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Friday Firebird Focus -- May 28, 2021

Superintendent Scott Inskeep's "Friday Firebird Focus"

 

 

 

Superintendent Scott Inskeep's "Friday Firebird Focus" will provide information and updates each Friday on current events, district happenings and activities for the 2020-2021 school year.

 

Friday, May 28, 2021

KCS  Families and Staff:

It’s hard to believe that this is the final “Friday Firebird Focus” of the 2020-2021 school year! It seems fitting to take this time to recognize two dedicated administrators who will be retiring from the Kettering Schools at the end of the current school year.

I join the Kettering Board of Education in extending our sincere appreciation to Monica Enix and Debbie Mears for their service to the students, families and staff of our district. Monica came to the Kettering Schools in 2013 as the principal of John F. Kennedy Elementary School, a position she will have held for eight years when she retires this summer.

Debbie joined the Kettering Schools as the principal of Southdale Elementary School in 2005. She served in this position for five school years before leaving the district to pursue other opportunities. The Kettering Schools drew Mears back to the district in 2014, when she was hired as the director of Human Resources and Student Services. In 2016, she moved to the position of director of Instructional Services, a position she held until 2019, when she was named director of Early Childhood Education for the district. With a combined two decades of service, the talents and commitment of Monica and Debbie will be greatly missed by the Kettering City Schools.

 

I would also like to take this opportunity to recognize Ken Lackey, director of Business Services for the district. Ken has been selected as the 2021 Ohio Association of School Business Officials (OASBO) Outstanding Business Operations Manager of the Year. This prestigious award is presented annually to one School Business Manager from across Ohio in recognition of the successful management of public dollars, personal successes and accomplishments and selfless service to their school district, their profession and their community.

We thank Ken for representing his profession, the Kettering City School District and the Kettering Community so well through his selection by his peers across the state for this award.

 

At its meeting on Tuesday, the Kettering Board of Education approved  Ryan Schlater as the new assistant principal at John F. Kennedy Elementary School. Ryan will replace Laura Meek, who has been named the new principal at JFK, with Monica Enix’s retirement.

Ryan has served as the assistant principal in the Wilmington City School District for the past two years. He split his responsibilities between the district’s K-2 and 3-4 buildings in his first year as an assistant principal with Wilmington City Schools and spent his time this year serving full-time as the assistant principal in the district’s K-2 building.

Ryan has also served as a teacher in 1st-, 2nd- and 3rd-grade classrooms while with Wilmington City Schools. “My wife and I live in Troy, and we have two kids. My son, Jason, is 6-years-old and is just finishing kindergarten, while my daughter, Carly, just turned four over the weekend and is in preschool. We love being outdoors and recently started going camping. I am looking forward to moving to John F. Kennedy Elementary School and building relationships with the students, families and staff.”

Congratulations, Laura, and welcome, Ryan!

 

We Remember and We Celebrate Military Enlistees!

As we observe Memorial Day, we remember the many who have made the ultimate sacrifice to protect our freedoms and thank all who serve and are serving to protect our country. We also salute our Fairmont High School Graduates who have made the noble decision to serve the United States of America as military enlistees:

Kyla Bailey -- Air Force

Cooper Bowen -- Air Force

Wade  Brees -- Army

Rylin Candela -- Army National Guard

Ashley Daniels -- Air Force

Gabe Davis -- Army

London Foreman -- Air Force

Shane  Frei -- Marines

Nicholas Georgescu -- Army National Guard

Austin Hedges -- Marines

Dillon  Kenney -- Air Force

Jayden Lemasters -- Marines

Mason Minge -- Army National Guard

Sara Noel -- Air Force

Cole Prim -- Navy

Kinsey Prim -- Navy

James  Sharpe -- United States Military Academy at West Point

Kyle Smith -- Army National Guard

Logan  Stone -- Marines

Julia White -- Army National Guard

 

Message from Gov. Mike Dewine

Please see this message from Ohio Gov. DeWine regarding continued safety measures as we finish out the 2020-2021 school year.

In keeping with Gov. DeWine’s message and because our June Summer School programming is an extension of the current school year, we will continue to ask students in these programs to wear masks/face coverings while in our buildings and to ask staff to wear masks/face coverings when directly interacting with students.

 

Please watch for beginning-of-the-school-year updates as we get closer to the start of the 2021-2022 school year.

 

My sincere thank you to everyone for all that you have done -- going above-and-beyond during this challenging year -- to help make it a good and impactful year of learning for students across the district. We could not have done this without you!

 

I hope everyone has a wonderful summer break and that you get the opportunity to relax with family members and friends – you all deserve it!

Scott Inskeep
Superintendent

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Summer Curbside Meal Pick-Up

KCS’s Food & Nutrition Services Department will provide curbside pick-up of breakfast and lunch meals on Mondays (for Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays) and on Thursdays (for Thursdays and Fridays), beginning on June 7, and running through August 5. Kettering Backpack Program will be distributing non-perishable food items for the weekend on Thursdays. Curbside meal and backpack distribution will take place at Greenmont Elementary School.

 

Community Events and Activities

Delco Park Fishing Derby – Sponsored by the Dor-Wood Optimist Club; the Kettering Police Department; and the Kettering Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts Department. Visit www.playkettering.org or call 937-296-2477 for more information. 

 

Oakwood United Soccer – Tryouts set for June 1 and 2 and June 7 and 8 – PLEASE SEE ATTACHED

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friday, May 21, 2021

KCS Families and Staff:

Congratulations to the 2021 graduates of Kettering Fairmont High School. Seniors, family members and staff gathered at the beautifully renovated University of Dayton Arena last night for an amazing celebration of our graduates and all of their accomplishments over their four years at Fairmont High School.

As Board of Education President Jim Ambrose noted as he and the Board acknowledged the Class of 2021, this is a very special and historical graduating class, having spent nearly half of their high school career living through a pandemic.

I am so glad that Fairmont principal Tyler Alexander, his staff and the staff at UD Arena were able to give our seniors such a beautiful and fitting graduation ceremony. We thank our parents and guardians for all of your support during this difficult year, we salute our seniors for not just surviving, but truly thriving under challenging circumstances, and we wish all of our graduates the very best as you embark on the next chapter of your lives.

If you were not able to attend or watch the livestream of the 2021 Kettering Fairmont High School Commencement (or you’d like to see it again!) I encourage you to view the ceremony using this link.

Eleventh Hour and Fairmont Jazz 1 (under the direction of Bryce Newton) wowed the crowd with their performances during graduation. A huge "shout out"to these students for sharing their talents; and to Interactive Media instructor,Laura Hutchens; Fairmont Performing Arts Facilities manager, John Gentry; and junior Interactive Media student, Austin Fairres; for their amazing audio and
camera work on the videos.


You can watch both performances at these links:
Eleventh Hour -- https://bit.ly/3fyDrzq
Jazz 1 Band -- https://bit.ly/342S5tp

Plans for Extended Learning and the 2021-2022 School Year

Our Teachingand Learning Department, together with input from teachers across the district, has developed a detailed Extended Learning Plan for KCS students that has included work during the current school year, as well as plans for intervention during summer programming scheduled for June. 

We currently have a number of teachers who are working with students after school to assist in filling in those gaps that may have developed with student learning as we have navigated this unusual school year. This extended learning will continue as we offer more summer programming than ever before to intervene with our elementary students and to work with our middle and high school students to make sure they are passing classes and getting credits to remain on-track to graduate. The parents/guardians of students for whom our teachers and principals feel this intervention will be beneficial should have been contacted by staff with details for the summer programming.

As we look toward the 2021-2022 school year, I am excited that we will be returning to in-person, five-day-a-week learning. In talking with our assistant superintendent of Teaching and Learning, Dan Von Handorf, he noted that “Through all of this, we have learned that there is no substitute for in-person learning. When our kids were able to come back, you could just see the positive impact as they were able to rekindle relationships with their teachers and classmates. We are all really excited at the prospect of returning to our core business that we know grows kids and helps make them successful.”

While we know that in-person learning is the most effective method for the majority of our students, we acknowledge that there may be some students for whom this mode of learning is still not going to work as we embark on a new school year. Remote learning in the fall is going to look very different than it did this year. For this reason, we ask that you reach out to your child’s building principal if you feel that in-person learning is not going to be the right fit for your child. Our principals will work with families to find the best option for children so that all students can continue to grow.

Enjoy your weekend!


Scott Inskeep
Superintendent

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Summer Curbside Meal Pick-Up

KCS’s Food & Nutrition Services Department will provide curbside pick-up of breakfast and lunch meals on Mondays (for Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays) and on Thursdays (for Thursdays and Fridays), beginning on June 7, and running through August 5. 

Kettering Backpack Program will be distributing non-perishable food items for the weekend on Thursdays. Curbside meal and backpack distribution will take place at Greenmont Elementary School.

PLEASE PUT THE ATTACHED “KETTERING SUMMER KITCHEN” FLYER ON YOUR REFRIGERATOR AS A REMINDER THAT MEALS WILL BE AVAILABLE FOR PICK-UP THIS SUMMER!

 

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Community Events and Activities

Washington Heights Baptist Church announces Summer 2021 Activities -- Please see flyer

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Friday, May 14, 2021

KCS Families and Staff:

Congratulations to the Fairmont High School Class of 2021

The administration and staff at Fairmont High School are looking forward to holding in-person commencement exercises this year for the graduating seniors of the Class of 2021!

Fairmont’s seniors will march at a ceremony scheduled for Thursday, May 20, at 7 p.m., at the University of Dayton Arena. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, this will be a ticketed event, and each senior will be provided with a total of four tickets for family members and friends.

In an effort to make sure that all who may want to view the graduation ceremony are able to, Fairmont’s Commencement ceremony will be livestreamed in its entirety. Please click on this link to access the livestream of Fairmont High School's 2021 Graduation. The link will open approximately 30 minutes before the start of the graduation ceremony.

I’d also like to congratulate Fairmont High School’s 2021 Valedictorian, Sophia Toth, and the 2021 Salutatorian, Kathleen Schreel. May you and the entire Class of 2021 find much success and happiness in whatever paths you follow as you leave Fairmont High School.

 

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Sophia Toth, FHS 2021 Valedictorian
 
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Kathleen Schreel, FHS 2021 Salutatorian

 

Three Educators to be Inducted into 2021 Roush Hall of Fame

After having to cancel the Roush Hall of Fame ceremony last year due to the pandemic, the Hall of Fame Selection Committee is pleased to announce the three deserving individuals who will be inducted into the 2021 Chester A. Roush Educational Hall of Fame.

Congratulations to Peg Engelhardt, Ardith Hurst Hargrave, and Larry Lamb, the 2021 Roush Hall of Fame inductees. An induction ceremony and reception in honor of Peg, Ardith and Larry is scheduled for Tuesday, August 31, at Fairmont High School. Additional details will be made available as the date of the program approaches. 

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 April’s KCS Wellness Challenge Winners

Congratulations to Ashley McCarish and Taylor Herbert, winners of the April Wellness Challenge. In April, staff members were challenged to participate in a variety of fitness and wellness activities, including stretching, strength training, yoga, and preparing healthy and nutritious meals. Staff members who complete 75 percent of the suggested activities during the month are entered into a drawing for fitness and wellness prizes.

McCarish, an intervention specialist at Greenmont Elementary School, won a set of resistance bands, while Taylor Herbert, a kindergarten teacher at John F. Kennedy Elementary, won a jump rope. Thanks for making a commitment to wellness, Ashley and Taylor!

KCS Staff – It’s not too late to join in on the fun of the KCS Wellness Committee’s May Wellness Challenge – Tour de Kettering! In this month’s challenge, staff are encouraged to explore the many parks in Kettering while engaging in physical activities, such as walking, running, biking and/or hiking. You can join in the fun of the Tour de Kettering using this link

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Summer Meal Program

KCS’s Food & Nutrition Services Department will once again provide meals during the summer to any child, ages 0-18, free-of-charge. Curbside pick-up of breakfast and lunch meals will be available at Greenmont Elementary School (corner of Briedweng Ave.  and Wren Circle) from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Curbside meal pick-up will take place on Mondays and Thursdays, beginning on Monday, June 7, and continuing through Thursday, August 5. Parents/guardians are welcome to bring their child(ren) with them to the meal pick-ups, but this will not be required. If you have questions regarding KCS’s Summer Meal Program, please contact Kari Basson in the Community Relations Office, at kari.basson@ketteringschools.org

 

Events and Activities of Interest to Community

Dor-Wood Optimist Club Friend of Youth, Citizen of the Year Award

The Dor-Wood Optimist Club is accepting nominations for the “Friend of Youth, Citizen of the Year” award. This award recognizes an individual for his/her outstanding contributions to the growth and development of youth. Nominations are being accepted through July 31, 2021. Additional award information and a printable nomination form can be downloaded at https://www.dorwood.org/friend-of-youth

Dayton Metro Library Summer Challenge

Children up to grade 12 can participate in the Dayton Metro Library’s Summer Challenge, where they can earn points toward some great prizes by READING, LEARNING AND HELPING during the summer months. Visit http://daytonmetrolibrary.org/summer or your favorite Dayton Metro Library branch for additional information and to register for the Tails and Tales Summer Challenge. The challenge runs from June 1 through August 1, 2021.

CUSA Holding Soccer Tryouts

CUSA will hold summer tryouts for boys and girls ages 6-19 on June 1, 2021, from 5-8 p.m. Register at http://www.cusasoccer.org/ -- 

Classroom Antics Summer STEAM Camps

Classroom Antics is holding STEAM Camps for 7-13-year-olds. Visit the website at www.classroomantics.com for additional information.

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Friday, May 7, 2021

KCS Families and Staff:
 

Thank you to all who helped us show our teachers and staff how much they are appreciated as we celebrated Teacher and Staff Appreciation Week this week! We have amazing teachers and staff members who go above-and-beyond to teach and support our students, and I hope you all know how much you are appreciated this week...and every week! 

Today's was our Seniors' last day of school, and we have just 3 1/2 weeks of school left in this unique school year. Let's finish strong!

-- Scott Inskeep
Superintendent

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Reminder – 60-minute Early Dismissal Scheduled for May 12

Students in the Kettering Schools will have an Early Dismissal this coming Wednesday, May 12.

Students will be dismissed at the following times:
Elementary School – 12:30 p.m.
Middle School – 1:40 p.m.
High School – 1:05 p.m.

If you have questions about early dismissals, please contact your child’s building or unit principal.

 

Congratulations to Southdale Elementary School Author!

Southdale Elementary School 4th grader, Audrey Dolson, has written a children's book about recycling titled, “Rachel the Recycling Fairy,” and, with the help of her teacher, Olivia Pannek, has had the book published.  Students in Pannek’s class were challenged to identify their passion and create a project to share information about their chosen topic with others. Audrey spent months researching, writing, illustrating, and working with her publisher to create a book that teaches young students about recycling, To celebrate her accomplishment, Audrey's classmates threw her a surprise book signing and reading, and her book is now available to check out at the Southdale Elementary Library and at the Dayton Metro Library! 

 

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Graduation 2021

The administration and staff at Fairmont High School are looking forward to holding in-person commencement exercises this year for the graduating seniors of the Class of 2021. Fairmont’s seniors will march at a ceremony scheduled for Thursday, May 20, at 7 p.m., at the University of Dayton Arena. 

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, this will be a ticketed event, and each senior will be provided with a total of four tickets for family members and friends.  In an effort to make sure that all who may want to view the graduation ceremony are able to, Fairmont principal, Tyler Alexander, is working with UD staff to livestream the ceremony in its entirety. A link to access the Fairmont High School Class of 2021 Graduation livestream is posted to the district’s website at www.ketteringschools.org.

 

Physicals Available at Kettering Sports Medicine on May 17

Kettering Sports Medicine, located at 4403 Far Hills Avenue, is an OHSAA Pre-Participation Physical Exams provider.  KCS athletes can register for their physicals in the Fairmont Athletic Office, with a registration deadline of May 14, at 3 p.m. Physicals will be conducted at Kettering Sports Medicine on Monday, May 17. Registration is required and there will be NO WALK-INS.  Please see the attached flyer for additional information; visit www.firebirdathletics.com and click on “Athletic Participation Form” under the MORE tab to start your Final Forms registration.

 

2021-2022 School Calendar

The 2021-2022 School Calendar is posted to the district website under “Parent Links.” You can  access a copy next year’s calendar here.

 

Check out this Online Resource…By Students. For Students

Ascend Innovations partnered with GetHelpNow --  a digital platform through Montgomery County Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board (ADAMHS) that connects people needing mental health, alcohol and drug addiction services with area providers – to develop a mental health resource guide specifically geared toward students.

Ascend and GetHelpNow approached Fairmont and Beavercreek city schools and Dayton Public Schools to help launch Positiv.ly locally. Jessica Stickel and her Hope Squad students at Fairmont have been hard-at-work over the past several months, developing content for Positiv.ly. Students, particularly at the middle and high school levels, are encouraged to visit the online site at Positiv.ly and read real stories from students right here in our communities and find the support they may need.

 

District Hiring Summer Groundskeepers

The KCS Buildings and Grounds Department is hiring goundskeepers for the summer. Applications are now being accepted at the Maintenance Office, located at 2636 Wilmington Pike, for these full-time summer positions. Applicants need to be 18-years-old or older, so this is a perfect summer job for a recent high school graduate or a college student who will be home for the summer. Questions? Please contact the Buildings and Ground Department at (937) 499-1760. 

 
 

FAFSA Help Session Scheduled for Wednesday, May 12

Fairmont’s school counselors will again host a FAFSA Help Session this coming Wednesday, May 12, from 3-7 p.m., in the Cafeteria at the high school. During the FAFSA Help Session, Fairmont school counselors and representatives from Sinclair Community College’s Financial Aid Department will be on-hand to answer any questions seniors and their parents/guardians may have and to assist you in completing your FAFSA application on-the-spot! A meal will be served to all who attend, and childcare will be available, if needed. The Help Session is scheduled in conjunction with Cap and Gown Pick-up to make it super convenient for seniors and their parents/guardians to stop by and fill out the FAFSA…it only takes about 23 minutes!  

 

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Kettering Teachers Nominated for Ohio Teacher of the Year
 
We are re-running the list of our teachers who have been nominated for the Ohio Teacher of the Year this year. A few of our amazing teachers were left off the list last week, so we want to make sure we recognize all of the KCS teachers who have been nominated for this prestigious recognition!
 
Christy Kremer, 3rd grade at Prass Elementary
Kara Hicks, physical education at Prass Elementary
Becky Brandenburg, 5th grade at John F. Kennedy Elementary
Jared Parker, digital design, Fairmont Career Tech Center
Matt Payne, English/language arts at Kettering Middle School
Khristie Reed, intervention specialist at Kettering Middle School
Tim Guindon, math at Fairmont High School
Fred Kleinhenz, 5th grade at Orchard Park Elementary
Nathaniel Heading, math at Fairmont High School
Kristen Shadoan, English/language arts at Kettering Middle School
Diana Loree, English at Kettering Middle School
Jill Strickland, English/language arts at Van Buren Middle School
Renee Horcher, 1st grade at Greenmont Elementary 
Kelly Samborsky, kindergarten at Beavertown Elementary 
Amie Schoreder, 2nd grade, Oakview Elementary
Stacey Gemin, English at Van Buren Middle School
Jeff McManus, science, Fairmont High School

 

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Community Events and Activities of Interest

 

SICSA Adoption & Wellness Center is holding summer camps for children ages 8-12. The week-long camps will take place at SICSA's Washington Township facility, and campers will have lots of interaction during the week with SICSA's four-legged friends. Please see this flyer for details.
 

