WEST ALEXANDRIA — This summer, select Twin Valley South FFA members had the opportunity of attending the Washington Leadership Conference.
Now, those members have to develop a Living to Serve (LTS) project, implementing the skills and experiences they brought back from Washington D.C.
Student Kallen Pitz reported on her experience during the Twin Valley Community Local Schools Board of Education meeting on Monday, Aug. 27.
“I noticed that people in our community don’t have access to sufficient food or clothing, because they do not have the finances for it. So I made an LTS plan, which is a Living to Serve plan. We had to address our issue and come up with how we’re going to fix it,” she said.
“I thought, there was a program when I went to Brookville where we get this big freight container or something and our school would donate clothes they don’t need. I thought we could do this here. We could also encourage people in our school and community to donate to the food bank,” Pitz said.
The students — Nathan Espey, Jordan Glander, Pitz, and Hannah Pemberton — will continue to apply what they learned at the conference in their community.
In other business, Jeff Tully presented the Maintenance and Transportation report, speaking on the “busy summer” and many upgrades his department worked on throughout the summer months. Projects included new paint stripes throughout building, new colored walls in 20 rooms, newly painted high school bathrooms, new carpeting in the media center and four offices, installation of windows, installation of lights, removal of 14 trees, and the installation of outside lights.
Stadium lights were to be completed, weather permitting, this week, according to Tully. Installation of doors will be completed soon.
Several board members commented on the upgrades and state of the building.
“I just want to say that the school looks spectacular outside and it looks like an entirely new building. It looks like we’re going in the right direction,” board member Christine Bitner said.
“During the community picnic, I got lots of good feedback on the upgrades. Everyone was just impressed with what they saw happening, and the transition from what it looked like before we started this to now,” Board President Jim Pemberton said.
According to Director of Technology Derrick Myers, this year there was a high amount of staff turnover, which required him to work on new staff accounts or suspended accounts. This also added a considerable amount of technology training over the summer.
“We got 30 new teacher desktops this summer, about the same number as last year. So, we’ll phase in the new desktops to replace the old ones. The old ones were anywhere from seven to nine years old. Obviously, after replacing a couple years of old equipment, I usually bring in a recycling company. This year they recycled 3,000 tons of electronics. They destroy all our data and hard drives,” he said.
“The two computer labs we got had in the past, we got rid of. We only have one computer lab now and use the rooms for other practices, like the new kindergarten room. The thought is, we have gotten so many new laptops,” Myers said.
Jeremy Mills, Director of Pupil Services and Special Education, announced new hire Allison Roach as a new Early Childhood Intervention Specialist.
“We are sending three Elementary Specialists and two of our paraprofessionals to do some training. It is paid for by the Preble County Board of Developmental Disability Services. It is a program to teach how to work with children with autism at a young age. It is all through a grant through the Developmental Disability Services,” he said.
The training is on the Play Project, which is a program which trains educators and parents in evidence-based interventions to support the social and emotional growth for children diagnosed with autism. The trained teachers were to participate in an all-day training in August, complete several in-service trainings throughout the year, and work in collaboration with a trained coach through the program who will provide professional consolation with teachers.
Elementary Principal Patti Holly reported, all MAP Testing for grads K-3 in Reading will be completed by Sept. 7. The data from testing is used as a baseline score when determining growth. Kindergarten Readiness Assessment (KRA) will begin in early September. This test determines if a student is ready for kindergarten.
Six elementary staff members attended a three-day Kid Whisperer University this summer. The comments from staff were all positive.
Grades 7-12 Principal Scott Cottingimreported on the beginning of the school year, noting the building and grounds are in excellent shape. He welcomed four new teachers and thanked all staff and teachers for the good start to the school year.
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH