Open vision bar

Friday Firebird Focus -- Sept. 18, 2020

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 activities and work being done as we move toward reopening our schools for the 2020-2021 school year.

 

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

*  *  *  *  *

 

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.  If you are able to take a minute to complete the Grab-and-Go Meal Form, this will help us in planning for the number of meals our Food & Nutrition Services staff prepares each day.

 

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!

Grab-and-Go Bus Stop Meal Program Sign-Up Form  

 

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.

*  *  *  *  *  *  

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.

*  *  *  *  *  *  

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!

*  *  *  *  *  *  

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





Back to School News      Print News Article