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About blessed_with_three

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  1. blessed_with_three added a topic in Winton Woods School Talk   

    • 3 replies
  2. blessed_with_three added a topic in Winton Woods School Talk   

    District to Host Digital Learning Showcase and Community Conversation
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  3. blessed_with_three added a topic in Winton Woods School Talk   

    Winton Woods Board of Education Seeks Member to Fill Vacancy
    Winton Woods Board of Education Seeks Member to Fill Vacancy
    The Winton Woods Board of Education is accepting resumes accompanied by a letter of interest for the Board of Education vacant position. The deadline for submission is noon on Thursday, September 24. “The board is looking forward to considering qualified residents who support and value public education, as well as the inclusion of all residents in our district's community,” said Board President Jessica Miranda.
    Interested residents should submit their resumes and letter of interest to the attention of the Board President. These must be delivered to Jeanette Jordan, administrative assistant to Superintendent Anthony G. Smith, at Central Office, which is located at 1215 W. Kemper Road, Forest Park, OH 45240. Submissions will be time stamped. No resumes will be considered if turned in after the deadline of 12:00 p.m. on Thursday, September 24.
    By law, vacancies on a board of education are filled by a majority vote of all the remaining board members at the next regular or special meeting, which in this instance will be the next regular meeting on Monday, September 28.
    - See more at:
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  4. blessed_with_three added a post in a topic Winton Woods ACT Class Raises Students’ Scores and   

    Winton Woods ACT Class Raises Students’ Scores and Their Motivation

    After just one quarter, the new ACT Class at Winton Woods High School has raised test scores for this college entrance test for many students. “We had 25 out of 34 students who took the test, or 74 % of them, raise their composite score,” said Jennifer Henson, ACT and English teacher at the high school. “One student scored a 30 from an original score of 28.”

    In addition to her job at the high school, Henson has spent the last five years as an ACT tutor for students at many area high schools. It was that tutoring experience that led her to approach Superintendent Anthony G. Smith and then Winton Woods High School Principal Dr. Terri Holden with the idea of the elective ACT class. “I knew I could make a difference on our scores.”

    And she was correct. After nine weeks of test prep, a number of students in her class raised their total ACT score by three points. Other saw gains of six to eight points in individual areas like reading and science. “Mrs. Henson is really good at showing you how to analyze the test,” said senior DeVaughn Williams. “She teaches you strategies, not just information” which will help with other classes.

    Yet with all the positive gains her students achieved, Henson said the atmosphere in her room on results day—November 11—was subdued. “Some of my students did not do as well on the actual test as they did in my room on practice tests,” she said. “They wanted more for themselves.” But Henson said she can’t fault their work ethic. “I had students who came here during lunch to work on tests and others who gave up late arrival to be here. Many asked for extra work. I even had to copy more practice reading tests for one young man who had done all that I had initially available.”

    Henson said her students”worked harder than I imagined they would when I was creating this course. They have embraced this class and are appreciative of how valuable this can be to them.”

    Superintendent Smith agrees. So many of the seniors who have met with him for his weekly Lunch with the Superintendent have told him that the ACT class is the smartest class the high school has added. “If you give students the right tools in their toolbox, they will be successful,” he said. “This class gives them the right tools.”

    Henson said her biggest take-away from first quarter scores is that her students were not happy with their results and are eager to take the ACT test again in December. “I’m not sure if this kind of drive and determination would have happened without the confidence they gained in class,” she said.

    Jazmin Lawson is one of the students whose confidence level increased since taking the ACT class. Lawson gave up her lunch bell for nine weeks to work with Henson, and her hard work paid off. She raised her composite score by three points. “Jazmin had the biggest smile of anyone on results day,” said Henson. As she looked around her classroom at the college pennants and flags on the walls, she pointed out one from her alma mater, Xavier University. “I scored a 32 on the ACT and had half of my college paid for because of that score,” she said. “This class can be that kind of gift to my students. If they work hard, they’ll reap the benefits. They will open up doors for themselves.”

    Henson said she’s “pleased that students want to take the test again because they have the confidence that they can do better, and have grown to expect greatness for themselves. You can't measure that with a single test score.”

    “Our students deserve the best, and we are committed to delivering that,” said Smith.

