be required to supply their student(s) with a minimum of two masks/face coverings per school day. The decision for reusable versus disposable masks/face coverings is each parent’s decision.

    Students in Grades K-12 are required to wear a mask/face covering at all times while riding a bus. Students will use hand sanitizer upon entering a school bus.

    Parents who drop off their student(s) at school must ensure the student(s) is wearing a mask/face covering upon exiting the vehicle.

    Students in Grades K-12 are required to wear a mask/face covering when entering and/or exiting a school building. Teachers and/or Principals may allow students to remove their masks/face coverings when social distancing of 3’-6’ separation can be maintained especially during classroom time. There is no lost and found for masks/face coverings. Any remaining in sight at the end of the school day will be discarded. Please be advised that the mask/face covering policy may be adjusted at any time, as necessary.

    Parents/students and staff members will conduct health/safety checks every day before coming to school. Students and/or staff members who have a temperature at or above 100.4 degrees or exhibit signs of illness (cough, sore throat, body aches, etc.) should stay at home.

    Students may be subject to a temperature check upon entering a bus and/or school building. Students who have a temperature at or above 100.4 or exhibit signs of illness anytime during the school day will be dismissed and should be picked up immediately. Note: Please do not have your child go to school and “try” if he/she is feeling ill.

    Staff members may be subject to a temperature check upon entering a school building. Staff members who have a temperature at or above 100.4 or exhibit signs of illness anytime during the school day will be dismissed as soon as practical.

    Hand sanitizer will be available in high traffic areas including, but not limited to, building entrances, classrooms, cafeterias, and school buses. Everyone will wash hands and/or use hand sanitizer when entering a building a periodically throughout the day.

    Restrooms will be sanitized after Elementary recesses and Jr/Sr High lunches using approved disinfectants and/or wipes labeled and/or approved for use against Covid-19.

    Buses will be sanitized after morning and evening routes using approved disinfectants and/or wipes labeled and/or approved for use against Covid-19.

    Recess equipment shall be washed and/or sanitized using approved disinfectants and/or wipes labeled and/or approved for use against Covid-19 after each recess period.

    There will be no in-person Open Houses for the beginning of the school year. Teachers are encouraged to hold virtual Open Houses to introduce themselves and their classrooms to students and parents.

    Visitors and/or parents will not enter a school building beyond the office entrance during the school day without authorization.

    Grades K-8 teachers will change classrooms to the greatest extent possible rather than students moving from classroom to classroom.

    Meals will be served in the cafeteria if social distancing is maintained according to the American Academy of Pediatrics’ recommendations including lines and tables. Meals will be served in classrooms if necessary.

    There are no field trips permitted until further notice.

    Please keep in mind that conditions may change at any time.

     

    9 June 2020

    Dear Parents, Students and Community Members,

       The Administration polled senior students in late April/early May regarding graduation options in light of the pandemic restrictions. Seniors voted to delay graduation until June 27th at 10 a.m. in hopes that they may have a traditional-style ceremony outdoors at the football field. That wish may become a reality as the Governor continues to loosen restrictions. We will present a plan to Knox Public Health Commissioner Julie Miller no later than June 17th explaining how we will meet the current rules of engagement to safely conduct commencement exercises. We will have a backup plan as well for a limited walk-through graduation event in case of rain or that our outdoor plan is not viable.

       As our seniors begin the next chapter of their lives, we are looking forward to the start of the coming school year. Obviously, there are many unknown answers to a great deal of questions at this time. As of the moment, student attendance will depend on quite a few variables including, but not limited to, transportation, food services and classroom spaces in the social distance world. Unless circumstances improve drastically between now and August, Ohio schools will very likely only be able to accommodate in-class instruction on a part-time basis in combination with learning at home the remainder of instructional time. As you can imagine, it will be quite a summer.

    That’s the news for now.

