Wilmington City Schools using positive behavioral supports to address buildings ‘climates’


By Gary Huffenberger - ghuffenberger@wnewsj.com



Three Holmes Elementary students earned recognition at the WCS school board meeting. From left are Luke Wilson, Liam Nicely and Dartanian Morris.


Gary Huffenberger | News Journal

WILMINGTON — School and classroom “climate” is a main goal in Wilmington City Schools’ (WCS) three-year improvement plan, and judging by principals’ reports to the school board, the emphasis seems to be helping.

At Monday night’s board of education session, Denver Place Elementary Principal Karen Long said behavior referrals in the building are down compared to last year.

In particular, she mentioned for the month of November, which is almost over, there have been no kindergarten behavior referrals.

And further, November referrals are down from October, Long reported. Building staff attribute a lot of that to a focus on being positive with ClassDoJo and increased use of the ClassDoJo.

ClassDoJo is a communication app for teachers, parents and students where teachers can encourage students for traits such as working hard or teamwork. ClassDojo helps teachers build a positive classroom climate by encouraging students and communicating with parents.

East End Elementary Principal Jen Martin reported that a practice of rewarding positive behaviors has, since the start of the school year, yielded 1,387 positive behavior referrals, compared to 62 behavior referral infractions.

Wilmington High School Principal Stephanie N. Walker in her report to the board said they practice their own form of positive referrals in that building, believing the students are not too old for compliments.

Holmes Elementary hosted the board meeting, and Principal Cortney Karshner-Rethmel and Counselor Brook McCoy chose to recognize three students with whom they’re very pleased. They are Dartanian Morris, Liam Nicely and Luke Wilson.

Among their positive qualities are Morris’ big heart, Nicely’s good choices, and Wilson’s ability to be a good listener.

In addition to climate, the two other over-arching goals in WCS’ three-year improvement plan are student achievement and attendance.

Middle School Principal Norbert “Bert” J. Martini reported that a recent field trip to the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati was worthwhile for eighth-graders. The experience was made possible by the Wilmington City Schools Foundation, he added.

Karshner-Rethmel announced the Vernon-Adams Republican Women’s Club donated a bicycle rack to Holmes Elementary. This fall a new sidewalk was built along Truesdell Street to the school grounds, making the school more pedestrian and biker friendly. The bike rack will be installed in the spring.

During the meeting, the board approved publishing a notice to sell excess and obsolete property through eBay. Property for sale may include, and is not limited to, band instruments and excessive equipment.

Teacher on paid leave

A Wilmington High School teacher, age 55, is on paid leave during the school district’s on-going investigation into an allegation against the teacher, said Superintendent Mindy McCarty-Stewart on Tuesday.

On Nov. 17 Wilmington police were contacted by a student’s father who alleged his son was assaulted at the high school by a teacher.

On Tuesday, Wilmington Police Chief Duane Weyand said the matter is being investigated, there currently is no charge filed, and when the police investigation is done, the matter will be presented to the City of Wilmington Municipal Prosecutor for her review.

Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.

Three Holmes Elementary students earned recognition at the WCS school board meeting. From left are Luke Wilson, Liam Nicely and Dartanian Morris.
http://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2017/11/web1_Holmes-1.jpgThree Holmes Elementary students earned recognition at the WCS school board meeting. From left are Luke Wilson, Liam Nicely and Dartanian Morris. Gary Huffenberger | News Journal

http://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2017/11/web1_WCS-Logo-1.jpgGary Huffenberger | News Journal

By Gary Huffenberger

ghuffenberger@wnewsj.com