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Thursday, April 16, 2015

FTIS School Board Round-Up (All-Day Kindergarten, Social Media, State Champs, Action Items)

PHOTO: G. Michael Graham. Members of the Highlands Varsity, Junior Varsity and Middle School Dance Teams received recognition for their state championships at Monday's monthly board meeting.

The Fort Thomas Independent School District recently allowed non-resident students to enroll in All-Day Kindergarten allowing the district to have a fifth class next year.

There will be two classes at Johnson and Moyer Elementary schools and one at Woodfill. But there will be just four all-day Kindergarten classes for the 2016-17 school year because of the additions and renovations at Moyer.

While it will allow the students who did not make the lottery draw at Johnson the opportunity to go to the All-Day Kindergarten there, there is one downside. FTIS might only be able to hire a teacher for just one year to fulfill that need.

"We met our needs this year and that's why a lot of our teachers are on limited, one-year contracts," said Jon Stratton, FTIS Assistant Superintendent. "People who interview for those positions understand it's possibly a one-year job. But it's the same scenario of what we've been doing already. We've had one extra all-day (Kindergarten) class, but it's not always been at the same school."

FTIS Superintendent Dr. Gene Kirchner said the district has not sent non-resident students to Moyer in recent years because the enrollment is near capacity at slightly above 500 students. Kirchner said the renovations there will eliminate the need for the two portals. The school board saw the design presentation at the monthly meeting Monday at Highlands Middle School.

Inappropriate Use of Social Media:

With the rise in cyber bullying incidents across the country, Highlands High School does include guidelines on it in the student handbook. The handbook covers the inappropriate use of social media as Level 1 and 2 offenses with repeated offenses listed as Level 3. Punishments include Saturday School and Expulsion.

State Champs recognized:

A number of students and parents at all levels showed up for the recognition of state champions. The board presented a t-shirt and certificate of achievement to junior Mikayla Reichert. She won the Indoor Track and Field Shot Put championship. The toss of 36 feet, three inches broke the school record that stood since 1979.

The board also recognized the Johnson Elemtary third and fifth grade Odyssey of the Mind teams and Highlands Varsity, Junior Varsity and Middle School Dance Teams on their recent state championship titles. Middle School Coach Cat Watson was on hand to help recognize the dancers.

Highlands Middle School Collaboration Station:

The school board and administrators then walked to the computers in a different part of the library and saw students show how the one-on-one technology is helping the students learn better. For instance, teacher Kathy Donelan led a math project at one station.

Thanks during the Community Forum:

Unlike the previous meeting, the community forum did not last long. Parent Brent Cooper expressed deep gratitude for the way the staff responded when his daughter fell from playground equipment recently.

Action Items:

FTIS Director of Operations Jerry Wissman gave updates on the Highlands football field turf and gym renovation projects. The board approved payments on these projects. The turf started to show signs of wear and tear recently so the district decided to replace it.

Other Approvals:

The school board that had all five members present also approved the custodial supplies bid, the YMCA Joint facilities usage agreement, an amended school year, the state-mandated Bond of Treasurer Andrew Remlinger of $300,000 and the contination of the Employee Wellness Incentive encouraging employees to parcipate in the YMCA Firecracker 5000.

The district will have make-up days on May 28, 29 and June 1 and 2. High School Principal Brian Robinson said graduation will be June 7.

The next meeting will be May 11 at 6:30 p.m. back at its original location. That is 28 North Fort Thomas Avenue.

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