Batavia Local Schools

Dedicated to Excellence

800 Bauer Avenue
Batavia, OH 45103
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Bulldog Bulletin

Bulldog Bulletin
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Bulldog Bulletin - July 1, 2020
Posted 7/1/2020 at 12:10:09 PM by Keith Millard [staff member]

As part of our restart planning, the District will be making a full online learning option available to families with students in grades K-12.

 

To help us better understand how many families would choose a full online learning option, please take a minute to complete the following one question survey (LINK BELOW).

 

An important note: You are not bound by your response to this survey.  It is simply a way to express your preference at this moment given all available information regarding the pandemic and help the District better understand how many students may elect to participate in a full online learning option.

 

Later this week we expect Ohio’s school restart plan to be released, which will allow us to make final decisions regarding what the in-person option will look like. The goal continues to be for a release of the final District restart plan on or as close to July 15th as possible.

 

Thank you for taking the time to complete this important survey.

 

Keith

 

Survey Link (Please complete a survey for each student in your household) 

 

Bulldog Bulletin - June 25, 2020
Posted 6/25/2020 at 2:45:43 PM by Keith Millard [staff member]

 

In it's recent presentation about plan options for reopening, Cincinnati Public Schools incorrectly stated that all schools in Clermont County had made a decision regarding what the restart would look like in the fall.

 

This is not correct and no such decision has been made regarding specific restart plans.

 

The Governor’s restart plan for Ohio schools is expected to be released on Tuesday, June 30th.

 

Once this document has been released the guidance will be reviewed by the superintendents from all of the Clermont County Schools, along with Batavia’s Board of Education and administrative team.

 

The timeline for releasing a restart plan for Batavia is still on or as close to July 15th as possible, which is consistent with what I shared last week.

 

I apologize for any confusion that may have been caused by Cincinnati Public’s incorrect statement, and I will continue to keep you informed as decisions are made regarding the restart of Batavia schools in the fall.

 

Thank you for your continued patience and support during this time of rapidly changing events.

 

All the best,

 

Keith

Bulldog Bulletin - June 16, 2020
Posted 6/16/2020 at 3:57:25 PM by Keith Millard [staff member]

A few quick items for this edition of the Bulletin.

 

First, a big thank you to everyone who responded to the restart survey that was sent last week.  To date, there have been almost 750 responses, and we are appreciative of the time that went into crafting many thoughtful responses to the questions.  We are continuing to work through the responses and are using the feedback as we continue our planning process for the fall.  Currently, we are still awaiting the release of Ohio’s school re-start plan, which should hopefully be out in the near future.  Once this is released we will be able to work on finalizing restart plans for our return to school, with a goal of providing more detailed information on or shortly after July 15th.

 

Second, at the Board of Education meeting on Monday night a calendar revision was approved for the coming school year, moving the start date of school from Wednesday 8/19 to Monday 8/24.  School will now be in session on Monday, October 19th and Friday, December 18th (both were previously days off for students), and the school year will still end on the same date (Friday, May 28, 2021).  Graduation in 2021 has moved up one day to Thursday, May 20.

 

Third, construction planning is continuing in the background, but things have slowed a bit due to everything with COVID-19.  The biggest change in the schedule is that early site work (moving dirt, utility installation, laying drainage pipe, etc.) will not be taking place this fall, and the schedule for putting all aspects of the building project out to bid has now moved to January 2021.  As the building schedule was always aggressive, this is not an end of the world development, and with all of the uncertainty regarding how next year is going to operate, having one less thing happening at Bulldog Place might not be such a bad thing.

 

Finally, we are continuing to offer free breakfast and lunch meals to go on Tuesdays and Fridays at Batavia Elementary from 11:00 to 1:00.  The Tuesday pickup contains three days of breakfast and lunch while the Friday pick contains four days.  Meals are free for anyone 18 or under, and can be picked up for neighbors, family members, or friends, and no paperwork is required.

 

All the best,

 

Keith


Bulldog Bulletin - June 9, 2020
Posted 6/9/2020 at 11:01:40 PM by Keith Millard [staff member]

I hope this edition of the Bulldog Bulletin finds you well, and that summer is off to a good start for you and your family.

 

The past weeks have certainly cast a light on a number of significant issues facing our country, which are being grappled with in ways both new and time tested.  As I have reflected on where we are as a nation in this moment, the importance of deeply listening to one another, respectfully considering viewpoints of others, and identifying with the challenges of others has never been more critical.  

