Darke County administrators prepare districts for new school year


By Carolyn Harmon - charmon@aimmedianetwork.com



Some of last year’s Arcanum-Butler fifth-grade science and social studies students.


Carolyn Harmon | The Daily Advocate

Last year, the Darke County Spelling Bee took place at the Performing Arts Center at Versailles Exempted Village Schools.


Carolyn Harmon | The Daily Advocate

Last year’s Ansonia High School FloraCulture Senior students Cody Stump (left) and Robert Christman are making floral arrangements.


Carolyn Harmon | The Daily Advocate

GREENVILLE — As Darke County families are wrapping up their summer vacations and experiencing one last glimpse at the Great Darke County Fair, the county’s school administrators are gearing up for a new school year.

Versailles Exempted Village School District Superintendent Aaron Moran said he is excited for the students and staff to return for a great 2017-18 school year. According to Moran, the district’s maintenance, custodial and technology staff have done exceptional work to have the building ready for everyone. New staff members have joined the district, including: a treasurer, middle school principal, special education coordinator/school psychologist and several teachers.

The district is also piloting a new student athletic pass for the school year. For $25, any Versailles student in grades first through 12 will get entrance into all home junior high and high school athletic events, excluding Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) tournament games. This allows the students to support their family and friends that are participating in these events, Moran said. Kindergarten age and under students are not charged for entrance to these events.

“The district is in our third year of our one-to-one technology initiative,” Moran said. “Our first-class secretarial staff worked hard to complete a new web-site and electronic documentation program that we expect to be a benefit to parents/guardians. District teachers and administrators spent time this summer learning skills to work on our three focus areas of: Creativity, Getting to Know Students and Breaking Down Silos. The district is appreciative of all the support from families and our community.”

According to Franklin Monroe Superintendent Jeff Patrick, the district has 12 new staff members, including an elementary principal, athletic director, bus driver, secretary, custodian and several teachers. The district also has a continuation of a partnership with the Darke County Sheriff’s Office, to provide a School Resource Officer (SRO), that it started last year. The new SRO is Deputy Mark Garbig, who will work at Franklin Monroe two-and-one-half days a week and the same time at Tri-Village School District. In addition, Franklin-Monroe is implementing an $80,000 grant, this year, with Dayton Children’s Hospital to provide professional development to the staff in areas, such as: depression Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and healthy life choices. Also that partnership provides opportunities for parents to come out to the school and participate in discussions about events happening in children’s lives today, Patrick said.

“This is a big opportunity for us” he said. “Our school nurse has gone to the children’s hospital this summer for about 80 hours of professional development in various training sessions. Hopefully it is a partnership we can continue. We have been working hard the last one-and-one-half years to get this in place. We have talked about the importance of opening this up to all Darke County Schools.”

In addition, Patrick said he is excited and thankful about a new partnership with Wayne HealthCare, which is providing an athletic trainer for Franklin Monroe’s student athletes. Wayne is picking up the majority of the cost, Patrick said.

According to Arcanum-Butler Local Schools Superintendent John Stephens, the district has added 12 new staff members, including: an elementary physical education teacher, cafeteria assistants, aides and other staff. Regarding technology, the district is prepared to implement a 1:1 technology program in grades five-eight, after piloting the program last year in the fifth grade.

“We added more than 300 Chromebooks in the middle school and 60 in the elementary,” Stephens said. “Additionally, we added nearly 60 iPads for grades kindergarten-first, with the help of donations provided by the Arcanum PTO and Kindergarten Clubs. Several Arcanum-Butler Middle and High School staff members attended Google Classroom training this summer, provided by Southwestern Ohio Instructional Technology Association to help prepare for the initiative. Additional professional development will continue throughout the school year. I am ready for staff and students to return and kick off the new year.”

Mississinawa Valley High School Principal Jeffrey A. Winchester said he is looking forward to the beginning of a new year.

“Working together, we will do our best to ensure that all of the students in the valley receive the knowledge, skills and confidence necessary to achieve their highest potential as productive citizens and leaders in our community and beyond,” Winchester said. “I would encourage all Mississinawa Valley students, parents, and community members to join us Monday, August 28, for our Open House at 6 p.m. This is a great opportunity for everyone that is going to be working together this year to meet.”

“Many great things are happening at Bradford Exempted, including the 1:1 Chromebook roll out in October,” he said. “The first phase will include high school students and future phases will incorporate the remaining students in the building through grade three. We have many new faces in our building and new coaches. With high expectations we hope to see many positive changes this year. I personally hope to build bonds and an open dialogue with the community.”

Greenville City School District (GCSD) Superintendent Doug Fries said the entire GCSD is looking forward to the upcoming 2017-18 school year.

“Much of our staff participated in summer institutes for professional development to enhance their teaching skills,” he said. “At the high school we will continue to participate in college credit plus course offerings. At the elementary we will now be operating with our one to one technology initiative in grades K-6. We look forward to our first full year in our newly constructed K-8 facility. Many punch work and corrective items were completed in the new facility over the summer. The beautiful outdoor playground painting was also completed. At the high school we look forward to opening our new field turf at the football/soccer stadium. We look forward to finishing our new track and field complex this fall.”

Some of last year’s Arcanum-Butler fifth-grade science and social studies students.
http://www.dailyadvocate.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/34/2017/08/web1_backtoschool-1.jpgSome of last year’s Arcanum-Butler fifth-grade science and social studies students. Carolyn Harmon | The Daily Advocate

Last year, the Darke County Spelling Bee took place at the Performing Arts Center at Versailles Exempted Village Schools.
http://www.dailyadvocate.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/34/2017/08/web1_backtoschool4.jpgLast year, the Darke County Spelling Bee took place at the Performing Arts Center at Versailles Exempted Village Schools. Carolyn Harmon | The Daily Advocate

Last year’s Ansonia High School FloraCulture Senior students Cody Stump (left) and Robert Christman are making floral arrangements.
http://www.dailyadvocate.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/34/2017/08/web1_backtoschool3.jpgLast year’s Ansonia High School FloraCulture Senior students Cody Stump (left) and Robert Christman are making floral arrangements. Carolyn Harmon | The Daily Advocate

By Carolyn Harmon

charmon@aimmedianetwork.com

The writer may be reached at 937-569-4354. Join the conversation and get updates on Facebook search Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.

The writer may be reached at 937-569-4354. Join the conversation and get updates on Facebook search Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.