The month of April is the last full month of school, and as such, a very busy month. The busy month will get started upon students return Tuesday, April 6th to the building from a short Spring Break associated with the Easter Holiday. Our annual Kindergarten Screening will take place April 7th and 8th. That weekend, April 9th – 11th, our musical department will put their hours of preparation on display with the high school musical entitled, “Guys and Dolls.” Our Fine Arts program will also be on display during our Arts Festival scheduled for April 17th. From a core academic standpoint, our staff and students have been preparing for the annual state assessments that will be given to students in grades 3 – 12 during the mid to latter half of the month. Our spring athletic teams have also been busy preparing for an onslaught of baseball and softball games and track & field meets that will take place throughout the month. When attending a softball or baseball game this spring, you will notice two large billboards that display the accomplishments of our two teams during the 2019 season. A special thanks to Christy Williamson and the Vulcraft Corporation for the donation of the billboard structures.
We are excited to announce that our Board of Education has given the approval to move forward with our plans toward the development and potential construction of an Innovation and Aquaponics Center to be located in the proximity of the patio area. The plans were put on hold last fall due to the uncertainty of the impact the pandemic would have on the multiple facets affecting school funding at the state and local level. At this point, it appears the pandemic has had minimal effect on our school funding and will be able to proceed with our plans. The Innovation Center will feature a Discovery Lab space for our elementary students and a Fab Lab space for our middle and high school age students. Also included in the innovation center is a multimedia/sound control studio and a technology hub area. The Aquaponics Center will have a corridor connection to the Innovation Center and feature a greenhouse structure. The greenhouse will serve as a teaching tool area for core STEM subjects such as math, biology, chemistry, and engineering and areas of study including economics, marketing, and nutrition. Students will have the opportunity to study fish, plants, and bacteria interacting in a living ecosystem. Students will also have the opportunity to perform water quality tests and measure growth rates in fish and plants and additionally, produce food items for consumption.
Plans are also in the works to relocate for the 2021-2022 school year, our students who currently attend the Synergy Learning Center in Van Wert, to a new center to be located in Paulding. The plan is for Antwerp Local, Paulding Exempted Village, and Wayne Trace Local to utilize the Parc Lane Alternate Learning Center in Paulding as an alternate educational setting with expanding opportunities to serve students in an environment more conducive to their academic and behavior needs. The education center will house between 40 -50 middle and high school age students. Students will be provided numerous wrap-around services that will help to ensure their success.
The school district will utilize a new alert system beginning July 1st. The system is called Instant Connect and will replace the retiring Honeywell Instant Alert system that has been used by the district for many years. The Instant Connect System has many new and improved features including an app that will notify you of upcoming events. More details will be shared with you during the next few months.
As always, thanks for your support of our school district.
Martin A. Miller, Antwerp Local Schools Superintendent