    Sincerely,

     

    Steve Larcomb

    Superintendent of Schools

     

     

    20 April 2020
     
    Greetings,
     
    The last several weeks have been one of the most interesting times in our lives. It is unprecedented the number of times I have heard the word unprecedented. It has been a time of clarity in many respects with what is truly important, what we need and what we can live without. I have been truly impressed, but not surprised, by our staff’s ability to adapt quickly to ensure students are educated and their needs are met to the best of our abilities.
     
    Governor DeWine announced this afternoon that Grades K-12 schools will remain closed for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. This decision has no immediate impact on our school operations as instruction and meal deliveries will continue as they have the last several weeks. East Knox will follow our school board-approved calendar which means student instruction will continue through May 21st.
     
    Kindergarten registration will be rescheduled for an August date to be determined. You may get a registration packet from the Elementary Office Monday through Friday between 8:00-noon. Please return it at your earliest convenience.
     
    The Administration is currently surveying senior class students as to their preference for graduation ceremonies. Their choices are to plan on a formal ceremony at 10 a.m. on June 27th (if allowed by then); have a drive thru graduation on May 16th from 11:00-1:00; or have a drive-in ceremony on May 16th at 10 a.m. whereby students and their families can sit in their cars and listen on their radio. We will make that announcement after senior voting is complete.
     
    We are aware that many students have personal possessions in their lockers and some classrooms. We will gather those items and announce when items may be picked up from the office.
     
    We greatly appreciate everyone’s efforts at all levels to ensure the safety of our community members. Thank you Bulldogs for your continued care, concern and understanding!
     
    Sincerely,
     
    Steve Larcomb, Supt.
     
     

    14 March 2020

    East Knox Schools sign-up procedures for students to receive free meals at home from Mar. 17th through Apr. 3rd, 2020

    The East Knox School District will offer lunch and breakfast meals for enrolled East Knox students who live inside the District boundaries from Mar. 17th through Apr. 3rd, 2020. This includes East Knox students who attend the Knox County Career Center.   

    Meals will be delivered to student households by East Knox school buses and staff.

    Please send an e-mail to Crystal Gallwitz at: lunchapp@ekschools.org by noon this coming Mon., Mar. 16th if you wish for your student(s) to receive a breakfast and lunch meal starting Tuesday and each weekday after during this school shutdown period. There is no charge for these meals.

     

    Please include in your e-mail:

    1. Your name.
    2. Your student’s name (or names if more than one student).
    3. Your address where the meals will be delivered.
    4. Description of where food can be dropped off at residence (i.e. front door, back door, etc.). Unfortunately, USDA rules require that the student(s) must be present (home) when meals are delivered. Students should NOT open the door if they do not see an East Knox bus. East Knox personnel will NOT enter any residence.
    5. Dietary Restrictions. Please note we may not be able to accommodate all dietary needs.
    6. Please call (740) 599-7000 extension 2009 and leave the information if you do not have access to e-mail.
    7. You student(s) may be added to the delivery list if you give us notice by noon the day prior.

    Delivery Procedures:

    1. Meals will be delivered each weekday morning between 10:15-12:15
    2. There may only be one breakfast and lunch meal per student delivered each day.
    3. Meals will not require heating. They should be consumed within 30 minutes of receipt to ensure safety.
    4. To address any needs quickly, please e-mail communications to: lunchapp@ekschools.org or call Crystal Gallwitz at (740) 599-7000 extension 2009.

     

     

    13 March 2020

    To all Parents, Studentsand the Community,

         Our world is obviously changing quickly with the extended "spring break" for the next three weeks. Here is our plan for that time frame. There is no doubt this will continue to be an evolving situation.

    East Knox Operations Plan for March 17th through April 12th, 2020

     1. Students will receive no academic instruction from Tues., Mar. 17th through Fri., Mar. 20th.

     2. Students will begin receiving online academic instruction from their assigned teacher(s) on Mon., Mar. 23rd through Fri., Apr. 3rd. Further information will be coming through the District website, School Messenger phone system, e-mail and Facebook.

    3. Breakfast and lunch meals will be offered to every enrolled East Knox student who resides in the District. Meals will be delivered weekdays from Tues.,Mar.  17th through Fri., Apr. 3rd to those families who notify the District that they want to receive meals. Meals will be delivered using East Knox buses between approximately 10:30-noon each weekday.

