District excellence at national conference
Our district’s Student Nutrition Department has a well established reputation for excellence in the region and throughout the state of Ohio. That reputation was taken to the national level during an important conference for school districts across the United States.
Connie Little, our district’s Student Nutrition Department Supervisor, is a member of the National Advisory Council that helps formulate strategies for best-practices in nutrition education. The council convened this year at the Institute of Child Nutrition to focus on professional standards and professional training methods.
During her presentation about initiatives and efforts in our district, Little impressed upon attendees that Beavercreek City Schools is ahead of the curve when it comes to USDA standards. “With all the changes to food service programs throughout the years, our district has always trained staff to be in line with professional standards,” Little said.
The council was particularly impressed with the methods employed to help staff members improve their food service techniques. “Our regular training provides integrity to the program.” That integrity helps our district shine and made a lasting impression on members at the conference.
Little also highlighted how innovative programs, promotions, and event marketing helps fulfill the district’s mission of helping children attain healthier eating habits.
In View, a series hosted by Larry King, highlighted Beavercreek City Schools to a national television audience. The district was singled out because of its commitment to design thinking principles and the construction of the district's D-Labs.
Series producers were anxious to tell the story of how Beavercreek City Schools is using innovative thinking to lead the way in education. To show the transformation of 8th through 12th grade instruction, production crews focused most of their filming in the D-Labs paying close attention to how students use them.
You can see the full broadcast version at the Beavercreek City Schools YouTube channel by clicking here.
Innovative program helps students with autism
For many students who have been diagnosed with some form of autism, social skills and the means to practice them is a big challenge. In response, an innovative and much heralded program has been instituted at Beavercreek High School with results that are nothing less than stellar.
Jennifer Schmidt, a special education teacher who has worked in the district nine years, helped create an intentionally immersive social skills class that specifically focuses on improving student’s social deficiencies. Schmidt’s students are highly intelligent but need practice on processes like identifying social keys, utilizing eye contact, and learning how to start conversations.
The program relies heavily on peer coaches who are Beavercreek High School students that on a daily basis serve as mentors, positive role models, and examples of healthy social interaction. “We designed the course around what was not working,” Schmidt said. “If you put a student with poor social skills in a classroom filled with other students who have the same problem, it’s not the best situation for learning.”
Through daily interaction with peer coaches in and outside the classroom, students with autism learn how to deal with any stress that comes with social situations. This encourages students to begin trying new things that eventually lead to healthy outcomes. According to Schmidt, “Many parents have told me their child is so much happier because they have made friends.”
Positive results have continued since the 2007-2008 school year when Schmidt piloted the program with Cindy Brinson, a district speech pathologist. Ultimately, the program helps students handle real-world situations, a critical skill needed to function after they graduate. Schmidt has witnessed these results firsthand, “I have seen so many kids have a better life because they are learning social skills from their peers.”
For more information about this program including an upcoming book from Jennifer Schmidt, click here.
The new Beavercreek Preschool Center is a state-of-the art facility that symbolizes what can be accomplished with community support.
A dedication and public open house was held on Wednesday, August 19th to usher in a new era of preschool education offered by the district. Recognizing that the new preschool center’s ultimate objective is to provide educational services to children, ceremonies focused on how the center caters to young children, the overall philosophy of the preschool curriculum, and the excellent staff that will oversee the day-to-day activities.
Members of the community, who attended in large numbers, were afforded the opportunity to tour the new preschool center after ceremonies concluded. “Members of this community have every reason to be proud of this preschool,” said Bobbie Fiori, Director of Pupil Services. “They also have every reason to be proud of themselves, their support made all this possible.”
The new preschool center will accommodate more than two hundred students across nine separate classrooms. From the initial stages of design to the final stage of construction, every detail focused on how best to serve the students. Bill McGlothlin, Ed.D., Beavercreek City Schools Superintendent explained: “From the bright colors to the height of the exterior windows and everything in between, we focused on the needs of preschoolers. Our students and our community deserve nothing less.”
Pictures of the Beavercreek Preschool Center dedication and open house can be found here.
Students benefit with summer instruction
Beavercreek City Schools uses the summer months to help students build upon content knowledge acquired during the school year. It is known as summer school but for kindergartners to fifth grade students, it has become an engaging and fun exercise in learning.
Students at the elementary levels who would benefit from summer instruction are recommended during the school year by teacher referral. The information in these referrals is then used to tailor small group instruction, in the areas of reading and mathematics, for each student.
“I really feel we have instilled the love of learning,” said Brian Shimko, Summer School Principal and Ankeney Middle School Assistant Principal. “A lot of kids are excited about coming to summer school.” Shimko uses rewards such as bookmobiles and coupons from local businesses to keep students reading. To keep the overall excitement level high, teachers use methods that are more engaging, creative, and one-on-one.
It’s a simple approach that has widespread support from students and their parents. The district provides the resources and Beavercreek City Schools teaching staff, free of charge. For an elementary summer school program where student participation is voluntary, the average daily attendance was 200 pupils.
The ultimate goal of summer school is to keep kids learning and using the skills they’ve been taught during the past school year. Shimko believes that goal has been achieved based on the positive feedback he has received and results in the classroom. “Students benefit from continuous learning and summer school plays a huge part in that process.”
It is a well-established fact that Beavercreek City Schools’ band program is among the finest in the state of Ohio. This reputation, coupled with an incredibly high level of performance, has produced an opportunity few programs will ever see.
The Jacob Coy Middle School Jazz Band has been selected to perform at the 2016 OMEA Professional Development Conference in Cincinnati. Chosen from a blind audition, Coy’s jazz band stood out from the hundreds who applied. “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for our kids and our program,” said Marlyn Strickland, who directs band activities at Coy Middle School.
The OMEA (Ohio Music Education Association) is one of the oldest music education associations in the country. During their annual development conference, each selected ensemble will have 60 minutes to perform for attending members and supporters.
For members of Coy’s jazz band, it is the opportunity to show they are some of today’s best student-musicians. For Beavercreek City Schools, it is validation of the excellence many expect from the band program. “We want to push the program forward. Great things are happening here and we want people to know about it.” Come January, a lot more people will.
Bamford to Parkwood Elementary School
Susan Bamford will be the new principal at Parkwood Elementary School when classes resume, August 25th. Bamford has extensive classroom experience in multiple districts where she was a kindergarten teacher, literacy coach, core curriculum coach, and building turnaround coach. She comes to us from Middletown City Schools after completing her tenure as principal at Wildwood Elementary School.
Bamford’s postsecondary education began at Wright State University where she attained a bachelor’s degree in marketing. To complete her educational licensure program and receive a master’s degree in educational leadership, Bamford attended McGregor School of Antioch. From there, Miami University was Bamford’s choice to complete her principal licensure program.
“I am honored to be part of such a great community,” Bamford said. “I want to continue to create an engaging learning environment where the needs of my students are met.”
Beavercreek Township Fire Rescue partners with BCS to provide life-saving training
New principal for BHS
New principal at Shaw Elementary
With approval from the Beavercreek Board of Education, Susan Peveler will become the new principal of Shaw Elementary School to start the 2015-2016 school year.
Peveler comes to our district from Northwest Local Schools in Hamilton County where she was an assistant principal at White Oak Middle School. Prior to that, she completed a successful tenure as assistant principal/teacher at Monfort Heights Elementary in the same district. In addition to years of experience in the classroom, Peveler has experience as a gifted intervention specialist.