East Clinton may change its cutoff date for entering kindergarten


By Gary Huffenberger - ghuffenberger@wnewsj.com



Recognized at the East Clinton school board meeting are Wilmington Elks Lodge essay contest winners. From left, they are Erynn Cluley, CJ Byrum and Kami Whiteaker.

Recognized at the East Clinton school board meeting are Wilmington Elks Lodge essay contest winners. From left, they are Erynn Cluley, CJ Byrum and Kami Whiteaker.


Gary Huffenberger | News Journal

Sabina Elementary School kindergarten teacher Jennifer Morrow favors moving the cutoff date to Sept. 30 for a child to turn 5 and begin kindergarten.


Gary Huffenberger | News Journal

East Clinton wrestler Wyatt Riddle, left, finished fourth in the state, and was recognized Thursday night at the East Clinton school board meeting. At right is coach Doug Stehlin.


Gary Huffenberger | News Journal

LEES CREEK — East Clinton may move its cutoff date for a child to turn 5 to begin kindergarten to Sept. 30.

Presently, the cutoff date is Aug. 1.

If the change is made, then at-risk students whose birthdays occur within those two months will be brought into school sooner than now, said East Clinton Local Schools Superintendent Eric Magee.

“Our teachers and administrators think bringing in some of the kids sooner, especially at-risk kids, will allow them [teachers] to get to them at a younger age and progress sooner,” Magee said at Thursday’s board of education session.

Wilmington City Schools has Sept. 30 as its cut-off date, said the EC superintendent.

The proposal is expected to be on the East Clinton Local Board of Education’s agenda for a vote at the April 17 meeting.

Sabina Elementary School kindergarten teacher Jennifer Morrow attended the Thursday meeting. She said her present kindergarten class includes two students who last year didn’t make the current Aug. 1 cutoff, but who turned 6 during the first two weeks of school this year.

They are two of her lower-performing students, she said, and under a Sept. 30 cutoff date they could have taken K1 (kindergarten 1) last year and K2 (kindergarten 2) this year and end up with two years of kindergarten under their belt.

But she said at this point, she cannot retain those two students for a second year of kindergarten.

Hopefully, she said, some at-risk children can get into school sooner and teachers can be hands-on with them and better prepare them for the future.

School board member Tim Starkey said not all children can go to preschool, and there are families who cannot afford it. Those children, he feels, could benefit from starting kindergarten a year earlier.

And East Clinton High School Principal Kerri Matheny said she has seniors who are 19 and still finishing high school.

“It makes it difficult [to keep poorer performing students from dropping out] when you can go do a lot of other things at that age,” said Matheny.

On another matter, the high school principal said 32 of East Clinton’s 96 sophomores have applied to attend Great Oaks.

“Our students and families see value in that, and we support it,” added Matheny.

She also said two new classes have been added at East Clinton for next academic year: a one-semester social studies course called Street Law, and a Family and Consumer Sciences course that would be a global food class. Street Law would cover such things as laws and local government and what happens if you get a misdemeanor or felony, she said.

The school board approved four middle school students attending an “Activating and Energizing Girls in Science” camp June 5 in Beavercreek. A science teacher and a parent chaperone will accompany them.

The board also approved New Vienna kindergarten traveling to the Newport Aquarium on May 4.

Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.

Recognized at the East Clinton school board meeting are Wilmington Elks Lodge essay contest winners. From left, they are Erynn Cluley, CJ Byrum and Kami Whiteaker.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2018/03/web1_DSC_0120_.jpgRecognized at the East Clinton school board meeting are Wilmington Elks Lodge essay contest winners. From left, they are Erynn Cluley, CJ Byrum and Kami Whiteaker. Gary Huffenberger | News Journal

Sabina Elementary School kindergarten teacher Jennifer Morrow favors moving the cutoff date to Sept. 30 for a child to turn 5 and begin kindergarten.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2018/03/web1_DSC_0128-1.jpgSabina Elementary School kindergarten teacher Jennifer Morrow favors moving the cutoff date to Sept. 30 for a child to turn 5 and begin kindergarten. Gary Huffenberger | News Journal

East Clinton wrestler Wyatt Riddle, left, finished fourth in the state, and was recognized Thursday night at the East Clinton school board meeting. At right is coach Doug Stehlin.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2018/03/web1_DSC_0124.jpgEast Clinton wrestler Wyatt Riddle, left, finished fourth in the state, and was recognized Thursday night at the East Clinton school board meeting. At right is coach Doug Stehlin. Gary Huffenberger | News Journal

By Gary Huffenberger

ghuffenberger@wnewsj.com