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Southwest Ohio

Fairfield Local Elementary closed remainder of week

/ coronavirus

Fairfield LSD |

Due to the high number of staff members placed in quarantine, Fairfield Elementary will be closed for the remainder of this week.  

More at Fairfield Local Schools

Finneytown Board of Education amends their plan for Flex Campus students

/ re-opening schools

Finneytown LSD |

The change will go into effect on Monday, November 2, 2020. Flex students will continue eLearning until this date. The plan is still contingent on the Risk Level assigned on Thursdays by Governor DeWine but will now include in-person learning for Level 3 (Red). 

Previously, the plan had Flex students receiving in-person instruction only when in Level 1 (Yellow) and Level 2 (Orange). 

“If we are designated Level 4 (Purple), we will continue with eLearning for both Flex and Virtual Campus students.”

Madison: Chad Hill becomes interim treasurer

/ finance-funding, HR, leadership

Madison LSD |

Madison Local Schools is happy to welcome Chad Hill to their finance department. This is Mr. Hill’s 27th year in education; he has served as a teacher, principal, assistant curriculum director, project manager, and treasurer. 

Mr. Hill is contracted through the Shared Resource Center, which provides specialized business services to school districts in Ohio. 

Read more at MLSD.

WWCS Provides Safety See-Through Masks for Speech and ESL Students and Teachers

/ community, coronavirus, EL


This year, see-through masks have been provided to teachers, tutors, staff, and students across the district who need these specifically designed face masks to teach and learn while remaining safe. Recipients included speech-language pathologists and their students and English as Second Language (ESL) teachers and English Learners (ELs). All protective coverings have a clear plastic material where the student’s mouth is positioned.  


Fairfield Local to close Tuesday due to COVID-19

/ coronavirus


Fairfield Local Schools superintendent Tim Dettwiller posted the following update Monday evening.

“Due to our escalating number of students and staff being placed in COVID19 quarantine we are unable to properly staff our operations and therefore Fairfield Local Schools will be closed tomorrow, Tuesday October 20. Staff will not report. Our current COVID19 Report indicates we have 99 students and staff members now in quarantine and 5 positive cases.”

West Clermont High football coach in hospital with COVID-19 symptoms

/ coronavirus, sports


The West Clermont High School football coach has been hospitalized with multifocal pneumonia, and could possibly have COVID-19, according to a Facebook post by his wife. Deidra Ayers said Nick Ayers was admitted to the hospital Sunday night. She said her daughter recently tested positive for COVID-19 but is feeling better now.

The school’s athletic director, James Collins, said Ayers was not at Friday night’s football game. Just weeks ago, the Wolves football team had to quarantine and cancel two games after a player tested positive.

Middletown: JV/Varsity Football Games Cancelled

/ coronavirus, sports


MCS received notice that the test results of a Middletown High School football coach has been confirmed as positive by the City of Middletown Health Department.

All MHS JV and Varsity football workouts and competitions will be cancelled for the remainder of the season so the health department can conduct contact tracing and the exposed facilities can be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. 

Hillsboro City Schools reports first Covid case

/ coronavirus

Times-Gazette |

Hillsboro City Schools reported its first COVID-19 case over the weekend, Highland County Health Commissioner Jared Warner stated in a Monday post to the Highland County Health Department’s Facebook page.

According to Warner, Bright Local remains the only Highland County public school district without a confirmed COVID-19 case, though Bright Local Superintendent Mike Bick did report that four Bright Local students and two staff members were in quarantine and awaiting test results as of the district’s board meeting last Wednesday.

CPS Says Staff Reductions Could Happen In The Future

/ finance-funding, HR


COVID-19 has cost the district more than $42 million to date. Now facing a massive budget gap, Treasurer Jennifer Wagner said they may have to reduce their budget by $38 million.

The estimate for money saved by reducing staff is $6.2 million, but the district could reduce staff further to save up to $24 million. This year’s school budget is limited to $644 million. However, CPS is currently more than $43 million over budget.

Great Oaks’ Nancy Mulvey honored by national school organization

/ career-tech, leadership


Great Oaks Director of Student Services Nancy Mulvey was honored this month with the Distinguished Service Award from NCLA for her service to career-technical education and for her professional accomplishments.

Mulvey has served the students of Great Oaks Career Campuses for more than 30 years as a math teacher, counselor, career specialist, campus dean, and district administrator.

Middletown students return to in-person learning

/ re-opening schools


Students in the Middletown City School District will begin to return to in-person learning today for the first time this school year. Students have been remote learning at home since the fall semester began Aug. 17. Now, they will be phased back into schools over the next three weeks and attend in-person classes five full days a week starting Nov. 9.

10,000 masks and counting: Local nonprofit switches to mass mask production, partners with Urban League

/ community, coronavirus

Cincinnati Enquirer |

Sew Valley co-founders say they’ve manufactured over 10,000 masks this year – and they aren’t stopping any time soon. Sew Valley also works with clients to make custom masks and other PPE items, like gowns for healthcare facilities.