 

Our nation was founded almost 250 years ago in part on the enlightenment ideals of equality by the nature of our creation, and the associated unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  Over the course of our history it is plain that there have been many struggles to live up to these ideals, and we find ourselves at a moment of simultaneous inflection when real change seems within grasp while our divisions have also never seemed greater.  A concept from scripture that was famously orated by Abraham Lincoln during his campaign for Senate in 1858 is “A house divided against itself, cannot stand”.  As the current dialogue in our nation is full of bitterness and discord over the moments we are collectively experiencing,  it is easy to see where the divides are, but also where the opportunities lie.

 

As we individually grapple with the many challenges facing our country,  I believe it is important that we work hard to find common ground with one another to help heal the rifts that threaten the house that is our nation.  Spaces where we can meet one another are created by stepping  out of our comfort zones to walk in the shoes of others, so that our understanding of one another may be increased.  By seeing the world through the eyes of others, we enhance our capacity for loving our neighbor as ourselves, and we develop a shared empathy that opens avenues for dialogue, understanding, and change.  When we can accept and appreciate that we are all experiencing multiple difficult moments simultaneously, we create opportunities for shared understandings, and we can all arrive at a place where our union is strengthened.

 

Our current health pandemic, the scourge of racial and social injustice, and the absence of true empathetic discourse can all be challenges that further divide us, but they also can be opportunities to reaffirm and work towards realizing for everyone the closing lines from the Pledge of Allegiance, ‘One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty, and justice for ALL’.

 

Stay well, and continue to look out for one another as we walk this journey together.

 

All the best,

 

Keith


Bulldog Bulletin - May 12, 2020
Posted 5/12/2020 at 3:02:10 PM by Keith Millard [staff member]

As I sat down to start writing this edition of the Bulletin, I started thinking back to March 1st, and not in my wildest dreams did I envision an ending to the school year like we are currently experiencing.  I know I’ve referenced this sentiment repeatedly over the past few months, but I continue to believe that we have weathered this current moment as well as we have due to the strong foundational culture that binds our school community.  The switch to learning from home has not been without its bumps, but overall it has gone well, thanks in large part to the amazing level of support from home and the tireless dedication of the staff to make this all work.  As superintendent I have the privilege to get to see it all unfold, and everyone should be proud of what has been accomplished in such a short amount of time.

 

Wrapping up the school year

As we look to the last few weeks of the school year, the last day for new assignments will be this Friday, May 15th.  The following week (5/18 to 5/21) will be spent collecting final assignments and making final classroom connections as we head into summer break.  At the elementary school, fourth quarter grades will be marked as Fully Participated, Partially Participated, or No Participation.  At the middle and high school, grades are being assigned for fourth quarter, with incompletes being assigned in any class where a non-passing grade would be earned.  Individualized plans to resolve any incomplete marks will be developed.

 

Graduation

For our seniors, graduation will be occurring over three nights with in-person diploma presentations on 5/18, 19, and 20.  Every diploma moment will be filmed, and a complete graduation video, containing all of the normal speeches and ceremonial events will be released on Friday evening (May 22nd).

 

Student Item Pickup

Item pickup at the elementary school is happening this week - CLICK HERE for details on how/when to pick up items.

 

Item pickup at the middle school will be happening on May 18th and 19th - CLICK HERE for middle school pickup details.

 

Item pickup at the high school has been ongoing.  Contact Mr. Stevens ([email protected])  if there is a specific item that still needs to be retrieved.

 

Food Service

The final neighborhood distribution day for this school year will be on Wednesday, May 20th.  We are exploring the possibility of continuing breakfast/lunch pickup through the end of June at the elementary school, and more details will be shared prior to May 20th.

 

Also, there are two upcoming community food distribution dates on May 15th at the YMCA and May 21st at Crossroads Eastside.  CLICK HERE for more information.

 

Next Year

As I’m sure you can imagine, I am asked this question multiple times per day about what next year is going to look like.  At this point there are unfortunately more questions than answers.  What I can say is that we are working daily to develop different options depending on what life looks like as we get into late summer.  In a few weeks Ohio will be releasing guidance to all school districts regarding plans for re-opening in the fall, and this will certainly play a big part in any plans we make.  The other thing to watch is how the re-opening of the economy and daycare centers goes in the coming weeks, as lessons learned in these areas will have an impact on school restart plans.  It is reasonable to expect that no matter what, there will most likely be a combination of in-person and remote learning that will take place for part if not all of the 2020-2021 school year.  What that looks like is the work for this summer, and you can expect regular communication from me as planning progresses and circumstances throughout Ohio and the nation evolve.

 

What I do know for certain is that there will be another side to this, and that there are silver linings that will be discovered as we continue to emerge from this moment.