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Friday, April 30, 2021

KCS Families and Staff:

As we enter Teacher Appreciation Week 2021, I would like to take this opportunity to extend my sincere thanks to our teachers and ALL of our staff members who, together, do so much to help our students learn and grow and our families feel supported.

It has been a unique year, to say the least, and words cannot express how grateful I am for everything that our staff members have done, going above-and-beyond to continue to make learning happen in our district.

It is because of the dedication, commitment, creativity, care and concern of each and every one of you that Kettering is a GREAT COMMUNITY with GREAT SCHOOLS, and I could not be more proud than to serve as superintendent of this amazing district.

You are appreciated every day, and during the first week of May, we also CELEBRATE you and all that you do for the children and families of the Kettering Schools!

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Ohio Teacher of the Year Nominations

It seems fitting, as we approach Teacher Appreciation Week, that we recognize the Kettering teachers who have been nominated as exemplary teachers to the 2022 Ohio Teacher of the Year selection process. The Ohio Teacher of the Year program annually identifies exceptional teachers statewide and celebrates their work inside and outside the classroom.

Congratulations to the following teachers who have been nominated for this prestigious recognition:

Christy Kremer, 3rd grade at Prass Elementary

Kara Hicks, physical education at Prass Elementary

Becky Brandenburg, 5th grade at John F. Kennedy Elementary

Jared Parker, digital design, Fairmont Career Tech Center

Matt Payne, English/language arts at Kettering Middle School

Khristie Reed, intervention specialist at Kettering Middle School

Tim Guindon, math at Fairmont High School

Fred Kleinhenz, 5th grade at Orchard Park Elementary

Nathaniel Heading, math at Fairmont High School

Kristen Shadoan, English/language arts at Kettering Middle School

Diana Loree, English at Kettering Middle School

Jill Strickland, English/language arts at Van Buren Middle School

Renee Horcher, 1st grade at Greenmont Elementary 

Kelly Samborsky, kindergarten at Beavertown Elementary 

Amie Schoreder, 2nd grade, Oakview Elementary

Stacey Gemin, English at Van Buren Middle School

Jeff McManus, science, Fairmont High School

 

Scholar Athlete Society

Congratulations to the student athletes who were recognized by the Fairmont Athletic Department and the Fairmont Boosters at the annual Scholar Athlete Society program on Tuesday. The primary purpose of the Scholar Athlete Society is to “foster the high ideals of a quality athletic program as part of the total educational experience for our students.”

The following students also received individual honors as recipients of the 2020-2021 Special Awards and Scholarships:
 

Finley-Pugh - Awarded to the male athlete in the top half of their class and received a varsity letter in at least 2 sports their senior year - our highest male award - Caleb Young

Joann-Ray -  Awarded to the female athlete in the top half of their class and received a varsity letter in at least 2 sports their senior year - our highest male award - Taylor Hilty

Sherm Bowser - Awarded to a male athlete who has made significant contributions to the athletic program while demonstrating spirit, sportsmanship and dedication - Jack Roncagli

Nancy Benadum -  Awarded to a female athlete who has made significant contributions to the athletic program while demonstrating spirit, sportsmanship and dedication - Maddie Reents

Bill Yike - 1 Male and 1 Female - Awarded to an athlete who is hardworking, dedicated, selfless – “a real team player” - Alex Braun and Grace Wolff

Jeff Wray Memorial Scholarship - Awarded to a football player in Jeff's memory. Jeff was an avid supporter of Firebird Football who had a positive impact on our community - Caleb Fortener

Bradley Derrickson Memorial Scholarship - 1 Male and 1 Female - Awarded for playing their respective sports with energy and enthusiasm  - Adam Grunenwald and Annie Ayres

Joey Sharpe Memorial Scholarship-1 Male and 1 Female- Awarded for exemplifying a big heart and living by the code of conduct of honor, honesty, responsibility and respect - Sam Fiscus and Corine Cannarozzi

Archie Griffin Sportsmanship Award - 1 Male and 1 Female - Awarded to who an athlete who demonstrates outstanding sportsmanship - Tyler Milton and Sophia Grossman

OHSAA Courageous Student Award - Presented to a student who has overcome great obstacles or adversity to succeed - Kikubi Tole

OHSAA Scholar Athlete - 1 Male and 1 Female - Awarded for having the highest scholastic average and receiving a minimum of 4 varsity letters - James (Jimmy) Sharpe and Megan McGhee

NFHS Award of Excellence - 1 Male and 1 Female - Awarded for displaying outstanding sportsmanship, ethics and integrity - Max Lundgren and Johanna (Jo) Rodzinka

 

GPA Recognition:

Highest GPA Seniors - Noah Gonzalez, Molly Grice and Kathleen Schreel
Highest GPA Juniors - John Day, Max Kramer, Emi Glass, Stella Holmes, Mia Howard, Amara Liechty
Most Improved GPA - Ben Fantaci and Morgan Fisher

 

Fairmont Athletic Booster Scholarship Recipients:

Annie Ayres
Allison Bauman
Corine Cannarozzi
Kerry Donoher
Ben Fantaci
Sophia Grossman
Mitchell Groves
Taylor Hilty
Maddie Reents
Madeline Stitt

 

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Friday, Apil 23, 2021

KCS Families and Staff:

What a busy week! I do want to wish our Seniors and Juniors a wonderful Prom and After Prom Weekend! Have lots of fun, make memories and be safe! Lots of great things going on across the district!

Orchard Park Elementary Recognized for STEM Excellence

Congratulations to Orchard Pak Elementary School on winning a first-place STEM Education Community Collaboration Award. This award, presented by the Dayton Regional STEM Center (DRSC), signifies excellence in STEM education, as well as collaboration with community partners.

“Every year we receive many high quality applications which are systematically reviewed by a panel of judges external to the staff of the DRSC. This panel includes K-12 educators, higher education STEM representatives and representatives from local STEM business and industry,” said Emily Wolfe-Eberly, director of Dayton Regional STEM Center, adding, “It was evident to the committee there are many strong STEM centric initiatives within the Dayton region. However, the committee was most impressed by the determination and effort of your team and the high-quality STEM Education at Orchard Park Elementary School.”

Orchard Park began its STEM Education project in January of 2020, in partnership with Trader Joe’s, located at Town and Country Shopping Center. Orchard Park staff and students and KCS STEAM Coach, Bern Schwieterman, partnered with Michael Szelog, Trader Joe’s STEAM Partnership Liaison, Jon Horvath, Trader Joe’s manager and Trader Joe crew members to design, engineer, build, cultivate and harvest school gardens.  

Through a year-long process, the project touched on each of the STEM disciplines. Likewise, connections to non-STEM disciplines were woven into the project, with students read books, summarized non-fiction writing while researching plants and used comparison skills when choosing which plants to grow. Social  Emotional Learning standards organically became a part of the project, as students, staff and the Trader joe’s crew communicated, cooperated, collaborated and problem-solved. An exciting aspect of this project is that it was not a one-time thing. The school will continue to maintain the gardens this spring in partnership with Trader Joe’s.

As a recipient of the STEM Excellence Award, Orchard Park will receive a $1,000 grant to be used to continue STEM programming and will be recognized at the annual STEM Banquet, which will be held virtually this year on May 12. Congratulations, Orchard Park and thank you, Trader Joe’s for collaborating with our schools on these important projects!

Hope Squads Surpass Goal for Walk4Hope       

Congratulations to our Hope Squads from Farimont High and Kettering and Van Buren middle schools on an incredibly successful Walk4Hope! Our Hops Squad members and their family members and friends participated in the 20212 Walk4Hope last Sunday at the track at Fairmont Field Stadium. The 5AK was designed to increase awareness of mental health issues and suicide prevention and to raise funds to support Grant Us Hope, the Cincinnati-based organization that sponsors our Hope Squads and Hope Squads across Ohio and Indiana.

Our Hope Squad’s participation in the Walk4Hope was spearheaded by Fairmont Hope Squad member, Andy Glasser. “Andy took on a leadership role with this event and he just rallied the troops and really made this a huge success for our Hope Squads,” said Jessica Stickel, Fairmont’s Hope Squad advisor. According to Stickel, our Hope Squads set a goal to raise $2,500 in pledges and donations through their participation in this year’s Walk4Hope. “I don’t think all of the donations have actually been counted yet, but as of today, our Hope Squads have raised almost $7,000 for Grant Us Hope. I am so proud of these kids and of our school community and our Kettering community for their support!”

If you would like to learn more about Grant Us Hope and Hope Squads, Grant Us Hope is hosting a “Celebration of Hope” on Thursday, April 29, beginning at 7 p.m. “This is a youth-led virtual event dedicated to celebrating community members, Hope Squads and youth who have made a difference in the fight to save young lives.” The Celebration will include a special tribute to Grant Egbers, the namesake Grant Us Hope. To register for the Celebration of Hope, please use this link.

FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Financial Aid) Help Sessions

Fairmont’s Counseling Department will hold two FAFSA Help Sessions on May 4, from noon to 4 p.m. and again on May 12, from 3 to 7 p.m., both in the FHS Cafeteria. Completing the FAFSA  application is the first step toward accessing more than $120 billion in federal financial aid available every year to help students pay for college.

Fairmont’s Counselors, as well as representatives from Sinclair Community College’s Financial Aid Department, will be on-hand during the Help Sessions to assist students and their parents/guardians in completing the FAFSA application right there, on-the-spot! On average, it takes a family about 23 minutes to complete the entire application. We’ll even feed you and provide child care, if needed!

Order your 2021 Aerie Literary Magazine Today!

Aerie: The Elephant in the Room, is a 72-page book (plus website!) featuring original art and literature by Fairmont High School students. The cost for this perennially award-winning book  is just $5 and can be purchased by contacting Aerie Advisor, Emily Bruzzese, at emily.bruzzese@ketteringschools.org. The website is free at aerielitmag.ketteringschools.org.

Summer Employment Opportunities

City of Kettering

The City of Kettering has a number of openings for full-  part-time, and seasonal positions with the Kettering Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts Department. Openings include positions with the parks team, aquatics team, summer camps team, sports team and Fraze team. Many of these positions are open to applicants as young as 16-years-of-age.  

To access a full list of open positions, qualifications and pay, visit www.playkettering.org/join-our-team.

Have a great weekend!

Scott Inskeep
Superintendent

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Reminder – District is Registering Students for Kindergarten and Preschool

The Kettering City Schools are registering students for Kindergarten and Preschool for the 2021-2022 school year.

Kindergarten – Children who will be 5-years-old on or before August 1, 2021 are eligible to be registered for Kindergarten. Please use this link to access additional information about Kindergarten Registration and the online registration form.

Preschool – The Kettering Schools operate two preschool programs, Integrated Preschool and Pathfinders Preschool.

  * Integrated Preschool -- This program is designed to serve 3-to-5-year-old students with special needs, alongside typically developing peer mentors. Parents/guardians of typically developing mentors can use this link to access additional information about Preschool Registration and the downloadable registration packet.
* Pathfinders Preschool – This program serves children who reside in Montgomery County and who will turn 4-years-old by August 1, 2021. Parents/guardians can use this link to access additional information about Preschool Registration and the downloadable registration                        packet.

Preschool openings are filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Once the parent/guardian has completed the registration packet, they can make a registration appointment by contacting:

               * Sara Hecht – 937-499-1456 Integrated Preschool

               * Angie Scott – 937-499-1450 Pathfinders Preschool

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Friday, April 16, 2021

KCS Families and Staff:
 

Last week, we were able to announce that we are excited to be able to hold an in-person graduation ceremony and prom this year.  On Wednesday, I joined Fairmont principal, Tyler Alexander, and members of our staff in a meeting with University of Dayton Arena personnel to discuss protocols for our graduation on May 20.

There will be much more information coming out in the next few weeks regarding this event, but we did want to let our families know that graduation will be a ticketed event with assigned seating, and that because of limited seating, families will be able to reserve no more than four tickets for entry to graduation. Requiring tickets and assigned seating and limiting the number of people who will be able to be inside the Arena for our graduation is a UD policy for all schools who are holding graduations at the Arena.

As we look forward to our final seven weeks of school and exciting end-of-the-school-year events and activities, I do want to encourage everyone to continue to follow the health and safety guidelines that the Ohio Department of Health and Public Health Dayton Montgomery County still have in place. 

As a district, we have done amazingly well in following these guidelines of wearing masks, frequently washing our hands and socially distancing as much as possible, and this has resulted in a relatively low number of COVID-19 cases among students and staff.  I know there is a tendency to relax our efforts when things are going well and we’re returning to some semblance of “normalcy,” but I encourage everyone to continue to “Mask Up,” “Wash Up” and “Back Up” as we near the finish line of this unique school year!
 

Mayor’s Award for Youth Volunteer Service

Congratulations to Tahjey Lawson, an 8th grader at Kettering Middle School, who was honored at this week’s Kettering City Council meeting as the recipient of the 2021 Mayor’s Award for Youth Volunteer Service. Tahjey’s volunteer efforts are extensive and they address a variety of needs in our community spanning a variety of generations. 

His efforts include serving the homeless by collecting coats and blankets (some of which he made, himself!); boxing personal care items for frontline workers at local nursing homes and hospitals and frontline workers and first responders in New York; collecting and donating baby items and diapers for Hannah’s Treasure Chest; packing bags with hand sanitizer and snacks for the Kettering Police Department; creating and donating get well cards for those at the VA hospital; and personally raising more than $1,000 for the PTA Walkathon at KMS, which helped supply snacks for students during state testing.

In addition, Tahjey, who lives with his proud grandparents, George and Tammy Lawson, served as secretary of the Junior Optimist Club at KMS, and he recently was elected governor of the Ohio District for Junior Optimist International, with his term beginning in August 2021.

Tahjey was nominated for the Mayor’s Award by School Resource Officer Ed Simoni, who noted in his nomination, “Tahjey has had obstacles throughout his life, but he still finds the time to give to others. I cannot think of any other youth in our community who would be more deserving of this award.” Thank you for your service, Tahjey, and for being a role model for the youth in our community!


District Registering Students for Kindergarten and Preschool

The Kettering City Schools are registering students for Kindergarten and Preschool for the 2021-2022 school year.

Kindergarten – Children who will be 5-years-old on or before August 1, 2021 are eligible to be registered for Kindergarten. Please use this link to access additional information about Kindergarten Registration and the online registration form.

Preschool – The Kettering Schools operate two preschool programs, Integrated Preschool and Pathfinders Preschool.
* Integrated Preschool -- This program is designed to serve 3-to-5-year-old students with special needs, alongside typically developing peer mentors. Parents/guardians of typically developing mentors can use this link to access additional information about Preschool Registration and the downloadable registration packet.
* Pathfinders Preschool – This program serves children who reside in Montgomery County and who will turn 4-years-old by August 1, 2021. Parents/guardians can use this link to access additional information about Preschool Registration and the downloadable registration packet.

Preschool openings are filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Once the parent/guardian has completed the registration packet, they can make a registration appointment by contacting:
* Sara Hecht – 937-499-1456 Integrated Preschool
* Angie Scott – 937-499-1450 Pathfinders Preschool


The Fairmont Industries Plant Sale is back!

Stop by the big white tent on the East Lawn at Fairmont High School from 10 a.m to 7 p.m., May 3-7, for grab-and-go shopping, or use this Google Form to pre-order your flowers. All pre-ordered plants and flowers should be picked in Room 309B at Fairmont High School on Friday, April 30, between 1 and 4:30 p.m. Plants and flowers ordered by employees will be delivered to your buildings on May 5.

Fairmont Industries is a program at Kettering Fairmont High School that assists high school students with disabilities in developing strong life and vocational skills that will enhance the quality of their future. The annual Plant Sale supports camps and other special activities for the students in the program.

Thank you for your support of Fairmont Industries!

Enjoy your weekend!

Scott Inskeep
Superintendent

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Events and Activities of Interest around the Community

DAI Exhibit Focuses on Family

Dayton Art Institute is opening a new, interactive exhibit today titled Looking at Family that examines the impact of family and close friends on an artist’s work. DAI is inviting people to submit their own favorite family photos for possible inclusion in the digital exhibition. Photos selected by DAI will be posted on this webpage and will become a part of the Looking at Family exhibition. Use this link for more information and to submit your photo.

And congratulations to Fairmont High School photography teacher, Amy Powell, whose photo, There is no danger here,  is featured on the webpage and in the Looking at Family exhibition. “It will be hung alongside American master artists who inspired me when I was younger, therefore it's a great honor to be included,” said Powell.

Girl Scouts Offering Free Discovery Packs

Girl Scouts of Western Ohio is offering free Discovery Packs to girls in grades K-6. The Discovery Packs are designed to help support girls’ academic and social-emotional skills and the interactive activities are partnered with an optional virtual Zoom session that girls can join on six dates between April 27 and June 1.

The first Discovery Pack is titled “Happy, Healthy Girl,” and participants will learn to take care of themselves, their relationships and their community, physically and mentally. The second pack is titled “Unstoppable Girl,” and participants will learn about STEM, entrepreneurial skills, life skills and the outdoors as they build courage, confidence and character.

Please use this link to register your child for “Healthy, Happy Girl.” Please note: The online registration form shows a cost of $25, however, due to a number of generous donors, Girl Scouts of Western Ohio is able to offer the Discovery Packs free of charge.

This flyer has additional information regarding the Discovery Pack.

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Friday, April 9, 2021

KCS Families and Staff:
 

We received exciting news this week, and I wanted to share with everyone the announcement Fairmont High School principal, Tyler Alexander, was able to make to his seniors and their families today:

“The Class of 2021's last day of school is Friday, May 7.  Yes...that is just four weeks from today.  This class has been through a lot and has missed out on many events during their senior year.  It is pretty awesome to be able to announce that we just received notification that graduation will take place on Thursday, May 20, at the University of Dayton Arena, beginning at 7 p.m.”

There will be a number of guidelines that we will have to follow in order to hold our graduation at UD Arena, and Mr. Alexander did say that additional information about these guidelines will be forthcoming over the next 3-4 weeks. The important thing at this point is that our seniors will be able to celebrate their graduation together next month!

The Ohio Department of Health and Public Health Dayton Montgomery County have also given the OK for high schools to hold proms this year. Again, there are some very specific guidelines that we will need to follow in order to hold prom at Trent Arena on April 24, and Mr. Alexander and his team at the high school have a plan in place that will allow our students to safely celebrate this important rite of passage. Please note that all tickets for prom are pre-sale; no tickets will be available to purchase at the door. Tickets will be on sale through next Friday, April 16. Tickets will not be available for purchase after this date.

I am also excited to announce the return of another favorite event, this being the Fairmont Music Department’s Spring Musical. “A Fairmont Broadway Revue” will showcase the many talents of our students as they perform their favorite Broadway numbers. “A Fairmont Broadway Revue” will be staged in the Fairmont Auditorium on Friday, April 30; Saturday, May 1; and Sunday, May 2. Please use this link to purchase your tickets for the Spring Musical.

Have a great weekend!

