LEES CREEK — New Vienna Elementary students and staff received a shout-out in front of the Board of Education for attaining a 5-star rating in the Progress category of the state’s recently released assessments of school districts.
The Progress component looks closely at the growth all students are making based on their past performances, according to the Ohio Department of Education’s website.
New Vienna Elementary School is the only building in the East Clinton district to earn a 5-star rating — which is the highest rating — in one of the assessed categories for the 2021-2022 academic year report card.
All four principals in the EC district updated the school board Thursday about what’s happening in their buildings now that it’s been about four weeks into their new school year.
New Vienna Elementary Principal Allen Seitz reported about 95 percent of parents have signed up with ClassDojo, a free mobile app that digitally connects primary school teachers and parents through a feed for classroom photos and videos and back-and-forth messages.
ClassDojo was implemented last year, said Seitz, and “this year we really pushed it.”
As part of the district’s ongoing construction and renovation projects, the elementary buildings are being renovated. The new camera system at the New Vienna building has been beneficial, Seitz said.
“We can see things we couldn’t see before,” the principal stated.
Also of benefit are newly installed interactive 65-inch Clevertouch Technologies screens which have replaced smart boards in the district and provide lots of functions beyond the smart board, say district officials.
Seitz reported NV Elementary has started a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math) class by reducing last year’s two days of library down to one, opening up time for STEM and building things.
“The other day they were making catapults,” he said.
Seitz also touched on an aspect of disciplinary practice when it comes to the process of an elementary-grades child returning to the classroom after suspension.
In an attempt to be more sure the suspended student is now classroom-ready, a pre-conference is held with the student to see whether there still are ill feelings toward whoever else was involved in the problem behavior.
He said he thinks it’s been pretty good because it also lets the student know that for the school’s part there can be a clean slate and “it’s a new day and we’re ready to move on.”
Sabina Elementary Principal Matthew Willian listed some of the new items in the building thanks to the renovation: They include new desks, chairs, lunch tables, Clevertouches, phones, cameras, classroom microphones, grade cards with a different format, and new curriculum.
“Teachers are trying to learn new and creative things with the Clevertouches,” said Willian.
To set the tone for the day, 30 minutes in the mornings have been dedicated “where we can sit down and talk about citizenship or talk about self-control [and the like],” the principal said.
Because of stomach sickness and other illness, the building has had 38 total absences among teachers in the first 18 school days, he reported.
Of those 38 absences, there were 24 uncovered positions that had to be filled by other EC staff due to the struggle with subbing.
So the person designated to address the pandemic-caused learning loss has been covering classes, as have intervention specialists and Title teachers, the literacy coach, and even Willian himself who on Thursday taught fourth graders.
Middle School Principal Matthew Melnek said he’s impressed with how the new yearlong eighth-grade elective course in agriculture is going.
“Some of our kids who have not been so engaged with school have used that as a motivator to do well in their other classes,” said Melnek.
Support study halls have been added for middle school students with an IEP (Individualized Education Plan). During this study hall time, IEP students meet with their intervention specialist to get support on their goals and their plans.
For sixth-graders transitioning from elementary school, a required yearlong “Middle School 101” class was launched this fall. In the second quarter, they will study the book “Surviving Middle School”.
In new elective STEM courses at the middle school the problem-solving projects include eighth-graders making cardboard gliders and the seventh-grade STEM class members looking to design water filters to purify water.
High school Principal Michael Adams announced the school’s National Honor Society will do a blood drive.
EC Director of Curriculum and Instruction Jason Jones congratulated high school students for the Performance Indicator number they achieved for the U.S. Government subject area. The measure indicates 81.4 percent of students scored proficient or higher on state tests in the subject of American government.
Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.