101 Reasons to be Proud of Dayton Public Schools
Teaching and Learning
1. Drawing inspiration from an enduring message of peace and equality, Dayton Public Schools students took home 27 of 34 grade awards and 10 of 12 grade-group awards during the 27th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Art, Poetry and Prose Contest held at Thurgood Marshall High School.
2. Formed five years ago, Team 2665—the Cougarbots, Thurgood’s FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics League—is growing. The team has competed in the Buckeye Regional Robotics Competition for the past five years at Cleveland State University. The Cougarbots have proven to be strong competitors, finishing among the top 25 percent of teams from across the Midwest and South.
3. Amy Moon and her students at Cleveland PreK-8 School used interactive video distance learning to follow the travels of Flat Stanley with Trina Dill and her first-grade classroom at Memorial Drive Elementary School in Waycross, Ga. Flat Stanley is a memorable, geography-themed picture book character that travels the globe and classrooms worldwide. The journey continued via a class wiki that tracked Flat Stanley’s adventures with Moon and her students.
4. The DPS Class of 2012 earned more than $10 million in scholarships to attend colleges and universities across the United States.
5. Alexis Diggs was the winner of the 2012 District-wide Spelling Bee! Alexis competed with 30 other students from DPS, private, parochial and charter schools, to win the 62nd annual bee. Her winning word, spelled at the end of the 12th round, was “omnivorous.” Alexis, a seventh grader at Stivers School for the Arts, went on to compete in the regional spelling bee, held at Sinclair College. Third-place district honors went to Gabby Rauch, a seventh-grade student at Horace Mann PreK-8 School.
6. Dayton Public Schools eighth graders presented original speeches during the 27th annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Oratorical Contest. The winner, Destinee Moore from Rosa Parks, spoke about how lessons from great leaders such as Gandhi, Dr. King and Mother Teresa taught her to persevere. Second place was awarded to Tomara Dorsey from Stivers; Ruskin student Ebi Reyes won third place.
7. The Stivers Jazz Orchestra performed at the New York City Jazz Festival, held at Lincoln Center. The orchestra was one of only four student groups selected to perform at the festival, which features the best of college jazz performers. Stivers was not required to audition for the festival; organizers heard the group’s winning performance in Boston during the 2010 Berklee Jazz Festival and extended the invitation.
8. Students in the 2011 Seniors to Sophomores program at Ponitz CTC posted some outstanding achievements, according to Sinclair’s office of pre-college programs: Three of the four made the Dean’s list and two earned a perfect 4.0 GPA for the quarter, this year’s group outpaced first-time/full-time student GPA’s by 1.23 and all other student GPA’s by 0.87, and one student was inducted into Phi Theta Kappa.
9. Ponitz engineering students competed against 47 other combat robot teams in the Dayton Region Manufacturers Association Extreme Bots Competition. Ponitz Engineering received the following awards: Best Engineered Robot and second place overall - Anthony Patterson, Kenneth Johnson, Jayvahn Dixon, and Kevin Eckhart; Best Sportsmanship - Rustam Saddatov, Stevie Phelps, and Trenton Wright.
10. The Superintendent’s Student Senate, comprised of student leaders from each of the district’s high schools, established a scholarship to offer encouragement and assistance to “silent leaders” in their midst who are planning to attend college. With an annual goal of $3,000, the students began fund-raising to provide two $250 scholarships to each of the six DPS high schools, beginning with the Class of 2012.
11. Kindergartener Dylan Lewis called 911 when his mother experienced a life-threatening medical emergency at home. While on the line with the 911 operator, Dylan followed instructions to keep his mother from losing consciousness until paramedics arrived at the house. According to Dayton Boys Prep Academy Principal Horace Lovelace, Dylan’s mother credits her son for saving her life and making the call she was unable to make. Dylan was honored at the Dayton Art Institute during Grandview Hospital’s holiday gala. City and hospital officials presented the award to Dylan again in a separate ceremony at his school.
