At a special meeting before the school's annual Family Night, the governing board voted to approve a resolution to add the fifth grade in fall 2006.
“We're going to take this first step tonight to make sure that the quality of a child's education isn't determined by what part of the city in which they live,” said Bill Shope, governing board president.
Shope said the board decided to take the vote during Family Night in order to reach the largest audience possible.
“We want citizens to know the truth of what we're doing and why we're doing it,” he said. All of the board members voted to accept the resolution.
Family Night began with a free dinner for students, parents and staff. Exhibits set up in the gymnasium highlighted topics such as drug use prevention and sexual health.
Parents were able to attend two of 12 workshops, ranging from parental involvement in schools to Internet safety.
Amanda Munion, Media Instructional Technology Specialist, led a session called “Do You Know Who's Watching Your Kids When They're on the Internet?” She showed parents how to check what Web sites their children have been visiting, as well as how to look up registered sex offenders in the area.
“We don't want to think there are sick people out there, but there are,” she said.
Stephanie Henry and Glenda Toller, both parents of sixth-graders, said they attended Munion's workshop and found it very informative.
“I had no idea those sites were out there,” Toller said. “I don't think we're going to let our kids on the computer anymore.”
Marty Eveland, a Portsmouth police officer, talked about teen drug use during his workshop. He told parents what signs to look for to determine if a child is doing drugs, such as a change in behavior or suddenly spending time with new friends.
“You've got to know your own child,” he said.
Family Night ended with an appearance by guest speaker Archie Griffin, an alumnus of The Ohio State University and the only football player to win the Heisman Trophy twice.
Griffin talked about the people who inspired him, such as his parents, who he said encouraged him to participate in athletics. By participating in sports he said he became a more well-rounded person.
“The value in football is that you learn to get up when you get knocked down,” he told the crowd.
Griffin signed autographs and talked with students, staff and parents.
“One of the things that I noticed when I came into this school building and when I talk to the people here is that you all have a tremendous amount of pride in this school,” he said.
EMILY SALMON can be reached at (740) 353-3101, ext. 232.