 

Continue to stay safe and watch out for one another.

 

All the best,

 

Keith


Bulldog Bulletin - April 21, 2020
Posted 4/21/2020 at 3:33:08 PM by Keith Millard [staff member]

As you are most likely aware, the Governor did announce yesterday that schools will remain closed through the end of the 2019-2020 school year.  While I wish circumstances were different and that there was some way to finish the school year face to face, it is ultimately the safest decision as Ohio continues to work to flatten the curve of COVID19.

 

My heart goes out to all of our seniors.  I know through numerous conversations that many were holding onto hope that there might be some small chance to return for the last few weeks in order to celebrate this important right of passage together with friends and family.  For our spring athletes, as well as our winter athletes who had seasons cut short, I feel for the loss of what should have been a special season to remember that will unfortunately not occur.  While there is no way to get it back, I hope that the memories of past seasons, along with the support of your teammates and coaches, will help to tide you through.

 

Currently, the high school is working on several ways in which this year’s senior class will be recognized.  Plans for what graduation will look like are going to be shared by the end of the week.  There are also a few surprise ideas for senior recognition that will be happening over the next several weeks that will hopefully be special for the Class of 2020.

 

Our plan for the remainder of the school year, as I shared in the bulletin from this past weekend, is to continue with remote learning through the end of the school year, which is May 21.  We know, based on the Governor’s announcement yesterday, that next school year may look different than what we are used to.  The learning that takes place during this closing month of the school year is very important as we begin to explore what a return to school is going to look like in August.  I have been so impressed by the work of teachers, students, and parents as we have figured out remote learning together, and I know we are going to finish the school year strong.

 

Finally, as the shutdown of school was abrupt, we know that students have a number of items in school that need to be picked up.  We are currently working on a plan for students to be able to pick up belongings, and we expect to announce that plan in the next few weeks.

 

As superintendent, I think of you daily, and while this is a trying time for all, I continue to hold onto the promise that good things do come from times of trial, and I know that we will emerge stronger as a district and community by the ways in which we work to support one another in this moment.

 

All the best,

 

Keith


Bulldog Bulletin - April 18, 2020
Posted 4/18/2020 at 11:02:20 AM by Keith Millard [staff member]

Good Saturday morning to everyone!  In my conversations with numerous people over the past few weeks, one of the common share points has been the lack of connection to the day of the week, as COVID has certainly thrown off the rhythms of daily life.  I had a good laugh when a friend sent me the cartoon below and I thought it was worth sharing, as it really captures the odd times we find ourselves in:

 

sitting by a tree talking about not knowing what day it is

Three items for this edition of the bulletin:

 

First, I know how hard this time is for our senior class of 2020.  As a parent of a senior who is also a spring sport athlete, our family has had to work through this very different spring.  These are difficult times and my heart goes out to every parent, student, and spring sport athlete who is having this special time of life disrupted.  

 

This coming Monday Mr. Derickson has scheduled a video call that is open to all members of the senior class, where they will get a chance to share graduation and recognition ideas.  The goal is to have some sort of recognition occur on graduation day, along with keeping options available for an in-person graduation ceremony later this summer. The commitment is to ensure the Class of 2020 is celebrated in a special way.  More details will be shared regarding specific plans towards the end of next week.

 

Second, the top question I continue to be asked is, “are we going back to school this year?” While I think it is unlikely, the governor said in his Friday press conference that an announcement about schools will come next week.  If the decision is to remain closed, our remote learning plan will continue through the end of the school year for students. If the decision is to re-open, we will have a plan in place for a return that is in line with orders from the governor and Ohio Department of Health.  This is one of those areas where we will continue to take it a day at a time, and our plans will continue to evolve as more information is revealed.

 

Finally, for the Board of Education meeting this coming Monday, the meeting will be live streamed beginning at 6:30pm.  This link will take you to the livestream of the meeting.  With the current stay at home order in place, public participation will not occur in the traditional face to face manner.  However, any questions can be sent to [email protected], and answers will be provided either during the section of the meeting normally devoted to public participation or afterwards in a follow up email reply.

 

Keep hanging in there, and I continue to send thoughts and best wishes to everyone during this time.

 

All the best,

 

Keith


Bulldog Bulletin - April 12, 2020
Posted 4/12/2020 at 11:07:51 PM by Keith Millard [staff member]
A few quick updates as we head into our fourth week of remote learning:
 
1. Grab and Go breakfast and lunch is FREE for any person 18 or younger (this includes non-school age little ones at home) and happens every Monday/Wednesday/Friday.  A new pickup site at the corner of Harmony Court and Pleasant Acres Drive is being added beginning Monday, April 13th.  Click here for full list of pickup locations and times.
 