12. Valerie PreK-8 School was named a High Progress School by Battelle for Kids. Schools awarded for high progress are among the top 10 out of 684 participating SOAR (a comprehensive school improvement collaborative) schools making exceptional growth with their students. Math and reading data from grades 4-8 are included in this analysis. To be considered for the award, schools had to meet at least six indicators on the state report card and rank among the top five schools for showing above-average growth in the most recent school year.
13. Ponitz senior Rikia Lewis landed national honors for her work behind the mike. Lewis is a two-time recipient of the 2011 Columbia College Chicago High School Student Radio Awards. She earned first and second place in the Radio Station Promotion-Production/Campaign category, with entries that bested 200 competitors from across the country. This was the first time WDPS FM entered and won a national student competition.
14. DPS graduates (and NBA standouts) Daequan Cook and Norris Cole walked with Kemp PreK-8 students to raise funds for the DPS McKinney Vento program for homeless students. Participating students, who collected donations from friends, family and the Kemp community, walked for 30 minutes during physical education classes. Proceeds from the event, sponsored by the Kemp CEC, also went toward a new electronic billboard for the school.
15. Dayton Mayor Gary Leitzell participated in a new fathers group at Cleveland PreK-8 School. WATCH D.O.G.S. (Dads of Great Students) invites fathers, stepfathers, grandfathers, uncles, big brothers and other fatherfigures into schools, to volunteer their services during the school day. WATCH D.O.G.S. is a national program that encourages positive male presences in the lives of students, providing role models and an extra helping hand in schools. In turn, volunteers get a better understanding of the challenges and successes that occur in public schools every day.
16. Students studying American History II and World History at Stivers School for the Arts worked with the Dayton Art Institute on "Four Freedoms," a project honoring the contributions of veterans. Students interviewed local World War II veterans about their memories and feelings about President Franklin D. Roosevelt's "Four Freedoms" speech and the artwork of Norman Rockwell.
17. Following their record-setting inaugural year, Meadowdale High School students reprised their "Stand Up to Cancer" campaign in support of a faculty member who was undergoing treatment for cancer. Students held a "pink out" to raise funds for the American Cancer Society.
18. Dayton Public Schools families enjoyed COSI (Center of Science and Industry) Family Day at Ponitz CTC. The museum exhibit features areas that allow learning across all ages by combining scientific facts with fun, hands-on demonstrations and activities. The event, sponsored by the DPS Office of State and Federal Grants Management-Parent Involvement, was one of four free DPS family events scheduled during the school year, including Family Days at the National Museum of the United States Air Force, Sunwatch Indian Village/Archaeological Park, and Carillon Park.
19. The popular "Passport to Kindergarten" program returned to DPS with a kick-off event at the Dayton Art Institute. Participating students and their families were invited to enjoy a gallery hunt and craft activity. Other free family Passport events included outings at the Boonshoft Museum and Wegerzyn Gardens.
20. Area leaders from a host of professional sectors experienced a day in the life of a DPS educational leader during the eighth annual Principal for a Day event. The event provides business and community leaders with perspective on the strengths and challenges of Dayton's educators as they serve the city's youth.
21. Thurgood Marshall junior Brianna Green was honored at a Columbus reception for her winning entry in the 2011 Laws for Life Essay Contest. Sponsored by the Better Business Bureau, the contest seeks essays around an annual topic centered on values and character education. Green was one of 28 honorees statewide and the only winner from Montgomery County.
22. The world-class Dayton Contemporary Dance Company helped elementary students sharpen their skills through lessons that combine movement with math and language arts to engage both sides of the brain. The short-term arts residencies enabled students to remember by doing-a learning style educators refer to as kinesthetic. Lessons were aligned with Ohio's academic standards. DCDC served 23 schools in its three-year partnership with the district, giving teachers new classroom strategies to increase students' understanding. Dancing to the Curriculum recognizes that individuals learn best by involving muscular movement and that we learn in different ways; the program has been effective with a broad range of learning styles.
23. Eliza Straughter, a senior at Thurgood Marshall High School, took the oath of office at a September board meeting to become the 2011-2012 ex officio member of the Dayton Board of Education. The event marked 20 years of student leadership at the board level, serving as a voice for the district's nearly 15,000 students. Other 2011-2012 executive officers of Student Senate were Dasina Thomas, vice president, a Thurgood Marshall junior; Rochelle Shoulders, secretary, a Dunbar senior; Brandee Long, corresponding secretary, a Ponitz CTC junior; and Micah Epps, parliamentarian, a Meadowdale High School senior.