Scott Inskeep
Superintendent

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Kindergarten Registration

The Kettering City Schools are currently registering incoming kindergartners for the 2021-2022 school year. Children who will be five-years-old on or before August 1, 2021, are eligible to be registered for kindergarten for next school year.

Please use this link to access online Kindergarten Registration for the 2021-2022 school year.

Correction

In last week’s “Friday Firebird Focus,” the name of a member of Kettering Middle School’s Hope Squad was misspelled. The correct spelling is Mustafa Aljanabi. Our apologies for the error.

 
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Friday, April 2, 2021
 

KCS Families and Staff:

April is School Library Month. In Kettering, our school libraries provide resources for students to foster a love of reading and a love of learning.

In alignment with our strategic plan, the school libraries of Kettering provide opportunities for students to be engaged collaborators, lifelong learners, critical thinkers, thoughtful communicators, and global citizens.

Students take so much joy in the books and many resources that they find in our school libraries, and our school librarians are passionate and committed to ensuring that students have access to information, know how to use information, and create a lifelong love of reading. Our school librarians also serve as an outstanding resource for our staff to help support the transformation of learning in the classroom.

As we celebrate School Library Month, we extend a big THANK YOU to our librarians for all they do to support our students, our staff and our families and to make our libraries and media centers magical places for our young people to visit, explore, grow and learn!

Kettering Early Childhood Center-- Melissa Barton

Beavertown Elementary -- Alyssa Harrah

Greenmont Elementary -- Beverly Blankenship

Indian Riffle Elementary -- Margaret Monnig

John F. Kennedy Elementary -- Ann Meredith

Oakview Elementary -- Nancy List

Orchard Park Elementary -- Heather Cone

JE Prass Elementary -- Peggy Saunders

Southdale Elementary -- Carrie Kihn

Kettering Middle School --  Tish Trummer

Van Buren Middle School -- Kelsey Madges

Fairmont High School -- Dr. Jessica Dennison

 

District Hiring Bus Drivers

The Kettering Transportation Department has immediate openings for Bus Drivers. Compensation and benefits include:
 

  • $18.44 to $23.77 per hour
  • Full Benefits Package, including Medical, Dental and Live Insurance
  • Paid Training
  • Guaranteed 22.5 hours per week

 

Immediate openings are available and OPEN INTERVIEWS will be held
Monday-Friday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Kettering Transportation Department
2640 Wilmington Pike (next to Beavertown Elementary School)

 

City of Kettering Hiring for Summer Positions

The City of Kettering made the exciting announcement recently that it is going to be able to offer programming at the Kettering Recreation Complex and Fraze Pavilion this summer, including summer camps, concerts and special events, arts and theater classes and Adventure Reef Water Park.

Kettering is currently interviewing and hiring for a wide range of open summer positions. Many of the positions, including camp counselors, have a minimum age of 16, so our high school students are eligible candidates for these summer jobs.

For a full listing of open positions, qualifications and application information, visit www.playkettering.org/join-our-team.

 

School Nurses Recognized

The children, their families and the staff at the Kettering Early Childhood Education Center presented the district’s school nurses with “Wellness Totes” on Wednesday, recognizing them as “frontline heroes” and thanking them for everything they have done to support students and staff and to keep them safe during the pandemic. There were smiles all around as the nurses saw the handmade totes that were filled with bottled water, energy bars and a “stress-relief” ball!

Rhonda Wootton -- Fairmont HS
Alicia Thompson -- Fairmont HS
Joan Hlinomaz -- Kettering MS
Mary Beth Hughes -- Van Buren MS
Sarah Schadek -- Beavertown and St. Albert School
Brandy Ellis-Ravert -- Grreenmont
Shannon Oberding -- Indian Riffle and IR Preschool
Mollie Whitt -- John F. Kennedy
Ramona Donovan -- Oakview
Julie Kruzel -- Orchard Park and KECEC
Betina Irwin -- Prass and district Nurse Coordinator
Lisa Connelly -- Southdale
Nancy Coates -- Ascension School, Kettering MS and Prass
Stacy Ullmer -- St. Charles School

 

Have a great weekend, and Happy Easter!

Scott Inskeep
Superintendent

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Friday, March 26, 2021

KCS Families and Staff:

Chester A. Roush Educational Hall of Fame

At the Kettering Board of Education meeting this week, Board Member and Roush Hall of Fame board-appointed coordinator of the hall of fame process, Jennifer Kane, was pleased to announce that the board is moving forward with the selection and induction of the Chester A. Roush Educational Hall of Fame Class of 2021.

“With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic last spring, the Chester A. Roush Educational Hall of Fame Class of 2020 was left in uncertainty.  The Kettering Board of Education was optimistic that the selection process and the induction ceremony would occur during the fall of 2020,” said Kane. “However, as the pandemic worsened, it was deemed necessary to continue to delay these initiatives.  As vaccine roll-outs have begun and our buildings are open for in-person instruction, optimism is returning for the selection and induction of Roush Hall of Fame honorees in 2021.”

With this announcement on Tuesday, nominations are now being accepted for the 2021 Roush Hall of Fame. One big change to the nomination process is the move to an online format for submitting nominations and letters of recommendation. In addition, while there will not be a 2020 induction class, all nominations and letters of recommendation that were submitted for consideration last year will be automatically carried forward and considered for the Class of 2021.

Nominations for the 2021 Roush Hall of Fame will be accepted through April 15. Please take a moment to read through information regarding the nomination process here. Use this link to access the Nomination Form.  You can also find the information and a link to the Nomination Form on the district’s website at www.ketteringschools.org under “District Forms/Links”

If you have any questions or need assistance, particularly in light of the transition to an online nomination process for the Roush Hall of Fame, please contact Kari Basson in Community Relations at kari.basson@ketteringschools.org, or at (937) 499-1458.

Kindergarten Registration

The Kettering City Schools are currently registering incoming kindergartners for the 2021-2022 school year. Children who will be five-years-old on or before August 1, 2021, are eligible to be registered for kindergarten for next school year.

Please use this link to access online Kindergarten Registration for the 2021-2022 school year.
 
Congratulations Aerie Literary Magazine

I’d like to extend a big congratulations to the Fairmont High School’s Aerie advisor, Emily Bruzzese and her students, Maddie Thorn, Lada Gallant, Mia Howard, Love Nyumah and Sophie Toth on being awarded the First Class REALM Award from the National Council of Teachers of English for the 2020 Aerie: Flashback. The REALM (Recognizing Excellence in Arts and Literary Magazines) program recognizes excellent magazines produced by students with the support of their teachers, and the First Class Award is the highest ranking possible.

“When school closed last year, I wasn’t sure we would have an Aerie 2020,” said Bruzzese. “Our usual layout and publishing process is not able to be accomplished without working physically together, using school materials. The students and I learned (remotely) how to publish online and put out the first-ever e-Aerie, which was free to all students and the entire community. I am proud of this feat and these students’ success!”


The award-winning Aerie: Flashback

This interactive map tracks the NCTE REALM First Class winners since 2008 and underscores the fact that Aerie is in elite company among middle and high school across the county for this top award and the only school in Ohio to receive the First Class Award for its 2020 magazine.

Introducing KMS’s 6th-Grade Hope Squad

Kettering Middle held “Hope Week” this week, as the newly trained members of KMS’s 6th-grade Hope Squad wrapped up their nearly month-long training with 6th-grade Hope Squad advisor, Melanie Byers, and 6th-grade counselor, Susie Moses. Hope Squad is a peer-to-peer suicide prevention program where members are nominated by their classmates as trustworthy peers and trained by advisors. The goal of Hope Squad is to reduce youth suicide through education, training and peer intervention. Congratulations to the newest members of KMS’s Hope Squad!

(Front row, L to R) Carley Layman, Savannah Steinke, Addison Bair, Abigail Brown, Reagan Barnes, Natalie Young and Gracie Anders. (Back row, L to R) Melanie Byers (advisor), Riley Burns, Elena Colon, Logan Doty, Aaron Black, Gavin Wolff, Mustafa Atjanbi, Alivia Young, Susie Moses (school counselor).

Have a great weekend!

Scott Inskeep, Superintendent

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Community Information, Activities and Events of Interest:

YMCA Summer Job Oppportunities
Laffalot Summer Camp

Friday, March 12, 2021

KCS Families and Staff:

We wrapped up our Vaccine Clinic for the administration of the 2nd Moderna Vaccine to staff about an hour ago. I am pleased to report that things went as smoothly today as they did during our first Vaccine Clinic, and more importantly, we have nearly 900 staff members who will be considered "fully vaccinated" 14 days from today! Thank you to all who contributed to the two successful clinics and to our partners at Walgreens. 

Prom 2021
I am excited to be able to share with you some news that Fairmont High School principal, Tyler Alexander, shared with his staff and students this morning. Public Health Dayton Montgomery County announced yesterday that high schools across the county will be able to hold their 2021 Proms this year!

There will, of course, be guidelines that we will be mandated to follow in order to hold our Prom, but I am confident that – just as our students and parents have done with following the guidelines we put in place so we could return to in-person learning – so, too will they be great about making sure we uphold these (very do-able) guidelines for our 2021 Prom and After Prom. Here is a copy of PHDMC's “Prom Guidance” for your information. Mr. Alexander and his staff will be sharing more details about Prom in the weeks to come, but as he noted in his announcement this morning, Mr. Alexander wanted to send students into Spring Break knowing that they are going to have a Prom on April 24!

Chester Roush Educational Hall of Fame
Nominations for the 2021 Roush Hall of Fame will be accepted through April 15, 2021. Because the district was not able to hold a Roush Hall of Fame Induction ceremony in 2020 due to the pandemic, all nominations that were submitted in 2020 will automatically be considered for the 2021 induction class.
The Roush Hall of Fame Selection Committee is transitioning to an online nomination process. You will be able to access the link to the online nomination form by end-of-day on Tuesday, March 16, on the district's website at www.ketteringschools.org. The link and further details on the nomination process will be emailed to all KCS staff at this time, as well.

Performing Arts Hall of Fame
I’m also excited to be able to assist Michael Berning, music coordinator for the district, and our entire Performing Arts Department in announcing the Kettering City School District’s first Performing Arts Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame will recognize outstanding musicians, actors and performers, as well as directors, administrators and boosters who have contributed to the performing arts programs at Kettering Fairmont, Fairmont East, Fairmont West and/or Fairmont High School.

Nominations for the inaugural class of the 2021 Kettering Performing Arts Hall of Fame will be accepted through May 15, 2021. Plans at this time are to induct the inaugural class during ceremonies held during Homecoming Weekend in September 2021. Please download the Kettering Performing Arts Hall of Fame nomination here.

I hope everyone – our families and staff, alike – have a nice, relaxing Spring Break...each and every one of you deserves it! We will be back with the “Monday Update with Mr. Inskeep” on Monday, March 22; and “Friday Firebird Focus” on March 26. Enjoy your week.

Scott Inskeep
Superintendent

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Student and Staff Accolades


State Champion Boys Bowling Team
Congratulations to head coach Jeremy Fleck and assistant coach Matt Mahaffey, and to Isaiah Shannon, Tyler Stegmoller, Colton Mahaffey, Tyler Milton, Dayton Foster and Dylan Potts, the 2021 STATE CHAMPION Boys Bowling Team. You can meet these State Champs at “Dine for the Champs” day at Archer’s Restaurant on Dorothy Lane. Please see the attached flier and come on out and support these student athletes and the Fairmont Bowling program.


Fairmont Student Awarded State-Level Internship
Congratulations to Andy Glasser, a junior and a second-year member of Fairmont’s Hope Squad. Andy has been appointed to and internship with Grant Us Hope. Suzanna Davis, program director with Grant Us Hope, noted “Through an extensive application and interview process, Andy exhibited qualities not often seen in a high school student. His passion for mental health awareness and suicide prevention, excellent communication skills and professional demeanor set him apart. The Grant Us Hope high school internship program is another way Hope Squad Members can amplify their voice while expanding their leadership skills to create impact across the state.”

Grant Us Hope advisor, Jessica Stickel echoed Davis’s accolades for Andy, saying, “He is dedicated to helping his peers and making Fairmont the best, safest, and most welcoming place it can be. Andy has never met a stranger and never backs down from an opportunity to help. I am so proud of him!”

February’s Staff Fitness and Wellness Challenge Winners

Congratulations to Erin Howard, administrative assistant in the Special Education Department, and Brittany Bellini, 7th-grade ELA teacher at Kettering Middle School, the February winners of the KCS Wellness Committee’s monthly Staff Fitness and Wellness Challenge. The monthly challenges suggest a variety of fitness and wellness activities and encourage staff to participate in the challenges, based on their own fitness levels. If you are interested in joining the monthly Fitness and Wellness Challenges, please contact Heather Boyer, ISS coordinator at Fairmont High School, at heather.boyer@ketteringschools.org, and she’ll get you registered for the FREE challenge!

 

Community Activities and Events of Interest

DorWood Optimist Club Pass, Shoot and Dribble Contest -- March 22 

Moraine Parks and Recreation St. Patrick's and Easter Events

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Friday, March 5, 2021

KCS Families and Staff:

 

What a great way to end a good week by sending our Boys Bowling Team off to the State Tournament! Thanks to all those who helped give them a big send-off this afternoon. Best of luck to our boys as they head to Columbus.

As we head into our final week before Spring Break, I do want to remind everyone that we will have an early dismissal on this coming Wednesday, March 10. Elementary students will be released at 12:30 p.m., middle school students will be released at 1:40 p.m. and our high school students will be released 1:05 p.m. There will be no school on Friday, March 12, to give our staff across the district the opportunity to get the second dose of their COVID-19 vaccines. This will be a no-school day for ALL students, including in-person and remote learners and those in elementary learning pods and secondary quiet spaces.

We were honored today to host State Rep. Andrea White for a tour of the Fairmont Career Tech Center. At the start of the tour, CTC Principal Liz Jensen told Rep. White that the best way to highlight Fairmont’s CTC is through the students. As always, our students were impressive as they described their programs, internship opportunities and career plans to Rep. White. 

We had a Digital Design student discuss the branding she has developed for KCS’s newly formed foundation, Automotives students describing their internships at Grismer Tire and Voss Chevrolet, a Marketing student talking about her Tic Toc channel that gets millions of views and Engineering students who have developed a robotic hand to assist a client who is an incomplete quadriplegic due to a car crash.

We appreciate Rep. White taking the time to tour our Career Tech Center and for championing career tech education at the state level.

I hope everyone has a great weekend, and let’s finish strong next week before Spring Break!

Scott Inskeep
Superintendent

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District Happenings

Preschool Registration

The district is gearing up to register our littlest Firebirds for Preschool! Children who are 3-5-years-old by August 1, 2021, are eligible to be enrolled in the KCS Preschool Program. Registration will take place on March 23, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 5-7 p.m.; and on March 24, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Kettering Early Childhood Education Center (KECEC), located at 2600 Holman Street in Moraine.

Please click on the  link below for additional information and to download the Preschool Registration Packet. Hard-copy registration packets are also available in the Central Enrollment Department, located at 580 Lincoln Park Blvd., and at KECEC.

Preschool Registration -- https://bit.ly/2OsghRm

 

Biodiversity Teach-In at Kettering Middle School

The students in Melanie Byers's science classes at Kettering Middle School had the unique opportunity recently to listen to and ask questions of scientists from across the nation as they participated in a National Biodiversity Teach-In.

According to the National Geographic Society, "Biodiversity is a term used to describe the enormous variety of life on Earth. It can be used more specifically to refer to all the species in one region or ecosystem. Biodiversity refers to every living thing, including plants, bacteria, animals and humans."

Byers's students did a live Zoom with the scientists to discuss biodiversity topics such as soil, sharks, Antarctic plants and polar bears.

 

Read Across America Week

If you stopped in at the Kettering Early Childhood Education Center this week, chances are you ran into some familiar characters as KECEC celebrated Read Across America Week and hosted Pete the Cat, the Cat in the Hat, Poppy and Minnie Mouse, all of whom visited each classroom and read a favorite book to the kids.

 

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Friday, February 26, 2021

KCS Families and Staff:

 

I had the pleasure of sitting down with Dan Von Handorf, assistant superintendent of Teaching & Learning, in preparation for taping my “Monday Update” this week and wanted to fill you in on some of the information he shared with me. Mr. Von Handorf’s department is responsible for instruction and professional development across the district, so I wanted to talk with him about what the rest of the current school year is going to look like, as well as what he and his team are anticipating as we look forward to the 2021-2022 school year.

“I want to express my appreciation to our students, parents, staff, administrators and the community for all of your hard work and support during a challenging year and for everything that has been done to get us to our current schedule of four in-person days and one remote day of learning for our students,” said Von Handorf.

Von Handorf went on to note that research certainly backs up what we all know and that is that we all need routine and structure when it comes to school and learning. With this in mind, we are committed to this current schedule of having students in our buildings on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays and doing remote learning on Wednesdays for the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year. As with everything while we navigate learning during a pandemic, we will honor this commitment, barring any mandates or guidelines to the contrary from our county or state health departments.

Research, as well as feedback from our teachers, also supports the fact that having kids in school every day is the ideal for most students, so I asked Mr. Von Handorf to look ahead to what August might look like for the Kettering City Schools.

“Our teachers, parents and students have done an amazing job with remote learning this year. That said, we have learned through all of this that in-person learning works best for the majority of our students, so looking ahead, our staff and families should plan on moving to school five-days-a-week when we start the 2021-2022 school year in August,” said Von Handorf. “We are continuing to research best practices for our families who do not feel like they can return to full in-person learning and are working on a plan that we hope to have out there soon to address our students who choose to continue to learn remotely so that we can continue to meet the needs of every child who comes through our doors.”

I appreciated Mr. Von Handorf joining me to provide this update and will continue to keep you apprised of plans for the next school year as they are finalized.I am pleased to introduce you to the district’s new Supervisor of Buildings & Grounds, Jeff Johnson. Mr. Johnson joins the Kettering Schools from Great Oaks Career Center, where he served as the business manager. He will be a great addition to our Buildings & Grounds Department and to the district! You will be seeing Mr. Johnson out and about in your buildings, so please join me in welcoming him to the Kettering Schools.

I hope everyone has a great weekend!
 

Scott Inskeep
Superintendent

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Student Accolades


National Chinese Essay Contest

Congratulations to John Day, the Gold Award winner, to Lily Leitzinger, Julie Mothersole, Thi Le, Kaili Erdmann and Miranda Weiner, Silver Award winners, and to Bridget Sexton, Claire Grogan, Lia Schmidt and Benjamin Berman-Rubio, Honorable Mention winners  in the 17th National CLASS Essay Contest.

The essay contest, sponsored by the Chinese Language Association of Secondary-Elementary Schools, is “intended to foster creative thinking and self-expression and encourage awareness of current local and world events.” The students were challenged to create a time capsule using up to three items that are representative of their lives right now during COVID-19 and to write about what they would want someone opening the time capsule 200 years from now to know about life during a pandemic.  The award winners are students in Chengcheng Ding’s Chinese III and IV classes at Fairmont High School.

KMS Student Artwork Selected for Show

Congratulations to Riley Brandt and Lacie Cook, 7th graders in Lindsay Gustafson’s art class, whose artwork has been selected for display in the Ohio Art Education Association’s Youth Art Month show. The students’ work will be displayed during March, which is Youth Art Month, at Rosewood Art Centre. Riley and Lacie will be recognized during a virtual ceremony on March 6 and will receive a certificate and a prize packet.

