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How safe are the roads around your child’s school?

Published: Thursday, September 14, 2017 @ 10:11 PM

One in three drivers engages in unsafe behavior around schools, according to a study of distracted driving.

The study also showed the more urban the county, the riskier the roads. Some members of Congress want to use this data to push for more grants to improve transportation safety.

"Student safety is by far our No. 1 priority,” Fairmont High School Principal Tyler Alexander said this afternoon as school was dismissing for the day. “Distracted driving is an issue we want our students to understand the ramifications of ... and to be safe.”

Fairmont High School in Kettering scored a B+ in the Zendrive School Safety Snapshot, which lists grades for most schools across the country.

While the high school does not staff crossing guards, it has a Kettering Police Department school resource officer and security guards in the parking lots that help direct students and buses.

“We’re dismissing 2,400 students at one time, so it is busy but we have a pretty good routine that I feel is extremely safe for students as well as drivers in the community,” Tyler said.

A look at several area high schools shows that Meadowdale, Tippecanoe and Troy high schools earned As; Xenia High School also got a B+; Greenville, Preble-Shawnee and Stivers School for the Arts earned Bs; Eaton High School earned a C; a score of C- went to Beavercreek, Miamisburg and West Carrollton high schools; and Centerville High School earned a D+, according to the study.

Former Kettering principal named Mason superintendent

Published: Monday, December 11, 2017 @ 1:08 PM
Updated: Monday, December 11, 2017 @ 5:05 PM

Jonathan Cooper, a former elementary teacher in Centerville City Schools and principal in Kettering City Schools, was named next year’s superintendent of the Mason City Schools in Warren County.
Jonathan Cooper, a former elementary teacher in Centerville City Schools and principal in Kettering City Schools, was named next year’s superintendent of the Mason City Schools in Warren County.

A former Kettering and Centerville educator is to be the next superintendent of the Mason City Schools.

This morning, Jonathan Cooper was named next year’s superintendent of the Mason district, the largest in Warren County.

According to a press release issued by the Mason school district, Cooper was an award-winning elementary teacher in Centerville City Schools and a successful school principal in Kettering City Schools.

MORE: Kettering News

A Martha Holden Jennings Scholar and former Ohio Teacher of the Year nominee, Cooper was able to successfully merge two diverse elementary school staffs and communities into a strong, thriving and unified Southdale Elementary in Kettering in 2010.

MORE: Centerville and Washington Twp. News

In Mason, Cooper will replace Superintendent Gail Kist-Kline, who is retiring at the end of the 2017-2018 school year.

“To keep us moving forward, we want a values-driven leader who will support our world-class teachers and staff while continuing to cultivate innovation and guide us through a constantly evolving financial and regulatory landscape,” said Matt Steele, president of the Mason school board said in the press release. “The great news for our students, staff and community is that we already have a visionary, humble, community-oriented leader who has built deep relationships with district partners and business leaders and helped make Mason a leader in innovation and professional development - our current Chief Innovation Officer, Jonathan Cooper - who we are thrilled to appoint as Dr. Kist-Kline’s successor.”

MORE: Springboro superintendent leaving for Mason

The Mason City Schools Board of Education is to appoint Cooper as superintendent, effective July 1, 2018, at its regular meeting on Tuesday.

“I am honored that the School Board has entrusted me with this great responsibility. It is such a joy to be able to serve Mason’s students, staff, families and community in an even deeper way. I have been fortunate to work closely with Dr. Kist-Kline and learn from her courageous leadership, and I’m excited to build on the foundation that she and our school board and dedicated staff have firmly established,” said Cooper in the release. “As a second generation educator, learning is my family’s passion, and it is our mission as a family to serve our community’s schools.”

Cooper was named deputy superintendent beginning Jan. 1. In that expanded role, he will oversee key personnel and master facilities plan decisions, in addition to his current duties.

RELATED: Watch the announcement

He joined the district in 2014 as chief innovation officer. He led the development of the Mason Experiential Learning Program.

Also this fall, Cooper was awarded the 2017 Excellence in Education Award and the 2017 Rising Star Award from the Mason Deerfield Chamber of Commerce.

Cooper earned his bachelor’s of education with a concentration in science from Ball State University, his master’s of science in educational leadership from the University of Dayton.

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Jonathan and his wife, Michelle, are parents of Henry, age 12, Wyatt, age 9, Myles, age 7, and Tessa, age 5.

“This is a big move for our family because one of our core family values is living an integrated life where we are able to live out our mission by serving our local community and authentically connecting with our neighbors. We look forward to moving to Mason and already have stock in a lot of Mason green,” Cooper said.

Waynesville moving forward with $26M in community development

Published: Friday, December 01, 2017 @ 7:25 AM

            Funds from a bond issue and the Ohio School Facilities Commission will be used to turn the 1915 Building, a former school building, into a community center.
Funds from a bond issue and the Ohio School Facilities Commission will be used to turn the 1915 Building, a former school building, into a community center.

