SIDNEY — Students in first-grade through ninth grade attending Sidney City Schools will return to the classroom Thursday, Aug. 16, as they begin a new school year. Sophomore, juniors and seniors will return to the school on Friday, Aug. 17.
Kindergarten students will have a staggered start as group A students will begin school on Aug. 16. Group B’s first day will be Aug. 17. Group C will have their first day of school on Aug. 20. All kindergarten students will attend school on Aug. 21.
Open houses for the district will be held Tuesday, Aug. 14, and Wednesday, Aug. 15. All elementary schools will host open houses on Aug. 14 from 4 to 6 p.m. The middle school open house is planned for Aug. 14, from 5 to 7 p.m.
Sidney High School’s open house is set for Aug. 15, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Sidney Alternative School’s open house will be held Aug. 15 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.
SHS to host freshman orientation
Sidney High School administration and staff have decided to try something new to capture incoming freshmen and transfer students to best set them up for success at Sidney High School. The school will host a freshman orientation Day on the first day of school, Thursday, August 16, 2018. Only freshmen and transfer students will be required to attend that day, with all upper-class students starting on Friday, Aug. 17.
The primary goal of freshman orientation is to better acclimate incoming 9th graders to the high school culture. Students will start the day with introductory remarks from the Sidney High School administrative team in the auditorium. Following this, they’ll break into smaller groups and attend sessions including a tour of SHS, meeting the guidance department, a refreshment break with staff, library procedures, and checkout textbooks, find (and open) their locker, fill out any necessary paperwork, log onto/set passwords for school email and Google. They will also spend some time learning about support services in Sidney and Shelby County as well as SHS clubs and activities. Following lunch, they will go through a mini-session of their schedule, so they can become familiar with the high school. The day will conclude with a pep rally and learning the school’s fight song.
Dr. Brian Powderly, the school’s new head principal, shared with the board at a recent board meeting that the ninth grade is the most failed grade in America, noting there is a connection between mentoring students during their freshman year and the success of students.
“On day one, all freshmen will come to school and the day will be dedicated to helping them find their locker, do their combinations, and learn their schedule. We want to lessen their degree of anxiety when the other grades are joining them the next day,” said Powderly.
Transportation for students will run as scheduled both days.
Upperclassmen will report to school for their first day on Friday, Aug. 17. All returning SHS students will be required to complete an academic or career exploration day. This could include but is not limited to job shadowing, a college visit, community volunteering, a graduation pathway meeting, etc.
SHS students will receive more information about the first day of school as it pertains to their grade via a mailed letter and SchoolMessenger phone communications.
Per new policy, SHS students will not be allowed to have bookbags in class. They may carry bookbags to and from school but once at school, bookbags have to be placed lockers during the school day. The policy was put into place for safety reasons.
New staff members for the district include:
• Sidney High School: Brian Powderly, principal; Samantha Slover, math; Gary Clark, custodian; and Jill Richard, assistant cook.
• Sidney Middle School: Kelly Turner, math; Brandy Allen, assistant cook; Mark Cathcart, custodian; and Kay Parker, assistant cook.
• Emerson Elementary: Michelle Abbott, second-grade; and Trisha Schulze, art.
• Longfellow Elementary: Alex Blosser, music; Jeanine Holthaus, intervention specialist; and Susan Pallone, intervention specialist
• Northwood Elementary: Trisha Schulze, art; Nick Watkins, intervention specialist; Emily Lewis, aide; and Sarah Steenrod, aide.
• Whittier Elementary: Alex Blosser, music; and Wendy Humble, fourth-grade.
• Districtwide: Anthony Moeder, school psychologist; and Bob Humble, superintendent.
Assuming new roles within the district administration include Chris Barr, director of special education; Clayton Westerbeck, SHS assistant principal; Dan Barnes, SMS assistant principal; and Doug Zimmer, Sidney Alternative School principal. Building secretary changes include Kenna Chavez, Whittier Elementary; Dianna Thobe, Emerson Elementary; Barb Arnett, Sidney Alternative School; and Kim Voisard, Sidney High School.
SMS adds STEM course: Sidney Middle School will be launching a new STEM class this year as a part of the seventh- and eighth-grade unified arts rotation, which lasts nine weeks per class. Taught by Seth Meyer, a current teacher at Sidney Middle School, the class will be hands on with applied lessons.
