New Knoxville prepares for school year

By Sandy Rose Schwieterman - For the Sidney Daily News

NEW KNOXVILLE – While New Knoxville Schools prepare for a five-day-a-week school schedule, the administration and staff are making plans to deal with COVID-19. At the New Knoxville Board of Education meeting Monday night, much was discussed about the constantly shifting procedures that protect students and staff.

Superintendent Kim Waterman told the board that she would be posting on the school’s website more details about how they will continue the education process while protecting everyone from COVID.

The website posting will detail how classroom spacing will be maximized using areas such as the media center and small cafeteria. It also explains movement between rooms will be minimized, and sanitation wipe-downs done frequently.

Student arrival and dismissal will have K-3 students entering from the playground entrance, grades 4-12 using the elementary entrance, and the IT entrance used by drivers and vehicle riders, and 4-12 bus riders will use the Ranger Entrance. All staff members will park in the South lot, leaving no cars/traffic in North lot.

In accordance with the governor’s mandate, all students and staff will be required to wear masks unless there is a medical circumstance.

A complete listing of procedures and guidelines can be found at

Waterman said the decision to delay the start of the school year to Sept. 1 is allowing teachers to prepare for everything. The teacher preparation days are Aug. 21, 24 to 28 and Aug. 31.

Changes they are considering include how to teach differently, how to arrange the classrooms, always abiding by Health Department standards.

Since on online option is also available for students, teachers have also been educating themselves on their use. Waterman said those taking on-line classes will see a marked difference in the experience. “We did not have much time to prepare for the shift to on-line classes when the school was shutdown in March,” she explained.

As a result, she said, if COVID-19 concerns cause the shut down of school, they feel they are ready.

Grades 4 to 12 principal Jenny Fleddejohann said new student orientation will be held August 15 for new students and 7th graders, where social distancing and masks will be used.

Enrollment outside the school has 19 going to Tri-Star, four in work study programs, four in mentorship, four in the New Bremen Ag program, eight in College Credit Plus classes, three at Apollo Career Center, two at Upper Valley Career Centerf and one at ACE Academy.

In Athletics, following a virtual meeting with students and parents, 18 students plan to participate in high school volleyball, eight in junior high volleyball, 11 in high school cross country, seven in junior high cross country, 19 in high school soccer, and 11 in golf.

The board also approved employment contracts for the following: Caileigh Kirtley and Emily Ruhenkamp advisers for seventh and eighth grade volleyball, Tim Hegemier coaching girls varsity basketball, Stacey Stetler and Olivia Spieles as high school cheerleader advisers.

Substitute van/bus drivers include Terry Halko, Bonnie Rismiller, Becky Dabbelt, Randy Huber, Myndi Young and Marc Dyress.

Sondra Thatcher was hired as a substitute custodian.

Substitute teachers hired include Jay Fledderjohann, Mary Bensman, John Bernstein Dennis Henschen, Deb Cassaza, Susan McDaniel, Dwain Meckstroth and Susan McDaniel.

By Sandy Rose Schwieterman

For the Sidney Daily News

The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.

The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.