Many area school districts start classes for the 2017-18 year next week, and local superintendents said students have reasons to be excited.
The Dayton Daily News asked school leaders about improvements or changes in preparation for the school year.
West Carrollton, Valley View, Xenia, Centerville and New Lebanon have all finished projects involving facilities.
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West Carrollton has completed its three-year locker room project for student athletes. Valley View completed repairs and added air conditioning in areas of some buildings where it was needed. Xenia has a new eight-lane track and ADA handicapped-accessible playground at the preschool. The new Chief Brown Stadium will be in full operation in New Lebanon. Centerville added new carpet to their high school — replacing some that had been their since the building opened — along with ongoing maintenance.
Several district leaders noted additions to science and engineering programs to their schools.
“We are offering, in conjunction with the Miami Valley CTC, robotics and State Tested Nursing Assistant credentialing courses at the high school this year,” Northmont spokeswoman Jenny Wood said. Se noted programs for robotics at the middle school and aeronautical engineering at the high school.
Huber Heights is expanding its pre-engineering program, adding courses such as computer science, medical detectives and music appreciation. Miami East noted it is adding STEM courses to the Junior High.
Oakwood added American Sign Language and other classes to its high school and junior high curriculum. Mad River Schools has applied for the district’s third school to be dedicated as an Ohio Department of Education STEM school.
Greeneview changed the starting time of each building because of transportation and will offer Champions Before & After Care.
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Springboro has added new courses geared toward giving students a more in-depth learning experience for career interests.
“We are adding two new programs at Springboro High School: Teacher Academy and Project Lead the Way (PLTW) Biomedical Science. Teacher Academy will provide students who are interested in teaching with in-depth and hands-on experiences related to educating others. PLTW Biomedical Science is yet another addition to our STEM offerings,” Springboro spokeswoman Bethany Reiff said.
Another school adding hands-on experience for students is Piqua, which worked over the summer break to transition local WOTVC channel to the high school for the media course to produce a community television channel. The TV channel will allow students to write, direct, edit and create media formats that can be seen on their local station.
Lebanon partnered with Cincinnati Children’s Hospital to provide mental health services for all students, according to Superintendent Todd Yohey.
Both Eaton and Kettering are implementing the Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports (PBIS) in their school systems.
“PBIS is a decision-making framework that guides selection, integration and implementation of evidence-based academic and behavioral practices. The focus of this program is improving important academic and behavior outcomes for all students,” said Barabara Curry, Eaton superintendent.
Schools throughout the area are also working to incorporate technology in their classrooms like Fairborn who is upgrading their Primary through Intermediate schools. Franklin is in its second year of the 1:1 computer program in which more grade levels will have the opportunity to use Chromebooks in the classroom.
Bellbrook has developed a new strategic plan targeting its vision and mission statements and strategic goals.
Miamisburg City Schools have a Head Start classroom to benefit students whose families meet the poverty guidelines. There will be two sessions throughout the day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, and transportation will be provided.
Beavercreek and Tecumseh have worked on areas for their k-5 programs. Tecumseh is using a new reading program for young students, and Beavercreek created a learning museum that will use creative learning spaces.
Milton-Union is working on ways to provide better messaging and constant information for their community members, including a better web presence.
Troy said it is working toward replacing the elementary schools and doing work on their high school through a levy placed on the November ballot.