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COMMUNITY EVENTS/ACTIVITIES/INFORMATION OF INTEREST
 

* Adena Teen film Festival -- Call for Entries -- FLYER ATTACHED

* Patterson Park Youth Baseball and Softball --  FLYER ATTACHED

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Friday, February 19, 2021

As many of you know by now, we are excited to be able to schedule the 2nd dose of the Moderna Vaccine for staff members on Friday, March 12. This Vaccine Clinic will again take place at Trent Arena on the Fairmont High School campus.

Parents and Guardians -- Friday, March 12 will be a "no student" day for all students, preschool through grade 12, in order to minimize disruptions and to allow all staff the opportunity to schedule the 2nd dose of their vaccines. We will have school, as usual, on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday of this week, and Wednesday, March 10 will be an “early dismissal” day. On March 10, the school day will end at 12:30 p.m. for elementary students, at 1:40 p.m. for middle school students and at 1:05 p.m. for high school students.

Student Accolades

The City of Kettering’s Board of Community Relations sponsors an annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Essay Contest. Congratulations to this year’s winner of the Middle School Category, Kettering Middle School’s Anaya Adoff, and to Fairmont High School student Teresa Overholser, the winner in the High School Category. Cecelia Stone and Adam Grant, both students at Van Buren Middle School, were runners-up in their categories and EJ Ball and Elisabeth McCall were runners-up in the high school category.

The Board of Community Relations held a virtual recognition program for the essay contest winners, and you can hear the students reading portions of their essays as part of that program --  http://bit.ly/2ZvE5FY

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted families in many different ways, and some of us have found ourselves needing some assistance that would not be the case during “typical” times. The Kettering Backpack Program is an amazing program that may prove to be helpful to families during these challenging times. Kettering Backpack supports our students who are in need of nutritional support over the weekend. 

Students bring home a small bag of individual servings of kid-friendly food on Fridays. This can include oatmeal, macaroni and cheese, micro meals, granola bars, goldfish crackers, fruits and vegetables, milk, juice and cereal. ALL Kettering students under the age of 18 are eligible to participate in the Kettering Backpack Program, and the bags of food items are discreetly distributed to students as they leave school on Fridays. Our school counselors also work with our families with remote learners to coordinate pick-up times for the food items.

Please use this link to sign up a student(s) to participate in the Kettering Backpack Program.

For more information about the Kettering Backpack Program, please visit its website at www.ketteringbackpack.org

Kettering PRCA Hiring for Summer  

Kettering Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts is hiring for summer work.

Kettering PRCA is seeking applicants for summer positions and has opportunities for youth and adults 16 years-of-age and older in its parks, ice arena, summer camps, indoor pool and Adventure Reef Water Park, Fraze Pavilion, sports programming and facilities operations. If interested, PRCA encourages you to apply using this link.

Questions? Use the “Tell Me More” link and a PRCA Hiring Manager will contact you.

Have a nice weekend, and enjoy the warm(er) weather!

 

Scott Inskeep
Superintendent

 

SCHOOL/COMMUNITY EVENTS AND ACTIVITIES OF INTEREST...

DorWood Optimist Club -- Tri-Star Basketball Dribble, Pass and Shoot Contest 

Kettering Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts -- Spring Youth Sports 

Marching Firebirds -- Dine to Donate February 20 at Los Reyes -- Firebirds Rising 2021 

Orchard Park Elementary PTO -- Dine to Donate February 24 at Raising Cane's

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Friday, February 12, 2021

KCS Families and Staff:
 

COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic

The Kettering City School District completed its COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic this week, with more than 900 employees getting vaccinated over the two-day clinic. Employees working for pre-K-12 schools across Ohio are part of the state’s 1B Phase of its vaccine roll-out.

KCS partnered with Walgreens to distribute the vaccine, and by all accounts, the process ran efficiently and effectively, with very few staff members having to wait in line for more than 5-10 minutes.

I’d like to thank our amazing partner, Walgreens, which had plenty of trained staff on-hand to assist employees with their paperwork, answer questions and administer the vaccine.  There were a number of people, in addition to the Walgreens folks, who played an important role in making the clinic a success.

Thank you to our Career Tech Center Allied Health students for their professionalism and, quite frankly, their willingness to do whatever was asked of them to help keep the whole process running smoothly over the two days. These students were a true asset to us during the Vaccine Clinic!

Thank you to our district nurse coordinator Betina Irwin and all of our school nurses, to our building and unit principals, to Fairmont athletic director Chris Weaver, to Fairmont head custodian Brian Marker and his custodial staff and to our Board Office clerical staff for all of your help in coordinating the clinic and being there to make sure everyone had whatever was needed to keep things running smoothly and efficiently.

Last, but certainly not least, thank you to our parents and guardians for your patience as we had a no-student day on Wednesday so that every staff member who wanted the vaccine had the opportunity to get it.

We are working with Walgreens to schedule our next Vaccine Clinic to administer the second dose of the Moderna Vaccine to employees and are hoping to be able to communicate this date with everyone by the end of next week.

Change in Early Dismissals

In order to remain consistent with the district’s Early Dismissal last November, the Early Dismissals originally scheduled for Thursday, March 11, 2021; and Thursday, May 13, 2021; will be moved to Wednesday, March 10, 2021; and Wednesday, May 12, 2021.

The 2-hour Early Dismissals will be calculated from what was the dismissal time for elementary, middle and high schools prior to the pandemic. On the two Early Dismissal days -- which are remote days for students -- the school day will end as follows:

Elementary School– 12:30 p.m.

Middle School – 1:40 p.m.

High School – 1:05 p.m.

If you have any questions regarding the Early Dismissals, please contact your/your student’s building or unit principal.

Employee Wellness Challenge 

Thanks to the dedication and creativity of KCS Employee Wellness Committee members, Heather Boyer (Fairmont’s ISS coordinator), Lisa Connelly (Southdale’s school nurse) and Nathaniel Head (math teacher at Fairmont); the district has a pretty robust monthly Wellness Challenge in place that encourages staff to take steps to be healthy in body, mind and spirit. 

Each month, staff members can participate in the Wellness Challenge that typically includes a physical fitness component, as well as regular email chains among the participants that includes updates on progress, words of encouragement and virtual “pats on the back” when someone is feeling particularly challenged by the fitness activity.

While the majority of Wellness Challenge participants work at Fairmont, Boyer, Connelly and Head would like to encourage staff from across the district to join in the fun and camaraderie of the monthly challenge.  Participants of all fitness levels are welcome – you do not have to be a gym rat or a marathoner to join the monthly Wellness Challenge. As a matter of fact, tips for adapting fitness activities to a person’s own fitness level are also a part of the Wellness Challenge.

Each month, participants in the Wellness Challenge are sent a small gift, such as calming shower bombs, protein cookies or stress balls and everyone’s name is thrown into the hopper for a raffle for a slightly larger gift. All gifts are purchased using “wellness dollars” provided by the district’s medical insurance consortium to encourage healthy habits among its member districts.

If you are interested in learning more about or joining the Employee Wellness Challenge, please contact Heather Boyer at: heather.boyer@ketteringschools.org.      

Have a great weekend, stay warm and enjoy your Presidents’ Day holiday on Monday!

Scott Inskeep
Superintendent

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Friday, February 5, 2021

KCS Families and Staff:

Spirit Chain Reveal

I hope everyone had a great week! As we round out this week, we’ve got an exciting “reveal” set to take place tonight at 6 p.m. Like so many other things this school year, Spirit Chain 2020 – and I guess maybe we should refer to it as Spirit Chain 2021?!?  looked different this year than in years past.

Nevertheless, the students at Fairmont and Centerville high schools have worked hard over the past several months – much of that being time when our students were learning remotely -- to raise money to support their respective charities.

Tonight, during live reveal from Fairmont’s Auditorium, members of Fairmont’s United Student Body (USB) will be joined by representatives from Centerville High School, for a big SPIRIT CHAIN REVEAL!!

I commend our students for their dedication and commitment – even during challenging times -- to this amazing annual service project and for their support of their charities this year – the Kettering Backpack Program and Helping Hands Dayton!

I hope you will join me in tuning into the SPIRIT CHAIN LIVE REVEAL tonight. Just click on this link at 6 p.m. to see who will take home this year’s Spirit Chain Trophy. And as we like to say, while only one school can take home the trophy, there are no losers when it comes to Spirit Chain.  Thank you to Fairmont’s USB, to Centerville High School and to everyone who supported this year’s Spirit Chain!

Day of Hope

Fairmont High School is inviting everyone in the KCS community to join its Hope Squad in celebrating a “Day of Hope” next Friday, February 12. According to a Hope Squad news release, “Day of Hope” is designed to bring the entire community together in support of destigmatizing mental health issues and empowering all to ask for help if they are in an emotional crisis. As part of the “Day of Hope” celebration, everyone is encouraged to wear yellow to help raise awareness of suicide prevention.

Leading up to the “Day of Hope,” Fairmont students will take part in a variety of activities, including random acts of kindness, sending messages to all remote learners and sharing mental health resources with students.

Hope Squad, with chapters at Fairmont and at Kettering and Van Buren middle schools, is a peer-to-peer suicide prevention program that works to reduce suicide through public awareness and education. The goal of Hope Squad is to destigmatize mental health issues so that all young people can feel more comfortable asking for help in times of need. 

We are very proud of our Hope Squad members! Please consider joining Hope Squad and our Fairmont High School students in wearing yellow and helping to raise awareness of suicide prevention on “Day of Hope,” February 12.

For more information about mental health resources,  crisis teams, therapists and psychologists in our area, please visit Get Help Now Montgomery County

Tier 1B Vaccine Clinics

We are just a few days away from our Vaccine Clinics, part of the State’s efforts to get and/or keep students in school by getting K-12 school personnel vaccinated against COVID-19. Staff members in the Kettering Schools will be vaccinated at clinics scheduled for next Wednesday, February 10 and next Thursday, February 11.

We can’t thank our partner, Walgreens Pharmacy, enough for all of their work to bring the COVID-19 vaccines to our KCS staff at these clinics next week.

I also want to remind our parents/guardians that there will be no school (remote or in-person) for students Pre-K-12 on Wednesday, February 10, so that we can make vaccine appointments available to all of our classroom teachers who choose to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

KCS Staff – Please watch your email on Monday for a review of the details surrounding the Vaccine Clinics next week.

Opt-In for Calamity Day Notifications

Just a quick reminder that anyone who wants to receive a notification when we delay or close school will need to opt-in for the notifications each school year. If you have not already done so and would like to receive “Calamity Day” notifications during the current school year, please use the links below to opt-in for these notices.

To receive phone calls and/or text messages when school is delayed or 
closed – https://teclogin.com/tec/cpcl/ket/community

To receive an email and/or text message when school is delayed or
closed – https://www.ketteringschools.org/Communication


Have a nice weekend!

Scott Inskeep
Superintendent

 

COMMUNITY EVENTS/ACTIVITIES OF INTEREST

Club Ohio Soccer – Juniors Youth Academy (for children born between 2013 and 2016) 

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Friday, January 29, 2021

KCS Families and Staff:

Vaccination of K-12 Employees

I truly enjoyed getting out into our buildings this week and seeing students and staff in classrooms, gyms and cafeterias! I hope everyone had a great “first” week back in school!

We were excited today to be able to announce details of the process to get the COVID-19 vaccine administered to our school employees. As I am sure you have seen in the news over the past week, Operation Warp Speed and the State are ready for Ohio’s 1-B roll-out of the vaccine. Gov. DeWine has repeatedly said that he is committed to getting K-12 staff vaccinated as a means of beginning to return to some sense of normalcy and consistency in our schools across the state. I share in the governor’s commitment and am so pleased to announce that we will partner with Walgreens to vaccinate our staff on Wednesday, February 10 and Thursday, February 11.

Parents and Guardians – Please note that we will not have any students in school (remote, in-person, learning pods, etc.) on Wednesday, February 10, to give our classroom teachers the opportunity to make their appointments to get the COVID-19 vaccine during our day-long Vaccine Clinic.

A big “THANK YOU” to our district school nurse coordinator Betina Irwin, my administrative assistant Elizabeth Letteri and our chief technology officer Chris Merritt for all of their work in the monumental coordination of our Vaccine Clinic.

National School Counseling Week

Please join me in recognizing the contributions of our Kettering School Counselors as we celebrate National School Counseling Week, February 1-5. National School Counseling Week, sponsored by the American School Counselor Association, highlights the important role our school counselors play in meeting the needs of the Whole Person, including academic achievement, social-emotional learning and planning for a career.

As always, our school counselors are here for our students, families and staff, and I encourage you to reach out to this talented and committed group of professionals for any support you may need as we continue to navigate this challenging school year.

 Thank you, school counselors, for all that you do!

Calamity Day – Opt-in for Notifications

If you would like to receive a phone call, text message and/or email when we close school, you will need to opt-in for these notifications each school year.

To opt-in for these notifications for the 2020-2021 school year, please access the following links:

To receive a phone call and/or text message:
http://bit.ly/3ovQmoe

To receive an email and/or text message:
http://bit.ly/2JD73MK

Curbside Meal Pick-up

If your child is engaged in remote learning and you will be picking up curbside meals next week, please take a minute to complete this Google form to sign up for the meals.

February 10 – Students will not be in school on February 10, which is the first day of the district’s COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic. We will have meals available for pick-up at Kettering Middle School and Fairmont High School on February 10, from 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Reminder – Any child 0-18-years-old is eligible for the curbside meals.

Have a great weekend!

-  Scott Inskeep
Superintendent

 

Events and Activities of Community Interest

EKRC Sign-Ups -- East Kettering Recreation Club Sign-Ups
* Registration

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Friday, January 22, 2021

KCS Families and Staff:

Return to In-Person Learning

It’s exciting to think that we are just a few days away from bringing students back into our buildings for four-day-a-week, in-person learning! Beginning on Monday, January 25, we will be following theses schedules for our students in grades Pre-K-12:

Mondays-Tuesdays-Thursdays and Fridays:

Preschool Programs  – AM Integrated -- 8:15-10:15 a.m. * PM Integrated – 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. * Pathfinders – 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

Elementary Schools (K-grade 5) – 8:15 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Middle Schools (grades 6-8) – 8:40 a.m. to 2:40 p.m.

High School (grades 9-12) – 7:50 a.m. to 2:05 p.m.

Please note that the dismissal of students one hour earlier than our typical school-day schedule will continue for the foreseeable future. This gives our teaching staff the opportunity to connect daily with our remote learners to determine if they have any questions or issues related to their online learning. We will also pivot to remote learning on Wednesdays, allowing for deeper cleaning in our buildings.

Transportation Services

As we move to in-person learning, I do want to let you know that transportation continues to be a challenge for the district as we grapple with a continued shortage of bus drivers and substitute bus drivers. The COVID-19 pandemic is also impacting our ability to cover all of our bus routes, as we deal with drivers who are out on sick leave and/or have to quarantine as the result of exposure to someone who has tested positive for COVID.

I encourage those of you who have children who are transported to and from school each day to please have a back-up plan in the event that we are not able to cover all of our bus routes on a given day. We are doing our best to cover our current routes and we are actively recruiting individuals who may be interested in joining our transportation team, but the reality is we all need to be prepared during these challenging times for possible interruptions in our bus service for students.

Calamity Day Notifications

Our return to in-person learning just so happens to coincide with the start of the potentially inclement weather season – if we are going to get snow and ice, chances are, they will come in January and February! I am attaching a full explanation of our Calamity Day Procedures, as well as details on how you can opt-in for Calamity Day Notifications and where you can find information when we have to delay or close school.

Please note: If you want to opt-in to receive a phone call and/or text message when we delay or close school, you must sign up for these notifications EACH SCHOOL YEAR.  To opt-in to receive phone calls and/or text messages on calamity days for the current 2020-2021 school year, please click this Calamity Day Notifications link and complete the online form.  You can also visit the district website at www.ketteringschools.org, and click on “Calamity Day Sign-Up List” under “Featured News” on the homepage of the website. You will find the link to sign up for calls and/or text messages when we delay or close school on this page.

If you have questions regarding Calamity Day Notifications, please contact Kari Basson in Community Relations, at kari.basson@ketteringschools.org or at 937-499-1458.

Looking forward to seeing many of you and our students as I make my rounds of the buildings on Monday. Enjoy your weekend!

Scott Inskeep
Superintendent

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Events/Activities/Information of Interest to the KCS Community

Calamity Day Procedures – updated January 2021 

Calamity Day Notification Procedures 

‘Triple P – The Power of Positive Parenting – FREE Parenting Support and Education Opportunities during the Month of February
Letter of Introduction 
Schedule & Registration 

     * February 2 -- The Power of Positive Parenting

     * February 11 -- Raising Responsible Teenagers

     * February 15 -- Raising Confident, Competent Children

     * February 24 -- Raising Competent Teenagers

 Kettering Parks Recreation & Cultural Arts – Winter Youth Program Opportunities with the City of Kettering’s PRCA!  
Find our more at www.playkettering.org

Kettering Youth Football and Cheer -- Registration opens in April 10 
Registration Information

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Friday, January 15, 2021

KCS Families and Staff:

We have four days of remote learning left next week before we return to in-person learning, so let’s finish strong and ready to move into the next phase of this very unique school year.

RETURN TO IN-BUILDING LEARNING ON JANUARY 25!

We are so looking forward to welcoming all students back to our buildings for in-person learning on January 25. As a reminder, all students engaged in in-person learning will attend classes on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays; Wednesdays will be remote learning days and will allow for deeper cleaning in the buildings. School day schedules will run as follows:

Preschool – AM Integrated -- 8:15-10:15 a.m. * PM Integrated – 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. * Pathfinders – 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

Elementary – 8:15 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

Middle School – 8:40 a.m.-2:40 p.m.

High School – 7:50 a.m.-2:05 p.m.

Our priority during these challenging times is to bring our students and staff back into our buildings for in-person learning in as safe a manner as possible. With this in mind, I want to outline the precautions we have been and will continue to take to make our facilities safe for all who enter them.

GermStop

GermStop is an antimicrobial spray that is being applied by trained technicians to all high-touch surfaces in all of our buildings. The colorless, odorless mist dries like a coat of paint and is applied once a month to high-touch surfaces to kill bacteria and viruses for up to 30 days.

For additional information on GermStop, please visit the Alpha & Omega Building Services website at https://aobuildingservices.com/covid-19-services/

Sanitizing Protocols

  • All classrooms will be equipped with spray sanitizers, disposable paper towels and/or disinfectant wipes that will be used to wipe down all surfaces on a regular basis and between any class changes.
  • In addition, bottles of Germ-X hand sanitizer will be available in every classroom.
  • Hand sanitizer stations have been installed at high-traffic areas, such as building entrances and exits.
  • Our custodial staff will do regular cleaning and sanitizing of surfaces throughout the buildings, with a special emphasis on high-touch surfaces, such as door knobs, counters, tabletops and restroom facilities.

Table/Counter/Desk Dividers

  • We will have dividers on all tables or other surfaces used by students that can’t be separated for social distancing. These dividers re movable so that teachers can adjust learning spaces for small group work and other differentiated learning situations.
  • Stationary plexiglass panels have been installed on all cafeteria tables to assure student safety.