Students will be working to create something to solve a real-world problem. For example, one of the lessons will be designing and developing a brace for a child with cerebral palsy. Students will have access to supplies and materials but will have to set a budget and work their designs around that.
The class will fully incorporate science, technology, math and engineering applications.
All seventh- and eighth-grade students will take the class this year with next year’s eighth-grade class exploring robotics; evolving from basic in the first year to more advanced in the second year.
Meyer and the SMS administration are incredibly excited about the potential of this new class and can’t wait to get hands-on with this new class.
PowerSchool Online Registration: Sidney City Schools will again use an online student registration/data validation system through PowerSchool Online Registration (formerly InfoSnap) for the upcoming school year. The system is a secure, which allows the district to verify all student demographic, emergency and medical information for your child prior to the start of the new school year. It allows parents to electronically sign the annual permission forms for school district policies.
PowerSchool Registration replaces all hard copy student registration and permission forms that students previously brought home on the first day of school. Online registration is mandatory for families to complete.
To log in to complete registration, families will need a SnapCode for their child. SnapCode letters and instructions will be given out prior to the start of school.
To make the process easier for families with multiple students, they will have the option to copy all generic family information to all other students in your family.
Computers will be available at Open Houses to accommodate online registration. Please be sure you have emergency medical contact information as well as doctor and dentist information as these are required pieces of information.
Anyone needing active assistance with the online registration process may contact Tiffany Rank at the Board of Education office at 937-497-2200 to arrange an appointment.
SHS/SMS traffic pattern changes: Starting with the first day of school for the 2018-19 school year (Aug. 16, 2018), Sidney City Schools will be implementing a new traffic pattern for Sidney High School and Sidney Middle School.
For several years, there have been safety concerns at the back of both SHS and SMS when the buses are unloading and loading before and after school. High School students who drive, parents, and general traffic who travel through the loading and unloading areas have been an “accident waiting to happen.” All the while, it has become difficult for the buses to maneuver from SMS to SHS for pick-up at the end of the school day. With student safety in mind, the following steps will be implemented starting on the first day of school for the 2018-19 school year:
The lots in the “rear” of both schools will be designated BUS drop-off and pick-up lots only.
Gates will be installed to control traffic flow at the two ends of the rear high school parking lot and on the southwest side of the middle school.
These gates will be closed for through traffic at 6 a.m. and opened back up at 3 p.m. to allow for safe bus drop-off and pick-up. On weekends, the gates will be open and not in operation.
Students coming to school or going home from school in a vehicle other than a school bus will be required to go to the front of the buildings for the drop-off and pick-up. No private vehicles will be allowed in the restricted area from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Traffic flow from the SHS student parking lot will exit to Campbell Road only at ALL times.
Immunization clinic at SMS open house
Sidney-Shelby County Health Department will host an Immunization Clinic for all incoming 7th graders during the Sidney Middle School Open House on Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018, from 5 to 7 p.m.
Required school vaccines for 2018’s seventh-graders include one dose Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis) and one dose of Meningococcal (serogroup A, C, W, and Y). Additional optional immunizations offered include Human Papillomavirus (HPV) and Hepatitis A.
Vaccine administration forms can be found on the Sidney City Schools website under the news article “Immunization Clinic at SMS Open House.” Forms must be signed by a parent or legal guardian. All areas must be completed. Forms should have been turned in by Aug. 10. Forms can be turned into the SMS office, faxed to 937-498-7013, or emailed to Erica.Lentz@shelbycountyhealthdept.org.
Most private insurance and all Medicaid plans are accepted.
Students may also receive immunizations at the Sidney-Shelby County Health Department where appointments are recommended.
For questions, call the Sidney-Shelby County Health Department at 937-492-7249 and speak to a public health nurse.
SCS Latchkey – before and after school care
Beginning Aug. 16, 2018, families can get supervised before and/or after school care for district students enrolled in grades K-5. It is the district’s intent to have experienced staff members provide students with a variety of planned activities, special projects, and enrichment opportunities. Latchkey operation hours will be 5:30 a.m. to the start of school and after school to 6:15 p.m. Full-time (a.m. and p.m.) or part-time (a.m. only or p.m. only) care is available. For more information about Latchkey and how to register a child, call Paige Barker at 937-497-2200.