I’d like to thank the Metro staff, students and families for all of your support over the past 18 months. We navigated through many challenges during the 2020 school year and I’m very proud of the work our staff and students produced. We are not quite back to pre-pandemic school yet, but more is known about COVID-19 and we are learning how to live with it in our midst. We are excited for this new school year and the ability to welcome students back to Metro for in-person learning.
There have been some administrative changes within our building: Ms. Krista Miller will be leading the high school we welcome Mr. Benjamin McKibben to Metro, who will serve as Assistant Principal. Ms. Claire Anthony will head the middle school with Ms. Alice Kennedy serving as full time Dean of Students. Each administrator has put together a great team and we are busy preparing to have your students in our classrooms.
As promised, I wanted to give an update on the school expansion plan. On July 8, the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission voted to approve the renovation of Indianola Middle School at 420 E. 19th Avenue. Their contribution to the project is approximately $15 million. Battelle has committed the other $15 million match, but is seeking partnerships for this community investment. We are happy to announce that AEP has signed up and generously provided a $1.5 million gift toward the project. We will soon begin meeting with architects, designers, construction firms and students/families to collect data and develop our ideas into an actionable plan. Your input will be vital in creating a space that works for the students of Metro for years to come.
We have been continually monitoring the safety recommendations and protocols for the 2021-22 school year. All students will be onsite, so we are incorporating additional safety measures per the recommendations of the CDC and the Ohio Department of Health. There are a few things that you and your family can do to help our students remain in a safe environment and in school:
- Keep your student(s) home if they have signs of illness
- Any eligible student is encouraged to get vaccinated
Metro has also put some measures in place to assist with student and staff safety:
Onsite Masking - We expect all students & staff to wear a mask while on the Metro/PAST campus. Most districts will also require masks for students on buses.
Onsite Nurse - We welcome our first school nurse, who will be at Metro approximately 20 hours per week to assist with healthcare needs.
Onsite Testing - Battelle is running the U.S Department of Health & Human Services regional coordination of COVID testing centers to help schools and other settings safely reopen and remain open. Metro has been offered the opportunity to participate in weekly testing of students and staff. Battelle will partner Metro with a testing lab, provide training and support on program participation, coordinate distribution/collection of supplies and the reporting of results.How it will work: Students and staff who opt in will be assigned to a cohort within Metro. Each cohort will have a day of the week to be tested with self-administered simple short nose swabs (not the deep nose swab). Swabs will be placed in collection tubes in groups of 5-10. By the next day, we will be notified if any group produced a positive result. If there is a positive result, that group will re-test and individual results will be sent directly to the family. Positive test results will be communicated to databases by zip code and nothing else. We encourage everyone to participate.
If you live in the Columbus, Groveport, Hilliard or South-Western districts and plan to use your home district's bus to Metro, it is vital that you are registered well in advance. Visit our website for bus registration instructions.
We hope you have enjoyed a safe and restful summer. Our staff is looking forward to a great year of growth and learning together!
Meka Pace, Superintendent