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  5. blessed_with_three added a post in a topic Bond Issue Information   

    Winton Woods District Releases Three-Year Academic Improvement Plan

    The three-year academic improvement plan being implemented by Winton Woods City Schools concentrates on two goals: increasing student achievement and increasing school pride. By Spring 2017, the district plans to exceed state accountability standards for all students in math and literacy, with a focus on gap closure and with specific monitoring processes in place to measure the results. “This will be complemented by a plan that fosters a positive culture and climate in all our schools so that students’ learning time in class is maximized,” said Dr. Terri Holden, executive director of teaching and learning for Winton Woods City Schools.

    The district’s 2014-2017 Academic Improvement Plan is based on the Ohio Improvement Process (OIP), an initiative that shows what educational strategic planning looks like throughout the state. “The Ohio Improvement Process requirements have changed over time, going from a one-year plan to a more comprehensive and strategic three-year plan,” said Winton Woods Superintendent Anthony G. Smith. “It’s a continuous process that aligns all of our work and supports district collaboration around changes in student and adult behaviors.”

    Smith said, “This regular collaboration examines a multitude of data points, including student performance data, all designed to lead to improved instruction and achievement for our students. While the OIP is a mandated process, Winton Woods continues to embrace, encourage and support efforts aimed at educational excellence.”

    “By using the OIP, we’re taking advantage of what’s already been learned, adding our own research and data, and going forward from there with plans to revise the process on a quarterly basis,” said Steve Denny, the district’s executive director of accountability and business affairs.

    According to the three-year plan, the district will continue to implement Ohio’s New Learning Standards with classroom instructional strategies that focus on groups of students who are clustered together on the basis of academic readiness. Teacher-based teams (TBT) throughout the district will continue to receive professional development on core classroom-level instruction and on instruction at each student’s level. “There is a feedback tool template that gives our teachers specific items to look for in the TBT process to reflect upon and improve their teaching strategies,” said Denny. “Having feedback like this empowers our teachers, while collaboration with their peers improves outcomes for students.”

    “The new tests our students are taking are so different from the old tests,” said Holden. “They require higher level thinking, evidence-based instruction, and the use of multiple documents in crafting a response.” In the same way, the assessments the district uses for students are changing. “Any assessment you had before last year doesn’t apply anymore,” said Holden. “Implementing new curriculum means implementing new assessments too.” Denny added that the district is always re-evaluating the assessment instruments it uses.

    Another place the landscape of education has changed is in the area of technology. “The district will definitely be investing in and employing technology to accelerate and support instructional practices,” said Holden, who noted a shift in the district’s curriculum purchases. “Paper texts now come with online versions and are more financially feasible in the long term. We understand the importance of technology and have put Chromebooks in the hands of all our ninth and tenth graders, knowing this is the way people access the world now. Some of the information acquired from our Academy of Global Studies instructional model was that students and teachers are empowered when you can provide a one-to-one technology environment.”

    Holden said the district is also looking at best practices from local school districts, as well those from districts in other parts of the country, to develop its own set of ideas and beliefs that will guide instruction. “This will be a public document created for our parents and community so they can understand what’s available for our students,” said Holden.

    The district has also hired English as a Second Language (ESL) tutors to support Pre-K through sixth grade students and is continuing its investment in early childhood education through its all day kindergarten program. Winton Woods City Schools is also investigating all day preschool.

    In support of the goal of increasing school pride, Holden said the district will continue to implement the Positive Behavior and Intervention Support (PBIS) system already in place. “We are using the same information in each of our buildings so that we can monitor discipline, collect the data, and understand what is working and what needs to be modified,” she said. The district will also continue to be consistent in its community engagement, communication and interactive opportunities. “We understand that this needs to be a multi-faceted approach,” said Holden. “We will continue to offer our parents and community members face-to-face meetings in order to remain clear and concise about our action plans."

    “There are ways for parents to be part of their child’s education that do not involve physical attendance at an event. Looking at ProgressBook, contacting a teacher with concerns, using the district’s new app to stay in touch—all of these are ways for parents to support the success of their child.”

    “We understand that people have many educational choices these days, and we’re grateful for those who have chosen Winton Woods City Schools,” said Denny. “Our academic plan is one of continuous growth. We welcome our students, our staff, our parents and our community to grow along with us.”