    4. Parents will receive information this weekend for procedures to follow if they want to receive student meals. There will be no charge for these meals.

    5. All building use by outside organizations such as Boy Scouts, Good News Club, etc. are postponed until further notice effective next Tues., Mar. 17th.

     6. All spring sports including practices are postponed until further notice effective next Tues., Mar. 17th. Please note that the Bladensburg and Howard Youth Baseball and Softball Leagues are not school sponsored.

     7. Spring Break will remain as scheduled the week of April 6th-10th.

     8. Schedules, decisions, etc. will be evaluated and adjusted as needed. All things are subject to change. Please call the school office if you have any questions.

     Sincerely,

    Steve Larcomb, Supt.

     

     

    11 March 2020

    To all Parents, Students and our Community,

       I want to briefly address the Coronavirus issue and reassure you that we are monitoring the situation closely.  Currently, the pandemic has caused no disruption to the educational process at East Knox.   Our custodians and maintenance staff take great pride and care to ensure our facilities are clean and ready for our students and staff. They continue to bring this care and concern every day regardless of what is happening in the world around us.

    The school board approved working with Class Link at last month’s meeting which as it turns out was a bit prophetic in putting pieces in place that will allow our teachers to provide online instruction to our students in the event school operations cease for any extended period of time. I assure you that the Board and Administration will work with the Knox County Health Department and any other appropriate agencies to ensure our students, staff and the community remain safe as we go about preparing our youth for their adult lives. As always, thanks for your time.

    Sincerely,

    Steve Larcomb, Supt.

     

    11 November 2019

    To All Parents and Students,

       On a snowy Veteran's Day evening, it's time again to discuss the possibility of school delays and cancellations. As a parent, I know all too well the disruption that occurs at home with delays or cancellations because of bad weather. Therefore, I try to minimize those disruptions as safety permits. Cancel, delay or have school on time? It’s rarely an easy decision. The bottom line is whether or not it is safe for our buses to transport students.

      Parents have the ultimate decision whether it is safe for their child to travel to school. This is an especially critical decision with teenage drivers. I urge you to consider all factors (age, experience, weather, etc) when determining whether your child drives to school on any particular winter morning or rides the bus. I use the phone notification system when there’s fog, snow or ice. However, you may also check our Facebook page, listen to the radio or watch Columbus television stations. I try to make weather-related decisions by 6:30 a.m. at the latest whenever possible. 

       I hope each and every one of you has a great holiday season. Take care, be safe and thanks for trusting us with your child’s education!

    Sincerely,


    Steve Larcomb, Supt.

     

     

    6 November 2019

    Dear Parents, Students and Community Members,

         East Knox voters passed our bond issue yesterday! That means the Board moves forward to execute the plan to demolish most of the current Junior/Senior High School and replace those educational spaces. We'll keep the 1994 addition and make renovations to it. Thanks to this community's generosity and trust, our students should have outstanding educational facilities from preschool through graduation for many decades to come. Our hope is to have the project completed in time for the start of the 2022-2023 school year. It'll be an especially exciting time between now and then. Thanks again for all you do for our students and this community!

    Sincerely,

    Steve Larcomb, Supt.

     

    30 October 2019

    Dear Parents and Community Members,

         Early voting is well under way. Please don't forget that East Knox has three school board candidates running for two positions. The school board is seeking a bond issue to replace most of the current Junior/Senior High School, renovate the 1994 addition and replace the remainder of the building.

         Knox County Board of Elections personnel inform me that 299 East Knox residents have voted early and/or requested absentee ballots as of this morning. Are you one of them? I have voted absentee for a number of years. It gives me time to really look over the candidates and issues on the ballot. The Knox Conty Board of Elections is open 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. through Friday this week. Saturday hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday, November 3rd from 1-5 p.m. Your vote matters!

    Sincerely,

    Steve Larcomb, Supt.