2. If you have not filled out Census information yet for your household, please take a few minutes to do so by clicking here.  An accurate count of all residents is very important for both Batavia and Clermont County.
 
3. If you still need to vote in the March 17th Primary Election, click here for information on requesting a ballot, which must be postmarked by April 28th in order for your vote to be counted. 
 
4. Now that we are three weeks into remote learning, everyone is staring to get the hang of things.  For all things virtual learning, please click here to visit the district remote learning page. 
 
The week ahead should hopefully provide some insight as to what life will look like for schools after May 1st.  Updates on the status of the school closure along with information regarding our seniors will be shared as soon as new information is available.
 
I hope you are staying safe and hanging in there!
 
Keith 
 
Bulldog Bulletin - April 5, 2020
Posted 4/5/2020 at 11:59:58 AM by Keith Millard [staff member]

I hope everyone is hanging in there and adapting to this new temporary rhythm of life.  The entire staff misses seeing the students and families each day. Remember to keep taking it a day at a time...it’s more manageable that way.

 

As the Governor has now officially extended the school closure and stay at home order through May 1st, the link below will take you to a new District remote learning webpage, which contains links to each building plan and other useful items.

Remote Learning Page


The new stay at home order means all District facilities, including buildings and all athletic fields are closed to students and the public through May 1st.


Beginning April 6th, breakfast and lunch grab and go service will be available at 5 neighborhood locations as well as at Batavia Elementary School every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.  Meals are free for any child ages 18 or below. The link below has more details.

Food Service Delivery Locations and Schedule


For those who have internet connection needs, two extended wifi hotspots have been set up at Bulldog Place.  The link below will give you more information.

Bulldog Place Wifi Hotspots


For our open enrolled families, the open enrollment application period opens on Monday, April 6th.  More information is at the link below.

Open Enrollment Instructions


Regarding graduation and prom, the high school is currently working on a set of backup dates in June and a second set of backup dates in July should social distancing rules be extended past May 1st.


As far as coming back to school, our remote learning plans are focused on getting us through the next four weeks, and once the Governor announces plans past May 1st additional guidance will be released on how the school year will be concluded.


Keep taking care of yourself and each other.


Keith


Bulldog Bulletin - March 29, 2020
Posted 3/29/2020 at 10:24:52 PM by Keith Millard [staff member]

Good evening and welcome back from ‘spring break'!

 

Below are important updates for this week:

 

Food Service

Breakfast and lunch grab and go meals will be available again this week (March 30 - April 3) at Batavia Elementary School and Batavia Middle School from 9:30am to 11:00am.  There may be changes to meal sites in the future, but not prior to April 6th.

 

Family Support

Families in need of food or with other family support needs can send an email to [email protected].  A team has been established to respond to all support requests (Note: Academic questions should be sent to individual teachers or building principals).

 

Facilities

The middle school football field, high school baseball field, high school softball field, elementary school playgrounds, and the old Batavia Elementary playground at 215 Broadway are closed for all users.

 

The high school track and stadium field along with the high school tennis courts are open for individual, informal, non-team, non-organized physical activity, and all social distancing directives from the Governor's office and the Ohio Department of Health must be followed in order for these facilities to remain open.

 

Academic Plan - March 30 to April 3

Elementary activity boards 3 and 4 will be posted on Monday, March 30th on the Batavia Elementary Website.  Families in need of paper copies of assignments may pick them up between 9:30am and 11:00am each day at the elementary school.

 

Batavia Middle School students will be receiving an email from their grade level teacher teams with assignments for the week of March 30th.  Families in need of paper copies of assignments may pick them up between 9:30am and 11:00am each day at the middle school.

 

Batavia High School student assignments will be posted to Google Classroom for the week of March 30th.  Students in need of printed assignments should email either Mr. Derickson or Mr. Stevens.

 

Academic Plan - April 6 to ???

As of this writing a decision has still not been made by the Governor's office as to when schools will be allowed to re-open.  However, given the extension of the federal government social distancing policies through April 30th, we are planning for remote learning experiences that will be extending for at least the next several weeks.

 

This week our teachers will be working in grade and department level teams on new remote learning activities that will begin the week of April 6th.  We realize the heavy demands that are on all families during this crisis, and our goal for all grade levels is to find a good balance that includes expectations for daily learning along with a recognition that the academic load can not be the same as it is when students are present at school each day.

 

More information regarding remote learning beginning the week of April 6th will be made available by Friday, April 3rd.

