Sidney elementary schools have new names

By Melanie Speicher -

SIDNEY — New names for a new school year.

During Tuesday’s Sidney City Schools Board of Education meeting, the board approved renaming the elementary schools in conjunction with the reconfiguration of the district.

The buildings will be known as

• Whittier Early Childhood Center, which will house the preschool students;

• Emerson Primary School and Longfellow Primary School, which will house kindergarten to second-grade students; and,

• Northwood Intermediate School, which will house students in the third- and fourth-grades.

Sidney Middle School will be home to students in fifth- to eighth-grade.

In conjunction with the renaming of the buildings, the board also approved the Whittier Early Childhood Center handbook.

“We will be accepting applications for the program March 11,” said Superintendent Bob Humble.

Humble represented an update on the process of the reconfiguration.

“We meet every Friday,” said Humble. “We have a master spreadsheet to make sure everything gets accomplished.”

Beth Abbott, who was approved at the meeting to be the district representative for IEP/ETR meetings for the 2018-19 school year, is serving as the district’s student services coordinator for the preschool program.

“She’ll be helping Chris Barr next year also,” said Humble. Barr is the district’s director of special education.

“Beth brings a great deal of experience to the job,” said Humble.

A plan is in place for moving the teachers and their equipment to their new school, said Humble The move will take place the first week of June and teachers have been notified when their classrooms will be moved.

Playground equipment from Whittier will be moved to Sidney Middle School for fifth- and sixth-graders to use at recess. Age appropriate playground equipment has been ordered for Whittier.

Three rooms at Whittier, said Humble, are air conditioned. Students with special needs who require air conditioning will attend class in those rooms.

Humble said Sidney Middle School is being assessed for its needs for next school year. Additional lockers have been ordered for the school.

Teachers with the preschool program are currently getting their license with the Ohio Department of Education, said Humble. Screening for preschool students is being planned by the district.

“New start, stop times for the buildings are being set,” said Humble. “We’re also working on the shuffle bus to and from the Wilma Valentine School.

“Our team is doing a great job,” he said.

During the public participation portion of the meeting, parent Tasha Wilson expressed her support for the Latch Key program, which is in its first year for the district.

“I think I was the first person to send in an application to apply for the program,” said Wilson. She said she has set work hours but her husband’s hours are flexible.

“We needed reliable child care,” said Wilson. “The Latch Key program solved all issues for us.”

She said both her children have benefited from the program. Her youngest child loves riding the bus from one school to the other each school day.

“They do crafts, have homework help and get to play in the gym,” she said. “With the changes coming up, I just wanted to express my gratitude for the program. I hope you keep the program going next year.

“This might be an option for parents who might not have needed it before,” she said.

By Melanie Speicher

Reach the writer at 937-538-4822.

Reach the writer at 937-538-4822.