24. The Dayton Public Schools Visual Arts Show was held at the K12 Art Gallery, featuring selected works from students across the district. A special reception was held during the showing.
25. Dayton Public Schools climbed to Continuous Improvement when the Ohio Department of Education released its annual report card data for Ohio's school districts in 2011. For DPS, the move up in the state ranking to Continuous Improvement was the result of the district's value added rating, indicating students demonstrated more than a year's growth for a year's instruction.
26. Dayton teachers began the school year with a new academic plan, new curricula and a sharpened focus aimed at transforming Dayton Public Schools classroom by classroom. An estimated 80 percent of the district's 766 classroom teachers attended some form of professional development over the summer during an unprecedented 24 days of training.
27. Eight class/team projects and 21 individual entries in grades K-12 earned superior ratings at the 2012 District Science and Technology Fair, advancing them to regional competition.
28. The DPS Challenger Learning Center was a site for summer STEM studies. The program offered integrated, inquiry-based STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) instruction. The goal is to increase the number of students passing the science OAA (Ohio Achievement Assessment) in grades two through eight.
29. Funded by Race to the Top, the DPS Academic Achievement Team of 30 teachers-and their colleagues-worked to ensure the district is ready when Ohio's rigorous new common core standards and assessments roll out in 2013-2014. The teacher groups worked over the summer to develop pacing guides for grades K-12 in science, language arts, math and social studies. The core subject pacing guides were ready for use when the 2011-2012 school year began.
30. The Stivers Philharmonic Orchestra received a superior rating in prepared music and sight reading at the 2012 Ohio Music Education Association State orchestra adjudicate event in Sandusky. The orchestra competed in Full Orchestra Class A division, the most difficult of all divisions. Stivers had never before earned a superior rating in this category.
31. Meadowdale PreK-8 girls and Valerie PreK-8 boys won the 2012 Dayton City League middle school basketball championships.
32. Belmont High School and Stivers School for the Arts boys basketball teams made it to Division I playoffs.
33. Thurgood Marshall High School boys football team made it to Division III playoffs.
34. Longfellow student Donald Vaughn (teacher Margaret Wood) received the National School Traffic Safety Program Award of Merit certificate and cash award for his winning entry in the AAA School Traffic Safety Poster Contest in the Grade 3-5 Division.
35. Dayton Public Schools had the largest number of students representing a school district in the region at the 2012 Miami Valley Invention Convention at Wright State University Participating schools were Cleveland, Dayton Boys Prep,Edwin Joel Brown,Horace Mann, Ruskin,Valerie,River's Edge Montessori and Stivers School for the Arts.
36. Sixteen Ponitz Career Technology Center students advanced to state competition after placing in the Region 3 Business Professionals of America competition. Students placed in fundamental spreadsheet,banking and finance,fundamental accounting,business meeting management,computerized accounting and website design. The Ponitz website design teams swept their category,earning first,second and third places.
37. The community was invited to the unveiling of a Thurgood Marshall portrait painted by nationally known artist James Pate. The portrait was a gift from the Thurgood Marshall High School Class of 2012 to their schooL The students commissioned Pate to paint the picture with senior class funds. They became familiar with the artist's work during their visit to Pate's exhibit, "Kin Killin' Kin," at local artist Bing Davis' studio.
38. Thurgood Marshall HS held daylong workshops on topics selected specifically for and by Thurgood students."Rock Your Brand" covered issues affecting young women, and "Diamond in the Rough" addressed life issues that impact young men. Sessions,created and organized by Thurgood students,featured topics such as self-esteem,academic excellence,financial literacy,and health and fitness. The keynote speakers were Ohio Supreme Court Justice Yvette McGee-Brown (for the girls) and Jeffrey J. M ims Jr,3rd District Representative on the State of Ohio Board of Education (for the boys).