     

    29 September 2019

    Dear Parents and Community Members,

        Want to know why the School Board is asking voters November 5th to replace the Junior/Senior High School (keeping the 1994 addition)? Come tour the building this Saturday, October 5th. We'll meet at the Board Office at 11:00. The tour should last about 30 minutes, but we'll stay as long as you want to look around.

    Sincerely,

    Steve Larcomb, Supt.

     

    2 September 2019

    Dear Parents and Community Members,

         I am occasionally asked how much will the November 5, 2019 bond issue cost me to renovate the 1994 addition and build a new Grades 6-12 building where the rest of the current Junior/Senior High School building is currently located?

    1. To figure your cost, please call the Knox County Auditor's Office at (740) 393-6747 OR go to www.knoxcountyauditor.org

    2. If you go to the website, click on Search on the left side under Property Search.

    3. Locate your parcel and click on it.

    4. Click on the Valuation tab (3rd tab over).

    5. Find the total amount you are taxed on under the column titled Assessed (35%). This is the amount you are actually taxed on.

    6. Multiply the Assessed total times .0033.

    7. This is the YEARLY total (divide by 12 for the monthy total).

    8. Example: $35,000 times .0033 = $115.50 per YEAR ($9.63 per month).

         Please fell free to call me at (740) 599-7000 ext 1001 to set up a tour of the Jr/Sr High School. We would be happy to show you the rationale for choosing to build new facilities instead of renovate for the benefit of our students and the East Knox community for decades into the future.

    Sincerely,

    Steve Larcomb, Supt.

     

    1 August 2019

    Dear Parents, Students and Community Members,

         Welcome to another exciting school year! As you no doubt noticed, our lead article in this summer’s edition is the letter from the Board of Education discussing our bond issue this November. I am impressed that the 3.30 millage was so low for a $19 million project. It’s not uncommon that those projects push upwards of 7 or 8 mills. The requested 3.30 millage reflects the Board’s common sense approach to building a quality, functional educational space that will meet the needs of our students for decades to come. I recently spoke to a resident who stated, “I graduated from that building (the current Junior/Senior High School) 50 years ago and it needed torn down then.”

         I have seen a number of levy issues through the years. Levy committee approaches sometimes focus on what someone has to give up to pass a levy. For example: “You only have to give up a pizza a month” or “It’ll only cost you a cup of coffee per day.” In my experience, voters want to know what they’re going to get for their money and not what is going to be taken away. So the bond issue for this November really boils down to which direction we’ll proceed to address our students’ educational needs based on our voters. The way I personally frame the issue is: Can you spare under $9.63 per month (on a $100,000 home) to help out our students?”

         We continue planning for this November’s bond issue and its implications for this opportunity to complete this beautiful campus. However, I assure you that we are just as focused on getting ready for the arrival of our students for their first day of school on August 14th. We are in the middle of a several hundred thousand dollar lighting project that involves almost every area on campus with the exception of the Junior/Senior High. We should reach the break-even point in energy savings in approximately 6.3 years. We are also making improvements in energy efficiency with our boiler system at the Elementary School in addition to normal cleaning, scrubbing and new paint campus wide. We’ll address parking lot surfaces this month with repairs/sealing/striping as needed which includes this campus and our Bladensburg ball field property as well.

         We are looking forward to the return of our students for another educationally fulfilling year. Even though it is just mid-July as I write this, sounds of the fall are already happening as our growing marching band begins their preparations in earnest. Sports teams will be in full stride very soon as well. It should be a very exciting fall.

         That’s the news for now. I hope you have a great remainder of your summer!

     

    Sincerely,

     

    Steve Larcomb

    Superintendent of Schools

     

     

     

    17 May 2019

    Greetings!

    The East Knox High School Graduation is moved to the Mount Vernon Nazarene University Chapel this Sunday at 2:00 p.m. due to an ongoing gas line issue at the East Knox campus. Senior students should report at 12:15 for 12:30 practice. Seniors receiving awards will be acknowledged as part of the graduation ceremony. The address is 800 Martinsburg Road in Mt. Vernon. There is plenty of parking including handicap accessible. There is absolutely no parking on the grass.