 

Open Enrollment

The enrollment application for current open enrolled families will be available on the Central Enrollment webpage on Friday, April 3rd.  Applications will be accepted electronically beginning Monday, April 6th. More details will be posted when the application goes live on April 3rd.

 

State/AP Testing

Last week the legislature passed a bill that suspended state testing for this spring.  For our high school students enrolled in AP courses, your teachers and counselors will be in touch with you regarding plans for both AP exam review and remote AP exam administration.

 

Seniors

While no decision has been made yet regarding prom, senior awards, and graduation, we are watching events unfold daily and are working on various contingency plans depending on how long Ohio's stay at home order and the associated school closure lasts.  This is certainly not how anyone envisioned senior year going for the Class of 2020, and we will figure out a way to celebrate our seniors and their fortitude during this time should originally scheduled dates be pushed back.

 

Part of the legislative package that was passed last week included graduation flexibility for the Class of 2020.  Over the next two weeks the high school administrative and counselor team will be working with members of the Class of 2020 on specifics regarding the completion of spring coursework and other requirements necessary prior to graduation.

 

COVID-19 Information

 

State of Ohio Information

 

Federal Information

 

While it is hard not seeing everyone at school each day, we are looking forward to getting back to our remote learning schedule and seeing everyone virtually!

 

All the best,

 

Keith


Bulldog Bulletin - March 20, 2020
Posted 3/20/2020 at 4:07:21 PM by Keith Millard [staff member]

As our first full week of operating in ‘remote learning’ status draws to a close, a few updates:

 

  • Between now and April 1st, teachers will be reaching out by phone to all families to check in with you and your child.  If your family has a specific food or other family support need, please communicate this need to [email protected]

  • Our second week of remote learning from March 30 - April 3rd will run the same as it did during this past week.  At the time of this writing, no decision has been made by the Governor’s office regarding when school will reopen, and staff are currently planning for what instruction will look like should we be out past April 3rd.

  • For our Seniors in the Class of 2020, we know this is a very stressful time, and more information regarding senior scholarships, prom, and graduation will be made available once a clearer direction on how long school will be closed is provided by the Governor’s office.

 

I know I speak for the entire staff in saying that we miss seeing the students and we know how hard it has been for everyone to have the regular rhythms of school life completely upended.  The good news is that this will not last, and we are fortunate to live in a day and age where we have technology tools that allow us to stay connected. Keep leaning on one another for support and we’ll all get through this by taking it one day at a time.

 

All the best,

 

Keith

Bulldog Bulletin - March 13, 2020
Posted 3/13/2020 at 7:07:43 PM by Keith Millard [staff member]

Before jumping into the update, I just want to take a moment to recognize all of the members of the Batavia staff for their efforts over the past 48 hours.  Taking an operation that is designed to serve kids that arrive each day and flipping the switch to a service model where the kids you serve suddenly aren’t there is a big undertaking.  The teamwork and mission focus displayed was a testament to the care and concern the staff has for the students and community on a daily basis. It was a proud superintendent moment to see it all in action!


Below are the most recent information updates from categories shared in Thursday’s communication:


Academic Activities

Today, teachers in each building developed lessons that students will complete at home during the week of March 16th and the week of March 30th.  Each building principal has sent an email with specific details, and all assignments for the week of March 16th will be communicated electronically by Monday.


Building/Student Activities

All student activities, including athletic practices and contests, are cancelled through April 5th.  The Ohio High School Athletic Association has banned all team activities during this time. The buildings will be closed to all outside events and group.


Food Service

As a district we will have two Grab N’ Go Stations open for breakfast and lunch purchases at Batavia Elementary and Batavia Middle School from 9:30 AM - 11:00 AM each day during the weeks of March 16th and March 30th.  Normal cafeteria procedures will be in place (a student who is eligible for free meals will receive meals for free, a student who is eligible for reduced price meals will pay the reduced price, and full pay students will be charged the regular price).


One of the most upsetting things to us as educators regarding the closure has been the disruption of daily food service operations, and we have worked to quickly find a solution that will be helpful to families.


Please contact your building principal with questions or to alert regarding special circumstances with families who may need help accessing meals.


Just as a reminder, the latest information from the Ohio Department of Health can be found here and the latest information from the Centers for Disease Control can be found here.


Please take care of yourself and look out for one another as we all walk this road together.


Keith


Bulldog Bulletin - March 12, 2020
Posted 3/12/2020 at 10:33:43 PM by Keith Millard [staff member]

It has certainly been a whirlwind 48 hours.  Thank you for your patience and understanding as we work through a vast amount of information as the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve.