The Wayne Local Schools plan to begin issuing bonds in December financing more than $26.5 million in community development.

Funds from a bond issue and the Ohio School Facilities Commission will be used to build a new Waynesville Elementary School, turn the 1915 Building, a former school building, into a community center and improve parking and other infrastructure on the Wayne Local Schools’ complex off Dayton Road.

Voters passed a 4.68-mill, 37-year bond issue by eight votes, according to final results tallied in Warren and Greene counties.

“The results of this ballot were very close. We appreciate our supporters and respect those who chose to vote no. In the end, we are a community which is a vital part of a truly successful school. We will work together to make this vision a reality and one that everyone can be proud of,” Superintendent Patt Dubbs said in a statement.

The school district can move forward, now that results of the Nov. 7 election are official.

RELATED: 2-vote margin: Waynesville anxiously awaits decision on $26 million bond issue

The results were 1,241-1,234 result in Warren County and 11-10 in Green County, according to the county election boards.

MORE: Races too close to call in area counties

Election night tallies were 1,226 to 1,225 in Warren County, 11 to 10 in the small piece of the district in Green County- leaving only a two-vote margin.

Recounts were also held in races for Deerfield Twp. trustee and Franklin Board of Education.

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The results showed Lonnie Vestal defeating Bill Lantry 2,224-2,197 in the race for a seat on the Deerfield Twp. Board of Trustees.

And in a race for the Franklin school board, Bob Knipper was elected over Dennis G. Dwyer, 1,371-1,363.

DPS board member’s critiques not in Superintendent Corr’s evaluation

Published: Wednesday, November 29, 2017 @ 10:47 PM

DPS board member’s criticisms taken out of Corr’s evaluation

Attorneys for embattled Dayton Public Schools Superintendent Rhonda Corr said she only had good reviews from the board.

>> Corr’s attorney’s strike back, say board’s allegations are weak

But one board member said it’s not entirely true. John McManus said he had objections in October to the board’s glowing evaluation for Corr. 

She was placed on paid leave last week amid allegations she was sleeping during contract talks, berated administrators and received death benefits for a domestic partner while legally married to someone else.

>> Superintendent gets glowing evaluation from Dayton school board

McManus said he wrote early drafts of Corr’s review that were more balanced. It graded her as “meets expectations” in most categories, but graded her lower in personnel management.

However, his critiques were not included in the evaluation presented to Corr, whose attorneys said she had no idea the board had problems with her.

Dayton Public Schools Superintendent Rhonda Corr

“There was a performance evaluation that was submitted by the committee on Oct. 3 that applauded Rhonda Corr for changing the fundamental structure of the Dayton School systems,” lawyer Jon Paul Rion said during a Wednesday news conference.

>> What Dayton school board said about new superintendent

Last month, McManus said he was displeased with the final evaluation. His draft states Corr needs improvement following through on commitments, accepting responsibility and not blaming others. It also lists needing improvement cooperating with opposing views, mediating disputes, being alert to sensitive issues, and seeing the big picture.

While McManus’ negative comments were not included in Corr’s evaluation, several of those concerns are now the focus of Corr’s pre-disciplinary hearing.

McManus said Wednesday he was unable to say more about the hearing.

“I really wish that I could speak on the record about some of these things but the board has been asked to withhold comment on the current situation and I have to honor that as a member of the board,” he said. “But what I will say though is that I stand by every single word that I said to your network a month ago about the evaluation process.”

Oakwood schools introduce virtual reality in science classes

Published: Thursday, November 16, 2017 @ 12:51 PM

Oakwood students and virtual reality class

Teachers at Oakwood City Schools are taking a new approach to learning that allows them to reach the corners of the earth from the comfort of a classroom. 

The seventh and eighth grade science classes at Oakwood Junior High School recently started using Virtual Reality goggles as part of their curriculum. The goggle, which work with Google Expeditions, allows teachers to create lessons taking their students anywhere in the world. 

Growing concern about 'juuling' among teens in schools 

Prior to introducing the new virtual reality sets to her students, teacher Rachel Keyes tested it on her own children. 

"I made them put the goggles on and got to see their reactions and I was like, ‘oh yeah, this is going to work,’” she said. 

When Keyes tested the devices on her students Thursday morning, they were just as excited.

“The students, as they're getting to look around at the sky and getting that full 360 panoramic kind of experience, it's huge," Keyes said. “It's different than a book. It's something you can interact with. You can feel it there. You can feel yourself being in that place."

This UD program was named Ohio’s best; it’s good news for business

Th virtual classroom experience was made possible by a grant from The Oakwood Schools Foundation. It was initially introduced to teachers during a staff meeting.

"Across the board in science, we always try to make things more interactive," Keyes said.