39. Sixteen individual and team entries from Belmont and Thurgood Marshall high schools and Stivers School for the Arts were selected during districtwide National History Day competition to advance to state History Day competition at The Ohio State University.
40. The DPS All City Music Concert was held at Stivers School for the Arts for the community and featured hundreds of select band,choir and orchestra students from throughout DPS.
41. The parent group at Charity Adams Earley Giris Academy formed a partnership with Girl Scouts of Buckeye Trails Council and MetroParks' Grow with Your Neighbor (GWYN) community gardening program to create a school garden. Cargill provided a grant of $600 to support the garden project.
42. Five Horace Mann students were selected to participate in the District 12 Ohio Music Education Association's Elementary Honor Choir,with a public performance at Cline Elementary in Centerville. One hundred seven young singers in grades three through six from across the Miami Valley were directed by Bruce Swank from the Kettering Children's Choir Students were selected by their music teachers and performed a variety of challenging repertoire. This was the first ever elementary honor choir for the Dayton area.
43. River's Edge Montessori PreK-8 School invited students, their families,friends and neighbors to enjoy cultural presentations from around the world at A Cultural Affair ESL Celebration. Dayton Public Schools serves approximately 520 students from 20 countries who speak 1 5 different Ianguages.
44. Nine teams from Ponitz Career Technology Center,Stivers School for the Arts,and Thurgood Marshall High School took top honors,finishing in first or second place at the Sinclair Tech Prep Showcase. The winning categories were architecture and construction,criminal justice science, design engineering,electronics engineering,emergency medical services,manufacturing design and development, theatre technologies,and visual communications. More than 150 teams entered the showcase,a regional competition for career tech students.
45. Hope Strickland,who teaches physics and chemistry classes at Stivers School for the Arts, was named the 2012 Teacher of the Year. Teacher of the Year first runner-up was Peggy Sedlar,a school nurse at Kemp PreK-8 School. Teacher of the Year second runner-up was Millie Bakri,a preschool teacher at Meadowdale PreK-8 School. Others in the Top 10 finalist list include Carol Burrage (Gardendale),Barbara Collins (Wright Brothers),Dr. Traci Davis (Thurgood Marshall),Berta Huse (Cleveland),Deidre Kelly (Valerie),Kristen Mills (Meadowdale High School),and Rosario Prado (Ruskin)
46. DPS students learned to infinity during the Lockheed Martin Space Day at the Dayton Challenger Learning Center. Students enjoyed hands-on STEM aerospace/ space science activities including mini missions to Mars in the Challenger Center's space simulator,an indoor planetarium,rocket building,and robotics demonstrations. The NASA Aerobus also was on hand. The event was dedicated to the memory of Challenger astronaut Ron McNair; his wife,Cheryl,was honored as a special guest,along with Ray Lugo,director of the NASA Glenn Research Center.
47. More than 800 students were honored at the 17th annual Superintendent's Scholars recognition,at the Dayton Convention Center. Eligible students earned all A's one or more grading periods for the 2011-2012 school year.
48. Ponitz engineering and construction students competed in the 2012 Miami Valley Engineering River Race, designing,building and racing structures they created. In the high school division,the school captured second place (team of Richard Rayford and Logan Green in "Pluto") and third place (Rustam Saddatov and Demichael Wright in "Davey Jones's Locker")
49. Daniel Molina and Vanessa lshimwe came to the United States less than five years ago,and each knew little to no English. A few years later,they were co-valedictorians of their 2012 graduating class at Belmont High School. In less than five years,Belmont's ESL population has grown from six to more than 90 students. The school's ethnic makeup includes at least 13 countries outside of the United States,with more than 15 foreign languages, including Spanish, Urdu, Swahili, Turkish and Kirundi.
50. Ponitz senior Cha'Reese Robinson won first prize in the national photo contest sponsored by school memorabilia company Jostens. She bested more than 8,000 entries from students around the country, winning top honors in the "Graduation" category The picture,taken during the 2011 graduation at Ponitz,shows a graduate who had lined up backstage in preparation of marching across the stage; she sees Robinson and offers a genuine smile. Contest judges praised Robinson's work as being warm,noting it's not easy to capture such a strong sense of connection between the subject and camera.
