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The Buzz: December 9, 2016

Here we are! Winter Break is right around the corner! In this time of thankfulness and reflection, I cannot help but think of how grateful I am to have the staff we do here at Mariemont City Schools. Each staff member, regardless of position, plays a key role in creating the Mariemont experience. Thank you for investing the time to care, listen and respond to our students, parents and to each other. Thank you for finding a way and for always striving to make the experience we provide in our district to be the best it can be!

Please take some time to read the important information below. We will send out The Buzz on a quarterly basis, and I will then follow up each edition with a visit to each school building to talk more in depth about these issues and ideas. See you soon and have a wonderful holiday season.


Buzzworthy Shout Outs 

In each edition, staff who exemplify the district values of tradition, community and innovation will be featured and recognized. What they're doing is inspiring, and hopefully everyone feels the same way! If any of these staff members inspire you, reach out to them, congratulate them and reflect on what you can do to stand out from the crowd.  

Tradition LogoDennis Koenigsknecht is a jack of all trades and works tirelessly and humbly to make sure our building spaces are not only safe and expertly maintained but also welcoming. For countless years (seriously - does anyone know how many years Dennis has spearheaded these efforts?), Dennis has built the sets for the Mariemont High School productions. He puts in long hours and makes the stage come to life with his precise construction. Students' individual passions and interests have always driven his work and his commitment to the school district. 

Community LogoThe inaugural Mariemont High School Veterans Day celebration included recognition of community veterans, musical performances by the high school choir and band and presentations by key speakers, including Mariemont residents Colonel Jerry Vianello and Staff Sergeant Lorne Hlad, both of whom touched on the theme of service and impacting a community greater than yourself. This event, which was well coordinated by the MHS social studies department - Erik Vanags, David Wolfford, Amy Leatherwood, Mike Hanley and Kurry Commins, will most likely become a staple community event for years to come. It is opportunities like this that show our students what it means to be deeply committed members of the community and world.

Innovation LogoThe State Board of Education recently recognized Mariemont Elementary with the 2016 Momentum Award. The Momentum Award recognizes schools for exceeding expectations in student growth for the year. Schools must earn straight As on all value-added measures on the report card. The school must have at least two value-added subgroups of students, which includes gifted, with the lowest 20% in achievement and students with disabilities. Only 173 public schools out of 1,093 in the state of Ohio received this award. This achievement embodies our goal that student success will increase through rigorous curriculum design, instructional best practices, meaningful programming and purposeful environments that maximize learner autonomy and capacity to thrive in the 21st century.

View the complete 2016-17 District Action Plan here. Congratulations to these staff members for being excellent role models for our students, our community and each other! 

News & Notes

  • Email Guidelines: If you haven't already, don't forget to update your email signature. These guidelines allow us be consistent as a staff, and more importantly, protect both you and the district from policy violations and unnecessary public records requests. Click here for the guidelines.
  • The 7th Annual State of the Schools Address: The 7th Annual State of the Schools address is scheduled for Wednesday, January 18 at 7pm in the Mariemont High School auditorium. The theme for this year's address is "Space Matters." All staff are encouraged to attend!
  • Meet Austin! Austin Lopiccolo is the new technology help person from Forward Edge. He has done work with us in the past and we want to welcome him to our team! 
  • Award of Excellence: We are still accepting nominations for the Mariemont City Schools Award of Excellence. This prestigious award was developed to recognize and honor excellent employees in Mariemont City Schools. Students, parents, community members and staff members are invited to nominate a Mariemont City School District employee. All employees are eligible. Click here for more information or to nominate one of your colleagues today
  • Put Your PD Online: Have you attended any workshops? Participated in any committee meetings? Attended our September and October Mariemont Academy days? Don’t forget to keep track of anything in which you participated on mAcademy! Enroll in any district PD events and/or create a personal event for anything you attended outside of the district. Remember, each hour is worth .1 CEU.  If you have any questions, contact Shannon Kromer.
  • Technology Survey for All District Teaching Staff: Before winter break, all teaching staff will be required to complete a district technology survey. The results of this survey will be used to determine digital coaching opportunities, professional learning opportunities and the future of our one-to-one program. We will be administering the survey in each building before winter break. Of course, you will need a device to complete the survey. Please take the time to respond to the questions honestly and completely…that’s the only way we can get better! Be on the lookout for further information regarding the survey administration. If you have any questions, please contact Patti Saxton, Lindsay Butler, Emily Colpi or Emily Brandenburg.
  • MHS Facilities Project Update: The Futures Team and Facility Taskforce continue to work on the high school assessment report that will be presented to the Mariemont Board of Education during the January 9 board meeting. We put out an RFP for a design architect and will be interviewing the applicants over the next couple of weeks. The finalist will be taken to the Board on January 9. The role of the design architect will be to involve community and staff and help us develop five or six solution options for the high school.
  • Building Visits: Steve will be visiting each building next week to meet with staff to talk more in depth about the issues and ideas presented above or anything else you would like to discuss. And he'll be bringing food! He will bring lunch to Mariemont High School from 11:30am-1pm on Monday, December 12; he will bring breakfast to Mariemont Elementary from 7:45-8:30am on Wednesday, December 14; he will bring lunch to Mariemont Junior High from 11:15am-1pm on Wednesday, December 14; and he will bring breakfast to Terrace Park Elementary from 7:45-8:30am on Thursday, December 15. See you there!