The District will be closed beginning tomorrow (3/13/2020) and will remain closed through Sunday (4/5/2020), which marks the end of Governor Dewine’s school closing order.  While we anticipate reopening beginning Monday (4/6/2020), this could change depending on the status of the COVID-19 situation at that point and further orders from the governor.


Tomorrow, staff will be reporting and will be working on lessons to be completed at home both next week (March 16 - March 20), as well as the week of March 30 - April 3 (which is the week after our scheduled spring break week).


More information regarding at home assignments will be sent by the end of the day on Friday (3/13/2020).


Below are several other important items as we prepare for these next three weeks:


Student Books/Instruments/Medicines

These can be picked up at school tomorrow (Friday 3/13/2020) during normal building operating hours.  Any unavoidable conflicts that would prevent picking items up on Friday can be handled on a case by case basis by emailing the building principal.


Activities

All activities that are hosted at district buildings are cancelled during this three week period.  We are awaiting final guidance from the OHSAA and SBAAC on spring sport athletic practices/events and will communicate tomorrow (3/13/2020).


Food Service

We plan to run a modified form of breakfast and lunch service during this closure, and are awaiting final guidance from the Ohio Department of Education before making final plans.  An update will be communicated tomorrow (3/13/2020).


Election Day

Batavia High School and Batavia Middle School are both designated as election day sites on Tuesday, March 17th, and will be open for primary voting as scheduled.


While necessary, closing school for this length of time is very difficult for everyone involved, and as a district we will work to be a source of support during these uncertain times.  Keep hanging in there, and remember to follow the CDC’s guidance on reducing the spread of COVID-17.


Additional updates will be coming out tomorrow.


Keith


Bulldog Bulletin - March 10, 2020
Posted 3/10/2020 at 10:19:07 PM by Keith Millard [staff member]

Just a quick update about where we are as a District relative to the COVID-19 outbreak.


First, we continue to monitor daily updates from the Centers for Disease Control, the Ohio Department of Health, and the Clermont County Health Department.


Currently (as of March 10th), there are only 3 confirmed cases in Ohio (all in the Cleveland area), and the risk for localized contagion is still considered low.


CLICK HERE FOR CURRENT STATEWIDE INFORMATION - UPDATED DAILY


Second, we continue to focus on wiping down common areas (e.g. door handles, railings, sinks, etc.), and we are using disinfectant spray on our bus seats each day.


We also continue to reinforce frequent handwashing and refraining from touching of eyes/nose/mouth with unwashed hands.


CLICK HERE FOR OHIO’S COVID-19 DISEASE PREVENTION INFOGRAPHIC


Finally, we are working on contingency plans for continuing education activities at home should schools be required to close for an extended period in order to help control the spread of COVID-19.


This is a very unique situation with realities that change daily.  We will continue to provide updates as the situation evolves.


Hang in there, and remember to keep washing your hands and stay home if you are feeling sick.


Keith


Bulldog Bulletin - February 27, 2020
Posted 2/27/2020 at 9:11:22 AM by Keith Millard [staff member]

It has certainly been a different kind of winter this year, with the best chance of seeing the color white occuring when you glance up at the sky versus looking at the ground!  The good news is spring is right around the corner and hopefully the return of sunshine on a more consistent basis. In this edition of the Bulldog Bulletin I will be touching on the topics of EdChoice, HOPE Squads, and work around the design of our new buildings.

 

EdChoice

Over the past few months a big issue I have been focused on for the District has been the EdChoice voucher expansion issue.  The simple version of the story is that a new law was passed last year in Ohio that dramatically altered rules by which public schools could be classified as ‘underperforming', and this categorization would allow for public tax dollars to be used to pay for private school vouchers.  Batavia, along with 70% of the school districts in the State of Ohio, would feel the impact this change. Needless to say, as public school advocates and supporters of our schools, the Board of Education and I have stood opposed to this change and the negative impact it would have on all public school districts in the State.

 

Due to the advocacy of many voices that support strong public schools, there is currently legislation before the Ohio General Assembly to roll back the EdChoice expansion and to move away from the flawed performance based measures that created the current situation all public schools in Ohio find themselves facing.  If you encounter articles or stories about the EdChoice issue in the local media, the policy solutions that support public education and our District are the conversion of the State's school voucher program to an income based system paid for by the State and not local districts, along with a revamping of the state accountability system to focus on measuring what truly matters for students.

 

For those who like digging deep into these types of issues, the four links below will take you to advocacy pieces that have been delivered to members of the General Assembly on behalf of the District and in support of public education over the past several months.