    Winton Woods City Schools’ Three Year Academic Improvement Plan can be viewed on the district website at
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  6. blessed_with_three added a post in a topic Bond Issue Information   

    Not trying to split hairs, Equalizer, but it should be noted that OAPSE employees also took a three year step and pay freeze.
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  7. blessed_with_three added a post in a topic Bond Issue Information   

    The answers are cut and pasted. For example:

    GH – 4 Is there value in vacated properties? If so, is there a plan for them?
    Absolutely. Refer to questions FP – 9, FP – 19 & FP – 31. (below)

    FP 9 Can we sell the remaining properties?
    It is certainly possible and will be considered if the district builds new. The district
    would need to develop a land use plan with community, business partner and
    stakeholder input. This would be under the direction of the Board of Education.

    FP 19 What happens to the Greenhills Community Building?
    This building is registered as a historical site and as such will continue to be used by
    both the district and the community.

    FP 31 What is the land use plan?
    A land use plan does not yet exist. It would need to be developed if we would look
    forward to a situation in which we would abandon, demolish, sell or develop current
    school buildings and or properties.

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  8. blessed_with_three added a post in a topic Bond Issue Information
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  9. blessed_with_three added a post in a topic Meetings on NEW SCHOOLS   

    Unfortunately, your friend must be mistaken. Follow this link to the Ohio Department of Education and you can see that enrollment for the 2004-2005 school year was 3912 not 6500.
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  10. blessed_with_three added a post in a topic School Tours Scheduled   

    Just a reminder that this event takes place this Saturday morning. We hope you are able to attend.

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  11. blessed_with_three added a post in a topic Bell Sounds Thankful After 35 Years of Teaching   

    If the three pages of thank yous at the end of the program for Winton Woods High School’s last choir concert are any indication of his level of gratitude, David Bell is one thankful man. As Bell finishes a 35 year teaching career and heads into retirement, he’s making sure to acknowledge as many people as he can. After all, he would tell you, these are the people who helped mold him into the teacher he is. Each and every one has had a part to play in his successful career as the choir director for Winton Woods and Forest Park High Schools for the last 32 years.

    “I knew I couldn’t leave without thanking the many people who have contributed so much and shared the journey along the way,” said Bell, whose list of thanks includes his own college teachers, his family, colleagues, board of education and community members, voice teachers, and music boosters…

    Bell said the late Dr. John Leman was a friend, mentor and “truly my most influential teacher.” Leman was a member of the choral conducting faculty at the University of Cincinnati’s College Conservatory of Music and a former conductor of the May Festival Chorus. “In many ways, he taught me to use my strengths as a teacher to overcome my challenges as a musician,” said Bell. As a student at Northern Illinois University, Bell’s undergraduate mentor was Dr. Elwood Smith. “As my first conducting teacher, he took an inexperienced high school singer and laid a very solid foundation in the basics of choral conducting. He took a personal interest in my career that helped to nurture my love for many styles of music over the years.” Bell also gives credit to Margaret Hillis, former conductor of the Chicago Symphony Chorus. “I learned an enormous amount watching her in action as she prepared one of the world's finest choirs in a weekly, three-hour rehearsal. She prepared at least three Grammy-winning recordings and two sold-out performances at Carnegie Hall.”

    Closer to home, Bell acknowledges the many contributions of his wife Lois, a fellow CCM graduate with a degree in Opera, Oratorio and Art Song. “Lois is both an extraordinary musician and a giving mother, who has been the glue in our family for the past 35 years,” he said. He is also thankful for the talented colleagues who shared his music classroom for the past 23 years: Bob Hartigan, KellyAnn Nelson, Ben Spalding and Lizbee Hannah. “I could not have asked for a more special and talented group of people.”

