“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” — Theodore Roosevelt
On Thursday and Friday, the district welcomed back kindergarten students for the blended learning experience. Welcome back Warriors!
Winton Woods District Adds Operational Levy to November 2020 Ballot
The Winton Woods City Schools (WWCS) Board of Education has placed an operational levy on the ballot for the election on Tuesday, November 3, 2020. The levy would generate $3.2 million annually for operating expenses related to educational programs. This is the first Winton Woods levy placed on the ballot in over 10 years that requests additional funding. “This levy will fund instructional services, ongoing educational and extracurricular opportunities for all students,” said Superintendent Anthony G. Smith. “In addition, it will provide funding for key identified areas of need including the Preschool Village, increased enrollment and additional school resource officers. We are extremely excited to have the opportunity to restore busing for high school students in the district beginning August 2021.”
What is an operational levy? This type of levy funds essential day-to-day operational expenses such as quality staff, utilities, and classroom supplies and equipment. In 2016, the district had a bond that passed and funded the new school buildings. “Proceeds of a bond issue cannot be used for operational costs of the new facilities. This is often a source of misunderstanding. Winton Woods City School District has not had an increase in operating levies since 2009, which equates to twelve years,” said District Treasurer Randy Seymour. “The levy to the homeowner is $243.25 per $100,000 market value per year.”
Why does the district need an operating levy? Beginning in the 2016-17 school year, the district began to offer an all-day preschool option, as well as morning and afternoon classes. The transition from half to full day services increased enrollment greatly. “The levy proposal will support our children, parents, and community by providing funds to expand the Preschool Village,” said Dr. John Cuppoletti, WWCS board member. “This will allow our children to get a head start academically and socially. The district created an all day school option, so that parents can work while the children are in a safe learning environment. The care for the children will be covered by the levy, and will help families avoid the cost of child care for their preschoolers.”
With the two new innovative campuses scheduled to open in the Spring and Fall of 2021, the district’s top priority is safety. “Winton Woods City Schools is dedicated to keeping our students and staff safe,” said Executive Director of Business Affairs Steve Denny. “We currently do not have enough highly trained school resource officers. We need a total of four school resource officers to support our two campuses. The levy proposal will enable the four resource officers to keep our children safe on our two new campuses. These officers will be there if and when the students and staff need them. There are no substitutes for highly trained school resource officers or other funds to support this important safety initiative.”
“Our school district is growing in part because of the level of excellence in many areas such as academics, music, athletics, and our outstanding services for students with special needs. For the 2019-2020 school year, we increased enrollment by five percent. We anticipate continued growth especially as we open our two new campuses.”
In the last four years, more students have become interested in the Winton Woods educational experience due to our quality academic programs.“We have grown as a district and need to expand our system to make room for additional students,” said WWCS board member Gino McGowens. “This levy will help accommodate the increase in the student population that is over 4,000 students and continue its essential educational services for our communities.”
Where do campaign funds come from? The district cannot spend any tax money on a campaign to encourage residents to vote for this levy. However, a group of parents and citizens have formed a committee to generate support for the levy.
Winton Woods City Schools Retires Native American Chieftain Mascot
For several years, Winton Woods City Schools has been intentional with the gradual retirement of the Native American chieftain mascot and paraphernalia from all marketing and communications publicity. “The district began to discontinue use of this mascot over five years ago. This stemmed from our high regard for the Native American people and their rich history and contributions to our community and nation,” said Community Engagement Coordinator Corina Denny. “The design elements of our two new campuses gives us another opportunity to move in the right direction.” Superintendent Anthony G. Smith states, “With a diverse student body and 31 spoken languages, it is a priority and imperative that we continue to create a safe, respectful, and inclusive environment for all of our students and families.”
During the process, the district thoroughly searched all schools and advertisements for the Native American chieftain mascot and paraphernalia, as it made its transition. In official action at its regular meeting on July 27, the Board of Education voted unanimously to approve the retirement of the chieftain mascot.
PHOTO CAPTION: Winton Woods High School’s football stadium. Photo by Drew Jackson.
Family of Greenhills and Winton Woods Alum Come Together to Create Masks for Community
As Ohio and the rest of the world are learning to adapt to this new normal, Greenhills High School Alum Galina Radford and her granddaughters, both alum and current students of Winton Woods City Schools, have returned to what they know best - sewing. For three decades, Ms. Radford owned a sewing business but did not know how essential her skills would be in the years to come. Since March, Radford, accompanied by four of her five granddaughters, have made close to 3,000 masks, including Winton Woods specifically designed masks. “We greatly appreciated their service,” said Superintendent Anthony G. Smith, who provided his staff with beautifully decorated safely adorned masks in the Winton Woods colors of blue and green.
