Xenia Community Schools is restructuring its current gifted services plan to expand the number of service options available to students. Included in the restructuring is the hiring of additional staff members.
The number of gifted identified students in our school district continues to grow. Currently, elementary students, identified gifted, receive services in a weekly pull-out program. Students in grades 6-8 identified gifted are eligible to participate in a gifted language arts class as a service option. This currently accounts for approximately 28 percent of the gifted population of students in grades 3-8.
By expanding services for this coming school year, we will be able to address the needs of 100 percent of our gifted students in math and language arts in grades 3-8. We are very excited to better meet the needs of our gifted population.
Here’s a review of some of the activities and accomplishments in the district during the past school year.
The first school district newsletter in more than three years was mailed to every home in the district. The fiscal year ended with revenues exceeding expenditures by $4.9 million dollars. A “Stuff the Bus” campaign to garner school supplies was held and administrators volunteered to be in the dunk tank during the event. A new phone system was installed.
New programs for students were initiated in all of our buildings (PLTW, one-on-one at Central Middle School, music in elementary schools, digital literacy, elementary guidance counselors). Student enrollment increased for the first time in more than a decade as 118 additional students attended Xenia schools. An additional classroom was added to the Xenia Preschool.
The Xenia Virtual Academy was formed. School district officials went to New York to improve our school district bond rating. Dr. Nodie Washington was inducted into the Greene County Women’s Hall of Fame. The LED sign donated by Edna Adams was installed at the high school.
School board member Bill Spahr was recognized in front of 54,000 FFA students at the National FFA Awards in Louisville. The district worked with EPC, DP&L, and Waibel to save the district $20,000 in energy costs. The “Meet Me at the Station” Program was reinstituted for third grade students. The first virtual academy student earned his high school diploma. The district sold municipal bonds saving the Xenia taxpayers $1,276,824.
The district received the $237,000 from the School Improvement Grant that was sent back the year before. I was named to the TCN Board of Directors, which is giving me valuable insight into our students. Our school district received a rebate check from the Bureau of Worker’s Compensation for $91,319. A Board-Student Roundtable was initiated to hear the concerns of the students. A suicide prevention workshop took place in the high school cafeteria.
The Board of Education decided to have monthly meetings in the different school buildings. Xenia Preschool earned the 5 Star “Step up to Quality” Rating from the State of Ohio. Warner Middle School held its first National Junior Honor Society induction ceremony in three decades for eighth grade students. The school district began serving free breakfast at both middle schools, thus we are now serving free breakfast to all students at Arrowood, Shawnee, Cox, Central, and Warner. Another additional classroom was added to the Xenia Preschool.
An artificial turf fund-raising dinner at Tecumseh attracted 41 community members. Two community forums were held to discuss the overcrowding of the preschool program. The district learned that it had increased the percentage of revenues putting toward classroom instruction 59 to 71 percent. At the same time, the district learned that it had decreased the expenditure per pupil costs by almost $1,000 per student. Donna Shaw earned the Financial Literacy Award from the State Treasurer’s Office.
The fundraising amount needed for the artificial turf was met. The district wrote a safe school grant with the ESC to provide two mental health therapists for the price of one.
The first district spaghetti dinner took place at Arrowood. Students performed and more than 400 meals were served. The school district entered into an Educational Partnership with STARBASE permitting fifth graders to participate at no cost to the school district. The board decided to realign the sixth grade and move students to Warner. Warner held its first seventh grade National Junior Honor Society induction ceremony. At the OSBA Southwest spring meeting, Spahr and board president Dr. Paul Dillaplain received individual awards and the entire board received the “Gold Level Award of Achievement.”
The official groundbreaking ceremony for the artificial turf took place. Dillaplain was elected into the Hall of Honor. As part of our central office reorganization, Christy Fielding, director of business and technology, was named assistant superintendent, Sabrina Woodruff was hired as the director of instructional services, and Mike Earley was selected as the new director of human resources.
The district continued its central office reorganization plan by hiring Secondary Curriculum Coordinator Andrew Huber, Elementary Curriculum Coordinator Dena Doolin, and Warner Principal John Stekli. Student attendance rates for the year for the entire district were 95 percent. Every elementary teacher in the school district received free Crayons for Classroom kits for their students when they return in the fall. The school district took moves to cut special education costs by $492,000 for next school year. The district formed a partnership with Cedarville University to benefit their student teachers and our students. The district successfully passed two renewal levies.
Our total Medicaid billing revenue increased from approximately $52,500 during the 2012-2013 school year to a little more than $98,000 during the 2013-2014 school year to almost $200,000 during the 2014-20145 school year. We are adding 1271 Chromebooks to the elementary buildings with 312 devices of these devices being touch screen Chromebooks for kindergarten students. We are also adding 440 devices for WMS and XHS. Every main office secretary and certified staff member will be getting a new desktop and monitor. Every principal will be receiving a Yoga laptop with docking station and dual monitor so they can use it during walk-throughs.
Denny Morrison is superintendent of Xenia Community Schools.