In addition to working with healthcare facilities, Sew Valley has now partnered with the Urban League of Greater Southwestern Ohio and hopes to manufacture 20,000 additional fabric masks for Greater Cincinnati children and families in need.

3 Butler County districts sending more students back to buildings this week

/ re-opening schools

Journal-News |

Middletown and Talawanda will move from all-remote learning to in-person classes, while Monroe will increase how many students are in schools. Hamilton boosted in-school classes last week, and Fairfield will do the same on Oct. 26.

Movie trailer for Hillbilly Elegy released

The movie, based on the book Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J. D. Vance, focuses on the Appalachian values of Vance’s Kentucky family and their relation to the social problems of his hometown of Middletown, Ohio, where his mother’s parents moved when they were young.

The Netflix movie, “Hillbilly Elegy,” is scheduled to be released Nov. 24 on Netflix and in select theaters. One of those select theaters, The NEON in Dayton, will feature “Hillbilly Elegy” starting Nov. 11.

Learn more about the book.

Now that the trailer has been released many Middletown residents are looking forward to seeing the movie that was filmed in part in the city.

Great Oaks: Cade Harvey of Scarlet Oaks wins BBB award and scholarship


Scarlet Oaks student Cade Harvey was named one of two winners of the BBB Center for Ethics Students of Integrity (SOI) scholarship for the 2020 year. The SOI scholarship is an ethics-based essay competition; recipients are chosen by an independent panel of judges for submissions demonstrating an exceptional interaction with a unique ethical dilemma.

Oak Hills High student first teen to get COVID-19 trial vaccine at Children’s Hospital

/ coronavirus


An Oak Hills High School junior is the first to be part of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine trial at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. The teen said she hopes to help with finding a solution. She said this is her chance to help other people and to inspire others her age to do the same.

Winton Woods School District seeking more resources for operating costs in levy

/ finance-funding, levy


Winton Woods leaders say the school district needs money to ramp up its operation to fit the population and new buildings. No building or construction is a part of this levy.

“So the levy is for salaries, it’s for textbooks, it’s for Chromebooks, it’s for the infrastructure, it’s for paying the utilities, those kinds of things that help run the school and run the organization,” said Anthony Smith, superintendent.

Indian Hill: Global Competence

/ curriculum, leadership


Superintendent Kirk Koennecke visits with Indian Hill Elementary School Principal Whitney Buell about how they are growing global leaders.

CPS Student Joins National Town Hall Forum

/ equity, student-voice


Walnut Hills High School student Simone’ Simmons will be part of a virtual National Town Hall Meeting focused on discussions of race and equity.

The National Town Hall Meeting is from 3 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. on Friday, October 16. It is sponsored by the Council of the Great City Schools in conjunction with the Urban School coalition. The event features student leaders from 10 urban school districts and will be moderated by Tay Anderson, member of the Denver school board and a social justice activist.

New Richmond Schools now 1:1 in preschool

/ tech


“The remote learning experience from last spring taught us that it’s really challenging to provide a remote preschool experience to 3- and 4-year-olds without being able to connect with them,” NREVSD Director of Student Services John Frye said. “And then we discovered that Amazon Fires can host Zoom calls.”

Initially, tablets were introduced to New Richmond Exempted Village School District preschool students in early 2019 to provide additional enrichment opportunities. As a result of the pandemic, however, the tablets have been elevated from an enrichment tool to a tool of productivity.

Overall, New Richmond Schools are nearly 1:1 for technology, according to Technology Director Matthew Prichard said. From preschool through 8th grade New Richmond is at 1:1. At the high school, the district isn’t quite there but is close. Since some students use their own computer, however, the end result is a 1:1 situation, he said.

Mason: COVID-19 quarantines sideline students from school, sports: ‘This is a huge problem’

/ coronavirus, re-opening schools |

“This is just boiling up,” said Jonathan Cooper, superintendent of the district of more than 10,000 students. “We have 177 students who are currently sitting in a quarantine at home with no symptoms because of seven who tested positive,” Cooper pointed out early in October. 532 Mason City Schools students have spent time quarantined between the start of school on Aug. 24 through the end of September. Twenty-six staff members also had to forgo classroom-based work.


Hamilton County sees ‘significant jump’ in positive COVID-19 cases

/ coronavirus


As of Wednesday morning, there were 14,907 positive cases in Hamilton County, an increase of 954 cases from last week, Commissioner Denise Driehaus said.

“These cases are coming from the community, there’s not one specific source,” Hamilton County Health Commissioner Greg Kesterman said Wednesday. “We know that they are not from super spreader events, they’re from people going shopping and being careless, they’re from gatherings after work or on the weekends, they’re from sporting events, they’re from schools, they’re from nursing homes, they’re all over in our community, there’s not one source that’s leading to this increase.”

