By Denny Morrison
The Ohio State Board of Education has granted the Xenia Community City School District one of its inaugural Momentum Awards. The Momentum Award recognizes districts that have received As on every value-added measure included on Ohio’s school and district report cards. Our school district was one of 53 districts in Ohio out of 614 to receive this award (top 8 percent). In addition, 165 schools out of 3,550 across the state earned this designation (top 4 precent). Three of these schools are in Xenia. Congratulations to Arrowood, Cox, and Central Middle School for earning this Award. Great job.
Foundation seeks grant applications: The Xenia Community Schools Foundation is seeking a first round of applications for classroom grants for next school year. Applications submitted by today, May 31, will be reviewed by the Grants Committee in early June. Applicants will be given notice of the XCSF Board of Directors’ decisions by June 30. XCSF grant funds will total $25,000 for the 2016-2017 school year.
Summer reading important: I hope that high quality education continues over the summer. Help us drive home the importance of learning when school is not in session. Please encourage all students to read at least 15 minutes each day. Please encourage students to connect with the local library. Encouragement can be connected to the progress that we have made as evidenced by our Momentum Award from ODE.
Altrusa’s “Let’s Read” Grant: The Altrusa International Club in Xenia just received a $1,500 grant for a free book project. The plan for the grant is to host a booth at First Fridays each month in Xenia through September and to give a free book to any child (K-5) who comes to the booth and completes a word-related worksheet appropriate to their grade. Please encourage parents to bring their children to the booth.
Preschool news: Xenia Preschool recently packed Benner Fieldhouse for the third annual Xenia preschool graduation ceremony. More than 350 parents and staff members were on hand to see 122 of Xenia’s youngest Buccaneers receive recognition. The students performed special music for the crowd and Josh Newport individually recognized each child with a certificate. After the ceremony, the students and their families headed to the preschool cafeteria for refreshments and a special gift. To build excitement for the event, the preschool handed out special preschool T-shirts. The ceremony was a great way to cap off a fun and very successful year. Congratulations graduates.
McKinley news: Kindergarten classes recently held a music program and ice cream social. The ice cream was provided by the Dairy Station. The fourth-grade classes visited the Charles Young Museum in Wilberforce while the fifth-grade students had FFA Day May 20 Friday. McKinley held field day May 18. Everyone had fun playing games, going through the bouncy house, and of course, the tug of war. The Xenia Rotary Club helped to sponsor this event. The fifth-graders tie-dyed T-shirts with all their names on the back.
Science is fun: Summer science camp will run June 6-10. There are 93 campers signed up in grades 2-5. There were more than 300 applications. The students are going to learn a lot and have a great time.
Warner news: Almost 100 Warner eighth-grade students are back safe and sound from their trip to Washington, D.C. The students were well behaved and had the experience of a lifetime. Thanks to the students for their excellent behavior and to all of the staff members who worked hard to make this unforgettable trip possible- especially Jason Shirley, the organizer of the adventure. Great job.
Xenia High School news: Eighty-four students were set to leave for Florida with Bill Richey May 27. I am sure they will have a great time and learn a lot. Enclave is a program that runs through partnership with XHS and Greene Memorial Hospital. It has been running for more than two decades and gives half a dozen of our students a chance to learn work related skills in the hospital. It is extremely successful and has a dramatic effect on the students involved. John Opatrny oversees the program and Tammy VanDine supports and supervises the students at the hospital daily.
Adaptive Physical Education Field Day: Our school district recently held its first adaptive field day for students with disabilities. Students with unique disabilities from elementary to high school were brought together for this fun event. The festivities took place in the field between Arrowood and Warner. Students were able to compete in events against peers with similar abilities allowing for an exciting day of fun and competition. Students competed in fun activities consisting of lawn bowling, bubbles, face paint, bean bag toss, egg carry, bouncy house, balloon popping and the softball throw. Several students raced against each other in a 50-meter or 20-meter race, while parents were there to cheer them on.
July 4 program: The First Church of Christ is presenting the patriotic program “Star Spangled Spectacular” 7 p.m. June 29-30 and July 1-2. This year there will be live music provided by Greg Sell and the XHS Jazz Band. They are going to be the “big band” in a recording studio playing many of the Glenn Miller hits. The XHS Jazz Band is also doing a pre-concert show of favorite summertime hits 30 minutes before the show begins. Bill and Barb Richey wrote the script for the program.
No Bull Contest: Joseph Burrell is in a Tech B class at XHS. They had a school project to create a pow-toons video related to anti-bullying. He decided to enter into the Great American No Bull Challenge. His video was named Best Message Public Service Announcement out of 140 students nation-wide who entered the contest. Great job Joe. We are so proud of you.
OSBA Student Achievement Fair: The OSBA Capital Conference Student Achievement Fair highlights outstanding student performance groups and fresh, innovative initiatives from school districts across Ohio. The fair will be held 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 15 during the OSBA Capital Conference. OSBA will choose one school district performing group from each of Ohio’s five regions to perform during the Student Achievement Fair. OSBA is also accepting nominations for district programs showcasing exemplary programs that improve student achievement. The nomination deadline is Friday, June 24. With all of the great things happening in our school district, I hope that we can submit some nominations. Please let me know if you have any questions. Thanks in advance.
Denny Morrison is superintendent of Xenia Community Schools.