51. Stivers School for the Arts once again ranks among America's best public high schools,according to US. News & World Report in a study released in May 2012. Stivers earned a silver medal. This is the fourth year the study has been conducted and the third year Stivers has been recognized. The arts high school earned a bronze medal in 2009 and a silver medal in 2010. Stivers was the only high school in Montgomery County to receive a medal in 2010 and one of only six in the state that year.
52. Pre-kindergarten through third grade students at Westwood selected 10 books for their very own to take home and read over the summer. The books were donated through the first-ever Raise a Reader campaign to collect books for DPS students to keep their reading skills sharp and prevent summer slide. The drive was intended to serve Westwood,but an amazing 11,000 books were collected and three schools were able to give every child 10 books to take home. Louise Troy and World of Wonder students also received books. Partners in the campaign were Dayton Metro Library, Dayton Public Schools,City of Dayton,Project Read, ThinkTV,United Way,Learn to Earn,Omega Baptist Church and Ready Set Soar.
53. The Wolverines finished a perfect season with their fifth state title when the Dunbar boys basketball team brought home the Ohio High School Athletic Association Division II Championship
54. The artwork of Stivers senior Micaela Cottman was selected as a "top 25" winner in the 2012 Ohio Governor's Youth Art exhibition. Micaela received the 2012 Governor's Award of Excellence during an awards ceremony at The Riffe Center in Columbus.
55. School nurse Linda McDole was selected as one of eight winners in the Cox Media Group's Salute to Nurses Program and recognized at a spring awards breakfast. She was chosen from more than 200 nominations.
56. Theater students from Stivers School for the Arts were chosen to represent Ohio at the annual International Thespian Festival in Lincoln,Neb. The troupe produced "The Auditioners" by playwright Doug Rand for an audience of theater teachers and students from around the world. Approximately 3,000 were in attendance at the annual event held at the University of Nebraska's Lincoln campus.
57. Fifteen students at Edison PreK-8 School received refurbished bikes,courtesy of the University of Dayton's Wheels for Kids program. The program provides each DPS Neighborhood School Center with bikes that are collected and reconditioned through the all-volunteer efforts of UD students. The bikes arrived just in time for the all-school community Health and Safety Day,which included a bike rodeo. In addition to the bike,each child received a new helmet (courtesy of Childrens Medical Center of Dayton), a bike lock,T-shirt,and a UD "big brother/big sister," who taught students basic bike safety lessons.
58. The Dunbar boys track team took top state honors at the Ohio High School Athletic Association Division II State Championship,and the Thurgood Marshall boys track team was recognized for their OHSAA Division II regional runner-up finish.
59. Ponitz junior and senior classes boasted a 100 percent pass rate on the state automotive technology exam and earned enough by operating their own Ponitz automotive service department-from ordering and pricing to maintenance and payroll-to provide graduates with their own set of tools.
60. Retiring school nurse Monica Whitty became the latest member of the Community Blood Center's Red Cord Honor Program for chairing blood drives at Stivers that resulted in more than 715 student donors,who continue to support the center as DPS alums and members of the community
61. As part of the district's Positive School Climate anti bullying initiative, the Montgomery County Sheriff's Department and Dayton Public Schools collaborated to present Omega Man assemblies for preK-8 buildings. The theme of the programs is responsibility, respect, and self-discipline. Four live presentations were made each day during the weeklong event at Fairview, Louise Troy, Edison, Belle Haven, Cleveland, Wright Brothers, River's Edge, Longfellow, Wogaman, Edwin Joel Brown and Kemp.
62. Thirty DPS students competed in the 2012 Miami Valley Invention Convention at Wright State University Anouar Billel Hamadi from Horace Mann received a first-place award and a $500 College Advantage Scholarship in the seventh- and eighth-grade category. Fourteen DPS students from Cleveland, Dayton Boys Prep, River's Edge, Ruskin, Stivers and Valerie received Superior ratings for their inventions.
63. Kemp PreK-8 sixth grader Hailee Boothe was the top winner of the 2012 Black History Month essay contest, sponsored by the Ohio Education Association. OEA officials presented Hailee with an award at her school and treated her class to a pizza party Congratulations to Hailee and her teacher,Tara Harawa!
