Mr. Todd Bowling, Superintendent
District Office (Door 14)
5495 Somers -Gratis Road
Camden, OH 45311
October Family/Community Update
We are always striving to improve communication. One way we would like to improve is by getting our parents and community to feel comfortable reaching out to our staff with issues. Facebook Messenger is not the most reliable way to make sure issues are addressed. I am happy to address all questions and issues that might pop up in our community regarding safety, health, or facilities. My email is email@example.com and my phone number is (937) 452-1283, Ext. 1003; all voicemails feed directly to my email. Follow me on Twitter @suptPrebShawnee for exciting news and weather updates as we approach this winter. Follow Preble Shawnee on FaceBook.
I would like to set up a series of meetings to allow our parents and community a chance to ask questions and get information about any aspect of our school district, such as instruction, finances, athletics, transportation, curriculum, special education, and social emotional health. The purpose of the meetings is to reach out to the different communities that make up our district, have conversations and gather feedback about areas of needed improvement or concern, and to listen to success stories that parents and community members would like to share. The following is a list of dates and time that I will be available to meet in-person:
November 3 at 6:00 P.M. at Preble Shawnee Elementary
November 17 at Saucy Jack’s in West Elkton
December 1 at noon at a Gratis location TBD
December 9 at 8:30 A.M. at 4J’s
We have been very fortunate with little to no need for subs. However, it is starting to catch up with us. We are starting to have to double up on routes and cover assorted athletic trips in different ways as we continue to battle COVID and absences in our transportation department. Please bear with us as we navigate through these unique times and try different ways to get our students to school in the safest way possible. Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding.
Congratulations to all of our fall sports teams, but in particular to our boys Varsity Football team and our girls Varsity Volleyball team. Football just completed an undefeated season going 10-0, winning the WOAC League Championship, and finishing the year ranked number 10 in the state. Our girls volleyball team also completed the season with a second place finish going 10-1 in league play and 17-6 overall. They also won their first and second and third round state tournament games. The volleyball team won sectionals this year for the first time in 21 years. They play tomorrow at 2:00 at Northmont for the district title, which they haven't won in 23 years. The football team plays round one also tomorrow night at 7:00 pm. Go Arrows! Our girls soccer team also had a great season finishing second in the league at 6-2-2 and overall at 10-4-2. Great job Arrows! Winter sports tryouts are beginning and athletes will need to have all paperwork completed and make sure they maintained good grades for the first quarter to be eligible.
Preble Shawnee also thanks the youth organizations for all of the hard work they put into their programs; they definitely enhance the middle school and high school programs as the students get older. It takes a lot of time and dedication by our parents to coach, set up fields, and arrange schedules while working and making sure their students’ school work is done. Thank you for all that you do. We value our partnership with you and your organizations.
Great news. Since our two remote learning days, our cases have drastically decreased. This past week we had only one COVID case for students, and only three this week, so far. We also had a huge reduction in quarantines, due to fewer positive cases, and also because anyone who would have been quarantined was allowed to remain in school with a mask, if they chose to do so. Overall, Preble county cases are dropping roughly 10-12% each week, which seems to be the same in surrounding counties. I believe we have made it through the peak of COVID for now, but we still have the flu season to contend with. Flu shots are readily available for those who are interested.
I truly appreciated all of our community that showed up at our October 4 Special BOE meeting to discuss COVID issues and mask wearing. The input we received from our community, parents, and staff was beneficial to the Board. Approaching important situations with open minds and listening to our stakeholders for feedback so our board members can make informed decisions was the true purpose of our meeting.
Curriculum and Instruction:
I would like to take time to discuss some “hot button topics” going on around the country that seem to pop up on social media and then run without supporting facts. At Preble Shawnee, our awesome teachers teach the state standards that are aligned with the state assessments that students are mandated to take at different grade levels. The students must show mastery on those assessments in order to graduate from high school, as an option to meet one of several graduation seals in the state of Ohio. Our teachers have instructional calendars that are aligned with state standards. Contrary to some of the rumors, teachers do not have freedom to just add their own curriculum. Any change in what is being taught would need Board approval, and I would need to present it for information and action. Dr. Ranley and I have no plans to present any changes in curriculum or the state standards that we teach daily.
Our teachers use a variety of instructional strategies to challenge our students. They use strategies that challenge their thinking and decision making so they are prepared for success in the 21st century. We are preparing some of our young learners for jobs that have yet to be created. We want our graduates to be competitive, whether it be in the job market, applying for college, or enlisting in the armed forces. Making informed decisions is an important skill that is crucial to teach our students.
Panorama Social-Emotional Learning Survey:
Panorama is a survey that was brought to us by the Preble County Mental Health Board as part of a grant they received and will be given by most Preble County schools if they are not already giving something similar to students. The purpose of the survey is to ask students to reflect on SEL (Social emotional learning) which are the mindsets, skills, attitudes and feelings that help students succeed in school.
By giving the survey, we will be able to gather actionable data to prioritize support for our students. Some of the supports will include:
Growth Mindset, Self-Efficacy
Social Awareness, Emotional Regulation
Sense of Belonging, Challenging Feelings
Substance Education and Use
There will also be an area of the survey that will deal with drugs, alcohol, and tobacco. Some of the questions will ask students if their teachers and parents talk to them about the dangers of tobacco, alcohol and drugs. Questions will also ask if students think assorted use of drugs is safe or unsafe. These are serious issues that some of our students face on a daily basis at home. We do understand that some parents will not want to subject their students to the questions associated with the survey. Those parents will have an opt-out form they can sign if they do not want their student to take part in the survey. The opt-out form will have contact information on it, if you have questions prior to making your decision about the survey and who to contact with your questions. The opt-out form is for the survey only.
Survey will go out to grades 3-12, and will be given sometime in November. Please look for information coming home with the students or on Final Forms.
Teachers will have small lessons that address the topics periodically throughout the school year.
The next Board of Education Meeting is Thursday, November 11, at 6:00 in the Auditorium at the HS.
November 11, is Veterans Day and Preble Shawnee Elementary and Preble Shawnee Middle School and High School will both be doing activities in honor of our veterans. We must never take for granted the freedoms that we have today, nor forget the sacrifice that our veterans made for us so we could have these freedoms.
2022/2023 School Calendar will be on the next BOE Agenda for information. We will be looking at starting at a similar time of the year as this year, and getting out prior to Memorial Day. Reasons for starting in August:
Cut down on summer learning loss
Provide summer school for remediation and enrichment over the summer
More instructional time for seniors to prep for earning graduation seals needed for graduation
Alignment with other Preble County districts due to staff who have students in other districts and vice versa.
Reason for Date of Spring Break:
Preble County schools are all in alignment due to students and parents of employees going to neighboring districts.
Reason for Orientation Days at MS and HS:
Assist students with new school settings
Navigate changing classes
Understanding the importance of gaining credits toward graduation
Direction toward enrollment, enlistment, employment