 

EdChoice Expansion Opposition Board Resolution

EdChoice Expansion Opposition Letter 1

EdChoice Expansion Opposition Letter 2

EdChoice Expansion Opposition House Bill 9 Testimony

 

If you have specific questions regarding EdChoice or would like to have a longer conversation about this issue, please feel free to reach out to me via email.

 

 

HOPE Squad

An exciting initiative that will be new for the coming school year is the implementation of ‘HOPE Squads" at the middle and high school.  HOPE Squad is a peer to peer suicide prevention program that at its heart is all about providing connection and belongingness between peers and enhancing school culture as a community of support for students.  We are excited to be partnering with the Grant Us Hope foundation and the work they are doing to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health conversations. HOPE Squads are currently in place in a number of schools throughout Southwest Ohio, and we are excited to bring this program to Batavia and to see the impact positive impact this can have on our students.  Below are two videos that give an inside look at how HOPE Squads operates from both a middle and high school perspective, along with the Grant Us Hope website that contains more information about the program.

 

Madeira High School HOPE Squad

 

West Clermont Middle School HOPE Squad

 

Grant Us Hope Website

 

Building Design

Finally, we are about seven months away from the beginning phases of construction on the buildings at Bulldog Place.  Since the first of the year groups of teachers have been involved in a planning process to inform what is known as schematic design, which details how the interior spaces of the buildings will be arranged.  The two goals of this process have been to maximize space going to classrooms in anticipation of the continued enrollment growth of the District, along with designing flexible spaces that allow for a variety of educational delivery options that are customizable to student needs.  Below is a picture of a portion of the first floor of the high school that is representative of what this work looks like to date.

 

 

There will be a lot more to share in the next few months as this phase of the design process wraps up, and we begin to shift the conversation to how we will navigate Bulldog Place over the next few years as construction will be in full swing.

 

All the best,

 

Keith

 

P.S. This link will take you to the latest information from the Ohio Department of Health on Coronavirus (COVID-19). At this point we continue to monitor developments and are focused on disinfecting high traffic areas in the buildings. Currently the risk is considered low in the United States, and we encourage everyone to focus on everyday practices for reducing sickness, as the common cold, flu, and strep throat are much more likely illnesses at this time of year.

 

 

Bulldog Bulletin - November 11, 2019
Posted 11/11/2019 at 3:11:45 PM by Keith Millard [staff member]

I hope this edition of the Bulldog Bulletin finds you well.

 

First things first, apparently it’s time to start talking about winter weather.

 

In general, the goal is always to make a decision about a delay or closing by 5:45am, and in the case of a delay, the goal is always to have that be the final decision.  However, the weather, as we all know in Southwest Ohio, is a fickle friend, and in the rare scenario that we are on a delay and it has to change to being closed, that decision is made no later than 7:30am.

 

As far as communication, social media is always updated first, followed by the phone system, and then the school website.  The news is notified via a weather hotline, but there is usually a lag between notifications and T.V. postings, especially when Districts are calling all at once, so social media is your best bet to get the information right away.

 

On the social media front, we realized recently that while we thought we were posting to Facebook during all of the 2018-2019 school year, it turns out the method we were using to post via smartphone quit working at some point, and, well, we didn’t know.  The good news is we do now, and we are back to posting on the District page…(search Batavia Local Schools to find it). The page is way overdue for a spring cleaning...we’ll be working on that soon.

 

While we were busy fixing our Facebook connection, we also finally created a District Instagram account (bataviaschools).  While we still love our Twitter accounts, we’ll be diversifying the content we put on the sites, and will be doing more academic features on the Facebook/Instagram side, while the Twitter side will continue to be the more day to day happenings of the District.  However, we’ll be publishing upcoming dates to all of the platforms, so you don’t miss anything regardless of the social channel you use most often.

 

On the building project, I’m excited to announce that Elevar has been chosen as the architect that will be designing the new buildings, and we held a kickoff meeting last week to officially begin the design process.  The very first step will be to host a series of visioning exercises to talk about the future of education and gather input on how the building spaces should be designed in order to best meet the needs of students, teachers, and the community.  At the end of this process a vision document will be produced that will inform the design process for the buildings.

 

Part of the visioning process will include a community wide session that will be held at Batavia High School from 5:15 - 6:45 on Wednesday, December 4th.  I hope you will be able to attend and lend your voice and insights to this important step in the building project.

 

All the best,

 

Keith


Bulldog Bulletin - October 1, 2019
Posted 10/1/2019 at 8:44:22 AM by Keith Millard [staff member]

With the current heat wave we are experiencing you'd never know that we have turned the page and are now in October!  It's always hard to believe how fast the school year goes as we are only two weeks away from the end of the first quarter. Across the District it has been a great start to the school year, and it's been exciting to see our students involved in so many different positive educational and extracurricular activities on a daily basis.


