Geauga Public Health Director Tom Quade, left, accepts a formal commendation from the Kenston Board of Education during their June 28 meeting. Seated from left are Assistant Superintendent Jeremy McDevitt and Board President Beth Krause.

Katy McGrath 440-543-9677

Board commends health department

At the June 28 meeting, the Kenston Board of Education presented Geauga Public Health Director Tom Quade with a commendation for his department’s efforts to address the coronavirus pandemic.

Assistant Superintendent Jeremy McDevitt thanked Mr. Quade and his department for their “diligent work with Kenston and other county school districts on back-to-school planning in addition to the weekly guidance that was provided throughout the school year. As well as conducting vaccination clinics for our staff and community and providing vaccination opportunities for 16-18-year-old students this spring,” he said.

“We will continue to work with the health department as decisions are made for returning to school this fall,” Mr. McDevitt continued. “We are fortunate to have Mr. Quade’s strong leadership and committed Geauga Health Department team in place when our county and community needed them most.”

Local businesses honored

Kenston Local Schools and the Board of Education recognized Hungry Bee Gourmet Food Catery, Guido’s Italian Restaurant and Pizzeria, Mazzulo’s Market and Sirna’s Farm Fresh Kitchen with the 2020-2021 Ohio School Board Association Business Honor Roll Awards. These four local businesses were honored for their unwavering support of Kenston’s Family Ties Nights.

Kenston schools recognize and value the importance of family, the district said, adding that it is the most important influence in a child’s life and the reason they strive to nurture and build relationships between families and the school. Family Ties evenings allow families to spend time together with no homework, practices, games, meetings or activities. The district extended its appreciation to the partnerships of these local food establishments in supporting this initiative since its inception.

Timmons steps up to quality

Timmons Elementary School was recently notified that they continue to hold a “5-Star Rating” for the preschool program from the Ohio Department of Education Step Up to Quality Program. The program is reviewed annually, with the next multi-year review scheduled for 2023.

Step Up To Quality is a five-star quality rating and improvement system administered by the Ohio Department of Education and the Department of Job and Family Services. This rating system recognizes and promotes learning and development programs that meet quality program standards that exceed preschool learning expectations and licensing regulations. The measures are based on national research identifying standards that lead to improved outcomes for children.

Four years ago, Kenston Local Schools decided to accept all supervisory and fiscal responsibility for the preschool services located in Timmons Elementary School. Previously, preschool services for students with disabilities were operated within the district by the Geauga County Educational Service Center. With the increase in preschool-eligible students, a consortium with the county and shared services with other school districts were no longer necessary.

The decision allowed Kenston to provide services for all Kenston students within the Kenston District and community, and transportation to programs available across the county was no longer necessary. It made sense for Kenston to begin full oversight of the program. This decision also had financial implications. By operating the program as a part of Timmons school, administrative support and related service personnel efficiencies resulted in a decrease in the cost of preschool programming.

Kenston’s preschool program was first recognized with the 5 Star standard of excellence in 2019.

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