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Friday Firebird Focus -- November 27, 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.

 

Fridy, 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

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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

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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

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Activity/Informational Links and Fliers:

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

(2)  PlayKettering 2020 November Programs 

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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.

*  *  *  *  *  *  

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





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