DELPHOS — Changes are coming to the Delphos City Schools this year. The most notable being the entire fifth grade moving to join Jefferson Middle School, leaving Franklin Elementary to house grades kindergarten through four.

It’s going to be a difficult transition, but one that Superintendent Doug Westrick is confident the school and community can manage. Westrick provided details to the planning process of the move, which was helped along by staff and parents.

“We met monthly to talk about what the move would look like,” Westrick began, “and what it is going to take to have a smooth transition this fall.”

Some steps have already been taken to help transition incoming students. Westrick revealed that in May of last year, the middle school held a spring open house to allow students and parents to familiarize themselves with the buildings and layouts.

An upcoming open house will take place from 5-6 p.m. on Aug. 20. The students will have their schedules by this time so that they can locate their classes, locker and plan out their day with the help of parents and older students.

Westrick is hopeful that those with experience will help ease the newcomers into middle school rhythm which will include changing classes more frequently and more electives.

“Our teachers do a good job of sitting down with our kids that first day and helping them break that schedule down,” Westrick explained. “We understand it’s not gonna be an overnight transition so it’s gonna take a little time, but our teachers and our older students understand that because they were there, too.”

Westrick confirmed members of the middle school student council will assist in showing new students around.

“That’s the key, we’ve got great kids in this building and they wanna help,” he stressed. “Probably the biggest help to our kids is the older students.”

The fifth grade teachers have also gone through the transition process by setting up their rooms throughout the spring and summer.

Westrick definitely agreed that placing the fifth graders with older students would encourage them to put more thought into their careers and futures, but he did note a balance on expectations.

“We’re not at that point where we just want to turn them loose and say ‘go get’em,’” he stated. “There’s nothing wrong with allowing those kids to build their confidence about where they’re going and know how to get there.”

Despite all the planning and changes, Westrick expressed no regrets.

“I think this is a great opportunity for Delphos City Schools,” he declared. “I know that it was not a popular decision necessarily to close Landeck and there’s been a lot of great relationships and a lot of good come out of using that facility, but this allows us to be more efficient with our dollars. We no longer need the space out there. We’re thankful that St. John’s (the Baptist) allowed us to rent Landeck facilities for so many years, but the time has come to do this and I’m sure there’s going to be lots of good that comes out of it.”

High School Principal Chad Brinkman also shared some changes coming. There will be more than 90 high school students taking online classes from more than 60 available programs. Brinkman also revealed that the high school will be adding AP art and history classes, Teen Leadership and Jefferson Ambassador programs.

Other notable subjects at the board meeting were the times of the open houses on August 20th. The middle school open house will take place from 5-6:00 p.m. with the Franklin and high school open houses both taking place from 6-7:00 p.m.

The board also approved the following winter coaching recommendations: Chrissy Billiter for girls varsity basketball head coach, Denise Lindeman for girls varsity/JV basketball coach, Jordan Jettinghoff for boys varsity basketball head coach, Mark Jettinghoff for boys varsity/JV basketball coach, Todd Grothaus for boys varsity basketball volunteer coach, Randy McElroy for wrestling head coach, Bub Lindeman for 8th grade girls basketball coach, Ryan Strickler for 8th Grade boys junior high basketball coach and Jeff Stockwell for 7th grade boys junior high basketball coach.