    Sincerely,

    Steve Larcomb, Supt.

     

     

    1 March 2019

    Greetings!

    I purposely wrote this letter at the beginning of March because there is just something every year about getting to say goodbye to February. I am not sure if it’s because I’m tired of winter by the end of the month (especially this year) or that I’m excited about seeing the various signs of spring: longer daylight, bulbs starting to sprout, trees budding, etc. Hopefully we already experienced our “in like a lion” weather this past weekend with the ferocious winds on Sunday into Monday.

    Another sign of spring at the Larcomb farm is building gates, shearing sheep in preparation for the arrival of lambs in the next couple weeks and surveying what needs repaired, replaced and painted between now and the end of September or thereabouts. In many ways, it’s no different than what we all do at home and what the school district does on an ongoing basis. What hopefully is no surprise as I’ve written about this several times in the past is that the Board and Administration has worked with architects from Fanning-Howey since late last fall to hold community engagement meetings. These meetings have been an attempt to get a sense from the East Knox community as to how to address our students’ needs for the next generation.

    As a quick review, the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission conducted a needs assessment last spring and came up with three possible scenarios: 1) add on to the Elementary school to make it a pre-K through 12th grade building; 2) add on a wing to the Elementary to make it a pre-K through eighth-grade building and build a new high school; or 3) tear down and re-build the Junior/Senior High building while keeping the 1994 addition with some renovations (some engagement meeting participants opine it should be a Grades 6-12 building). A fourth option would be to basically gut the current Junior/Senior High and renovate it completely while keeping the exterior shell intact. There are certainly pros and cons to each option. One thing that is abundantly clear, however, is that doing nothing at the Junior/Senior High School is not an option.

    Why is doing nothing not an option? The Junior/Senior High School reflects typical construction as seen in districts throughout Ohio with multiple additions added over time that often times don’t make a lot of sense as to why they were done the way they were. As time passes, buildings need upkeep just as our homes do. East Knox is at a point in time where multiple roof sections need replaced on the Junior/Senior High School. There is little time to delay these roof repairs which would cost approximately $1-2 million.

    In fact, the gym is the only roof that doesn’t need serious attention. At the time of my employment in 2012, the gym roof leaked so badly that we had to put trash cans in the stands to collect water during basketball games and other events. Upon some investigation, there was a 20-year warranty on that 1994 addition roof. The company that originally performed the installation went out of business.  We went back to the company who supplied the materials. For reasons that I’m still not sure of other than some divine intervention, we convinced that company to stand behind their product. The company installed a brand new roof at absolutely no cost to East Knox in 2013 with literally months to spare on our warranty.

    There are a number of other areas of concern in the Junior/Senior High School as well involving electric and plumbing. All told, cost estimates to rehabilitate the existing structure would be well over $13 million at which time we would still have an old building. One question we often ask ourselves when considering spending the public’s money: Is it a want or a need?” Can we get by in the building’s current state and if so, for how long? Theoretically, the Board could spend approximately $5 million on plumbing, electric, heating and roof repairs now to keep the building operational.  Those type of repairs may keep the building going for another 10-15 years. However, it may only cover the next 5 years before the building becomes basically uninhabitable if there are other issues that come between now and then. So the question becomes does the Board sink millions of dollars into an already old building to get by until some future date not too far down the road or place a bond issue on the ballot for new construction and if so, when?

    Our community engagement meetings have been somewhat productive, but the truth of the matter is we need to hear from more of you. The Board and Administration need your thoughts on what direction you, the voting community, will support as we get to a critical decision point as to which option makes the most sense.

    Our School Facilities Community Forum meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, May 14th at 6:30 p.m. in the Junior/Senior Gymnasium.  I cannot stress enough that your opinion matters very much. It is our hope that you’ll join us in ensuring we’re meeting the needs of our children and this community in the most financially responsible way for this generation and of those to come.

    Sincerely,

    Steve Larcomb, Supt.

     

     

    8 February 2019

    Greetings!

