In Upper Arlington Schools, we have come to the end of a school year unlike any other. I am so proud of our staff and families for all they have done to challenge and support our students through distance learning.
Over the past few weeks, it has been truly incredible to see our entire community rally around the Upper Arlington High School class of 2020. One of the high points was the May 24 graduation-day car parade through the heart of Upper Arlington that allowed our staff, family members, friends and community members to cheer for our seniors and their accomplishments.
Many thanks to our high school PTO, parent volunteers and the city, police and fire officials who helped make this sendoff special and safe for our seniors. I'm incredibly proud of this amazing group of 430 graduates and the resilience they showed in these difficult times.
Our middle and elementary schools and their PTOs also found some wonderful ways to celebrate the milestone years for our fifth- and eighth-grade students. Thank you to our staff and families for planning memorable ends to the year for these students, as well.
As with many areas of our lives right now, we know the 2020-21 school year likely will look different from school years of the past. In order to develop the best possible plan for our community, the district has launched a three-phase rapid-design process to create a plan for the 2020-21 school year. We're doing what we always do in Upper Arlington – gathering as much feedback as possible from students, families and staff.
We'll use the feedback to design possible prototypes for the school year that fit within the guidelines provided by state leaders and health officials. We'll also plan for any future distance-learning needs.
By late June, I plan to make a recommendation to the school board on a plan for the fall semester and the 2020-21 school year.
We've all seen what a fluid situation this has been over the past few months, and we know we will need to continue to be as flexible as possible throughout this process and into the next school year. We can't wait for the day that our schools can be safely filled with the sounds of learning and laughter again.
* Construction continues on schedule and on budget on the first phase of the community-developed facilities master plan. Demolition work began last month on the original parts of the Greensview Elementary School building, and demolition will begin this month on Windermere Elementary School.
Although we were unable to hold community sendoffs for the Greensview, Wickliffe and Windermere buildings as planned this spring, we invite residents to take a virtual walk-through of these buildings. Go to uaschools.org/facilities for those videos and additional updates.
* Thanks to the generous support of the Upper Arlington Education Foundation, the Upper Arlington Community Foundation, our PTOs and others, our free grab-and-go meal program for school-age children will continue through the summer. For pickup times and locations, go to uaschools.org.
* Based on new orders from the governor's office, we will reopen our play fields, running tracks and tennis courts to the community this month. Look for updates on our website as they are available.
Paul Imhoff is superintendent of Upper Arlington Schools. Follow him on Twitter at @imhoffpaul. His office provides this column to ThisWeek Upper Arlington News.