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Lakewood students to make up one calamity day

HEBRON – Lakewood students will have to make up of one of the nine calamity days it used this year, said Superintendent Mary Kay Andrews.

She said students would attend school Thursday, April 23, which was scheduled to be a professional development day for teachers. The professional development day will be tacked onto the end of the school year, so teachers will attend that day, but students will not. “They’re still going to work the same number of hours,” Andrews said.

She said the rearranged schedule is actually an advantage because students won’t have an awkward Thursday off in the middle of the week, only to return just for Friday before the weekend, and teachers aren’t forced to come up with subject material for an unplanned school day at the end of the school year.

In other district news:

• Andrews said the district would work with emergency management officials in the event of a Buckeye Lake dam breach. Ohio Governor John Kasich announced March 19 the lake would remain at winter or low pool for at least five years as the state allocated up to $150 million to replace the 4.1-mile dam. Kasich’s announcement was in response to an Army Corps of Engineers assessment that the dam had a high likelihood of failure. “We assured parents we’re aware of the situation,” Andrews said.

According to a letter to Lakewood parents, “By now I’m sure you’re aware of the situation regarding Buckeye Lake Dam and the decision by Governor Kasich to rebuild the dam.

“During this process, many agencies are working to ensure the safety of our community. Additionally, communications and planning are occurring.

“The Lakewood Local district has been working since last week’s announcement to be informed and involved in emergency planning and contingencies. While the information presented shows little to no impact on district facilities, the significant disruption to families, students and our community could be significant. Lakewood Local would play a role in emergency communications, coordination and support.”

Andrews said Lakewood would participate in state sponsored emergency scenarios as practice for a real emergency, should a dam breach occur. “The district is a shelter site,” she said. “We would be involved in a assisting with a worst case scenario,” and work with local emergency agencies.

• Andrews said next school year the district would offer Computer Information System courses to middle school students as well as high school students. “The earlier as student can learn about a career, the better,” she said. The Computer Information Systems program is a partial day career/ technical program that’s been offered at Lakewood High School in partnership with C-Tec for ten years. During the class, students explore the latest technology including software applications, interactive media, programming, software development, and computer repair and networking. The curriculum includes Windows, Linux, Mac, Dreamweaver, Flash and imaging software; software and hardware design; operation and maintenance; network management; database administration; and information systems analysis. Students will have the opportunity to earn industry credentials by the end of the senior year.

Andrews said the middle school would also offer a preengineering course next year.

• March 18, technology teacher Randy Miller told Lakewood School Board members that the district needs to expand its wireless capabilities in all school buildings. “It’s really important that we address this need,” he said. Miller said Lakewood needs to increase bandwidth throughout the district, increase the number of wireless devices, and replace the existing phone system with a more modern one. Miller said a federal program called E-Rate, which provides discounted telecommunications and Internet access, would reimburse the district much of the new purchases.

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