    Our District has used 8 calamity days (commonly referred to as snow days) as of this date. Here is a quick review of the District's practice regarding making up lost school days in excess of the Board-approved 8 days. 
         
    East Knox will begin making up calamity days on the 9th occurrence IF we get to that point in time. We will make up the 9th day on President's Day (IF we have reached our 9th day by that point) and then Spring Break after that. Any additional days will be added to the end of the school calendar year.
     
    Hopefully, none of this will be an issue, however, it's a good thing to review and be prepared for just in case.
     
     
    Sincerely,
     
    Steve Larcomb, Supt.
     
     

    12 December 2018

         The Facilities Planning Committee meets next on Tuesday evening, January 8th. You are cordially invited to tour the Junior/Senior High building at 6:00 p.m. starting from the cafeteria. We'll then meet at 6:30 p.m. in the cafeteria for about 90 minutes to discuss our District's facilities as we look toward the possibility of a bond issue next November. Please join us to let us know your thoughts on what this campus should look like for decades to come!

    Sincerely,

    Steve Larcomb, Supt. 

     

    19 November 2018

    Greetings!

         As I write this, Thanksgiving is only a few days away as it falls early this year. I find myself a little behind schedule on a personal level, but fortunately not much. I’m trying to squeeze in my usual fall preparations before the coming winter months. Leaf raking, small repairs that I prefer not to do in 20-degree weather, one last mowing of the yard, planting a few daffodils and tulips, etc. We have a family farm with a few head of sheep that I purchased a year ago. I am looking forward to lambs next March. It’ll be the first newborns we’ve had since 2003 when we moved out of state for a couple years for my first superintendent position. Two of my sons were understandably somewhat less than enthused as we put hay and straw in the barn on 95-degree days this summer. However, they did it without complaint and it was greatly appreciated!

         As you can see from above and as is typical for all of us, there’s lots to be done to wrap things up this time of year as well as prepare for the future both in the immediate and down the road. It’s certainly no different at school. Students are practicing for coming music and band programs in addition to their normal studies. Basketball, wrestling and bowling teams are working hard as their respective seasons start within the next two weeks. Mixed in with all of that is the unknown weather for the next several months. We transitioned to a new phone messaging system late last spring as one company was acquired by another. Last Wednesday’s surprise snow and ice was fortunately a no harm done lesson that the system wasn’t quite set up quite the way I wanted it. Thankfully that was quickly resolved within a few short minutes.

         In the area of long-range planning, the Board hired Fanning-Howey Associates late summer to provide pre-bond architectural services. That means they’re working with us as we consider the future of our students’ educational environment specifically the Junior/Senior High School. The Ohio School Facilities Commission conducted a needs assessment last spring and came up with three possible scenarios: 1) add on to the Elementary school to make it a pre-K through 12th grade building; 2) add on a wing to the Elementary to make it a pre-K through eighth-grade building and build a new high school; or 3) tear down and re-build the Junior/Senior High building while keeping the 1994 addition with some renovations. We are in the initial planning process that will engage parents, students and community members of all ages in conversations as to what the future of East Knox Schools should look like for the next several decades at a minimum. I say it all the time, but it really should be a very interesting time not only in the next month, but the next 12 months.

         As I close, it is my sincerest hope that you and your family have a joyous holiday season and an especially Merry Christmas. I pray that you and your families travel safely wherever that may be even if it’s no further than the grocery store. It’s a crazy, but wonderful time in our home between six children, four granddaughters and our first grandson who will most likely be born before Santa arrives. I hope it’s as exciting in your home!

    Sincerely,

    Steve Larcomb, Supt.