64. A group of DPS third graders from River's Edge Montessori PreK-8 School competed in the regional level of Destination Imagination (formerly Odyssey of the Mind) and brought back third-place medals and a school trophy. The students had to think on their feet, work together and devise original solutions that satisfy the requirements of their challenges. Destination Imagination is an international team-based creative problem-solving program.
65. The Dunbar High School boys track team and Coach Sidney Booker were honored by the Dayton Board of Education for winning the Ohio Indoor State Track Meet in Akron.
66. Special needs students in LaSue Juniel,Deborah Hild and Ashley Anderson's classes at Kiser PreK-8 School created outstanding sculptures made exclusively from recycled materials,as part of "Footprints: How to Make Your Life Greener," the Victoria Theatre Association's environmental education program. Classes were given two months and $75 for art materials to design and create a sculpture that represents lessons on the environment. Kiser student creations were displayed at the Victoria Theatre.
67. Students in grades four through eight from all DPS preK-8 schools, Stivers School for the Arts and Belmont High School competed in a number of exciting numeric and structure competitions at the district's annual Olympics-style math competition event. Events included Battle of the Brains (a "Jeopardy"-style competition), Build-a-Structure competition (teams build geometric figures with varying degrees of difficulty), and Quiz Kid Challenge. Trophies went to school teams in first through sixth place; individual trophies went to first- through third-place winners.
68. DPS,in partnership with the Dayton Philharmonic Volunteer Association,invited community members to donate gently used musical instruments at the Second Street Public Market. The donations are used annually to replace many worn-out instruments, giving students an opportunity to make music. This year, donated instruments helped to support a neighborhood initiative at Ruskin PreK-8 School that uses music education to improve academic performance and school attendance.
69. Eleven DPS graduates received $500 scholarships for the school of their choice and laptop computers from Cincinnati Bell Technology Solutions following the 18th annual DPS Scholarship Golf Classic. Recipients were Belmont-Ramadhan Ndayisaba (Bob Denney Scholarship Award); Dunbar-LaSha'e Packnett; Meadowdale-Airiana Bolton and Kelli Williamson; Ponitz CTC-Rustam Saddatov; Stivers - Kaitlyn Danner, Jade Lee (Louis Galiardi Scholarship Award), Viktoria Ostendorf, Matthew Quinn,and Paige Stoermer; and Thurgood Marshall-Takeisha Hankins. The Scholarship Golf Classic has provided 166 scholarships for exceptional Dayton Public Schools graduates since its beginning.
70. Ten DPS preK-8 schools raised more than $11,875 to fight heart disease through participation in the annual Jump and Hoops for Heart contests with the American Heart Association.
71. World of Wonder at Residence Park took top honors at the seventh annual DPS Dare to Dance competition at the Crowne Plaza Hotel. Seventh- and eighth-grade students from Belle Haven, Meadowdale, Westwood and World of Wonder at Residence Park preK-8 schools competed in five different dances (rhumba, swing, hustle, tango and meringue).
72. Seventeen aspiring principals successfully completed intensive leadership training and professional development through the Mayerson Academy in Cincinnati. These assistant principals are a critical component of the district's continued success.
73. The Dayton Breakfast Kiwanis honored three outstanding educators: Millie Bakri, a Meadowdale preschool teacher; Carol Burrage, a Gardendale secondary math teacher; and Rosario Prado, a teacher at Ruskin PreK-8 School.
74. The Dayton Rotary Club honored teachers Lorry Creech (Meadowdale PreK-8), Donna King (Stivers) and Armiya Muhammed (Thurgood), and Principal Cleaster Jackson (WOW) with Excellence in Teaching awards at a luncheon meeting.
75. The Target School Library Makeover program leveraged Target's world-class design and construction expertise, along with the products and services of local and national vendors,to transform the media center at Valerie PreK-8 School. Valerie's renovation included light construction,ecofriendly design elements and technology upgrades. New furniture, carpet, shelves and 2,000 books were also included in the new spaces, and every student and his or her siblings received seven new books to add to their own at-home collections. The school held a celebration for parents and students when the makeover was completed.
