(Posted April 15, 2016)
By Amanda Amsel, Staff Writer
The JA Community Support Coalition continues to meet, with the well-being of students as their sole focus.
The coalition is a collaboration of Jonathan Alder Local Schools staff members, civic and business leaders, and mental health and recovery service providers. The group’s next meeting is at 9 a.m. May 12 at the Pleasant Valley Fire Station, 650 W. Main St., Plain City.
“The group was initiated after the high school and district lost two students to suicide in a two-week period,” said Gary Chapman, Jonathan Alder superintendent, at the April 11 school board meeting. “We realized we can’t do this alone and need community stakeholders to help us through this.”
The group’s objective is to gain an understanding of community agency roles and responsibilities, discern immediate community needs and long-term prevention and support, facilitate enhanced communication and shared resources for children and families, and to share expertise in educating children and families about mental health, suicide prevention and bullying.
At the May 12 meeting, the group will discuss the status of their upcoming resource guide.
“We want the community to know what resources are available to them,” said Cory Righter, administrative assistant for the school district. “This guide will be a comprehensive list of everything that is offered in our area.”
Route 42 safety
The school board announced they are taking further steps to protect the community and students in the wake of a recent tragedy. In March, Zachary George, a senior at Jonathan Alder and Tolles Career and Technical Center, was killed in a collision on Route 42 as he was pulling his vehicle into the career center.
While the speed limit is clearly marked in the area, many have called for installation of flashing lights to further warn drivers of the speed reduction.
“The Ohio Department of Transpor-tation is in control of this and they recently notified us that they will be installing these lights,” Chapman said. “We are hoping these lights will be installed by mid-April and they will bring more attention to the three-mile stretch of school zones in this area.”
A flashing school zone sign has already been installed at Tolles, and new signs will be installed at Jonathan Alder’s high school and junior high school.
Other board action
The school board discussed the trip that several students are taking to France and Spain this summer.
Chapman said security is at the top of the district’s mind, and school officials are taking precautions to protect students.
“We are speaking with EF Tours and Vista to monitor and overseas travel,” he said. “We also are monitoring the U.S. State Department and keeping track of their travel advisories.”
Chapman also announced that Aaron Johnson, the school district’s treasurer, recently won the Ohio Auditor of State Award for 2015. The award recognizes the district’s clean and accurate record keeping and is the highest award a treasurer can get.
The next Jonathan Alder school board meeting is at 6:30 p.m. May 9 in the board conference room on the second floor of the high school. Enter through the side door on the northwest side of the building.