    While Bell is quick to express his gratitude to others, it’s his own talent and hard work that have led to a long list of musical accomplishments. This year marked another rating of “1” at OMEA State Contest for Varsity Ensemble, a streak that Bell has continued unbroken throughout his career at Winton Woods High School. Other achievements include a gold medal win in the Championship Division of the 2012 World Choir Games for mixed choirs ages 12-24; sold out performances in China’s Forbidden City Concert Hall and Shanghai Oriental Performing Arts Center during the choir’s Salute to the 2008 Beijing Olympics trip; and 35 performances and three CD recordings with the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra under the direction of Maestros Erich Kunzel, John Morris Russell, Jesus Lopez-Cobos and Keith Lockhart.
    It was during the choir’s China trip that Bell experienced the most memorable performance of his career—that of the song "Homeland" at the Forbidden City Concert Hall. “When I selected it, I knew that it would be a special moment,” he said. “I knew the students would be a bit homesick after ten days and would have a new appreciation for their ‘homeland’ at the end of their stay. I wanted to select a piece that would reach for that place in the heart, without being overtly patriotic, as we did not want to musically poke our host country in the eye. When I rehearsed it at school prior to our departure, I would often tear up, because I could envision how the kids would react to performing the piece on the stage of the Forbidden City Concert Hall. In reality, it was a very powerful performance, and the moment was way beyond anything I had imagined, especially after the Chinese government censors had forbidden us from singing other pieces in our repertoire, such as ‘Elijah Rock’ and ‘Prayer of the Children.’"
    Over the span of his career Bell has received many accolades, but the ones that seem to mean the most to him involve his classroom and his students. In 2012 Bell received the Virtuoso Award from the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education for his support of and commitment to arts education. In 2008 he was honored by the Hamilton County Education Foundation at its annual Celebrate Excellence Awards for being the outstanding educator in Winton Woods City Schools. In 2007 Bell was named the “most influential teacher” by half of the 16 top scholars at Winton Woods High School. He has been on that list many years since then, including this one.
    “At one point I was convinced that I would be teaching at the university level,” Bell said, “but I found out along the way that my real love is working with these kids.” He said he was told early in his teaching career that there isn’t the opportunity to connect emotionally with college students like there is with high school. “When you’re a high school teacher you have a chance to be an integral part of people’s lives,” Bell said.

    That has become evident over the last few weeks as former students have been stopping by to let Bell know how big a part he has played in their lives. John Woods, a 2002 Winton Woods High School graduate, now lives in Los Angeles, works as a producer and has a reality show coming out on the "O" Network this fall. He dropped in to thank Bell for the influence he had on his life and for encouraging him to dream big. “John wanted to tell me what a blessing it had been for him, but truly, I am the one who has been blessed by my students.”
    In fact, when asked to pick a song that captures his career, Bell chose "For Good" from the musical, Wicked. The members of Varsity Ensemble will sing it as their closing number at this year’s VE Show on May 15. In the song are the lyrics, “I do believe I have been changed for the better. But, because I knew you, I have been changed for good.”
    “Good teaching is a two way street,” said Bell about the song choice. “Good teachers learn as much from their students as the students learn from them. No one is left unchanged. My students have been the focus of my career. They are the ones who breathe the joy into this building and help to make it the special place it is.”

    As Bell packs up, he leaves future choir members in the capable hands of Elizabeth Hannah, his associate director for the past four years. “Lizbee is a talented graduate of Indiana University, director of the high school’s contemporary a cappella groups and is primed to assume the reins of the Winton Woods High School choral program in the fall of 2014,” said Bell. “I’ve told her to trust her gut instinct and let her talent lead the way. Going forward the future is in the best of hands.”

    So what will Bell be thinking as gathers the last of this things and turns out the lights in his office for the last time? “I have been blessed beyond words, and I leave with a lifetime of happy memories and wonderful friends. I think my reaction will be, ‘I left it all on the field. I always believed in these kids, and they never disappointed me.’”

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  12. blessed_with_three added a post in a topic Meetings on NEW SCHOOLS   

    Christine - here is a link to a Q & A from the first forum. The Q & A's from the other two meetings will be typed up and added to the website soon.

    I see you've asked a few times about what will happen to the Community Building. Question #19 on the Q & A addresses your question:

    19. What happens to the Greenhills Community Building?
    o This building is registered as a historical site and as such will continue to be used by both the district and the community.

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  13. blessed_with_three added a post in a topic Meetings on NEW SCHOOLS   

    If you didn't attend a meeting, you can visit our website at It may answer many of the questions being asked.
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  14. blessed_with_three added a post in a topic Save the Date - State of the Schools Address   

    #warriorstate to join the conversation on Twitter that night.
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  15. blessed_with_three added a post in a topic Save the Date - State of the Schools Address   

    Anthony G. Smith, superintendent of Winton Woods City Schools, will hold a State of the Schools address on Tuesday, May 20, at 6:30 p.m. at Winton Woods Intermediate School, 825 Waycross Road in Forest Park. Parents, community members, staff and business leaders are encouraged to attend.

    “We want to share with our community ideas about the district’s future and the opportunities we have for the students in Winton Woods City Schools,” said Smith. The address will be followed by a question and answer session.

    Waycross Community Media will provide a live televised feed of the address, which will be complemented with a real-time Twitter feed for questions and comments. “This will be a first of its kind event, and we hope people will join us either in person or through social media,” said Corina Denny, the district’s community and public engagement coordinator.

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