Mya Harlan, Radford’s granddaughter, said they have a greater purpose for making the masks. “It is not about the money. We have made a very little profit from this endeavor. We do it because we saw a need in our community that we could fill.” The business started in March, after Ms. Radford’s neighbor asked if she could make a few masks. Then, their story was aired on Channel 5 and sales skyrocketed. “In the beginning, it was very busy. We worked seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Now that we have a system, we enjoy taking a day or two off.” Ms. Ranford mentioned that although it is a unique time, it is great having all of her family back together sewing like they used to. Mya agreed. They do not see themselves stopping the business any time soon. “We really appreciate everyone coming back and giving us their business. It is awesome,” said Radford. Each mask that is $5 includes a nose strip. They also make custom orders. For more information or to purchase a mask, contact Galina Radford at (513)602-2754 or Mya Harlan at (513)410-3992 with a text message.
PHOTO CAPTION: (shown l-r) Garlina Radford and her granddaughter Mya Harlan pictured at their sewing stations at Ms. Radford’s home. Photo by Drew Jackson.
PHOTO #2: Mya Harlan and her daughter Lilly Kenton sew together. Photo by Drew Jackson
WWCS Staff Present at National New Tech Conference
Creating innovative learning methods and a rich academic experience is what Winton Woods City Schools is all about. Winton Woods Intermediate School, Principal Jeremy Day and two middle school teachers Anna Owens and Mica Thompson showcased these district attributes when they presented at this year’s New Tech Annual Conference (NTAC). A network that connects educators from around the country to learn and grow from each other. In 2015, the district joined the New Tech Network becoming the second district to transition all grades to project-based learning with a New Tech Network approach that transformed their teaching styles to a visible approach leading to outcomes that matter.
Mr. Day, who has attended several NTAC conferences, taught a session about features on Echo and how teachers can use the program for more than just scheduling but for student and teacher engagement as well. One of the cool features included instructors responding to their students assignments with a grade and video. “Instead of just receiving a percentage grade, teachers can help students understand why they received that grade,” said Day. “A quick response that encourages student engagement and learning. Plus, the students are excited about getting a video from their teacher. It is very engaging for the student and the parent can see it too.” Paul Curtis, Senior Director of Platform Development for New Tech Network, was also a part of his session and helped facilitate questions.
Middle school teachers Anna Owens and Mica Thompson led their session called “Equity is a Verb” about how we deal with race and how educators can work to uproot it. “Equity is not a noun but a verb and something that has to be put into action,” said Thompson. “It is acknowledging how we deal with race, how we uphold it consciously and unconsciously and doing the work of dismantling and establishing an anti-racist culture with anti-racist practices.” Thompson created a workbook with helpful questions and quotes from authors. Together they created a three-year guide with key texts and driving questions for each year to help with critical thinking, processing, and moving forward. During their 90-minute session, teachers were able to learn what the education system’s role is and how to implement classwork practices that can change the outcome. They hope to continue to work with teachers from around the district and in the nation to enhance student learning.
Forest Chapel Church Provides School Supplies for WWCS Students
A new school year began unlike any other and like many others across the world - online. For Winton Woods City Schools students, during a time of the unknown, one thing remained the same - the unwavering support and encouragement from the community. Amidst the current COVID-19 crisis, Forest Chapel Church continued their annual back-to-school donation drive providing school necessities for our Warrior scholars. “We want our children to become community builders, and we do everything we can to model that philosophy for them. One way we model community building is by helping to equip our students and their schools, so that they can be successful. Partnering with the Winton Woods City School District allows us to make a difference in the lives of the students in the community and support the educators,” said Forest Chapel Church Pastor Kambamba Kiboko. “Together we are stronger.”
The donation boxes included hand sanitizer, kleenex boxes, glue, and paper towels. This year’s Back-to-School sponsors included: Cincinnati Financial, Forest Park Chamber of Commerce, Forest Park Economic Development Department, Forest Park Meijer, Springdale Target, Colerain Target, West Chester Target, Blue Ash Target, and Fields Ertel Target.