     

     

     

    23 July 2018

    Dear Parents, Students and Community Members,

         Welcome to another exciting school year! I often refer to this summer as the Pax Romana. It was a time of relative peace in the Roman Empire that lasted a couple hundred years. While outwardly it appears the campus is quiet and calm, however, our year-round staff members have been busier than honeybees with projects and improvements to the campus. There is especially nice maintenance-type work getting accomplished in the Junior/Senior High School. We are wrapping up projects including heating units in the Vo-Ag and Science/Band/Music/Art areas. We made repairs to gym bleachers which now include areas for wheelchair access. Basketball backboards are motorized and can now be raised and lowered as well. That might not seem like a big deal unless you’ve actually played volleyball and had to play it off the board! We replaced ceiling tiles in several areas and improved lighting as well. Restrooms also have a fresh look with new floor finishes that should be very durable. We’ve included some before and after pictures in this newsletter which may or may not do justice to how nice everything really looks.

         A couple other items worth mentioning is new fencing at the football field and a refurbishment of the old bus garage primarily for storage of sports equipment, seasonal mowers, etc., janitorial supplies and anything else that normally gets stored with ready access. All these things are happening in addition to the normal deep cleaning, floor stripping and waxing that occurs each summer. I highly encourage you to come to our Open House (dates and times within this newsletter) or just give me a call. I welcome any opportunity to give you a tour of our campus and show the pride our folks take in their work.

         Speaking of repairs, I think I would be remiss if I fail to mention yet again another positive outcome of the community’s generosity in passing the operating levy coming up on two years ago already. As I have previously written, our district typically lost about 14-16 teachers out of about 63 each summer between 2013-2016. We had 8 resignations last summer after the levy passed in November, 2016. We experienced only 4 teaching resignations this summer. This stability, or part of the EK Pax Romana as I call it, can only be good for our students and the community as a whole!

         It is evident when touring our beloved Junior/Senior High School that there is need to consider the future of our students’ educational environment. The Ohio School Facilities Commission (OFCC) assessed our campus this Spring and offered recommendations for the future of our educational spaces as the Junior/Senior High ages with the passage of time. The assessment serves as a discussion starting point. The Board and Administration discussed the report at length between May and now. We interviewed architectural firms in June. I anticipate the Board will move to formally engage pre-bond architectural services at their August meeting. This means that we will start what will be at least a year-long process to engage parents, students and community members of all ages in conversations as to what the future of East Knox Schools should look like for the next several decades at a minimum. One of the many things I love about this community is the knowledge that whichever path we follow regarding the future of our District, it will be a positive direction now and in the years to come.

         We are looking forward to the return of our students for another educationally fulfilling year. As it is still just mid-July as I write this, there is no immediate sense of the excitement of their return. However, I assure you that will change dramatically over the next several weeks as teachers start returning to their classrooms on August 1st or thereabouts, sports practices start and the back-to-school shopping rituals begin yet again. I’ll let you in on a little secret. I miss the students all summer long and look forward with eager anticipation to the start of the next school year before the doors close on the last one.  That’s the news for now. I hope you have a great remainder of your summer!

    Sincerely,

    Steve Larcomb

    Superintendent of Schools

     

     

    29 May 2018

    Greetings!

         The students and majority of staff members are gone now for the summer. While the campus is educationally a quiet place, I assure you there's a different kind of excitement from those of us who remain on duty. We have a number of summer projects that while some may see as mundane, they are nevertheless integral to ensure our schools are back up and ready to go for the beginning of the coming school year. We are addressing several heating issues such as the VoAg and Jr/Sr High Art/Band/Guidance areas. We are also making improvements to the Jr/Sr High bleachers, automating basketball fixtures for raising and lowering the brackets, replacing football field fencing, replacing technology, repairing the old bus garage, and improving parking lot lighting as well as interior lighting. I assure you there are quite a few other projects as well not to mention the usual mowing, trimming, floor waxing and all the general, deep cleaning that gets done during this alleged "quiet time!"

         One other thing I want to mention again is the ongoing positive effects of passing the operating levy in November, 2016. As I've previously written, our teaching staff turnover was typically around 25% each summer until the levy passed. We cut that rate by about half last summer and appear so far to cut it in half again this summer! Stability is good for our students and good for the East Knox community!

         As always, thanks for your continued support of our students and staff. I hope each of you has a really great summer!

    Sincerely,

    Steve Larcomb, Supt.

     

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