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The Buzz: December 8, 2017

The Buzz: December 8, 2017

As we approach the halfway mark of the 2017-18 school year, I want to thank you all for your continued commitment to being learners yourselves. Our work to bring the action plan to life, use the characteristics of effective instruction and engage students is tremendous.  Since October’s Techademy, I have been incredibly impressed with your enthusiasm to incorporate new technology and practices into your work. The best way to produce tomorrow’s leaders is to challenge them today and I praise our entire staff for finding new and innovative ways to do that.

Below are our three Buzzworthy Shout Outs as well as some important information for you. I wish you all a safe and happy holiday season with your family and friends. Enjoy your well-deserved break!

Buzzworthy Shout Outs

In each edition, staff who exemplify the district values of tradition, community and innovation are 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.


The Mariemont City School District owns a long list of storied traditions, but none prove more valuable than its tradition of continually growing as a staff. As teachers and school employees we are continually learning and supporting each other with our knowledge and resources, and there isn’t a more shining example of this than high school instructional coaches Amy Leatherwood and Luke Wiseman. These two educators have developed into their new positions to support their fellow teachers with an eye on the Destination 2026 strategic plan to further implement our characteristics of highly effective instruction. Thank you Amy and Luke for your innovative approach to one of our greatest traditions.


Over the last year and a half, the Mariemont City School district has undergone an extensive engagement process to better understand the serious needs of our current high school facility and work towards the creation of a High School Master Facility Plan. We are grateful to the 100+ community and staff members who have volunteered their time to assist in this process and would like to give a shout out to Molly Connaughton, Lance Hollander, Tom Nerl, Jeff Radloff and Jim Renner who each served as a member of the Steering Committee. Together, the steering committee prioritized over 30 objectives from our six facility teams and will give its final presentation to the Board of Education at Monday’s meeting. Thank you to these staff members whose contribution is truly invaluable in the High School Master Facility Plan process.


The theme of this month’s ConnectME Blog and podcast is technology and how Mariemont is evolving its practice and philosophy in the classroom to reflect the ever-changing technological trends. Our staff’s willingness to continuing growing in this area is impressive and we certainly have Shannon Kromer and Brent Wise to thank for this. These two had months of planning and organizing come to fruition with our October Techademy. Their efforts culminated in an incredible two days of learning and are still resonating throughout the district as staff members utilize their Techademy knowledge in the classroom. Thank you, Shannon and Brent, for your innovative approach to teaching our teachers.

Congratulations to these staff members for being excellent role models for our students, our community and each other!

Action Plan Update

  • We are quickly approaching a decision on the next steps with our high school facility. After the steering committee and transition task force present to the Board on Monday, we expect a decision will be made in January. This project, combined with our need for an operating levy in the next year, will obviously be a big focus for us in the coming months. More will be shared during staff meetings in the coming weeks.  (Obj. 2, Action Step 3)
  • The district has rolled out its plan to jump from BYOD to 1:1. Two Embrace Growth teams of MSCD staff members are beginning their work with Apple and Google, researching effective and efficient teaching methods to help us optimize our switch. This work begins on Monday. More details about the rollout will be coming soon! (Obj. 2, Action Step 6)
  • Waves from the October Techademy are still being felt as staff members across all buildings are finding new ways to implement technology into their teaching. The January Mariemont Academy days are fast approaching (see below) as our district continues to offer meaningful and insightful professional learning opportunities for our staff. (Obj. 4, Action Step 4)

Click here to view the complete District Action Plan.

News and Notes

  • Our next Mariemont Academy is Friday, January 12. Specifics will be emailed to you prior to break but here’s a preview of what to expect…
    • HS staff will be working on Intersession
    • K-12 Special Ed staff will be collaborating all day with Tricia
    • Elementary and JH staff members will be “Putting it into Practice,” collaborating with colleagues to develop or dive deeper into some strategies, philosophies, etc. learned this year so far. Katrice will also be available for elementary and JH staff members in some capacity.
  • Summer Academy
    • We will hold TWO Summer Academy offerings in 2018. We are offering one at the beginning of the summer and one at the end. Our rationale for this is that you will be getting a device in the spring and we want to provide opportunity to get started early to those that want to do so. You will still get a stipend payment for up to two days of professional learning. Mark your calendars!
      • June 7 and 8
      • August 15 and 16
  • Nominations are now open for the 2018 Award of Excellence. All staff members are eligible and nominations will close on Dec. 31. Find out more about the award or nominate a staff member here.
  • Mark your calendars for the 8th-Annual State of the Schools Address on Wednesday, Jan. 17, at 7 p.m. in the Mariemont High School Auditorium. Hear about the programs and the people that define the Mariemont Experience and get an update on the High School Master Facility Plan. It’s always great to see our staff at this event!
  • Steve will be stopping by with updates and to answer questions within the next few weeks:
    • ME – Thursday, Dec. 14 | 7:45 a.m. (during staff meeting)
    • TPE – Friday, Dec. 15 | 7:45 a.m. (during staff meeting)
    • MJHS – Thursday, Jan. 4 | 11:15 a.m. (during lunch)
    • MHS – Monday, Jan. 22 | 3:00 p.m. (during staff meeting)