April 12, 2021
Published: April 12, 2021
Last Tuesday was a wonderful time for St. James R-I School District as we welcomed the community to the Ribbon Cutting and Open House events. In celebrating this memorable milestone, we were excited to provide community patrons the opportunity to view and learn about the recently completed projects. The Chamber of Commerce hosted the Ribbon Cutting at noon just outside the new atrium on Scioto Street. Later that afternoon, members of the Board of Education, administration, staff, and students welcomed over 70 guests to tour the completed projects at John F. Hodge High School. Guests were given tours by several different district staff. High school band students played a variety of jazz music spanning from the 1920s to b-bop during the tours for a special Tigerized ambiance. The tour started in the new atrium on Scioto. Guests first viewed the Phil West Gymnasium on the east side of the high school. This new auxiliary gym was built to replace the old 1939 gym that was renovated into a new auditorium. After viewing the gym, guests were ushered into the new adjoining locker rooms. The second part of the tour included the renovated high school. This section includes the choir room, band room, nurse’s office, art room entry, downstairs and upstairs classrooms, teacher work space, and restrooms. The last part of the tour was the performing arts auditorium and the atrium area. While in the auditorium, guests were able to watch high school drama students practice for the upcoming play. The majority of the guests listed this space as the most exciting part of the tour. The performing arts auditorium has been something our patrons have wanted for well over 20 years. I am excited to announce that the auditorium will officially be open for our first drama performance of Descendents: The Musical next Thursday, April 22 at 7pm. Guests will be allowed to attend with social distancing guidelines in place. The performance will be repeated at the same time on Friday, April 23 and at 2pm on Saturday, April 24.
As we move beyond construction and COVID-19, the St. James R-I School District continues to move closer to the end of the 2020-2021 academic school year. Teachers have worked hard to maintain normalcy and create environments that support student achievement since last spring. Although we are not yet back to “normal”, we are beginning to slowly bring back some traditional events. Our Junior-Senior Prom is scheduled for Saturday, April 24. Exacting safety precautions will be in place for this event. Invited student guests will be limited and masks will be required. Although some risks will exist, it is important to begin offering a sense of normalcy to our students who have already missed out on so many school experiences last year and this year. Graduation will be Friday, May 21 at 7pm at the football field. Our last day of school will be a half day on Wednesday, May 26. More than ever before, our students and staff are excited to be nearing their summer vacation! Graduating seniors are busy ordering caps and gowns, planning parties, and making continuing education choices for career or college. We congratulate all students on their perseverance and adaptability this year! I would like to thank all parents and the community for your support throughout this school year. There are six weeks before we close the book on the 2020-2021 academic year. Let’s all hope for a worthwhile and enjoyable ending to this school year!