Child advocates seeing more shaken baby, broken bones, severe physical abuse as pandemic goes on

/ health/wellness


Reports of child abuse and neglect dropped by nearly 50% in Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky in the weeks after quarantine restrictions began in March. Now, six months later, as reports of abuse and neglect rebound, child protection workers said they are seeing more severe physical abuse, especially of very young children, than they did in 2019.

Child abuse and neglect reports in Hamilton County are still down 10% from normal levels, after rebounding from a 40% plunge this spring after Ohio officials issued stay-at-home orders. But experts say a greater percentage of abuse hotline calls now are leading to the discovery of severe physical abuse.

Cincinnati Public Schools plans to host city championships in football and volleyball in November

/ sports


The CPS city championships are for member schools who aren’t participating in the Ohio High School Athletic Association postseason in the respective sports.

In football, Clark Montessori, Gamble Montessori, Riverview East, Western Hills and Woodward are participating in a five-week CPS season with four games that count toward rankings. There are 12 girls volleyball teams participating in the CPS postseason opportunity including Aiken, Clark Montessori, Gamble Montessori, Hughes, Oyler, Riverview East, Shroder, Spencer, Taft, Western Hills, Withrow and Woodward.

Goshen Schools takes advantage of outdoor classrooms amid COVID-19

/ re-opening schools

Clermont Sun |

Goshen Local Schools Board of Education met on Oct. 12 to discuss learning during COVID-19.

Troy Smith, principal at Marr/Cook Elementary, presented about the outdoor classroom — which was installed eight years ago — and how it is getting used more than ever, as they take advantage of the late summer/early fall weather.

Lakota “Stuff the Bus” food drive to help families in need

/ community


This is the 13th year Lakota Schools has partnered with Reach Out Lakota for this food drive. The district is challenging families, staff and community members to “stuff the bus” with canned goods and other non-perishables needed by the community’s local relief organization. The food drive will run Oct. 12 through Oct. 23, leading right up to National Make a Difference Day on Oct. 24.

Middletown School District set to hold 2020 graduation ceremony this weekend

/ coronavirus


The ceremonies were originally planned for May and then got moved back to July because of COVID-19. Then July’s ceremony was canceled due to an increasing number of cases.

The district now thinks this is the right time to hold graduation and honor those seniors.

Saturday’s Taylor at Wyoming football game has been canceled due to COVID-19

/ sports


The decision to cancel the game is related to COVID-19 at Taylor, according to athletic director Larry Herges.

WCPO to air ‘United Is the Way: A Story of Help, Hope and Healing’ documentary

/ community


The 30-minute documentary examines the effects COVID-19 has had on Greater Cincinnati residents and the social services helping them. It shows the role The United Way of Greater Cincinnati, their partner organizations and community members play in helping the region recover and revitalize. They tackle systemic issues associated with food insecurity, the housing and unemployment crisis and the care of the young and old.

The feature will run Thursday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 11:30 a.m.

COVID case closes a West Clermont elementary school

/ coronavirus


Amelia Elementary is closed Thursday after school officials learned a staff member tested positive for COVID-19. The building will undergo a deep cleaning, according to district official Jeffrey Riel.

Youngstown State Faculty and Staff Go on Strike

/ Higher Ed, HR

Spectrum News 1 |

The Ohio Education Association sanctioned the strike after failed negotiations between the faculty and the university. Students are currently on fall break, but Youngstown State President Jim Tressel released a video statement saying plans are in the works to resolve the strike soon. 

2 Butler County districts considering moves as property values could rise 20%

/ finance-funding

Journal-News |

Both Hamilton City Schools and Ross Local Schools will hold public hearings on Oct. 15 to discuss possibly moving inside millage from the general fund to permanent improvement funds to take advantage of that coming increase. 


Middletown school district asking community to sponsor WiFi hotspots for local students

/ remote learning, tech


The district has provided 1,400 hotspots for families in need. To help fund the effort, the district has started a new campaign called Connectivity for Middletown Youth. Under the program, people in the community can donate money to sponsor a student.

A $183 donation will provide internet access for the entire school year for a student. The Middletown Community Foundation recently donated $25,000 dollars to help with the effort.

Oak Hills Schools to return to full in-person learning

/ re-opening schools


Oak Hills Schools will return to full in-person learning on Oct. 19. The district had just returned to blended learning on Monday.

Superintendent Jeff Brandt said the district has based its decisions on the alert level from Hamilton County but it’s learned that may not be the most accurate depiction of the virus in the Oak Hills community.

Brandt said in a letter home to families that the county alert level doesn’t necessarily correspond to the number of cases in the community.

Now that Oak Hills has its own COVID-19 dashboard numbers and can take into consideration local zipcode data, Hamilton County Public Health updates and communication with medical and community leaders, Brandt said the district feels safe with full in-person learning.