The Portsmouth City School District (PCSD) held its first of four education forums on Wednesday, September 25th in the Multipurpose room. Scott Dutey, Superintendent opened the forum by beginning with discussing some of the things that are or have already happened since the start of the 2019-20 school year. He spoke of the increase in attendance over last year.
Dutey talked about Project SOAR and how that PCSD is the only district in the southern half of the state in this program. SOAR has evolved into a network of Ohio districts collaborating to take collective action toward shaping 21st-century learning experiences for every student. Ohio superintendents leading the transformation and redesign of 21st century educational systems.
Dutey finally talked to the group about the Student Wellness and Success Fund and how that this fund has helped to district to now be able to have a Jr. High and High School after-school program, and allowed them to add some additional people, and hopefully help them have a food pantry and clothing closet for the older students.
Portsmouth Elementary School Principal Beth Born spoke on how the Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) was going at this point in the new school year. After completing a trial run with the Kindergarten students last year she said the preschool through sixth grade are now having breakfast in their classrooms. She stated that it has cut down on the morning drama and more students are eating breakfast.
Born said she and assistant principal, John Born, work together to make sure the students know what is expected with PBIS. They remind students of rules and policies before long absences and have the PBIS sort of motto: ‘Be Responsible, Be Respectful, and Be Safe’ posted throughout the elementary building.
Kristi Toppins, Principal at East Portsmouth Elementary said that just like Portsmouth Elementary, they too are using the PBIS program and that things seem to be going well, at least so far this school year. She also told that at East Portsmouth Elementary they now have Chromebooks in every room. Toppins then spoke on how they were focusing on curbing bullying. Along with making students feel safe, Toppins said that the Red Cross has been in the third-grade classrooms presenting their Pillowcase Program, where students learn the best ways to stay safe and how to create their own emergency kits by packing essential items in a pillowcase for easy transport during a disaster. Students also have the opportunity to decorate and personalize their pillowcases and share what they’ve learned with friends and family.
Doug Poage, Portsmouth High School Principal, spoke about things happening with the high school students. He said the workforce is changing and that they try to have college representatives in the school, four or five times a week and especially at this time of the year.
“One of the things we asked for, was to ask trade people to come in to allow our students to know there are opportunities out there, if college is not your thing, school isn’t your thing, you do have things to do beyond Portsmouth High School,” he said. “Another thing that we are doing is answering ‘Why’ like “Why do I need algebra?’” They are trying to teach what is more relevant to each individual student.
Lenny Poage, the new high school English teacher said, “One thing I have been involved with in the vast majority of my life, is skateboarding and for the past 16 years, I have been involved in downhill slalom skateboard racing. The skills in this type of racing are skills that can also be transferable to many aspects in life, like problem-solving, goal setting, and how to work and cooperate with people in any avenue one chooses to travel.”
He continued that by using this Bridges with Boards, where kids come after school to build relationships with others, learn new skills, be active, and are not just sitting around.He also mentioned that there is a sanctioned body for this sport and how he would love to do a juniors only race, and that that way, see these kids excel and see how they rank with other kids in the world. He feels it would be a good thing for kids and help keep them out of trouble.
Superintendent Dutey said that the next forum will be on December 5, 2019.
Reach Kimberly Jenkins (740) 353-3101 ext. 1928
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