On the construction front, this week we are working on the process of selecting an architect for the school building portion of the project, and hope to be able to make a formal announcement about the firm we will be partnering with before Thanksgiving.  Once an architect is in place, we will be able to finalize the timeline for when construction is anticipated to begin and we will share those details as soon as they are available.


With the current athletic complex renovation, we are anticipating opening the visitor's concession stand, restrooms, and pressbox for the home football game on October 11th against New Richmond.  Work on the softball field and the new maintenance/athletic barn is just about complete, and we anticipate that the baseball portion of the complex will be completed by the first part of November. Already our facilities are generating significant interest from throughout Southwest Ohio, as we potentially will be hosting several regional playoff soccer matches during the last half of October.  The construction photo site was also recently updated with a number of new photos, and can be accessed here.


For our middle and high school students, we once again will be partnering with the Coalition for a Drug Free Clermont County in administering the bi-annual Pride survey to students in grades 7-12 on October 9th.  More information about this important survey can be found here.


While it is only October (and hot), the holiday season is right around the corner.  The District has a number of strong partnerships with local community service agencies, and for those families that may be in need during the holiday season, now is the time to connect with local agencies that provide holiday assistance.  The links below will take you to the specific registration sites (again, if you anticipate needing to connect with any of these organizations, the time to do it is now...it will be too late by the middle of November).


Inter Parish Ministry (Christmas)

Christian Help Center (Thanksgiving soon, Christmas TBA)

Salvation Army (Christmas)


Another resource for families that need to connect with support resources in Clermont County is the new Family Support Resources section on the District website.  This site was recently updated with information from the Clermont County Mental Health and Recovery Board.


Finally, the local report card was recently released for all schools in the State of Ohio.  As a District there are parts of the report card where we have continued to make progress, and other areas where we are investing additional resources in order to meet our mission of continuous improvement as we strive to meet the needs of all learners.  The report card can be a pretty complicated thing when you get just under the surface of it, and for those who are interested, I will be hosting two report card sharing and discussion opportunities on Tuesday, October 8th from 6 - 7 in the library at Batavia High School and on Thursday, October 17th from 6 - 7 in the library at Batavia Middle School. 

 

I hope it has been a good start to the year for you and your family, and I hope to see you out and about in the School District soon.

 

All the best,


Keith


Bulldog Bulletin - August 12, 2019
Posted 8/12/2019 at 10:18:29 PM by Keith Millard [staff member]

Welcome back to school for the 2019-2020 school year!  The coming year promises to be one filled with excitement as we open our renovated athletic facilities, begin the planning process for our new school buildings, and continue the work of enhancing our academic programs to ensure high quality learning opportunities for every Batavia student.


In spite of all the rain we had in the early summer, the main stadium field and concession stand are tentatively scheduled to be finished by August 23rd, the visitors concession stand and press box by the end of September, and the remainder of the fields by the end of November.  We are on schedule to hold our stadium field dedication ceremony during our home football opener against Williamsburg on August 30th.


For the school building portion of the project, we received final official approval from the State planning agency in July along with State fiscal approval just last week, which means we are now at the stage where we are beginning the process of selecting an architect to design the buildings.  We expect to have an architect selected by the end of October, and once this happens there will be community input opportunities as the design process unfolds.


As we head into the new school year, a new tool we now have available is a mobile app for our school safety hotline.  Click here to view a flyer that has instructions on how to download the app for your mobile device.  This flyer also contains information on the other ways in which the school safety hotline can be accessed in the event that safety information needs to be shared with a school. Also, the District is required to provide annual notice on a number of policies, including Positive Behavior Supports, Student Records, Harrassment/Bullying, Title I Programs, and Student Discipline. Please click here to view the complete list of annual notices electronically. If you would like to request paper copies, please send an email to [email protected], and in the subject line please put 'annual notice paper copy request'.


For those families whose students ride the bus to school, the first few days of school always bring transportation delays, especially on the way home from school.  Generally the busses start to run mostly on time after the first week of school, but until then please be patient and know that we work to eliminate delays as quickly as possible into the new school year.


Finally, for parents who may have extra time now that school is back in session, an excellent way to earn additional income while also helping the school district is to become a substitute bus driver.  Paid training is offered and it is a schedule that works perfectly for families with school aged children. For more information, please contact Shawn Young at [email protected].


I am very excited for the coming school year, and can't wait to see everyone back to school on Wednesday, August 14th!

All the best,


Keith


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