August is usually the one month out of the summer that parents start getting their kids ready to go back to school. But Jackson Local Schools use all three summer months to prepare school buildings for students to return.
August is usually the one month out of the summer that parents start getting their kids ready to go back to school. But Jackson Local uses all three summer months to prepare school buildings for students to return.
Every summer, classrooms are cleaned from top to bottom, room changes are made, specialized equipment is serviced, safety inspections are completed. If needed, technology is updated and special projects such as roof repairs are completed.
“Some people in the district may not be aware of what goes on at Jackson Local over the summer months,” said Assistant Superintendent Barry Mason said. “We have staff here year round and the summer months are some of the busiest for us. We have less than three months to get a long list of yearly projects to get finished and a list of special projects to get completed.”
Mason said that teachers return to get their classrooms to setup sometimes three weeks before the first day of school. Plus, many clubs and community groups use the buildings over the summer making the time limits even more critical.
“Our goal this year is to have everything ready by July 29 for teachers and students,” Facilities Manager Ricky White said. “When we deep clean the rooms, we remove all of the furniture and wipe down the entire room starting with the light fixtures and the ceiling. We disinfect the rooms, change any filters, shampoo the carpets and furniture and the hard surface floors get stripped and waxed.”
One of the special projects going on at the high school this summer is the repair of two major sections of the roof. The rainy weather has put the project behind.
“The weather has been an issue this summer,” Mason said. “We are working hard to get the roof repair completed by the first day of school so that we are not disrupting classes with the noise or the odors of hot tar.”
Another project completed this summer is the replacement of the gym floor at Lake Cable Elementary. The PTO helped raise money to buy a new multi-purpose floor for the gym along with replacing the wood backboards with glass and installing basketball hoops that can be lowered for the younger kids. A new scoreboard was also installed.
Yet another project involved the PARCC (Partnership for Assessments of Readiness for College and Careers) initiative where K12 testing is being converted to online testing beginning the 2014/2015 school year.
Mason said that Jackson Local is planning to prepare their students a year in advance so that students are ready for the online tests.
“The kids have to have exposure to moving around an online test so we want to expose them early and often to the testing so we've been getting computer labs ready in the elementary schools,” Mason said. “We need to have a sufficient number of computers available for all of the kids to use. These labs will also be used for other activities.”
Page 2 of 2 - The summer months may seem too short for many kids out of school, but those months seem even shorter sometimes for the staff at Jackson Local.
“The summer months are an exciting time for us here,” Mason said. “We look forward to getting the work done every year. It's a short amount of time to get so much done, but we are always ready for the first day of classes.”