Sidney, Anna, Minster students return to class



SIDNEY — Sidney City Schools, Anna Local Schools and Minster Local Schools will be ringing the classroom bells for the first time Tuesday, Sept. 3, for the 2019-20 school year. Students in the school districts are the last in the area to return to the classroom after a long summer vacation.

Sidney City Schools

First day of school for all students in preschool and grades 1-9 will be Tuesday, Sept. 3 Sidney High School students in grades 10-12 begin Wednesday, Sept. 4

Parents of incoming kindergarten students should note that kindergarten will start on a staggered schedule. Principals and kindergarten teachers have determined and notified parents which group children fall in – Group A, B, or C. Start dates for groups are as follows:

• Group A, Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2019

• Group B, Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2019

• Group C, Thursday, Sept. 5, 2019

All kindergarten students will go to school on Friday, Sept. 6, 2019.

The staggered start will allow the child’s teacher to have the opportunity to assess the child’s initial academic strengths and weaknesses more closely using varied measures to ensure every child gets off to the right start.

Sidney High School will host a Freshman Orientation Day on the first day of school, Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2019. Only freshmen and transfer students will be required to attend that day, with all upper-class students starting on Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2019.

The primary goal of Freshman Orientation is to better acclimate incoming ninth graders and transfer students to the high school culture. Students will start the day with introductory remarks from the Sidney High School administrative team in the auditorium. Throughout the morning, they will attend sessions in small groups. In the afternoon, they will go through a mini-session of their schedule. The day will conclude with a pep rally and learning the school’s fight song.

Transportation will run as scheduled both days. 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.

New start/end times

Because school now starts after Labor Day and ends before Memorial Day, time was added to each day to meet instructional time requirements. New school start/end times are:

• Whittier Early Childhood Center Preschool, ages 3-5 AM Session 9 to 11:45 a.m.; PM Session 1 to 3:45 p.m.

• Emerson and Longfellow Primary School, Kindergarten through second grade, 8:50 a.m. to 3:45 p.m.

• Northwood Intermediate School, all third- and fourth-grade, 8:40 a.m. to 3:35 p.m.

• Sidney Middle School, all fifth- through eighth-grade, 7:30 a.m. to 2:45 p.m.

• Sidney High School, all ninth through grade 12 (including alternative ed students), 7:25 a.m. to 2:50 p.m.

• Latchkey, before and after school care

Latchkey is before and/or after school care for students in grades kindergarten through fifth. Transportation is provided between the school the child attends and the Latchkey site, which is in the lower level of Whittier Early Childhood Center.

Latchkey operation hours will be 5:30 a.m. to the start of school and after school to 6:30 p.m. Full-time (a.m. and p.m.) or part-time (a.m. only or p.m. only) care is available. Latchkey will be available starting Sept. 3, 2019.

The full-time rate is $65 per week, each additional child is $40 per week. The part-time rate is $43 per week, each additional child is $25 per week.

For 2019-2020 Latchkey will also offer the opportunity for drop-in care and care for scheduled days off or inclement weather cancellations. The drop-in rate is $10 per session (a.m. or p.m.).The rate for scheduled days off or inclement weather cancellations is $20 per day, each additional child is $10 per day. Call Paige Barker to register your child or to learn more, 937-494-2008.

Meal prices for the upcoming school year are as follows:

Grades K-5: breakfast, $1; lunch, $2.45; extra milk, 50 cents

Grades 6-12: breakfast, $1.50; lunch, $2.70; extra milk, 50 cents

Reduced: breakfast, free; lunch, 40 cents; extra milk, 50 cents

Parents may submit an application for free and reduced meal price benefits online at This secure website is a convenient way of submitting the same required information as the paper application.

To apply for free and reduced meal price benefits, households should fill out the online or paper application. Paper applications need to be returned to school. Additional copies are available in the principal’s office in each school. A complete application is required. The Federal Income Eligibility Guidelines will be used for determining eligibility. Children from families whose annual income is at or below the Federal Guidelines are eligible for free and reduced meal prices.

Final Forms online registration is required for ALL families for the 2019-20 school year and must be completed prior to the first day of school.

Final Forms is a secure online platform which allows parents/guardians to electronically register their students for school, update health history and emergency medical information, and sign the annual permission forms for school district policies.

Final Forms replaces all paper copy student registration and permission forms that your child might have brought home on the first day of school in the past.

Online registration is mandatory for families to complete prior to the first day of school. Students will not receive class schedules or teacher/classroom,

Anna Local Schools

Approximately 1,200 students will begin the new school year Tuesday at Anna. The enrollment estimate continues to be very consistent for the district over the past 10 years.

Alex Brunswick is the district’s new intervention specialist.

Since entering into the renovation of the elementary and middle school/high school, the staff’s commitment to the district has been to take care of the facilities and add 30 to 40 years to their useful life.

“As we progress into the second school year of full scale construction, we remain focused on that original pledge,” said Superintendent Andy Bixler..

The Elementary School was scheduled for all work to be done this summer. While there may be a loose end to tie up here or there, the district is on track to obtain occupancy the week before school begins. Students and staff will return to new classroom carpet, an updated heating and cooling system, a fresher look in the hallways and media center, as well as a comprehensive security system and building Wi-Fi. The most noticeable upgrades will be the secure visitor’s entrance at the expanded office and all classrooms equipped with interactive/touch flat panels and a complete sound system.

In the middle school and high school, a very aggressive plan was adopted to try to make up for some lost time. Most of the original 1938 building went under construction when summer began. This includes 9 classrooms, some offices, workrooms, and several restrooms. Construction has also been active on the exterior of the building including the entire roof. Additionally, extensive and complicated work began in the kitchen, cafeteria, and west end Mechanical room. While work has progressed in each of these areas, contractors will likely fall short of full completion of all of these phases for the beginning of school.

“We anticipate beginning the year with seventh grade in the swing building,” said Bixler. “The Special Needs Unit will be located in a renovated classroom while construction begins in our future special needs room. High school students and grades six and eight should be in their renovated rooms. The MS/HS office has been relocated to the Southwest corner of the building with the associated visitor’s entry to be ready at a later time.

“We remain flexible and recognize short term inconveniences are a necessary part of this process,” said Bixler.

Minster Local Schools

The Minster Junior/Senior High School renovation program which began in May 2018 will be complete when students return to class Tuesday.

The facility will have all new HVAC, lighting, electrical, technology, floor covering and paint. The facility also included security measures in making a secured entrance. The office, media center, band, industrial arts, vo-ag rooms and kitchen were all completely renovated. The parking lots were repaved and increased lighting was added.

An open house for the community to view the renovation project will be held early this fall when all aspects of the project are complete.

One new staff member is joining the Minster family, Alyx Brandewie is the high school social studies teacher.