76. DPS students in grades four through six showed their athletic prowess on the gridiron during the district's annual Punt,Pass and Kick competition. Students also participated in the district's intramural soccer, bowling, and chess and checkers competitions.
77. Shatoria Gullatte (Dunbar), Marquise Crosby (Ponitz),and Takeisha Hankins (Thurgood Marshall) each received $1,000 scholarships from the Dayton chapter of the NAACP and were recognized at the annual Freedom Fund Banquet.
78. The Parity,Inc. Mentoring Program announced that JPMorgan Chase Bank awarded a $35,000 grant to mentor DPS youth with the goal of improving student achievement, attitude and attendance. Qualified mentees were enrolled when parents complete the application process. The program also involved AmeriCorps members,who worked with eighth graders to help them make a successful transition to high school. Parity, Inc.,a Day1on 501(c)(3) nonprofit,has partnered with Dayton Public Schools for more than 20 years. Parity's educational initiatives focus on grades six through eight and aim to improve students' selfesteem, achieve self-sufficiency and set goals.
79. Tuskegee Airman Charles Feaster visited Eastmont PreK-8 School to talk with students about his experiences with the all-African-American pursuit squadron based in Tuskegee,Ala.,in 1941 that became known as the Tuskegee Airmen. The Tuskegee Airmen were the first African-American military aviators in the United States armed forces during World War II. Despite the adversities of racism in the segregated armed forces, they trained and flew with distinction. Feaster was keynote speaker during the school's Black History Month program, in which Eastmont students from all grade levels also performed.
80. With the dedication of Wright Brothers PreK-8 School on Jan. 8, 2012, Dayton Public Schools celebrated the on-time, on-budget completion of its decade-long $627 million construction program to build 26 schools for Dayton's students.
81. DPS was the first urban district in the state to close out a segment of construction, according to the Ohio School Facilities Commission. In fact, the district has closed out the first two of its three construction segments, which means that in addition to construction, all documentation and financial reconciliation is complete. The district was later recognized by the Ohio School Facilities Commission at the Ohio Statehouse for completion of the project.
82. Collaboration between Belmont High School and law enforcement officials led to an astounding drop in crime and encouraging improvement in academics at the school. As a result, the project was one of seven selected finalists for the prestigious Goldstein Award. The award program seeks projects that successfully resolve any type of recurring crime or disorder problem faced by police. Submissions typically come from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia.
83. The Dayton Board of Education unanimously adopted a revised strategic plan built on five goals - high-quality education, high-quality faculty and staff, engaged parents, community collaborators and partnerships, and fiscal responsibility and accountability - to provide clear benchmarks for continued district improvement over the next five years. A community task force came together for a three-month-long process of reviewing and revising the existing plan. Those who worked on the revision include business, faith, civic and nonprofit community leaders; DPS teachers and administrators; representatives from higher education; and parent and neighborhood volunteers.
84. A new student identification system adopted in the 2011-2012 school year is designed to contribute to safe and secure schools and all but eliminate paperwork for the front office, leaving more instructional time in the classroom. The system creates reports when checking in tardy students, enables administrators to track students' locations within their buildings, confirms school meal purchases and attendance at school events, and helps principals monitor compliance to school rules.
85. Eastmont PreK-8 School, designed by Moody Nolan, earned LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) gold certification. Administered by the U.S. Green Building Council, the LEED program sets standards for environmental practices in construction, in categories that include water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, indoor environmental quality, and innovation in design. Two other buildings, Meadowdale High School and Edison PreK-8 School, earned gold status last June. Dayton Public Schools was the first district in Ohio to have achieved this honor.
86. DPS Nutrition Services closed its central facility and began onsite food production at all DPS schools, preparing healthy breakfasts and lunches for 15,000 students and reducing expenditures by approximately $1 million in FY12.
87. Dayton Public Schools increased participation in recycling, reducing landfill waste by 2,200 tons. The district also increased the use of green custodial products by 22 percent.
