New Albany-Plain Local students will notice a few changes -- including updated security procedures, retooled dining options and new personnel -- when they return to school Aug. 19.
In an effort to improve district security, parents and visitors now must enter a secured area before being admitted into the two elementary buildings.
District spokesman Patrick Gallaway said improving safety and security while still maintaining a welcoming presence was a challenge.
The K-1 and 2-5 buildings now have secure vestibules that require visitors to enter through the office.
Gallaway said the office was relocated in the 2-5 building and a door was added to the office at the K-1 building.
In addition, the cafeteria for the middle school and high school will provide more food options and updated seating arrangements.
"Some walls are coming down and it's going to be more open," Gallaway said. "It's going to be a big surprise for the students when they come back."
More vegetables and gluten-free options also will be available, Gallaway said.
Personnel changes include the addition of interim high school Principal Mark White, who will replace Ric Stranges.
White, the former superintendent of the Gahanna-Jefferson school district, was hired by the school board in July.
White will be paid $110,000 and will work Aug. 1 through July 31, 2014.
In addition, Gallaway said, high school Assistant Principal Rex Reeder's resignation was expected to be accepted by the school board Aug. 12.
Reeder is leaving to join Stranges at Delaware Hayes High School, he said.
Steve Gehlert and Adonis Bolden will serve as assistant principals at New Albany High School.
Gehlert was the assistant New Albany Middle School principal and Bolden was the New Albany High School dean of students.
Gallaway said the two vacated positions "open up additional opportunities for our staff" to serve as interims.
He said district officials will search for high school and middle school principals this year.
Interim middle school Principal Kip Greenhill, who was hired last August , will continue to serve through the 2013-14 school year, Gallaway said.
Students at the K-1 building also have a new principal.
Scott Emery was hired by the school board June 10.
He signed a two-year contract and started Aug. 1 with an annual salary of $102,000.
Emery, who was the principal of Goshen Lane Elementary School in the Gahanna-Jefferson district, replaced Susan Wittig.
A few things that have not changed this year are the pick-up and drop-off locations and bus entrances and exits.
Gallaway said many of the school building entrances will change for 2014-15 with construction of a new building between the 2-5 building and New Albany Middle School.
The two-story, 150,000-square-foot building for 1,200 students is expected to open in fall 2014.
Gallaway said construction equipment and workers will be separated from students and school activities this school year by construction fencing.