Winton Woods Student Programs Receives $14K in Grants
Winton Woods Education Foundation (WWEF) donated over $14,000 to Winton Woods student organizations at the district’s annual staff Convocation. This year, due to COVID-19, the ceremony was broadcasted live by Waycross in the high school’s auditorium. Ann Stankiewicz, WWEF President, along with Eileen Mannira, a member of the WWEF board, recognized and awarded this year's recipients with large checks.
“I want to thank Mr. Smith for allowing us to be a part of today’s celebration and to tell you how excited we are to kick off our annual fund drive,” said Stankiewicz. “I hope each of you is as excited as we are, but let’s be real, the job you are about to undertake is daunting. We are in awe of the responsibilities that you face in helping our students become knowledgeable and responsible individuals who can use facts and evidence to meet the challenges of our ever-changing world. We support you in the monumental task that is before you and have confidence in your abilities.
“The Winton Woods Education Foundation is an independent, nonprofit group dedicated to furthering the excellent education you are already providing our students. We are here to support new and creative ideas to help our students excel and have opportunities they might not otherwise experience. As of today, we have provided over $118,000 in grants, impacting over 8,000 students. We have funded projects such as art sculptures, voice and instrumental lessons. Please find our new website and donation page at: https://wintonwoodsfoundation.org. On our new site you can make remembrances and memorials, a wonderful way to celebrate friends, family members, and others with a meaningful gift. You can also honor an outstanding educator or staff member. We will send a note to the celebrant or the family. Facebook also has the WWEF listed as a charity of choice so you can encourage friends and family to donate for special occasions. Remember, every dollar contributed helps enhance the educational opportunities for our students. It’s a win-win for everyone.”
The 2020 recipients of the WWEF grants, totaling $14,800, are as follows:
Josh Amstutz, math educator at Winton Woods High School, who received $1,500 for “Let’s Go Global”.
Dani Ashbrook, Beth Miller and Dr. Josh Thompson, music educators at Winton Woods High School, who received a grant of $12,000 from the Matinee Musicale for the Music Department, a Cincinnati nonprofit organization that promotes outreach in music education.
Claire Wilmes, intervention specialist at Winton Woods Middle School, who received $1,300 for “Bitty & Beau’s Coffee Cart”.
For more information or to make a tax deductible donation, contact the Winton Woods Educational Foundation at the Winton Woods Board of Education offices located at 825 Waycross Road, Suite A, Forest Park, OH 45240. c/o Eileen Mannira, (513) 619-2350 or email@example.com.
PHOTO CAPTION: (left-right) WWEF President Ann Stankiewicz and Winton Woods music educators Dani Ashbrook, Beth Miller and Dr. Josh Thompson, are shown with their large check at Convocation. Photo by Drew Jackson.
Weekly Warrior Highlights
Welcome back to the 2020-21 school year! Please find our Virtual Playbook/Guide below for parents and guardians to assist as we begin the new school year in a virtual setting. https://rb.gy/rqpgnm
Middle school teachers and students show their Warrior pride by dressing up for spirit week.
We are proud to be a part of the Eastern Cincinnati Conference (ECC), one of the premier athletic and academic conferences in Ohio. Check out this video: https://www.facebook.com/wwcsdistrict/videos/321055652568943/.
Beginning Monday, September 14, 2020, our Child Nutrition Department will provide 3 meals a day, including breakfast, lunch, and dinner (similar items as lunch), for all children 18 and under. Meal distribution times will continue to be on Mondays (9 meals) and Thursdays (6 meals) at the designated times and locations. Go to www.wintonwoods.org/meals for more information. #NutritionIsTheMission
Check out this cool virtual video of our South Campus for Grades K-6. For more construction updates about our new innovative campuses, go to wintonwoods.org/construction-update. https://bit.ly/2FdsgxB.
Check out this cool virtual video of our North Campus for Grades 7-12. For more construction updates about our new innovative campuses, go to wintonwoods.org/construction-update.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OM6JLSf40MY.
Our Wee Warriors can follow along as Superintendent Anthony G. Smith reads "I Promise" by Lebron James as a welcome back to our kindergarten students on their first day back in the school buildings. https://youtu.be/ejjL_pHlUn4
WEEKLY BLITZ REPORT: CONSTRUCTION UPDATE
For the Weekly Blitz Report and more information, go to www.wintonwoods.org/construction-update.
We are pleased to share the latest issue (2/28/2020) of the Weekly Blitz Construction Update. For additional information, go to www.wintonwoods.org/construction-update. #CreatingOpportunities