Filter Changes

Our custodians are regularly changing all filters throughout the buildings, and we have switched to a more high-quality product that filters more particles out of the air.

Parents/Guardians & Schools – We’re Partners!

As we move to in-person learning, we look to our parents and guardians to continue to partner with us in the successful move to this next phase of learning for our students. Please keep in mind the “5 Ws for Safe In-Person Learning:”

  • When sick, stay at home
  • Wear a mask
  • Wipe desks and surfaces
  • Wash your hand frequently
  • Watch your distance

Please refer to our “Information for Second Semester” document for details regarding our return to in-person learning on January 25. Please do not hesitate to contact your child’s principal or unit principal if you have questions regarding second-semester learning for your child(ren).
 

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

The Kettering City Schools will be closed on Monday, January 18, in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr. King was an American Baptist minister and a leader in the Civic Rights movement in the late 1950s and 1960s. We join others across the country and world in celebrating the contributions of the great civil rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

MLK Day -- January 18, 2021

 

Enjoy your weekend!

Scott Inskeep

Superintendent

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Reminder RE: Plans for Breakfast/Lunch Meals

Next week, 19-22, we will be providing curbside meal pick-up at each of our school buildings from 7:30a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Students who will be in the buildings for the learning pods, special education services and CTC labs will be served meals in the cafeteria, as usual. Beginning on January 25, students will have breakfast and lunch in their cafeterias.

Meals for students who choose the remote learning option will be available for curbside pick-up at each school from 9-10:30 a.m. Curbside pick-up of meals will be available ONLY for students who are engaged in remote learning. Parents/guardians who will be picking up meals at school are asked to COMPLETE THIS FORM, so that our Food & Nutrition Services Department can plan accordingly to prepare the meals. 

PLEASE DO NOT COMPLETE THE MEAL PICK-UP FORM AGAIN IF YOU HAVE ALREADY COMPLETED ONE. You only need to complete the form once.

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Friday, January 8, 2021

KCS Families and Staff:
 

Happy New Year! I hope everyone had an enjoyable and relaxing Winter Break.  We have one week of remote learning under our belts and will pivot to learning pods, some special education services and in-building learning for our career tech center students for the next two weeks.

I have had calls and emails from a number of parents asking if we are going to stick with our plan to return to in-person learning on January 25, and the answer is YES! We are really looking forward to resuming in-person learning and are so excited to bring our students back into our buildings. Students will be in school on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays; Wednesdays will be remote learning days and will allow for our custodial staff to do deeper cleaning in the buildings.

Looking forward to getting back to in-person learning!

Thank you, and have a nice weekend!

Scott Inskeep
Superintendent

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Plans for Breakfast/Lunch Meals

During the weeks of January 11-15 and January 19-22, we will be providing curbside meal pick-up at each of our school buildings from 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Students who will be in the buildings for the learning pods, special education services and CTC labs will be served meals in the cafeteria, as usual.

Beginning on January 25, students will have breakfast and lunch in their cafeterias. Meals for students who choose the remote learning option will be available for curbside pick-up at each school from 9-10:30 a.m. Curbside pick-up of meals will be available ONLY for students who are engaged in remote learning.

Parents/guardians of remote learners who will be picking up meals at school are asked to COMPLETE THIS FORM, so that our Food & Nutrition Services Department can plan accordingly to prepare the meals.

 

Info Regarding Community Events/Activities of Interest

Knights of Columbus Basketball Free Throw 2021 Competition 
 

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Friday, December 18, 2020

KCS Families and Staff:

 want to wish each and every one of you a safe, relaxing Winter Break. I sincerely hope that the next two weeks will give you the opportunity to spend time with your family and rejuvenate after a challenging several months.

Just a few items to share with you this week.

Re-Start in 2021 Plan

We will return to fully remote learning for all students, pre-K-grade 12, from Monday, January 4 to Friday, January 8, 2021.

From January 11-22, 2021,
we will continue with remote learning, but will re-introduce the Learning Pods and before-and-after-school childcare for these students in our elementary buildings, Quiet Learning Spaces at our middle and high schools, limited in-building special education services and in-person labs for our Career Tech Center students.

Beginning on Monday, January 25, 2021, we will move to four-day-week in-building instruction (Mondays & Tuesdays and Thursdays & Fridays.) We will continue to monitor the metrics and indicators surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic during Winter Break and during the three weeks that we are engaged in remote learning. It is our hope that we can return to in-building instruction, however, if the metrics and indicators warrant, we will have to return to a hybrid format of in-building instruction.

Information from Special Education Services

Parents/Guardians of students with disabilities – Our Special Education Department is sending you a letter outlining plans for delivering special education services after Winter Break. Please be on the lookout for the letter and feel free to contact your child’s intervention specialist if you have any questions.

Parent Surveys

Our building principals will be sending all parents/guardians a survey to complete as we move toward our "Re-Start in 2021.” The survey gives parents/guardians the opportunity to identify the learning option that you feel will be best for your child(ren) as we begin the third quarter of the school year on January 25, 2021. Please take the time to complete the survey by January 8, 2021. The Teaching & Learning Department thanks you for assisting them in planning for the third quarter.

Meal Boxes over Winter Break..and Beyond

Our Food & Nutrition Services Department has a limited number of Meal Boxes that will be distributed for students on Monday, December 21, and again on Monday, December 28. We will have a total of 350 Meal Boxes that will include breakfast and lunch for the week. The boxes will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis, beginning at 9 a.m. on both days. The distribution of the Meal Boxes will take place at the kitchen loading dock at Fairmont High School (back parking lot near the Athletic Center.)

From January 4-8, 2021, We will be doing curbside distribution of breakfast and lunch meals ONLY at Fairmont High School, Kettering Middle School and Greenmont, John F. Kennedy and Southdale elementary schools from 7:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

From January 11-22, 2021, we will have meals available for pickup at all school buildings from 7:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. for students who are engaged in remote learning. We will be sending out additional information about plans for meal distribution after January 8 when we return from Winter Break. 

Streaming of Fairmont Athletic Contests

The Fairmont Athletic Department is excited to partner with TKDS Sports Network to stream a variety of Fairmont Athletic contests during the Winter Season. Firebird Fans will be able to view this network on a Smart TV, ROKU or Amazon Fire Stick. Fans can also search the TKDS Sport APP in the iOS and Android play store. When using a computer, it is recommended that you use the Google Chrome browser. Please use this link for more detailed viewing information: https://videos.tkdssports.com/best_viewing/

Cost:

Option 1 -- $60 per account for streaming of all contests

Option 2 -- $20 for a 7-day account for all contests streamed during the 7 days

Registering:

Please use this link for additional pricing information, to view the full list of events and to register for the Fairmont Sports Network: https://videos.tkdssports.com/register-fairmont-sports-network/

Support:

TKDS Sports Network has a Tech Support phone number and web links to help fans get on the site to view games, reset your password, etc., Please visit this link for more information: https://videos.tkdssports.com/support/

Giving Back to Fairmont Athletics:

A portion of each purchase of a streaming account comes back to Fairmont Athletics. This is a great way for families to stay safe, follow their favorite Firebird teams and support our Firebirds Athletics program!

Scott Inskeep
Superintendent

*  *  *  *  *

Friday, December 11, 2020
 

KCS Families and Staff:
 

I am very excited in this week’s “Friday Firebird Focus” to address what I am calling our “Re-Start in 2021 Plan.” Before I outline this plan, I want to extend my sincere appreciation to our staff, students and families for your patience and understanding over the past several months as we have had to pivot and adapt as things have changed in our county and community relative to the COVID-19 pandemic. I know there has been frustration – truth be told, I have felt it myself! – with all of the uncertainties tied to this pandemic and how it has impacted how and where we can provide teaching and learning to our students. It is my hope that our “Re-Start in 2021 Plan” will bring back a sense of normalcy for all of us!

I am sure everyone is looking forward to a well-deserved Winter Break, which begins at the end of the school day on Friday, December 18. When we return after Winter Break, we will continue with a fully remote format for one week, so students will continue learning remotely from January 4 through January 8.

Beginning on January 11, we will continue with remote learning, but will re-introduce the Learning Pods and before-and-after-school childcare in our elementary buildings, Quiet Learning Spaces at our middle and high schools, in-building special education services and in-person labs for our Career Tech Center students. This format will take place from January 11 through January 22.

We will be closely monitoring the metrics and indicators surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic through Winter Break. Depending on these indicators, we will return to either four-day-a-week, in-person learning (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday) or a hybrid format (Monday/Thursday or Tuesday/Friday) on Monday, January 25, 2021. It is my sincere hope that we can all continue to follow the guidelines of the CDC and our county and state health departments with regard to wearing masks, washing hands and social distancing and return to in-person learning for all students in January 2021.

It is my hope that each and every one of you has the opportunity to rest, relax and enjoy time with your families this holiday season. I know this year will be different and very difficult for so many of us as we miss out on those special gatherings with extended family members and friends, but working together, we can help to change the tide of this pandemic and return to some of the “normal” things – like in-person learning – that we have all been missing so much.

If you have questions regarding our “Re-Start in 2021 Plan,” please contact your building principal. Let’s finish our last week before Winter Break strong!

Enjoy your weekend!

Scott Inskeep
Superintendent

                                               --------------------------------

 

ENGAGE Montgomery County

Through the Montgomery County Educational Service Center (MCESC), the Kettering Schools have the opportunity to participate in ENGAGE Montgomery County, a program designed to provide support to students who may be struggling academically with the change from traditional classroom learning to remote learning from home.

Students who participate in ENGAGE Montgomery County will be paired with a mentor who will be readily available to answer questions, connect the student with resources and help the student finish the school year strong.

There is no cost to the student or family to participate in ENGAGE Montgomery County. Our school counselors and principals are assisting in identifying students who may benefit from participation in the program. Please click here to access a flier with addtional details about this program. You can also contact Carrie Hennessy, the district’s Multi-Tiered Systems of Support Leader, at carrie.hennessy@ketteringschools.org with questions or for additional information.

 

 

Friday, December 4, 2020

KCS Families and Staff:
 

Thank you to everyone for really stepping up and making our first week doing fully remote learning after Thanksgiving Break as effective as possible.

As I have been talking to teachers and principals this week, the overarching theme that I am hearing is that they want students and their families to know that while we may not be “in” school, school is still very much going on, and our teachers, counselors, school nurses and principals are here for their students and parents.

If you have any questions, need help with a lesson, don’t understand an assignment or just want to chat with a familiar adult, please reach out to your teacher (or teachers), school counselor, school nurse or unit or building principal. 

All of our staff members have email addresses and are regularly checking their email inboxes every school day to see if they can assist any of their students or to see if parents/guardians have questions or concerns. Likewise, every student has access to his/her Google classroom, and this is a great way to connect with teachers during remote learning.

It is so important, during these different and challenging times, that our students know that they can maintain contact with their teachers, counselors and principals – whether it be just to chat or if they are struggling for any reason from an academic or social/emotional standpoint. 

Our secretarial staff members in each of our buildings have also been trained to assist with and troubleshoot technology issues. Please reach out to your child’s main office with any technology questions you may have. Our secretaries are doing a great job assisting students and parents with technology questions and issues!

If you have any issues contacting any staff member, please call your child’s main office during the school day, and our principals and/or secretaries will be happy to provide you with contact information. As always, we are here to support our students and families as we all work hard to try to make the best of the situation we find ourselves in during these challenging times. 

Let’s finish strong over the next two weeks leading up to our Winter Break. And I’m sure you’re tired of hearing me say it, but if we can all mask up, wash up and socially distance, a return to some sense of normalcy in the new year just might be a possibility! 

Have a nice weekend!

Scott Inskeep
Superintendent

*  *  *

Board of Education Meeting – December 8

The Kettering Board of Education will return to the virtual format for its meeting next week, Tuesday, December 8. The meeting will begin at 6 p.m., and the meeting can be viewed, live, from our district YouTube channel. You can access the livestream from our website, using this link -- https://bit.ly/33LqTzl.

If you would like to address the Board of Education during the “Hearing of the Public” portion of the agenda, please send your name, address, phone number and email address to:  KCSCitizensComments@ketteringschools.org by 1 p.m. on Tuesday, December 8, 2020. We will contact you with details for addressing the Board of Education.

Meal Stops and Hot Chocolate

Our Food & Nutrition Services and Transportation staff are continuing to deliver breakfast and lunch at designated Meal Stops in our neighborhoods, Monday-Friday. Meals are also available for curbside pick-up at Fairmont High School, Kettering Middle School, and Southdale, Greenmont and John F. Kennedy elementary schools, from 7:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Monday-Friday.

Yesterday, our high school staff was also out-and-about in the community, delivering hot chocolate to children and their families at several of the Meal Stops. We don’t want anyone to miss out on getting a nice cup of  hot chocolate, so staff members will once again join our Food & Nutrition and Transportation staff next Wednesday, December 9, to deliver hot chocolate at each Meal Stop on these routes:
Route #1
Route #2
Route #3
Route #4, and
Route #5

All of the Meal Stops are listed in an attachment to this week’s Friday Firebird Focus. Any child between the ages of 0 and 18 can pick up meals at ANY stop, Monday-Friday, and you do not need to sign up for the meals; just stop by any one of the Meal Stops at the designated times to pick up meals. Please contact Kari Basson in Community Relations at kari.basson@ketteringschools.org with questions about the Meal Stops.

 

Santa and his FriendsDelivering Hot Chocolate to the Community!

 

Santa and his Elf deliver hot chocolate

 

*  *  *  *  *

 

Friday, November 27, 2020

KCS Families and Staff:

As anticipated, we received notification late Wednesday afternoon that Montgomery County has moved to the Level 4/Purple Alert on Ohio’s Public Health Advisory System. When a county reaches “Purple,” it means it has met at least six of seven indicators of concern for COVID-19 spread for at least two consecutive weeks, and residents should only leave home for supplies and services.

This “Purple” designation is very serious, and Ohio’s Public Health Advisory System is one of the metrics we have been using over the past several weeks as we have made decisions about in-person learning. We are continuing to see positive COVID results among both students and staff members, and resulting required quarantines has made it a challenge, in some instances, to adequately staff some of our classrooms over the past few weeks.

As I noted in my November 20 “Friday Firebird Focus,” this alert level will force us to move to full-remote learning on Monday, November 30. This means that all students, pre-K-12, will be engaged in remote learning, and we will not be able to provide the Learning Pods, special education services or Career Tech Center lab time for students in our buildings. While it is difficult to predict what Montgomery County’s alert level will be over the coming weeks, we do want to provide some semblance of consistency for our families and staff, so we are going to continue with full-remote learning through December 18.

Monday, November 30, will look similar to our first-quarter remote learning. Students should check into their Google classrooms on Monday morning at the designated time that they typically checked in during the first quarter. Your teacher(s) will be providing you with further details on Monday and through next week regarding remote learning schedules for the next three weeks leading up to Winter Break.

For more detailed information, please read over the “Remote Learning 2nd Quarter Framework: Pre-K-5” and/or the "Return to Remote Learning Framework: 6-12.

As I have said numerous times over the past several months, we want our students in our buildings, learning in their classrooms. However, as we are in the midst of a public emergency in Montgomery County, I feel that it is in the best interest of the health and safety of our students, staff and families to move to remote learning. We will continue to monitor our county’s alert level through December with the hope that if we can all do our part to mask up, wash up and socially distance, we may be able to return to in-person learning after our Winter Break.

Thank you,

Scott Inskeep
Superintendent

*  *  *  *  *

Curbside Meal Pickup

Our Food & Nutrition Services Department will provide breakfast and lunch meals for curbside pickup while students are engaged in remote learning.  You can access the breakfast and lunch menus on the Food & Nutrition Services Department's website.

Curbside pickup will be available on Mondays (three days of meals) and Thursdays (two days of meals) from 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the following locations:

(1)  Fairmont High School -- at the kitchen loading dock in the back parking lot (Trent Arena/Athletic Center lot)

(2)  Kettering Middle School -- at the drive that runs behind the South Unit and past the North Unit (near the Lathrem Center Parking Lot)

(3) Greenmont Elementary -- at the corner of Briedweng Ave. and Wren Circle

(4) Southdale Elementary -- at the loading dock located to the west of the building

(5) John F. Kennedy Elementary  --  at the side cafeteria entrance in the carpool pickup line

*  *  *  *  *

 

Friday, November 20, 2020

KCS Staff and Families:
 

As we complete two weeks of hybrid learning and prepare for Thanksgiving Break, I want to take this opportunity to talk about a few of the things I am thankful for in my role as superintendent of the Kettering City Schools.

I am so thankful for staff members who have been going above-and-beyond for our students and families for many, many months, as we have all adjusted to a very different way of doing business.  I have witnessed amazing creativity and flexibility among so many of our teachers, as you continued to provide meaningful learning to our students even as we went from business-as-usual last March to fully remote learning to a hybrid model these past two weeks. What you have been doing to keep students engaged and learning through all of this is nothing short of amazing, and all of your hard work, dedication and efforts are greatly appreciated.

To our transportation staff who have been working from day one with sometimes every-changing schedules and job responsibilities to get students transported to school and meals delivered to families, thank you. I know this has been a challenging time for all of you, and you are truly appreciated.

Knowing that children can’t learn if they’re hungry, our food & nutrition services staff prepped and packaged thousands and thousands of grab-and-go breakfast, lunch and snack meals for our families last summer and through our first quarter when students were engaged in remote learning. And your flexibility in transitioning to provide students who are in our buildings with meals, while continuing to provide curbside pick-up for families who have chosen the remote option is very much appreciated.

To our clerical staff who do so much to support families and staff, to our aides who have had to be creative and flexible in serving a wide range of student needs, to our custodial and maintenance staff who are working so hard to keep our buildings safe and clean to our board office folks who are making sure students are getting registered, technology is working, payroll happens and students and staff are supported, I thank you.

Last, but certainly not least,  to our families...you have been asked to do a lot over the past several months, helping your children with their online learning, supporting their social/emotional needs during these difficult times and adjusting to changing schedules and plans, to name just a few. Who we are as a district truly is because of the strong partnership our schools have with our families and community, and I can't thank you enough for the role you play in this partnership. 

As I stated in a letter that went out to families and staff yesterday, our plan is to return to in-person learning after the Thanksgiving Break. However, over the past 24 hours, Montgomery County moved to the Level 4 Purple Alert watch list, and we anticipate that Public Health Dayton Montgomery County will move our county to the full Purple Alert Level next week, based on the 7 indicators of disease spread in our community. Level 4, or Purple, is the highest level of the Ohio Public Health Advisory System. 

When a county reaches Purple, it means it has met at least six of seven indicators of concern for COVID-19 spread for at least two consecutive weeks and residents should only leave home for supplies and services. 

Please click here for additional information on the Ohio Public Health Advisory System.

While we want nothing more than to have students in our buildings for in-person learning, if Montgomery County does move to the Purple Alert Level, we will be forced to move to full-remote learning on November 30, as the health and safety of our students, staff and families is and always will be my top priority. All students will be engaged in remote learning and we will not be able to provide services to students in our buildings.

