By kalea hall
Austintown school board members and Superintendent Vince Colaluca thanked everyone who helped and supported the district during the closing of four buildings and opening of two new buildings.
“This was a historic start of the school year,” Colaluca said at a board meeting Tuesday in the Austintown Middle School cafeteria.
Although there were some adjustments made in the district with new schools and new administration leading some of the schools, all of the principals for each school gave promising reports of a good start to the school year.
“[The students] love our new schools,” said Kathy Mock, school board member.
The new K-2 and 3-5 schools opened Sept. 4 after the closing of Davis, Lloyd, Lynn Kirk and Woodside elementary schools.
Frank Ohl Intermediate School also was closed.
Lynn Kirk is the only school the district kept, as an early learning center.
In order to open the schools, the custodial staff and teaching staff had to quickly transport and unload 10,000 boxes of materials for the schools. Colaluca said the custodial staff had all of the boxes where they needed to be within six days.
“The custodial staff did an unbelievable job,” Colaluca said.
Traffic flow was one of the issues Colaluca discussed at the meeting as one of the adjustments that had to be made for the new schools.
“It’s already gotten a lot better,” Colaluca said.
Also at the meeting, David Mullane, director of instruction, gave a report to the board on district security. Raptor software is now being used in all of the buildings in the district. For any visitor wishing to enter a building, a driver’s license must be scanned. Raptor checks to see if the person entering is a registered sex offender.
Austintown officers are also in all four of the district buildings to make sure they are secure, Mullane said.
Also at the meeting, Jennifer Houston, an art teacher for the district, was recognized by the board for her work on five paintings of the schools the district replaced. All of the paintings will be placed inside the two new buildings as a way to remember them, Colaluca said.