Prom and graduation are a go at Jonathan Alder

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(Posted March 9, 2021)

By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

As plans now stand, prom and graduation are on for students at Jonathan Alder High School.

Superintendent Gary Chapman announced the news, along with updates on other spring activities, at the March 8 school board meeting.

Prom is set for April 17 at Swan Lake Event Center in Powell. Graduation will take place at 2 p.m. May 30. In case of bad weather, the ceremony will take place at 7 p.m. the same day.

“That is going to look completely different in that it will be at Performance Stadium, outdoors. We’ll use that area there to maintain social distancing,” Chapman said.

The district is awaiting guidance from state and local officials before moving forward with other spring events and activities, such as awards ceremonies, field trips, talent shows, book fairs, and clap-outs. The eighth-grade trip to Washington D.C. has been cancelled.

Other upcoming dates of note include March 19, the day school employees receive their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Spring break is slated for March 29-April 2. The district has set April 5 as a calamity makeup day; the district missed six school days to snow in February.

As of March 4, Jonathan Alder students across all grades are back to full-time, in-person instruction in the school buildings.

“We had a few kinks, as you might expect,” Chapman said. “It was kind of like the first day of school over again in March, but otherwise it’s been a wonderful start. It’s great to see all the kids back in the classrooms.”

He thanked the bus drivers, foodservice team, custodians, teachers and everyone else who helped with the transition.

The district is collaborating with other central Ohio schools to create a recovery plan to address learning gaps created by the pandemic. Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine is requiring every school district in the state to post a recovery plan by April 1.

Jonathan Alder, along with other area districts, is adopting the “Bridge” concept which focuses on four points of progress: social/emotional well-being, academic achievement, culture and climate, and equity and accessibility.

“This is the work that we regularly do, but the scale of our efforts and the size of the need for these resources is greater than ever before,” Chapman said.

In other action, the school board accepted donations from several entities for installation of a new scoreboard for the high school softball field. Tim Dawson, owner of The Grainery and Pioneer Pizza, donated $15,000 toward the project. Doug Phelps of Union Propane and Greg Jacobs made donations valued at $10,000 for the foundation drilling and concrete for steel supports. Ron Yoder of R&T Electric donated approximately $2,000 for the electric installation.

The board recognized students who participated in the Madison County Spelling Bee. Anna Engle, a member of the Jonathan Alder Junior High team, was this year’s spelling bee champion.

The next school board meeting is set for April 12 at 5:30 p.m. in the high school library.

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