I wish I had different news for you as we head into Thanksgiving Week, but I also feel that it is my obligation to make decisions that will help our community, our county and our state get a handle on the surge in cases of COVID-19. If we move to the Purple Level and a Public Emergency, then not having children in our buildings will be the right decision for the Kettering City Schools at this time.

I hope you and your families have a safe Thanksgiving. Let’s continue to mask up, wash up, socially distance and limit exposure to those other than our immediate families during our upcoming Thanksgiving Break, and hopefully we can get back to some semblance of normal in the very near future.

Enjoy your well-deserved break next week!

Scott Inskeep
Superintendent

*  *  *  *  *

Activity/Informational Links and Fliers:

(1)  Spirit Shirts -- Supporting FHS's 2020 Spirit Chain

(2)  PlayKettering 2020 November Programs 

*  *  *  *  *

 

Friday, November 6, 2020

KCS Families and Staff:

In three days, we will bring students back to our buildings for in-person learning for the first time since March, and we are really excited for the next phase in this unusual 2020-2021 school year!  

To review:  We will be returning to in-person learning on a hybrid model for the next two weeks, with students whose last names begin with A-K attending in-building classes on Monday and Thursday, and students whose last names begin with L-Z attending in-building classes on Tuesday and Friday.

Thanksgiving Break runs from November 23-27, with students returning to in-building classes four days a week (Mondays, Tuesday, Thursdays and Fridays.) Wednesdays will be remote learning days for all students and will be used as deep cleaning days in the buildings.

As we prepare to bring students back into our buildings, I want to underscore how important it is going to be for all of us to work together in making sure we are following safety protocols at all times.

This partnership between the schools and our families will allow us to return to in-person learning as safely and responsibly as possible.  The “5 Ws” --  "When you are sick, stay at home," "Wear a Mask," "Wash your hands frequently," "Wipe desks, surfaces and shared items," and "Watch your distance," are things that everyone needs to practice for a safe return to school. I encourage you to review the “5 Ws” with your children.
 

Click here to access the "5 Ws" infographic, and feel free to print it out and pin it to your kitchen bulletin board or hang it on your refrigerator as a reminder that these are “best practices” for all of us as we work together to do what we can to stay safe and well. Feel free to contact your child’s principal or school nurse with questions regarding safety protocols in our buildings or when you should keep your child home from school.

A big “THANK YOU” to Ashlynn Witt, a Southdale parent and marketing director for the Southdale PTO, who created this and the other infographics we have been sharing on our website and social media.
 

Transportation

I want to take this opportunity to thank our Transportation supervisor, Todd Silverthorn, and all of our transportation staff members who have been working so hard over the past three months to deliver meals to our Meal Stops and transport students to our buildings to participate in Learning Pods, Career Tech programming and special education services. I appreciate your flexibility and dedication in making sure our students got where they needed to be!

The Bus Route Information Link is now live on the Transportation Department page on our website -- https://www.ketteringschools.org/Administration/32

If your child is eligible for transportation, you will be able to find his/her bus stop information, using this link.

We are doing everything we can to cover as many of our bus routes as possible. However, I want to reiterate that we are experiencing an almost crisis-level shortage of bus drivers, and if we are not able to hire and train additional bus drivers, the Transportation Department will have to look at combining routes and/or suspending routes in order to continue to provide services to as many students as possible.

The COVID-19 pandemic brings with it new challenges that are also beginning to impact our ability to cover every route. I want to be proactive in reminding parents that there may be instances when your assistance in getting your child(ren) to school could be needed if we have a number of drivers out and not able to work. We will do everything we can to give you advanced notice if there is going to be an issue with a particular route, but do want our families to know that there could be instances when this is not possible. I encourage you to plan now for alternative ways for your child(ren) to get to school, in the event that we are not able to cover every route.


School Meals

I’m also going to take this opportunity to give a shout out to our Food & Nutrition Services supervisor, Stacie Pabst, and her food service staff! These folks have served thousands and thousands of meals since way back in March, when our schools were closed. Making sure children have nutritious meals every day is so important to our core mission, since we know that a child cannot learn on an empty stomach.

Stacie and her team will once again make a shift in how they “do business” when we move to in-person learning on Monday. When students are in their buildings for in-person learning, they will be able to get breakfast and lunch in their cafeterias. On days when students are remote, they/their parent can visit their school for curbside meal pick-up. 

Parents who choose the full-remote option for their child(ren) can pick up meals each day at the child's school (if you have children at multiple schools, you are welcome to pick up all meals at a single location.) With the extension by Congress of federal school lunch flexibilities, ANY CHILD between the ages of 0 and 18 can get free school meals through the end of the current school year.

Here is a list of locations for curbside pick-up of school meals at each of our buildings:

Beavertown Elementary --At the front parking lot
Greenmont Elementary – By the kitchen entrance at the corner of East Wren Circle and Briedwing Dr.
Indian Riffle Elementary – At the kitchen loading dock area at the back parking lot
John F. Kennedy Elementary – At the back kitchen door (afternoon car line)
Oakview Elementary --  At the front of the building (Ackerman Blvd.)
Orchard Park Elementary – At the car line on the west (parking lot) side of the building
Prass Elementary – At the back parking lot near the cafeteria entrance (Doors 2 & 3)
Southdale Elementary – At the loading dock on the west side of the building
Kettering Middle School – At curbside behind the cafeteria (near the Lathrem Center parking lot)
Van Buren Middle School – At the kitchen entrance by the ramp in the Schuyler Dr. parking lot
Fairmont High School – In the Athletic Center parking lot by Door #26
 

Return to Building Framework

Click on the links below to access the detailed "Return to Building Framework" for our elementary and secondary students.
Elementary Return to Building Framework
Secondary Return to Building Framework

 

Enjoy your weekend!

Scott Inskeep
Superintendent                                                                                                                                                                                                          

 

Friday, October 30, 2020

KCS Parents and Staff:

We are excited to be just a little over a week away from bringing students back into our buildings for in-person learning. A quick reminder that we will begin in-person learning with a hybrid model, with students whose last names begin with A-K coming to school on  Mondays and Thursdays and students whose last names begin with L-Z coming to school on Tuesdays and Fridays. Wednesdays will be used as cleaning days and will be remote learning for students district wide.
 

10 Things You Can Do to Prepare for Returning to School

As we prepare to return to in-person learning, it is very important that we all work together to do this as safely as possible. Our school nurses have teamed up to put together a tipsheet titled "10 things you can do to prepare for returning back to school." (Attached)

I encourage everyone to print out this tipsheet and place it on your refrigerator as a reminder of some simple safety steps we can all take as we get ready to go back into our school buildings. I know I am speaking on behalf of our nurses when I say that we hope that many of the precautionary steps our own health department strongly encourages -- including wearing a mask and practicing good hand hygiene -- become second nature to us all!
 

Breakfast/Lunch Service for Students

We all know how important it is for children to have nutritious breakfast and lunch meals -- it's hard to learn when the belly is growling! We also know that many of our KCS families have depended on our Food & Nutrition Services Department to continue serving meals while our schools were closed and when we moved to remote learning. With this in mind, our amazing Food & Nutrition Services staff will continue to provide curbside service, Monday-Friday from 10-11 a.m. at each of our school buildings. 

When students are in their buildings for in-person learning, they will be able to get breakfast and lunch in their cafeterias. On days when students are remote, they/their parent can visit their school for curbside meal pick-up. Parents who choose the full-remote option for their child(ren) can pick up meals each day at the child's school(if you have children at multiple schools, you are welcome to pick up all meals at a single location.)

I also want to remind our families that Congress has mandated that school meals be FREE to ANY child between the ages of 0 and 18, through at least the end of the current school year. If you have children younger than school age, you are welcome to pick up meals for them at one of our buildings that is closest to where you live.


Fairmont Theatre Department to Present Fall Play

The Kettering Fairmont Theatre Department is proud to present The Fall Play, Vintage Hitchcock: A Live Radio Play, on Friday, November 6 and Saturday, November 7 in the Fairmont High School Auditorium. Social distancing guidelines will be followed and masks are required. Both performances can be streamed live and are available on-demand from ShowShare for 24 hours after each show at www.FairmontTheatre.org.

Spies, murder, love, and other trademarks of Alfred Hitchcock come to life in the style of a 1940s radio broadcast of the master of suspense's earlier films. With The Lodger, Sabotage and The 39 Steps, Vintage Hitchcock: A Live Radio Play is a triple feature, complete with vintage commercials, that recreates a daring train chase, a serial killer's ominous presence, and a devastating explosion through the magic of live sound effects and musical underscoring (Playscripts)

Tickets for adults are $12; students and seniors are $10. Admission for Seniors are Special card holders is free. Tickets can be purchased in advance by calling 937-499-2647, by visiting our ticket office during the school day, or via the internet using this link:  https://ticketracker.com/store/events/125?departmentId=311

This production is directed by Ryan Lamb. John Gentry oversees set construction and the crew and Laura Lamb is the Artistic Director.

 
Students from the cast and crew include: Noah Badgley, Daniel Breslin, Hannah Carruth, Isabella Clark, Charlie Cute, Madison D’Amico, Adeline Hennessy, Andrew Hosford, Lia McManus, Baylie Mitchell, Katie Pocius, Will Schneider, Sage Sipe, Addie Taylor, William Trapp, Zach Tuttle, Myka Williamson, and Sophie Campbell.

 

Fliers/Attachments

(1)  "10 Things You Can Do to Prepare for Returning to School"

(2)  CUSA Supplemental Soccer Tryouts -- November 9-12

 

Friday, October 23, 2020

KCS Families and Staff:
 
On Tuesday, the Kettering Board of Education formally adopted the district’s Return to Building Learning Framework that was shared in the October 16, “Friday Firebird Focus.” As a district, we are looking forward to opening our school buildings and classrooms for learning once again.
 
We will be implementing health and safety protocols and precautions to ensure we are providing a safe learning environment for all. These protocols include the mandatory wearing of masks, social distancing, frequent hand washing and cleaning surfaces.
 
In order to give our students and staff the opportunity to learn and practice our new health and safety protocols and precautions, we will welcome our students back in a hybrid model for the first two weeks of the 2nd quarter, beginning on Monday, November 9.
 
November 9 through November 20: Hybrid Learning Model
 
Students engaged in the in-person learning model will be assigned to hybrid days based on the alphabet
 
Students with a last name beginning with A-K will attend in-building classes on Mondays and Thursday.
 
Students with a last name beginning with L-Z will attend in-building classes on Tuesdays and Fridays.
 
Wednesdays will be used as cleaning days and will be remote learning days for students district wide.
 
November 30, 2020 through January 22, 2021: In-Building Learning Mode
 
Following Thanksgiving Break, unless Governor DeWine issues a statewide mandate or, with consideration given to Montgomery County reaching LEVEL 4 (purple) in Ohio’s COVID-19 Advisory System, Kettering students engaged in in-person learning will attend in-building classes on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.
 
Wednesdays will continue to be used as cleaning days and will be remote learning days for all students district wide.
 
Change to School Hours: One-Hour Early Release
 
On the days when students are attending in-building classes (Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays,) school will be dismissed one hour early to provide teachers time to make daily virtual connections with their remote-learning students.
 
*  Our new school hours will be as follows:
 
Elementary Schools – 8:15 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
 
Middle Schools – 8:40 a.m. to 2:40 p.m.
 
Fairmont High School – 7:50 a.m. to 2:05 p.m.
 
Remote Learning Will Continue
 
The Kettering School District understands that a return to in-person learning is a family decision. For those families who have chosen to stay remote or to transition to remote learning, students will receive instruction from their current teacher(s).
 
Teaching and learning may include pre-recorded lessons, joining into a classroom or group discussion via Zoom and completing independent work. The last hour of each day will be reserved for remote students to work one-on-one or in small groups with their teachers. On Wednesdays, all district students in the class will be engaged in remote learning activities.
 
Will Kettering Schools Shift Learning Plans Again?
 
We are hopeful that we will be able to maintain in-person learning. However, if Montgomery County reaches LEVEL 4 (purple) in Ohio’s COVID-19 Advisory System or Governor DeWine issues another statewide mandate, we will have to return to remote/hybrid learning. One benefit of beginning the year in full remote learning is that our students and our staff will be ready to immediately implement a meaningful learning experience remotely if it is necessary at any point.
 
Included with this week’s Friday Firebird Focus is the “Return to School Summary,” which includes parent responses – as of October 22 – for in-person or remote learning. The deadline to submit responses is at the end-of-day today, but you will see that the majority of parents/guardians who have responded thus far do prefer in-building instruction.
 
One last attachment this week is a letter from me and our transportation supervisor, Todd Silverthorn. This letter is very similar to a letter we sent to parents in January. Unfortunately, we continue to have a shortage of bus drivers and this dire situation may mean changes in how we deliver transportation to students. Please take a minute to read through the letter so that you are not caught off-guard if we do have to make any changes.
 
We will continue to communicate with you as we move through the coming weeks. If you have any questions in the meantime, please contact your building principal. Every effort will be made to ensure that everyone in our schools experiences a safe learning environment.
 
We look forward to entering into this next phase of the school year together.
 
Scott Inskeep
Superintendent

 

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Friday, October 16, 2020

KCS Families and Staff:

In this week's "Friday Firebird Focus," parents/guardians were provided with a Parent Survey – via an email form the child(ren)’s building principal -- where they will have the opportunity to identify the learning option that they feel will be best for their child(ren) as we finish the 1st Quarter on November 6, and prepare to start the 2nd quarter of the school year on November 9. 

Included in the Friday Focus are:

The Return to School Summary and the:

Return to School Framework (detailed) -- 

 Secondary (grades 6-12)

 Elementary (grades K-5)

 Preschool

Thank you to all of you who assisted us in developing this framework for bringing our students back to school in a manner that will be safe for them and our staff.If you are a parent/guardian and did not receive your Parent Survey, please contact your child’s school, and they can send you the survey. If you have any questions about the survey, the “Return to School Summary” or the “Return to School Framework,” please contact your child’s building principal.

Have a nice weekend.

Scott Inskeep
Superintendent

 

Community Events and Activities:

Band Boosters Donation Drive

Kettering PRCA Program Registration Now Open

CUSA Soccer Tryouts

Girl Scouts Fall Fun Fest

Spirit Chain/Backpack Program Photo Shoot Fundraiser

 

Friday, October 2, 2020

Dear KCS Families and Staff:
 

It has been exciting to watch as some of our fellow Montgomery County Districts have successfully brought students back to their buildings and to hear of some of our neighboring districts who will be transitioning to in-person learning over the next several weeks.

Here in Kettering, I have been meeting with building principals and department heads over the past few weeks and will be meeting with our Instructional Services Council (which includes staff and parents) next week to present drafts of our plans to return to in-person learning. I appreciate all of the discussion with and input from a number of you as we have worked through the development of a plan that will safely bring our students back to school.

I am planning to release the full back-to-school plan on or before our October 20 regular Board of Education meeting and will communicate the plan to all of you at that time.

Have a nice weekend!

Scott Inskeep
Superintendent

 

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We now include community fliers regarding events and activities that may be of interest to our parents/guardians and students in the Friday Firebird Focus. To request approval to have a flier shared with our families and staff, please use this Request to Distribute Materials Form.

Included in this week's Friday Firebird Focus are the following fliers:

  1. Future Firebirds 2020-2021 Cheer Clinics
     
  2. Marching Firebirds Fundraisers -- Chipotle, tomorrow, October 3 & Raising Cane's on Fridays through October
     
  3. Kettering City Swim Team Information 

 

 

Friday, September 25, 2020

KCS Families and Staff:

There has been a lot of recent discussion and speculation via the local media and social media channels about what school districts will be doing as they wind down their first quarters of the 2020-2021 school, and I want to address this in our Friday Firebird Focus this week."

When we made the decision to start the school year in the Kettering City Schools with a remote learning model, I told our families that I would be monitoring how our first quarter goes with regard to numbers of COVID-19 cases among staff and students, as well as with regard to what is happening in our city and county with regard to COVID-19 cases. 

I am also monitoring and am in close contact with those districts who started the school year with in-person learning so that we can learn not only from their successes, but also from some of the challenges they have faced as they move through their first quarter of classes. All of this will guide me in making a decision as we look at what we will be doing when we start the second quarter of the school year on November 9. I will share this decision with our families as soon as we are able to make the right decision for our students, families and staff.  

Enjoy your weekend!

Scott Inskeep
Superintendent

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Kettering Backpack Program Update

The Kettering Backpack Program is committed to supporting families in need in Kettering. These unprecedented times are calling for unprecedented methods of distribution to make sure food is getting to those most in need.  

If your family is in need of supplemental food bags over weekend, please visit Christ United Methodist Church on Shroyer Rd (across from Fairmont) on Thursdays from 5:30-7 OR Saturdays from 10 am to noon to pick up your child’s bag. If you are unable to pick up food during these times, please contact the counselor at your child's school to make other arrangements.

If you are interested in more information about the Kettering Backpack Program, or are interested in supporting the program, please visit our website at www.ketteringbackpack.org 

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We now include community fliers regarding events and activities that may be of interest to our parents/guardians and students in the Friday Firebird Focus. To request approval to have a flier shared with our families and staff, please use this Request to Distribute Materials Form.

 

Included in this week's Friday Firebird Focus are the following fliers:

(1)  Marching Firebirds Community Donation Day October 3 - Drive-thru or Virtual!
You can drop off your donation at Fairmont High School or use the link in the attached flier to support our Marching Firebirds.

(2)  Cub Scout Pack 28 Popcorn Drive-Thru Sale -- September 26

 

 

Friday, September 18, 2020

KCS Families and Staff:

On Tuesday, at the Kettering Board of Education's regular meeting, long-time board member Julie Gilmore resigned her seat on the board after 23 years of service. We are indebted to Miss Gilmore for her dedication, commitment and service to the students, staff and families of the Kettering City Schools.

As a way of recognizing and thanking Miss Gilmore for her service, Marching Firebird members, Emily Hunt, Emma Rustad, Jhax Aldana, Noah Lovely, Gabe Hulshult and Ethan McFarren (who is also a Fairmont Interactive Media student and did double duty by wearing a Go-Pro camera while playing his sousaphone) serenaded her with the Fairmont Fight Song.

We thank our Marching Firebirds and Interactive Media students, Nick Kvalheim and Molly Mitchell (who helped to tape and edit the video) for participating in this tribute.

And a big "THANK YOU" to Interactive Media instructor Laura Hutchens and KCS Music Coordinator and Band Director Mike Berning for all of their work behind the scenes to make this happen!

I thought you might enjoy watching the video, in case you didn't get the chance to see it on our social media sites this week! --  https://bit.ly/2EjzpMI

Kettering Board of Education Seeking Applicants for Unexpired Board Term

The Kettering Board of Education is seeking applicants to fill the unexpired term of board member Julie Gilmore.

he Kettering Board of Education is required to appoint a board member to serve the remainder of Mis Gilmore's term, which expires in December of 2021. Any appointee would be required to run for election in November 2021 to earn the right to a future four-year term as a Board of Education member, if desired.

Application Process

he Kettering Board of Education is accepting letters of interest from community members interested in serving on the Board of Education. Letters of interst and a resume should be dir4ector to: Kari Basson, Community Relations Coordinator, at 580 Lincoln Park Blvd., Suite 105, Kettering, Ohio 45429, no later than 4 p.m. on September 25, 2020. Electronic letters and resumes will be accepted if emailed to: BOEapplicant@ketteringschools.org.

