AMBOY – With Amboy students returning to their classrooms last week, the district’s three school principals reported a successful start to the year during the Aug. 24 Board of Education meeting. Amboy High School Principal Janet Crownhart, Amboy Junior High Principal Andrew Full and Central Elementary Principal Joyce Schamberger, each praised everyone’s hard work in getting the buildings ready for students and for helping with the move to the new junior high building.
Superintendent Joshua Nichols also thanked all of the staff, board members and others who came in and helped with the move to the new junior high. “There were a lot of last minute details to get done but we got it accomplished,” he said later in the week. “It’s great to finally have kids in the building - we’re very glad to have them here.”
Nichols said he expects most of the outside work on the building project to be done by mid September, barring any unforeseen problems. The new high school gym is basically done, as well, but they still have to wait a couple weeks for the floor to cure before it can be used. Nichols noted that the high school will have their volleyball season but for now, practices are taking place in the old gym.
The other unfinished area in the new building is the storm shelter, which includes the junior high cafeteria and offices. Nichols said they are still waiting for the storm rated windows, which are supposed to arrive soon. The other missing item is a heavy glass door (storm rated) that will complete the area, but it is still on back order. “Right now, we’re not sure how long that will take, so at this point it’s just a supply concern,” he said.
In the meantime, the junior high offices are set up in the old high school office area and tables are set up in the old gym at lunchtime for junior high students to eat. “We’re staggering lunch times and making adjustments to make it all work for now,” Nichols said.
Amboy High School Principal Janet Crownhart congratulated Nick Tarr, who was named Student of the Year for 2020-21.
Curriculum and School Improvement
• Crownhart reported that seven AHS seniors and four juniors are attending SVCC and then AHS for four classes; four students are attending SVCC, then WACC; three are in the academy at SVCC; there are five co-op students; and 48 attend AHS in the morning, then WACC in the afternoon.
• Four summer school classes were held for English, Geography, Algebra and Health.
• Math and English classes will use a new curriculum this year. Some of the teachers piloted the curriculum last year and Crownhart said they were happy with the selection.
• Spanish will be taught virtually this year through Educere online.
• Crownhart welcomed Katie Henkel to the high school staff. Henkel is a junior high teacher who will teach one course at the high school to help with the high school’s missing special education teacher.
• Freshmen and new student orientation took place on Aug. 17 with the help of Student Council members. There were 54 freshmen and new students present. They received tours of the building, played games, learned cheers and had pizza.
• Fall sports are underway with football, golf and cross-country maintaining their co-op agreements from last year and volleyball adding a co-op agreement with Ohio.
• Mr. Metz, Mrs. Challand and the summer custodial crew did a fantastic job preparing the school for the students’ return. “With the construction it has been challenging, but they worked hard to get it done,” Crownhart said.
• Staff members are completing a book study titled “Significant 72” by Greg Wolcott.
• AHS is starting work on an Education Pathway through a grant provided by the Regional Office of Education. The process will take a couple years to get rolling, but the goal is to give students who wish to go into the field of education a chance to help teachers in the classroom while still in high school.
• First day of school activities were held on Aug. 23 with classes playing Rock-Paper-Scissors, egg toss, marble run, Alleyball, kickball, and ending with tug-of-war. Miss Bus’s homeroom won the class competition.
Amboy Junior High Principal Andrew Full
Curriculum and School Improvement
• Throughout the summer the School Improvement Team met with Anji Garza from the Regional Office of Education to discuss various topics including schedule, discipline handbook, RtI, PBIS, Staff Binders, SEL, Significant 72, Xello, and others.
• Faculty and staff met Aug. 13 and Aug. 17 for Teachers’ Institute and various topics were discussed (welcome back, return to school, faculty meetings, Pathways Grant, Wit and Wisdom, data collection, mandated trainings, and building update).
• The PBIS team met over the summer to discuss an overhaul of the program. PBIS will move from punch cards to more of a monetary system in which students can earn tickets to purchase items monthly.
• 5th-8th grade volleyball has started with coaches Ashley Platz and Jackie Owensby.
• Faculty, staff and students went through the Significant 72 during the first three days of school.
• Full thanked all the summer workers, custodians, and student help for making the move to the new building much easier for the faculty and staff of Amboy Junior High.
Central Elementary Principal Joyce Schamberger
• Schamberger thanked the summer crew and custodians for getting the building in top shape with clean, shiny new floors and rooms.
• Preschool classes began Aug. 26 with 40 preschoolers and a waiting list.
• Central’s Boot Camp was held for one week from 8:30-11 a.m. Camp leaders were Kim Payne, Lisa Moore, Joanie Zimmerly, Jenny Shafer, Ashley Dunlap and Emilie Henkel. Schamberger gave a special thanks to Eileen Piper and all the Teen Turf students who came to help and noted that the camp could not have happened without all their help.
• Book-It - Each month beginning in September, activities will be planned for students who meet their monthly reading goals. The theme this year is Welcome to Camp Central!
• Back Pack Night was held on Aug. 17 from 4-6 p.m. Parents and students were able to come in and meet their teacher.
• During Teachers’ Institute Days, staff members met and continued their work with learning the new ELA and math curriculums, technology trainings and expectations.
• This year, the focus for K-4 will be on student growth. Grade level teams will meet daily to collaborate and plan. Guided reading will continue for K-4th grades and RtI will also continue to help close the gap for students who are not at grade level.
• Clipper Cash will be used at Central to reward positive behaviors. The yearlong theme is “Camping.”
• The PBIS team will meet and make plans for the upcoming year’s quarterly celebrations.
• The revised Return to Learn Plan was approved by the board.
Following closed session, the board accepted the resignation of Kristy Willstead as a paraprofessional. They hired Sara Krabbenhoeft as 6th grade ELA teacher for the 2021-22 school year; Amy Keener as 240-day custodian, effective Aug. 16; Robert Beaty as a bus driver, as of Aug. 11; Lorna Bonnell as bus driver, as of Aug. 19; Sarah Jo Hindriks as bus aide, as of Aug. 16; and they approved the updated high school extra-curricular positions,
The next regular board meeting will take place at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 23 at Central School. All meetings are open to the public.