New school buildings would create new opportunities

By Denny Morrison

The Xenia Community School District’s bond issue on the May 2 ballot can only be used for building construction and improvements.

The Board of Education has approved the construction of a combined middle school and high school building on this single site that has middle school students and high school students in separate wings, with shared spaces (like the cafeteria and gymnasium) between. This style of school has the benefit of being more efficient and cost effective than running two separate buildings in geographically separate locations. Shared spaces and staffing possibilities, along with a single mechanical/operational plant, would continue to help with ongoing operating costs down the road.

On top of saving money, a combined building opens new opportunities for the students. There w

ould be more opportunities for advanced classes for middle school students and peer mentoring opportunities by older students. In addition, proximity would enable more teaching-staff collaboration and make it convenient for parents to have one location for after school events, extra-curricular activities, and school day drop-off and pick-up. The site will be located on 106 acres located at the northwest corner of SR Route 42 and US Route 35 (farm fields across from where Ledbetter Road dead ends into 42). Without voter approval of a bond issue, the $28 million in state money goes away and Xenia Community Schools would be faced with trying to fund the needed building repairs and renovations on our own.

Xenia Preschool: Principal Jean Brady will be making a presentation at the Board of Education meeting 6:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 13. Student enrollment numbers continue to grow at our Five Star preschool and an additional teacher has been hired to keep up with the growth. This is awesome.

Arrowood: As part of the earth science unit, fourth grade students in Adrienne Lewis’ classes are learning about different types of landforms and how they formed by weathering and erosion. After doing a little investigation, students chose a landform that they would like to learn more about. They are researching and using graphic organizer to take notes and enter their information into Google Docs. Arrowood had its second Gold Ticket lunch last week and 80 students were nominated by their teachers for showing their Buccaneer Best every day.

Cox: Congratulations to Allyson Merriman in Scott Schell’s class. Her award winning drawing of the City of Xenia is now being displayed on the billboard located on S.R. 42 east heading toward Wilberforce. Cox students are really enjoying working with the robots in William Ryan’s Digital Literacy class. They are learning to program and maneuver them. Amy Calhoun’s kindergarten students are now working with the Dash robots in class thanks to receiving grant money for STEAM projects.

McKinley: Students in Michelle Whitley’s class celebrated the Chinese New Year Jan. 25 by making paper lanterns and preparing a lucky fruit salad which contained mangoes, pineapple, bananas, limes, and oranges. The Lego Team held an end of the season party last Friday. Students and parents enjoyed food and games. The Altrusa volunteers started this past week doing small reading groups with the third grade students. Staff and students are having a great time looking at and guessing who is who on their baby picture bulletin board.

Shawnee: The Shawnee third grade classes were awarded a science grant for a program called Veggie U. The program is funded by the Greene County Public Health Department and includes a growing light, vegetable seeds, soil, growing kits and live worms. Veggie U is a hands-on program designed to increase awareness of healthy food options and teach children how real food reaches their plate. The students have already tasted many vegetables such as squash, cauliflower, peppers, and radishes. The students have planted lettuce, squash, carrots, peas and 10 mystery seeds in the classroom garden.

Tecumseh: Tecumseh hosted the first Science Olympiad Day last Friday. Everything went very well and the fifth graders were very excited to participate. STEM Challenges included a barge building, an egg drop, mystery architecture, the straw tower and mystery boxes. The third grade students at Tecumseh put on a special event Friday as well learning about the Chinese New Year.

Warner: A total of 92 sixth grade students attended camp last week at Glen Helen. The students enjoyed hiking and a host of different activities such as making dream catchers, playing a game called Sticks, playing hide and seek using camouflage skills, and doing nature artwork.

XHS: As of last Friday, XHS has 55 seniors who have been accepted to 100 colleges. Finally, Principal Dr. Hank Jackoby received the following e-mail last week: “My name is Mark Eikenberry and I live in Springboro. I am currently going through Chemo treatments at Miami Valley South. Before Christmas I was in for a treatment. Members of your Student Council came in and talked to the parents and gave us all a gift bag. They were all very polite and uplifting. With all of the problems we hear about the youth today and problems at schools, this was refreshing. You can be very proud of your students!” We certainly are.

XTAR: Exciting things are happening in fifth grade XTAR. The students are joining with Leah Pham’s fifth grade XTAR math students as they delve into the robotic world. Students have been placed in small groups and are rotating between eight STEAM stations — Meccano Robot, Problem of the Day, Code, Recon or Robot Mouse Coding Activity Set, STEM Challenge, ZOOB Builderz or Motorblox, Career Project and Banking, and Toy and Playground Projects.

By Denny Morrison

Denny Morrison is superintendent of Xenia Community Schools.

Denny Morrison is superintendent of Xenia Community Schools.