The Youngstown City School District (YCSD) is getting ready to start up the new school year. This year the district is beginning with reconfigured schools, more health clinics, new personnel and some familiar faces in different places.

All YCSD schools are set to begin their school year on Tuesday, Sept. 7 with the exception of Youngstown Rayen Early College and Rayen Early College Middle School, which started on Wednesday, Aug. 18.

Masks will be required for all students and staff members at each YCSD school. According to YCSD CEO, Justin Jennings, this is not a political statement, but an effort to keep students and faculty safe.

"It's not political at all. We're putting everybody's health and safety first and foremost," Jennings said.

School supplies will be provided to families, however backpacks are the sole responsibility of the family.

YCSD will be changing its structure this year, bringing back middle schools that house 6th through 8th graders and six elementary schools housing preschool through 5th graders. 

The reconfiguration will also introduce the YOUCare Quickmed Clinics inside more YCSD schools including two middle schools. These clinics opened at East High School, as well as Chaney in 2020.

Staff changes will also take place. Dr. Maureen Donofrio, former assistant principal for Harding Elementary School will relocate to Rayen East College Middle School (RECMS) as the new principal. Former assistant principal for Paul C. Bunn Elementary will also relocate to RECMS as the new assistant principal. Raymond Salyard will be RECMS's new dean.

Former assistant principal for McGuffey Elementary School, Tara Amill will relocate to Youngstown Rayen Early College (YREC) as the new assistant principal. Monica Jones will retain her role as principal and John Grahovac will retain his role as school administrator.

RECMS has also relocated. Formerly located inside Chaney High School, the school now has its own building at 58 Williamson Ave.

The district will also be getting two new middle schools: East Middle School, which will be located at the P. Ross Berry Campus and Chaney Middle School at the McGuffey campus.

Former Martin Luther King Elementary School principal, Artemus Scissum will be the principal for East Middle School, and his assistant principals will be former Taft Elementary dean, Leslie Kitchen and Jamie Campbell who worked as an instructional coach in the district.

Former McGuffey Elementary principal, Eboni Williams, who worked with 5th-8th grade students will be the principal for Chaney Middle School. Assistant principals will be former McGuffey Elementary assistant principal, Tim Filopovich and former RECMS assistant principal, Aadrian Yancey. Aderonia Foreback will be the new dean.

Matt Snipes, who originally worked at Mahoning County High School is now the principal for YCSD Alternative.

The new YCSD Virtual Academy will be led by former Kirkmere Elementary principal, Roshay Huff. Quiana Faison, who was a teacher last year will be the dean of the Virtual Academy.

The district also shifted to six elementary schools housing preschoolers through 5th graders.

Volney Rogers Elementary School's positions will remain unchanged.

Harding Elementary has a new team of former assistant principal for Wilson, Bryan Whitmore as principal, former Williamson Elementary assistant principal, Dave Bermann as assistant principal and Carl Sims as dean.

Kirkmere Elementary School sees former Williamson principal, Michelle Payich as principal, Anthony Lordi, who formerly served as a dean as assistant principal and Latisha Tucker as dean.

Martin Luther King Elementary is promoting Nichole Hanley from assistant principal to principal. Dan Smith, who was originally the dean for the school is now assistant principal and long-time district teacher Jennifer Kluchar is now the dean.

Paul C. Bunn Elementary's staff will remain the same except for former assistant principal for Taft Elementary, Karen Klem as new assistant principal.

Tod Morris will retain his role as Taft principal and will be joined by former Kirkmere assistant principal Greg Kibler as assistant principal and former YCSD social worker, Ronnie Hunter as dean.

Choffin Career and Technical Center will retain its staff except for former dean of East High Denise Zordich as the new dean.

Chaney's leadership team remains unchanged.

East High School is promoting Debra Campbell from assistant principal to principal. Dr. Sheryl Cross from Central Ohio will be the new assistant principal. The dean will remain unchanged, but two new deans will come in the form of Mark Assion and Chivas Whipple who served as the school's football and basketball coaches respectively.

Former McGuffey principal of lower grades, Aaron Bouie III joins the Central Office as the executive director of the preschool through 5th grade curriculum.

Former RECMS principal, Bridget Lambright-Tommello will be YCSD's new K-12 STEM coordinator.

Former MLK principal, Joan Mingo is moving to the Central Office as culture and climate specialist. Amanda McGinnis is the district's new grants and special programs coordinator.