The recent end of the first semester marks a great time to celebrate our district’s successes, reflect on where we have been and where we are headed, and update our plan to continue our “Growth Mindset” for the remainder of the school year. I want to take this opportunity to thank the students, parents, families, Board of Education members and the entire Arcanum-Butler staff for an outstanding first semester and for supporting Arcanum-Butler Schools!
Below are just a few of the many successes worthy of noting so far this year!
* District staff members have embraced the Growth Mindset after High School principal Jason Stephan inspired everyone to examine their beliefs and attitudes toward learning. Many teachers are now including growth mindset lessons and discussions regularly!
* Despite the many changes in state assessments and expectations, we were able to celebrate the score of “5” on the value-added measure on the report card. Additionally, Butler Middle School was recognized at the state level for its success.
* The district is officially a K-12 PBIS district with each building fully implementing the program to support clear expectations and reward-based systems.
* The use of Response to Intervention takes another step forward with staff members being trained as coaches and building level teams assisting in the development of a teacher guidance manual.
* Fifth grade teachers are leading the way with the 1:1 program. Under the guidance of MS Principal Marcus Bixler and Technology Coordinator David Baker, teachers were actively involved in professional development and have worked hard to rethink their methods of instructional delivery.
* Arcanum Elementary has partnered with Wright State University, receiving dyslexia training throughout the year.
* Arcanum Early Learning Center continues to be filled to capacity and serves as a gateway to excellence.
* Butler Middle School special education teachers implemented the Read 180 program to assist not only IEP students, but also students at-risk.
* The district committed to safety & safety education by partnering with the Village of Arcanum Police Department, adding Officer Jeramy Hyden as the School Resource Officer.
* The College Credit Plus Program continues to be a strong part of our high school instructional program as we are able to offer 53 credit hours here at AHS thanks in part to the programming of our committed High School staff.
* Under the direction of Heather Marsh, our Middle School and High School band programs have transitioned into a new era of continued excellence as Mrs. Marsh begins making her mark on the program.
* Arcanum Elementary and Butler Middle School staff participated in the AIR writing pilot.
* AHS sophomores visited FRAM as participants in National Manufacturing Day. Additionally, the district continues to partner with Ramco Electric Motors to have student paid internships and have now added The Village Green and Koenig Equipment to the list of partnerships.
* Marcy Bradshaw qualified for the state cross country meet for the second straight year. Football players Brandon Kinney and Cambell Gostomsky were selected Special Mention All Ohio.
* Brandon Kinney set the record for most career points scored in football, Brittany Kinney set the record for most career assists in volleyball, and Shai Robinson set the record for most digs in a season for volleyball. Recently, Stevie Johnting reached the 1,000-point milestone in basketball and Mackenzie Sharrits tied her own record for three pointers in a game with 6.
* Agricultural education and FFA are now back at Arcanum. Under the leadership of Brian Pohlman our students have already shown strong performances in FFA-based competitions and activities.
* The Arcanum Fire Department visited Arcanum Elementary during Fire Prevention Week.
* Several staff members and community volunteers are working with Angela McMurray on our Outdoor Learning Lab project with plans to apply for a Monsanto Grant this spring.
* The district, led by a HS steering committee hosted the popular Senior Citizen’s Luncheon. This is a great way to say thank you and serve our senior community members. Over 100 seniors were in attendance!
* Once again Detective David Hawes from the Darke County Sheriff’s Office and Darke County Assistant Prosecutor Margaret Hayes met with middle and high school students during the day and parents in the evening to provide information about the dangers of inappropriate social media behaviors.
* Ashley Matheson encouraged students to join the Duck Tape challenge – asking kids to “stick together” against bullying.
* The district hosted its annual Veteran’s Day assembly, led by Eric Weibel. The program included participation from students in the elementary, middle and high school, as well as an address from local Veteran Kevin Mallonee.
* High School students continued to receive leadership development training by completing a session in the summer and then again in October.
* Butler Middle School added a service group under the leadership of Marcus Bixler, and kicked off the year by raking leaves at several homes. Next up, the group is starting a Diaper Drive to assist Dayton Children’s Hospital.
* To celebrate Trojans of the Month, the elementary hosts a donut breakfast for monthly winners and their parents as a part of the PBIS program.
* The PTO continues to be a big support to the school, hosting the COSI on Wheels Program and Santa Shop.
* The Arcanum Athletic Boosters continue to be active by donating $50,000 towards the construction of a concession/restroom building at Good Sam Fields and sponsoring events such as Breakfast With Santa.
* The A# Music Boosters provides continued support for our band program and sponsored the Mother/Son Fun Night along with raising funds through the annual Fair Food Trailer.
The Arcanum-Butler School District has much to be proud about and I am thankful to be able to lead and serve with such a talented group of educators, support staff and students!
As you can see, it has been a busy first semester with programs, activities and extra-curricular participation that further supports our students and the goals of the Arcanum-Butler Local School District. The list could easily go on to include the many music, drama, art, academic team and other sports activities. A special thanks to all of the coaches, directors and program advisors! Arcanum-Butler is proud to provide quality instruction while offering a variety of ways for students to explore their passions.
Stephens is the superintendent of Arcanum-Butler Schools. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.