88. DPS offered parents of students in the district's ESL program a series of eight weekly sessions designed to explain how their children's schools operate, how to help their children succeed academically, and how to become an involved member of their community. The program grew out of the "Welcome Dayton" initiative that encourages community institutions and business leadership to make Dayton a welcoming place for new residents from other countries who have come to invest in the community, build better lives and, in turn, make Dayton a better place to live.
89. As a longstanding tradition, the Dayton Lions Club provided a festive holiday party for district students identified as having a visual impairment. Students and their families enjoyed a luncheon in their honor, entertainment, a visit from Santa and a special gift selected for them.
90. Kiser PreK-8 School hosted a Trunk or Treat and Halloween House event with candy and lots of activities. Kiser is one of five Neighborhood School Centers serving communities in the DPS district and involving families in the life of the school.
91. Douglas Walters' senior construction technology class at Ponitz Career Technology Center applied their skills to construct a mobile sales unit for Lowe's Home Improvement store in Trotwood. The mobile display was designed for use in the Lowe's parking lot to display roofing, siding and other installed products the store carries. It is modeled after the Ponitz Store,a mobile shop filled with spirit wear and other Ponitz items that are popular with students at the school.
92. High school students who did not successfully complete a subject could recover credits through the DPS Digital Summer Program, which offered a series of self-paced computerized tutorials, drills, mastery tests, and offline activities. Courses included algebra, physical science, chemistry, biology, geometry, history, and language arts for grades nine through 12.
93. "Math Homework Hotline," a favorite with students, returned to DPS TV (Time Warner Cable Channel 21) for its 27th season. The award-winning live call-in show is designed for DPS students, who phone in each week to get homework help and receive giveaways.
94. The students and staff of WDPS FM invited the Dayton community to a listener appreciation concert featuring Generations Swing Band, with opening performances by jazz and classical guitarist Tim Berens and Grammy nominated bassist Frank Proto. The free concert was held in the front courtyard at the David H. Ponitz Career Technology Center.
95. The Dayton Board of Education approved the appointment of Toni Perry Gillispie as the district's director of family and community engagement, fulfilling a commitment to foster greater family and community involvement in DPS schools. With the Office of Family and Community Engagement come a number of other system-wide changes: a renewed citizen involvement network; a streamlined volunteer process designed to be more convenient; and curriculum offerings for parents, including a parent symposium to train parent leaders.
96. Tani White-Fox, who works in the Office of Transportation, was named 2012 DPS Clerical of the Year. Her dedication and experience, along with the passion she brings to her job, are among the chief reasons for her selection.
97. The DPS website received a Sunny Award from the editors of Sunshine Review, honoring the most transparent government websites in America. The DPS site scored a transparency grade of "A" on Sunshine Review's Transparency Checklist. Only 214 of the more than 6,000 government websites ranked by Sunshine Review earned a Sunny Award.
98. Special needs students and their families received information to help make the transition from high school to postsecondary education, employment opportunities and independent living at the district's annual Transition Fair. The event, held at the David H. Ponitz Career Technology Center, included many job,housing, educational and community resources.
99. More than 100 DPS parents gathered at the Kroc Center for the first two sessions of a parent symposium designed to inform and empower them to support, improve and strengthen their schools and, in turn, to train other parents to become effective school leaders. DPS is partnering with the Ohio Department of Education, The Ohio State University and Parents for Public Schools of Greater Cincinnati to offer the sessions that will be scheduled through the 2012 calendar year. Attendees have been selected by their school principals to participate in all four sessions, which are funded by the district's federal Race to the Top grant.
100. The Dayton Education Council,comprised of district parents, staff and community partners, produced and sponsored a Dayton Board of Education Candidates Night forum,a two-hour live broadcast on DPS TV (Time Warner Cable Channel 21). Dayton Board of Education candidates responded to questions prepared in advance by DEC members and took calls from viewers during the live broadcast.
101. The DPS TV staff was selected from applicants statewide to produce a video capturing highlights of the 2012 Ohio School Board Association's Capital Conference. The event is the nation's second-largest education conference with more than 10,000 board members, school administrators, staff, students and guests in attendance.
Dayton Public Schools is an innovative district of champions where students are academically and culturally prepared by a team committed to developing critical thinkers and productive citizens ready to serve the world community.