Applicants selected by the Board to be interviewed will be interviewed the evening of September 29. The board expects to finish the selection process between the initial interviews on September 29, and the October 20 Board of Education Meeting, where they will make the appointment.

Eligibility Requirements

In order to run for the board of Education, you must be:
* a U.S. citizen,
* at least 18-years-old,
* a resident of the state for at least 30 days preceding the appointment,
* a resident of the Kettering school district for at least 30 days preceding the appointment,
* a registered voter in the school district for at least 30 days preceding the appointment.

Change in Hours for In-Person Technology Support

Our Technology Services Department will continue to provide Technology Support to students and parents each weekday at Fairmont High School. Parents/students can also exchange Chromebooks and/or pick up hotspots (as available) at Fairmont High School. 

Please note -- The times for the Technology Support at the high school will change, beginning on Monday, September 21, to 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. This is a change from the previous time frame of noon to 4 p.m.

Community Fliers Regarding Events/Activities

We are going to start attaching community fliers regarding events and activities that may be of interest to our parents/guardians and students in the Friday Firebird Focus, beginning today. To request approval to have a flier shared with our families and staff, please use this Request to Distribute Materials Form.

Included in this week's Friday Firebird Focus are the following fliers:

Cub Scout Pack 112 Membership Information

Future Firebirds 2020-2021 Basketball Season Sign-Ups

Kettering Girl Scout Robot Party

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Enjoy this beautiful fall weekend!

 

Scott Inskeep
Superintendent

 

Friday, September 11, 2020

KCS Staff and Families:

Thank you to our families and staff alike for a great start to the 2020-2021 school year! Students had the opportunity to see, hear and learn from their teachers. Our Food & Nutrition Services staff prepared and served more than a thousand Grab-and-Go Meals a day to students. And our Transportation staff did an amazing job of learning new routes and new schedules to get students to school for special education services, our Learning Pods and Quiet Learning Spaces...AND partnering with Food Service to deliver meals in their big yellow school buses to our neighborhood Meal Stops.  We did have a couple of “hiccups” this week, but we were able to remedy and learn from them and complete what was – all-in-all – a really good first week of school under very unusual circumstances. 

We are looking forward to seeing our kindergarten and preschool students next Monday for their first day of school!

As always, if you have questions or concerns related to the start of the new school year, please feel free to contact your child’s building principal or our Community Relations Coordinator, Kari Basson, at kari.basson@ketteringschools.org.

I am also including some important information/reminders below about our Grab-and-Go Meal program, Free/Reduced School Meal Applications and our Technology Help Desk

I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Scott Inskeep
Superintendent

 

Grab-and-Go Meals

Our building principals shared the locations and times that meals will be delivered to neighborhood Meal Stops by our bus drivers and food and nutrition staff. If you need this information sent to you again, please contact Kari Basson at kari.basson@ketteringschools.org, and she can share the Meal Stop locations with you.

 We did add a Grab-and-Go Meal distribution site at the Van Buren Village Apartments. Meals will be available for curbside pick-up at the corner of Lakewood and Tabor, from 11:30 a.m. to noon. Look for a van with “School Transportation” and a “Firebird Flag” on it.

We have also added curbside pickup of meals daily, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the following locations. Any student/parent can pick up Grab-and-Go Meals at these locations:

Fairmont High School (Loading dock located in the back Trent Arena Parking lot)
Kettering Middle School (Take back drive that circles around the front of the South Unit to the shared North Unit/Kettering Rec Center Parking Lot)
Van Buren Middle School (Parking lot off of Schuyler Drive)

 

Reminder -- ANY CHILD between the ages of O and 18 is eligible for the Grab-and-Go Meals. 

 

Free/Reduced Meals Application

Children need healthy meals to learn, and Kettering’s Food & Nutrition Services Department serves healthy meals each school day to students. Your child may qualify for free school meals or reduced-cost school meals, based on the Federal Eligibility Income Chart.

While the district is serving meals to ANY CHILD who is between the ages of 0 and 18 at this time, parents/guardians who feel that their children may qualify for free/reduced school meals are strongly encouraged to complete the online application to determine eligibility so that you/your family can receive the full benefits administered to students who qualify for free/reduced school meals.

The online application, instructions for applying for meal benefits and FAQs related to free/reduced-price meals can be found on the Food & Nutrition Services webpage under "Forms" on the district’s website – https://bit.ly/2ZtFZaG

 

Technology Help Desk

The Technology Services Department has provided training to our building office staff so that they may assist students and parents in resolving technology issues as we begin our remote learning on September 8. Please contact your child's building or unit secretary with technology issues or questions. If the office staff member is not able to resolve the issue, he/she will enlist the expertise of a member of the district's Technology Services Department to assist the parent/student.

Beavertown Elementary -- (937) 499-1740

Greenmont Elementary -- (937) 499-1850

Indian Riffle Elementary -- (937) 499-1720

J.F. Kennedy Elementary -- (937) 499-1830

Oakview Elementary -- (937) 499-1870

Orchard Park Elementary -- (937) 499-1910

J.E Prass Elementary -- (937) 499-1780

Southdale Elementary -- (937) 499-1890

Kettering Early Childhood Education Center -- (937) 499-1450

 

Kettering Middle School -- (937) 499-1550

Central Unit -- (937) 499-1553

South Unit -- (937) 499-1552

North Unit -- (937) 499-1551

 

Van Buren Middle School -- (937) 499-1800

 

 

Friday, September 4, 2020

FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL – SEPTEMBER 8 AND SEPTEMBER 14!

The first day of school is always an exciting time. As we prepare to return for the 2020-2021 school year next Tuesday, September 8, I want to thank our principals, teachers, and support staff for all you have done in the past week to quell the anxieties some of our students and parents may have as we begin our remote learning and what is – even to someone like me, who has been in the business of educating children for more than three decades – an unusual start to the school year!

I hope that the opportunities for your students to meet some of their teachers during material pick-up days, virtual open houses and the small-group freshmen orientations that Fairmont principal, Tyler Alexander, coordinated with his staff this week, are evidence of our commitment to support all of our students as we embark on our remote learning plan.

s we start school on September 8 (grades 1-12) and September 14 (preschool and kindergarten), the majority of our students will join their teachers remotely for classes throughout the day and week. In addition, we will have some students with disabilities working in our buildings with special education staff. We will also have small groups of students working in Learning Pods in our elementary buildings and in "Quiet Learning Spaces" in our middle and high schools.

The goal, as we start the school year, is for every student to have a successful experience, whether they are at their workstation at home, receiving special services in the buildings or engaging in remote learning in small group settings in our schools.

To assist our students and parents as we move into this very different way of learning, the district's Teaching and Learning Department has put together an Online Parent/Student Resources Toolbox, designed to support our families during this period of remote learning.

We encourage you to bookmark this toolbox so it is handy when you or your student(s) has questions about their remote learning plan.

 

GRAB-AND-GO MEALS STOPS

Kettering's Food & Nutrition Services Department and our Transportation Department are partnering to bring grab-and-go breakfast and lunch meals to Kettering students while the school district is engaged in remote learning.

The Grab-and-Go Bus Stop Meal Program will operate Monday-Friday from bus stops throughout Kettering. Students will be able to visit a bus stop in their neighborhood each day, beginning on Wednesday, September 9, to pick up grab-and-go breakfast and lunch meals.

We are still working out the details of the bus stop locations and times. Watch your email on Tuesday, September 8, for detailed bus stop locations and times of meal deliveries.

Parents/Guardians are asked to please complete the Google Form below. This will assist our Food & Nutrition Services Department in determining how many meals to prepare each day for our students. Grab-and-Go Meals will be available for any child between the ages of 0-18 years-of-age.

If your child(ren) will be participating in the Grab-and-Go Bus Stop Meal Program, please complete and submit the form (link below) by Friday, September 11.

Thank you!

 

TECHNOLOGY SUPPORT

The Technology Services Department has provided training to our building office staff so that they may assist students and parents in resolving technology issues as we begin our remote learning on September 8. Please contact your child's building or unit secretary with technology issues or questions. If the office staff member is not able to resolve the issue, he/she will enlist the expertise of a member of the district's Technology Services Department to assist the parent/student.

Beavertown Elementary -- (937) 499-1740

Greenmont Elementary -- (937) 499-1850

Indian Riffle Elementary -- (937) 499-1720

J.F. Kennedy Elementary -- (937) 499-1830

Oakview Elementary -- (937) 499-1870

Orchard Park Elementary -- (937) 499-1910

J.E Prass Elementary -- (937) 499-1780

Southdale Elementary -- (937) 499-1890

Kettering Early Childhood Education Center -- (937) 499-1450

Kettering Middle School -- (937) 499-1550

        Central Unit -- (937) 499-1553

        South Unit -- (937) 499-1552

        North Unit -- (937) 499-1551

Van Buren Middle School -- (937) 499-1800

Fairmont High School -- (937) 499-1600

        East Unit -- (937) 499-1620

        Central Unit -- (937) 499-1623

        West Unit -- (937) 499-1626

        South Unit -- (937) 499-1629

        Career Tech Center -- (937) 499-1632

 

After-Hours Technology Help Desk (open from 4-7:30 p.m.) -- (937) 499-2626

 

Thank you to all of our parents, guardians and staff members who are working together to make the 2020-2021 school year the best it can be for EVERY KCS student!

Scott Inskeep
Superintendent

 

Friday, August 28, 2020

KCS Families, Staff and Community:

We finished our first week of staff professional development today, as we prepare to open for the 2020-2021 school year with remote learning for our students on September 8. The commitment on the part of our staff to be present and engaged in this extensive PD is much appreciated. We witnessed a true sense of collaboration among all of our staff, even as the learning they were doing was often delivered via zoom or Google Hangouts to adhere to social distancing guidelines. I am very proud of our staff as they have worked through their first week back in our buildings under a very “new normal” for us all.

Information about and applications for the Learning Pods we will be putting in place in our elementary buildings went out this week. We will be in contact this coming week with those who have submitted applications to let you know the status of your application.

In light of the fact that we will have students and staff in our buildings -- either for one-on-one or small-group lessons and/or services, as well as for the Learning Pods -- our school nurses have put together this document  -- "Daily Health Check for Staff, Students & Visitors.” We encourage anyone who is going to be in our buildings to please adhere to these guidelines from our school nurses as we all work for a safe and healthy return to school.

Our school nurses will also be in our school buildings as the new school year gets under way and will be available to answer your questions. We will be posting contact information for each of our school nurses to our website so you are able to contact them, if needed.

Have a nice weekend.

Scott Inskeep
Superintendent  

 

Friday, August 21, 2020

Welcome Back KCS Teachers!

On Monday morning, our Firebird staff will report to their buildings and classrooms for the 2020-2021 school year. Over a two-week period, from August 24 through September 4, our staff will engage in extensive professional development as we prepare to welcome students back for remote learning on September 8. A big “thank you” to our Teaching & Learning Department, under the leadership of Dan Von Handorf, for putting together professional development opportunities designed to support our entire teaching staff as they collaborate virtually and in small cohort groups to plan for a successful remote learning experience for all students.  Thank you, as well, to our teachers, who are eager to get back to their classrooms and to work collectively to have effective lessons and instruction ready to go when our students start the 2020-2021 school year.

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Remote Learning Plan

Last week, our building principals shared the Kettering City Schools Remote Learning Plan with parents and guardians. There is an expectation – particularly at the elementary level – that parents/guardians will have some involvement in their children’s remote learning. We are very cognizant of the challenges that this may pose, especially for our parents/guardians who will be working while also helping their children with their online lessons and assignments.

In an effort to assist our parents and students as we navigate this new way of learning, our teachers are going to do their best to record any of the live sessions they present at specific times during their remote learning schedule. In addition, teachers will be using a number of pre-recorded lessons and instruction. Teachers will be sharing a playlist (daily agenda) with their students that will clearly outline the expectations for the student. Additionally, our teachers fully understand that students may be accessing the recorded/pre-recorded lessons at a time other than what is listed on the Remote Learning Schedule. Making sure that your child has a dedicated time set aside to engage in and keep up with the lessons and instruction is more important than having him/her online at the specific times listed on the Remote Learning Schedule.

As we embark on remote learning, it is critical that our families stay in communication with their child (ren)’s teacher(s). If there are challenges or problems, we ask that you please reach out to your child’s teacher for assistance. Our teachers are committed to providing meaningful instruction to all students. Our teachers are also creative and innovative, and they want to hear from you if there are issues with your child’s remote learning experience so that our families and teachers can all work together to resolve the issues.

Your child’s teacher(s) will be in touch as the school year gets under way to clearly explain expectations for remote learning, including the amount of time a student can expect to be engaged online with his/her teacher and/or with recorded lessons during their remote learning schedule. The ultimate goal of the KCS Remote Learning Plan is to provide meaningful instruction and to foster strong engagement between teachers, principals, students and their families.

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Fall Sports

Our Athletic Department shared this message with me and asked that I distribute it to our staff and families:

Due to the strict capacity restrictions we must adhere to in order to be in compliance with the mandates put forth for High School Sporting Events, we will not be able to issue or accept any type of pass for admission to any athletic events. This includes All-Sports passes, Reserved Seat passes, Seniors are Special passes, GWOC passes and Faculty/Staff ID badges. The limited amount of tickets available for events will be reserved for family members and loved ones.

We anxiously await the time when we can have you back in our stands supporting our Firebirds!

We do plan to live stream our home football games and possibly other games. We will send out that information once we confirm the details. Please continue to check back here and follow Fairmont Athletics on Twitter @FHSAthletics1 for updates throughout the season.

Stay Safe and Go Firebirds!

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Have a nice weekend!

Scott Inskeep
Superintendent

 

 

Friday, August 14, 2020

KCS Families, Staff and Community:

This morning, during a special meeting of the Kettering Board of Education, I made the recommendation to the Board that we begin the 2020-2021 school year remotely in the Kettering City Schools for the first nine weeks.

I realize that this decision is not going to be popular with many of our families, and I can certainly empathize with those of you who are passionate about us returning to in-person learning for the coming school year. No one asked for this pandemic that effectively resulted in the closure of our schools last March. I have not talked to anyone – from parents, to teachers, to students, to building principals to my own personal physicians – who do not agree that without a doubt,  in-person, students-in-seats learning is what is best for our young people.  I have wrestled with this decision and spent more than a few sleepless nights trying to balance the absolute benefit of in-person learning to meet the academic and social-emotional needs of our students with the need to assure that we can do this safely for our students and our staff.

During Gov. DeWine’s press conference on Thursday, Dr. Patty Manning, chief of staff at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, said that returning to in-person learning is ideal and should be the goal of school districts across Ohio, provided the districts can do four things, and Dr. Manning listed these in order of importance --  masking, social distancing, assuring good hand hygiene and cleaning surfaces.

While I feel confident in our ability to adhere to three of these four strategies, there just would be no way to assure social distancing – the second most important strategy that Dr. Manning identified in her presentation --  in the majority of our buildings. I was in one of our smaller elementary buildings this week, and I watched as two teachers in two separate classrooms struggled to socially distance 13 and 15 desks, respectively, in their rooms. My recommendation to move to remote learning for the first quarter of the school year is largely based on our inability to safely and effectively socially distance students and staff, coupled with the recommendations of Public Health Dayton Montgomery County with regard to in-person learning.

During a Public Forum that was held on August 13, we had the honor and privilege of listening to members of our community as they expressed their thoughts about the reopening of our schools. On behalf of the Board of Education, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all those who attended the Public Forum for the insightful, thoughtful and respectful way you presented your thoughts and opinions. This Public Forum only affirmed for me that Great Schools and a Great Community go together.

I know that I and most of our Board Members learned a lot from those who addressed the Board at this forum, and what we learned is going to guide us as we solidify what the 2020-2021 school year will look like.

We learned that many of the parents of our special education students are concerned that the needs of their children will not be met when we move to online learning. We learned that there is a lot of concern surrounding the social-emotional well-being of our students under a remote learning model. We learned that students in our advanced studies program want to complete their IB Diploma program or take the AP classes for which they are registered. We learned from many of you that the relationships our teachers build with their students can be as important as the instruction they provide. We know that students in our Career Tech Center programs need access to the labs and equipment that are paramount to their CTC education, and your comments only underscored this for us.

Please let me begin to address these and the other concerns of our parents and students by saying unequivocally that learning is going to look very different in the coming months than what you saw last spring. Our teachers will be in their buildings and classrooms working their regular schedules and providing meaningful and impactful instruction to their students. Our teachers are excited and ready to return to some semblance of normalcy and to provide not only academic instruction and support, but also to be readily available daily to build and strengthen those teacher-student relationships that are so very important to the overall development of our young people.

Darren McGarvey, our International Baccalaureate coordinator has begun to meet with his IB students and their families to talk about in-person, small-group instruction that will allow students to continue working toward their IB Diplomas. CTC principal Liz Jensen has been meeting with her instructors to develop creative plans for safely continuing to deliver in-person instruction to cohorts of CTC students. Our counselors and nurses will be in their buildings every day and will work with families to provide social-emotional support to students who need it.

Our Special Education team, under the leadership of our new supervisor, Kevin Wright, has been working diligently over the past few weeks to develop a solid plan designed to support the needs of our special education students through our remote learning and beyond. Mr. Wright has assured me that “As the district prepares for remote learning, my team and I pledge to work together to support all of our students who receive special education services via an Individualized Education Program (IEP). This could include in-person one-on-one or small group learning and/or therapy, learning through Google classroom, teacher-created videos, phone calls, tele-therapy and hands-on materials that students can work on at home, to name a few.”

We will also continue to foster the long-standing relationship we have with South Community and their therapists, who provide essential services to many of our students. This will likely include in-person, one-on-one or small-group sessions to meet the mental health needs of our students and families.

Mr. Wright has assured me that parents/guardians will hear from a representative of their child’s IEP Team regarding their individualized services after August 20, and before we start the school year on September 8, to have conversations that will center on how the district can best provide services based on the student’s current IEP.

Flexibility and adaptability have been key words for all of us as we have worked through the challenges of the past several months. As we prepare to start the school year, we will be adding “creativity” to this mantra. 

Our Teaching and Learning Department has been working all summer with a team of 42 teachers to create “exemplar” Google Classrooms. Teachers across the district have been provided with these samples of grade-level exemplar Google Classrooms and will be meeting during the two weeks of professional development that starts on August 24 to learn how to implement these best practices in their own classrooms.

It is my hope that we can continue to work in partnership with families as we bring meaningful, effective and impactful education to our students in the first nine weeks of the school year. It is my eventual goal to move to in-class instruction or a hybrid of this for our students at the conclusion of the first quarter. Working together with our families, I am confident that we will continue to provide our students with the education you expect from the Kettering City Schools.

We will continue to provide additional details in the coming weeks as we prepare for the start of school on September 8.

Thank you,
Scott Inskeep
Superintendent

 

 

Friday, August 7, 2020

KCS Parents, Staff and Community:

 
As most of you are aware, our Board of Education is hosting a Public Forum next Thursday, August 13, to give members of our community the opportunity to address Board Members regarding the reopening of our schools for the 2020-2021 School Year. This Public Forum is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m., and we have a full slate of citizens who have signed up to address the Board on Thursday evening.  

