Road safety addressed on Route 42 near schools


(Posted March 21, 2016)

By Sandi Latimer, Staff Writer

Jonathan Alder Local Schools and Tolles Career and Technical Center have asked the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) to place flashing lights and eliminate passing zones on U.S. Route 42 in school areas. It appears those pleas have been heard.

Last week, both school districts passed resolutions asking again for the safety precautions. An ODOT spokesperson said the project would get under way April 4.

The schools’ latest plea came days after Jonathan Alder student Zachary George was killed when his vehicle collided with a semi-truck in front of Tolles.

Four schools are located in a three-mile stretch of the heavily traveled highway: Canaan Middle School, Jonathan Alder Junior High School, Jonathan Alder High School and Tolles. The speed limit varies from 55 mph in most areas to 20 mph during restricted hours for the schools.

“The project that will install flashing school zone lights at several locations on Route 42 begins April 4, 2016,” said ODOT spokesperson Nancy Burton in an email response to the Madison Messenger. “That’s just a few weeks from now. The project was actually awarded in July 2015 to the contractor who has spent the last few months ordering poles, parts, and electrical components for the locations on 42 and dozens of others.”

Twenty-eight locations in Ohio will get flashing school zone lights. Six of them are in Madison County.

SAIL into summer

This year’s Summer Academy for Innovative Learning (SAIL) program at Canaan Middle School offers a dozen hands-on classes for young children the week of June 6.

Children who have finished grades three through eight are eligible to register for the courses. Morning classes will run from 9 to 11 a.m.; afternoon classes will run from 1 to 3 p.m. Each course costs $50. The deadline to register is April 17.

Morning course offerings are: Community Weavings and Individual Paintings for grades 4-6; Mythbusters for grades 5-8; iMovie Fun and Knights, Knots and Numbers for grades 3-6; and Art in Architecture for grades 3-5.

Afternoon offerings are: Visual Journals for grades 3-4; Archeology Simulation for grades 4-8; Cooking Up Some Science! for grades 3-5; Hip Hop for grades 4-6; Mythbusters for grades 3-4; Painting Your Doodles for grades 4-8; and Creative Writing for grades 5-8.

Work created in the Community Weavings and Individual Paintings will be displayed permanently in and around the community.

New report cards

Students in kindergarten through fourth grade will receive new report cards next year. Instead of showing letter or number grades, the new cards are designed to show what the students are learning and what they should learn by the end of the year, explained principals Kelly Hicks and Leah Ann Childers.

“Our current report cards don’t match what the students are learning,” Childers said.

Both said the hardest task ahead of them is explaining the new cards to parents.

“We have a lot of work ahead of us,” Hicks said, noting that they will talk to parents at PTO meetings.

Teachers and principals will still be able to write comments on the cards.

“We’ll be giving detailed information about what the kids know and where they are going to need help,” Hicks said.

Roof settlement

The school board voted to accept a settlement in the lengthy case involving the roof at Monroe Elementary. The roof had leaked since its installation in 2004, and the district claimed it was defective and needed to be replaced. The district has settled for $410,000.

“We came away in a favorable position,” said Superintendent Gary Chapman.

The board’s next meeting is April 11.

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