The forum will be live streamed from the Fairmont Auditorium to our YouTube Channel  (Kettering City Schools) in its entirety. We will also schedule the forum to air on Miami Valley Communications Council (MVCC) Channel 21.

If you have signed up to address the Board of Education during the Public Forum, we ask that you please arrive no more than 10 minutes before your scheduled time slot to assist us in maintaining social distancing for those who will be in the Auditorium and lobby area for the meeting.

In my Friday Firebird Focus dated July 31, 2020, I noted that it was my goal to release our instructional model for the coming school year by today, August 7. In light of the Board of Education’s request that we schedule the Public Forum for next week, we will be waiting until after this public meeting to release our instructional modality for the 2020-2021 school year.

Our Board Members have pledged to listen to and take into consideration any and all comments made during the forum and plan to hold a special board meeting on Friday, August 14, at 8:30 a.m. The purpose of this meeting is to discuss the emails the Board of Education has received from citizens and the comments presented during the Public Forum and to provide direction to me and my Central Office team regarding the reopening of our schools. This public meeting will also be live streamed to our YouTube Channel next Friday, beginning at 8:30 a.m.

As always, please feel free to contact me or any Central Office administrator with your questions.

Scott Inskeep
Superintendent

 

 

Friday July 31, 2020

KCS Parents, Guardians and Staff:

This week’s Friday Firebird Focus is intended to keep everyone updated on new developments for the coming school year.

After much discussion among my Central Office team; listening to our parents, guardians and staff; and reviewing information from the Governor’s Office and Public Health Dayton Montgomery County, I will be recommending to the Kettering Board of Education at its August 4 meeting that we delay the opening of the 2020-2021 school year for students in the Kettering City School District until September 8.

This decision will allow us to review our current educational plans for the 2020-2021 school year – including both in-person and online options – in light of the most recent communication from Public Health Dayton Montgomery County which notes that “Montgomery County has the 5th highest number of COVID-19 cases in Ohio and has the highest percentage of cases in the 0-19 years age group compared to Ohio and the other 5 largest counties.” (Please see  "Recommendations on Montgomery County K-12 Schools Reopening" here.)

As superintendent of the Kettering Schools, it is my responsibility to make decisions that are in the best interest of the safety, health and well-being of the students, families and staff of our school district. 

Given the latest data from PHDMC regarding COVID-19 cases in Montgomery County, we may have to adjust our initial plan to offer the in-person learning option for our students for the coming school year.

It is my goal to make this decision and release our instructional model for the 2020-2021 school year by Friday, August 7.

As always, please feel free to contact me or any Central Office administrator with any questions.

 

Scott Inskeep
Superintedent

 

 

Friday, July 24, 2020

After releasing our 2020-2021 School Reopening Plan last week, we received a number of questions from our families regarding the plan. We anticipated receiving these questions, and appreciate our parents and guardians reaching out to us for clarification or additional information on the details of this plan.

As I have tried to convey throughout the process of developing this plan it is – by design – a fluid document, and portions of the plan may change as guidelines and mandates continue to come to us from the Governor’s Office and Public Health Dayton Montgomery County.

Once significant change that has already taken place since the plan was initially released is the new Kettering Board of Education Policy mandating that masks be worn by anyone who is in our school buildings. This policy coincided with Governor DeWine’s statewide face covering mandate, and we feel that it is the right step for us to take in order to more safely re-open our schools for the 2020-2021 school year. 

In today’s Friday Firebird Focus, I am sharing with you the answers to the Frequently Asked Questions that have been submitted to us since last Friday’s release of our 2020-2021 School Reopening Plan. My Central Office team and I worked very hard this week to answer the many questions we have received from our Firebird families. We received a number of questions about how our Fairmont Career Tech Center and International Baccalaureate Diploma programs will work this coming school year for students who will be using the online option. Our CTC principal, Liz Jensen will be contacting her CTC families, and our IB coordinator, Darren McGarvey, will be contacting his IB families. Similarly, included in the FAQs are the names and email addresses of each of our Special Education Coordinators. Parents/Guardians of students who are on IEPs are asked to contact your child’s special ed. coordinator with questions specific to your child’s education plan for the coming school year.

I would also like to encourage any parent/guardian who has not yet completed your children’s Back-to-School Surveys to please do so as soon as possible. The information we glean from these surveys will be extremely important as we finalize in-building and online educational programming for the 2020-2021 school year. 

Please use the links below to access your child(ren)’s survey(s). Please note: The deadline to complete the Back-to-School surveys has been extended to Wednesday, July 29.  Thank you to all who have completed your children's surveys and to those who will do so now. Your assistance in helping us develop programming that will lead to a successful school year for ALL students is greatly appreciated!

Once again, I thank you for your patience and your input as we work together to safely reopen our schools, while also meeting the needs of our school community.

Thank you,
Scott Inskeep
Superintendent

 

 

Friday, July 17, 2020

I am pleased today to release the Kettering City School District’s 2020-2021 School Reopening Plan. Our School Reopening Task Force -- under the leadership of our director of Teaching and Learning, Dan Von Handorf – has been working very hard over the past few months to develop a plan that provides our parents, guardians, students and staff with options for safely returning to school in August. 

This team included parents, staff and administrative representatives who were instrumental in assisting us in developing a plan that we feel will allow ALL KCS students to have a successful 2020-2021 school year. 

In developing this plan, Our School Reopening Task Force adhered to the guidelines and mandates set forth by the state and Public Health Dayton Montgomery County. Our goal in developing this plan is to empower our parents and guardians to choose the option that is best for their children and families, whether that be having your child in a classroom in their school building every day or having your child taking classes online daily.

Included with this email is a survey that we are asking all of our parents and guardians to complete by July 24. The survey asks parents/guardians to let us know whether your children will participate in the in-building or the online educational option, whether you will want your child transported to school by bus (if he/she is eligible for transportation) and whether your children will have access to the internet for the 2020-2021 school year.

Your responses to this survey will be extremely helpful to us as we finalize the remaining details of our reopening plan and move toward starting school on August 17.

Please note that we will continue to be flexible as we fine-tune our 2020-2021 School Reopening Plan because so much surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic continues to be fluid, and this will continue to guide and impact our plans to safely return to school in August.

I am committed to continuing these Friday Firebird Focus messages to our families, staff and community to keep you updated on happenings within our school district. Similarly, we will be communicating with you regularly as we decipher the results of the school reopening survey and use this information to continue to fine-tune our school reopening plans.

I appreciate your patience as we developed our 2020-2021 School Reopening Plan. Our intent was to develop a plan that will allow us to safely reopen, while also meeting the needs of our school community. As always, we welcome your questions regarding the plan. 

Please use this link to submit any questions you may have regarding the district's 2020-2021 School Reopening Plan -- https://forms.gle/AvKDTfjNPKrFnXjp8

I will address the frequently asked questions in my Friday Firebird Focus and other communications methods.

Thank you.

Have a nice weekend.

Scott Inskeep
Superintendent

 

KETTERING CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT 2020-2021 SCHOOL REOPENING PLAN

 
 

Friday, July 10, 2020

Parents, Guardians and Staff:

As most of you are aware, Business Services director Ken Lackey was notified on June 22 by an employee that the employee had been diagnosed with Legionnaires' Disease. Mr. Lackey immediately contacted Solid Blend Water Management Solutions, and they tested all water systems campus wide at Fairmont High School on June 25.

He received the preliminary results of the testing on June 29 that showed that legionella had been found in the water at four locations in the school, including in the men’s restroom in the main lobby area, the women’s restroom in the Central Unit, the men’s restroom in the South Unit and the restroom in the custodian’s office area.

While the legionella was only found in the water in these four areas, we immediately scheduled with Solid Blend Water Management Solutions to disinfect the entire water system campus wide on July 1.

Because the health and safety of our students, staff and visitors to our buildings is and always will be a priority, we will be taking the following precautions prior to reopening our buildings for the 2020-2021 school year:

1.  We thoroughly flushed the water systems at all buildings, and this was completed today, July 10.

2,  We are replacing all faucet aerators across the district.  These were the source of three out of the four positive test results at Fairmont.

3.  We are then going to complete testing of the complete water systems at all of our school buildings.  Solid Blend Water Management Solutions, the same company we are working with at Fairmont High School, will be doing the testing and – if needed – any disinfecting at all of our buildings.

We are also working with Public Health Dayton Montgomery County and the Ohio Department of Health to develop a water safety plan moving forward for Fairmont High School. We will do the same if the tests being conducted at our other buildings indicate the presence of bacteria in these water systems.

Please feel free to contact me or Mr. Lackey if you have questions regarding the steps we are taking to assure that the water systems at all of our school buildings are safe.
 

2020-2021 School Reopening Plan

Our School Reopening Task Force team has been hard-at-work this week developing a detailed plan to reopen our schools in August. We are still on-target to release the full plan to you by the end of the week of July 13. Please watch your email, our website and our social media sites for the plan.

Have a nice weekend!

Scott Inskeep
Superintendent

 

Friday, July 3, 2020

Parents/Guardians, Staff and Community:

At his press conference on July 2, Gov. Mike’s DeWine’s first order of business was to address the reopening of schools across Ohio for the 2020-2021 school year. As expected, Gov. DeWine said that the state is providing a few mandates and a number of guidelines, but that he remains committed to the local control of our schools in Ohio, including in how they will reopen in the fall.

Gov. DeWine noted that the idea that schools are controlled by local communities, by boards of education, by parents is ingrained in the operations of public schools in Ohio, and his goal in releasing the guidelines on Thursday is to “balance local control with the state’s interest in protecting kids and making sure we are getting them educated.”

The bottom line, noted Gov. DeWine, is that we need to get kids back in school buildings, a sentiment that is shared by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Here are the state guidelines Gov. DeWine outlined in his press conference for the safe reopening of Ohio schools: 

guidelines

In general, these guidelines will require parents/guardians/students to do health checks before coming to school each day (a temperature of 100+ would require the student to stay at home) and review and practice proper handwashing techniques. The district would be required to do regular sanitizing of the school environment and to manage social distancing requirements in all school locations and on school buses. Finally, all school staff will be required to wear masks while at work, and the state strongly recommends that students in grades 3-12+ wear face coverings while in school.

With these guidelines in mind, I, along with the other Montgomery County superintendents, am scheduled to meet on Monday with Jeff Cooper, health commissioner with Public Health Dayton and Montgomery County (PHDMC). During this meeting, our plan is to discuss the state guidelines and how they will fit into the recommendations that Mr. Cooper and PHDMC will be making to our local school districts with regard to the safe reopening of our schools.

The recommendations and mandates given to us by PHDMC will certainly be influenced by Gov. DeWine’s newly released Alert System for measuring the dangers of the coronavirus in the state of Ohio. This Alert System places each county in one of four categories – Yellow, Orange, Red or Purple – as determined by the following seven indicators: 

7 Indicators
The higher the number of indicators in a county the greater the risk level and the higher that county will place within the Alert System:
 
Alert LevelsAt this time, Montgomery County is at the Red Level, which indicates a “very high exposure and spread” threat. Therefore, we do anticipate that PHDMC will be aggressive in requiring adherence by school districts county wide to the Health and Safety Guidelines Gov. DeWine released on Thursday.
 

My plan, following the meeting with PHDMC on Monday is to convene our Back-to-School Task Force and to take the state and county guidelines and weave them into a reopening plan that will get Kettering students safely back into our classrooms and our buildings by mid-August. My goal is to be able to share this detailed plan with parents/guardians, staff, students and the community by the end of the week of July 13. I understand that parents/guardians and students want to know “what’s happening with school next year!” With the state’s guidelines now in-hand and our meeting with PHDMC scheduled for next week, we are confident that we will have a detailed reopening plan ready for parents/guardians, staff and students within the next two weeks.

Kindergarten Screening

We will not be scheduling any summer screenings for incoming kindergartners. Typically, incoming kindergarten students are administered the screening tool known as the KRA-R in the spring before they will enter kindergarten and the screening tool known as KDI-2 just prior to the start of the school year. Because we were not able to administer the KRA-R in April this year, we will administer a modified version of the test, in conjunction with the KDI-2, when students start kindergarten in August.

If you have questions regarding kindergarten screenings, please contact Debbie Mears, director of Early Childhood Education, at deborah.mears@ketteringschools.org. If you have questions regarding the enrollment of your incoming kindergartner for the 2020-2021 school year, please contact Carmella Ford, district registrar, at carmella.ford@ketteringschools.org.

Preschool Registration

Preschool Registration packets will be available for pick-up at the Kettering Early Childhood Education Center, located at 2600 Holman St., Moraine, on Tuesday, July 7. You can also download and print out the packet from the district website at this link INERT LINK

Preschool Registration is scheduled for:
July 21 -- 9 am - 1 pm
July 22 -- 2 - 7:00 pm
July 23 -- 9 am - 1 pm

Registration will take place at the Kettering Early Childhood Education Center, located at 2600 Holman St. in Moraine and will be on a first-come, first-served basis because of the state-mandated limit on the number of preschool students we can have in a classroom due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thank you to everyone for your continued patience as we work through all of the moving parts of safely reopening our schools and getting our students back in the classroom.

I hope everyone has a safe, fun and relaxing 4th of July weekend!

Scott Inskeep
Superintendent

   

Friday, June 26, 2020

“The function of education is to teach one to think intensively
and to think critically.  
Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.
We may have all come on different ships, but we're in the same boat now.”
 – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Kettering City Schools Community:

On Monday night, we celebrated our graduates during a virtual commencement. We celebrated their accomplishments, most assuredly, but we also celebrated their resilience, grit and kindness in working through a fourth quarter that none of our graduates could have imagined when they started their senior year last August. As educators, we are charged with guiding our students from grade-to-grade until they ultimately reach that pinnacle of accomplishment – the awarding of their high school diplomas. The devastating and senseless events that have occurred in our country over the past few months and the spotlight these recent events have put on other, perhaps less well-known, but equally disturbing events, has prompted me to reflect on the bigger responsibility we educators have to help ourselves and our young people gain a greater understanding of the absolute need to respect and accept people who are different than we are – whether that be a difference in race, religion, economic status, disability or sexual orientation.

Let me start by stating clearly and unequivocally that racism and prejudice have no place in our classrooms, our gyms, our auditoriums, our cafeterias or our athletic fields. We know that there are some students and adults who bring racial prejudices with them to school and work, developed over time from family, societal and cultural interactions and inputs. Our Board Policy states that harassment or discrimination of “protected classes of race, color, national origin, sex (including sexual orientation and transgender identity), disability, age, religion, military status, ancestry or genetic information” will not be tolerated. More directly, racism will never be accepted on any of our campuses or in any of our buildings.

While zero tolerance for discrimination is clearly stated in our Board Policy, current events are a call-to-action to renew our commitment to what we are already doing and identify what more we can do. I am committed, as superintendent of the Kettering City Schools, to making our district’s stance on racism, prejudice and discrimination more well-known. Simply put, this policy needs to go from a post on our website that many people may not even know how to locate, to an inherent understanding of how everyone – children and adults alike – will behave toward others when they are in class and at school-sponsored activities.

So...what are we doing now and what more can we do in the future in order to make this happen? Two years ago, our administrative staff was fortunate to participate in diversity and equity training through the National Conference for Community Justice of Greater Dayton, and this training is something I plan to continue and expand on in the future. Our Positive Behavior Intervention Supports (PBIS) and Second Step -- our elementary level social/emotional learning program -- both have anti-bullying, empathy and inclusion components. Hope Squad, in place at Fairmont High School and Kettering and Van Buren middle schools, is a peer-to-peer suicide prevention program that promotes kindness, empathy and acceptance as a means of reducing stigma surrounding suicide and mental health issues. Fairmont High School’s “Supper Club” is an initiative that supports cultural acceptance by bringing a diverse group of students together monthly for dinner and conversation. And the district’s Man’ners Club pairs young boys without a positive male presence in the home with a mentor who promotes positive behaviors and helps them learn etiquette skills.

These are a few examples of what we are doing now to combat racial and cultural prejudice, but there is much work yet to be done. First and foremost, we must commit to listening and learning from each other. If we are to combat racism, we must first seek to understand what racism is and how it impacts our students and families of color. Our district embraces equity and inclusiveness, but we must do more. I am committed to doing everything I can to reach the level of understanding that is needed in order to truly be a part of this movement of change in our community and country. I am fortunate that parents and other members of our school community have reached out to me and offered their ideas and suggestions as to what we, as a school district, can do to make racial and cultural acceptance and equity an integral part of our school culture. I intend to take advantage of these opportunities to continue to listen, learn and lead our schools toward greater diversity, equity and inclusion.

I encourage our families to talk to each other and your children about the importance of accepting, respecting and even celebrating those who are different. Our mission states that we will work in partnership with our families and community to provide students with a positive and innovative learning environment. This partnership is perhaps more important now than ever before as we all work together to educate ourselves and our children about diversity, equity and respect. Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) has a number of excellent resources on its website for educators and families to utilize in talking with children about race and racism, as well recommended books, articles and videos regarding racial justice, equity and equality. I encourage you to visit the website at:  https://www.pbs.org/parents/talking-about-racism

Likewise, I remain committed to continuing dialogue between the district, our families and our community as we all work toward being positive agents for change and reform. Please feel free to contact me with your questions, comments, suggestions and concerns.

Scott Inskeep
Superintendent

*  *  *  *  *

Friday, June 19, 2020

KCS Parents, Guardians, Staff and Community:

I hope everyone is enjoying the summer and getting a chance to relax and rejuvenate after an unusual conclusion to the 2019-2020 school year.

We are facing uncharted times in public education, due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. While there are still many more "unknowns" than "knowns," I want to make sure we are keeping you as informed and updated as possible as we work toward the 2020-2021 school year.

Each Friday, I will post a "Friday Firebird Focus" to our parents, guardians, staff and community in an effort to keep you apprised of the steps we are taking to reopen our schools.

Please note that our decisions regarding the reopening of our buildings will be dependent upon the guidelines and mandates we receive from the state and from Public Health Dayton Montgomery County. And while we would all like to know today exactly what August and the start of a new school year might look like, this simply isn't possible, due to the complexities surrounding this virus.

With this in mind, I will share with you in these Friday posts what we have planned in the here-and-now for the 2020-2021 school year:

(1) Our plan right now is to return to "bricks-and-mortar" schools with students in classrooms in mid-August, as planned.

(2) We understand that there may be some parents/guardians who prefer that their children not be at school as early as August, and our Teaching & Learning Department is hard-at-work developing learning options for these students.

(3) We will have ample hand sanitizing stations set up at high-traffic areas in each of our buildings.

(4) Our custodial staff will be trained in the use of room sanitizing misting machines and will be sanitizing in each building nightly.

(5) As of today, the mandates in place with regard to preschool and childcare programming are extremely strict in terms of the numbers of students/children and staff that can be together in a room, social distancing requirements, sanitizing requirements and so on. We anticipate receiving updated guidelines for preschool and childcare in early-to-mid-July that will help us in determining what these two programs might look like for the 2020-2021 school year. I know that childcare for next year is a stressful topic for many of you, so I will communicate our plan for these programs with you as soon as we are able to formulate it.

As always, we welcome your questions and comments as we continue to work toward making decisions with regard to the 2020-2021 school year that are in the best interest of our students, staff members and families.

Thank you.
Scott Inskeep
Superintendent





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