Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Good News About Dayton Public Schools!

Here is the stuff you will never see in the media. 33 Items that are positive. We are going to have to promote the good news ourselves ....

1. Dayton Public Schools has four Gates Millennium Scholars—more than any other Ohio district. The 2010 Gates Scholars are Sheldon Brown, Megan Edmonds and Victoria Whorton (Stivers School for the Arts) and Jordan Davis (Dayton Early College Academy). These awards bring the district’s total number of Gates scholars to 19 since 2000. The district also congratulations this year’s Gates finalists: British Calloway (DECA), Emory Beck-Millerton (Thurgood Marshall), Sharida Johnson (Meadowdale) and Tyrell Allen (Stivers).

2. Stivers School for the Arts ranks among America’s best public high schools for the second year in a row and has moved up from bronze to silver, according to U.S. News & World Report in a study released Dec. 9. Stivers is the only school in Montgomery County to receive the national honor this year and is one of only six schools in Ohio to be named a 2010 Silver Medal School. Nationally, Silver Medal Schools comprise 2.5 percent of the 18,743 schools analyzed in the study. The report was produced by U.S. News & World Report in collaboration with School Evaluation Services, a K-12 education and data research and analysis business. This is the third year the study has been conducted. Read more about it online at

3. Dayton Public Schools achieved above-average academic growth as defined by the state’s “value-added” rating on the 2009 Report Card, which means our students exceeded adequate yearly progress. Attendance was up. Our high schools improved in every subject area on the Ohio Graduation Test, and our graduation rate rose for the fifth year in a row.

4. The Dunbar boys basketball team defeated previously unbeaten Port Clinton to take the Division II title, completing a 25-3 season for the Wolverines and bringing their number of state titles to four (1987, 2006, 2007 and 2010).

5. Dayton Public Schools expanded its Positive Behavior program, bringing the total to seven schools, and will add between seven and nine more next year. The program, made possible by a $1 million grant from the Iddings School Based Mental Health Initiative, teaches favorable behaviors to students while preventing negative ones. District behavior specialists provide three levels of support, which include anti-bullying programs, social skills development, improved school attendance, behavioral screening, parent training, mentors, and intervention for chronic and severe behavior issues.

6. Dayton Public Schools was the first urban district in Ohio to close out a segment of its school construction in the Ohio School Facilities Commission process and is on target to open three more new schools at the beginning of the 2010-2011 school year, bringing the total completed to 18.

7. Seventy-two individual and team projects from DPS schools competed at the West District Science Day regional competition, held at Central State University. Six individual projects and one team project went on to represent the district at the State Science Day in Columbus in May. In addition, several individuals and teams won special awards.

8. Nine DPS students in grades five through 12 earned six superior ratings and three excellent ratings at State Science Day (May 2010) at The Ohio State University. Earning Superiors were Kemp fifth-grader Andrew Hagenbuch, Patterson Kennedy fifth-grader Billel Hamidi, Ponitz CTC junior Atlantis Drake, and Thurgood Marshall seniors Emory Beck-Millerton, Joshua Lower and Richard Melson Jr. Earning Excellent ratings were Stivers sophomore Toni Newman and Thurgood Marshall junior and senior Jhaelynn Elam and Eliza Straughter, respectively.

9. Thirty-two DPS students advanced to state-level National History Day competition in Columbus. Winners from district events compete against 600 or more entries in the state event. Originally sponsored by Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, in the 1970s, History Day, with its competitions, awards and educational activities, has grown into a national event based in Washington, D.C.

10. Ponitz Career Technology Center students took 20 honors in the Business Professionals of America regional competition, including 13 individual awards and two team awards. Five students advanced to state competition.

11. Thurgood Marshall senior Emory Beck-Millerton is the winner of the 2010 MLK Youth Award. Beck-Millerton is active in the National Honor Society, Army JROTC and the Academic Magnet Academy at Thurgood.

12. The Thurgood Marshall JROTC Black Knight Color Guard was selected to post the colors at Governor Ted Strickland’s State of the State address in January 2010.

13. A Wogaman PK-8 eighth-grader was one of 30 students from public, private and parochial schools competing in the 60th annual DPS District-wide Spelling Bee, competing through eight rounds before missing her final word. A Meadowdale sixth-grade student received fourth place.

14. Six Dayton Public Schools students were honored as the winners of the 23rd annual Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship Contest. Awards went to students from Thurgood Marshall, Stivers and Belmont high schools.

15. Belmont High School students created more than 70 pieces of original art that were on display at the K12 Art Gallery at the beginning of the year.

16. The Thurgood Marshall Black Knights Drill Team was accepted into the National High School Drill Team Championships, held in Dayton Beach, Florida. This is the 20th year the squad has been invited to this prestigious competition. Marshall cadets made it to the second phase of the US Army JROTC Leadership Bowl and will compete again in January.

The Black Knights also brought home 15 trophies from a meet in Trotwood, including first place honors in exhibition individual and dual, armed knock-out, unarmed squad drill, and armed squad exhibition.

17. Drawing inspiration from an enduring message of peace and equality, Dayton Public Schools students took home 30 of 37 grade-level awards and seven of 12 grade-group awards during the 25th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Art, Poetry and Prose Contest. The students’ works were chosen from entries throughout the Miami Valley. Judges selected 12 grade-level winners in the contest (kindergarten-3, 4-6, 7-9 and 10-12) in three categories. The DPS grade-group winners, who received plaques and $25 checks, are Johnny Davis (Valerie), E’lexis Dawkins (WOW), Jacob Adams (Horace Mann) and Blake Lance (Dayton Technology Design High School) – art; Dupree Carr (Westwood) and De Shari Adams (Wogaman) – poetry; and Shyla Finley (Dunbar) – prose.

18. Horace Mann PK-8 School fourth-graders Zach Collins, Jasmine Eason, Kumari Gee, Haley Hagerdon, Allyson Hayes, Zharia Mallory and Justyn Ward will have their artwork on permanent display in the stairwells of the new parking garage at the Dayton International Airport when the structure is completed.

19. Stivers ninth-grade student Anthony Hoogsteden was recently honored by the city for his award-winning entry in the Sister Cities International Young Artists Showcase. This year’s exhibit, with the theme “A Reflection of Your Community,” featured 20 artists from around the nation celebrating the unique aspects of their communities.

20. Belle Haven seventh-grade student Stefan Harris participated in a session of the Junior National Young Leaders Conference, spending a week in Washington, DC, to learn about leadership and government. The program is sponsored by the Congressional Youth Leadership Council. Harris, who was nominated by his sixth-grade teacher, Carrie Stewart, was responsible for submitting an essay, finding a sponsoring mentor and raising money to fund the trip.

21. Meadowdale High School senior Emonte Scruggs won a qualifying boxing tournament to represent the United States as a Junior Olympian in Baku, Azerbaijan. Emonte traveled to Olympic camp then to Baku, Azerbaijan in the spring of 2010.

22. Stivers students took the top three places in a recent essay contest, sponsored by The Lincoln Society as part of the Kids Voting program. Winners were DeAisha Williams (third place – “The Importance of Lincoln”), Olivia Lower (second place – “Abraham Lincoln’s Presidency”) and Taylor Kingston (“The Unlikely Mender: Remembering Abraham Lincoln”).

23. Meadowdale High School achieved a first, sending a team to compete at the Piqua Regional Science Olympiad Tournament. The seven-member team competed in five categories, including elevated bridge, disease detective, mouse trap car, “Write Do It,” and trebuchet.

24. Ashley Swope, senior at Pontiz Career Technology Center, was recognized with an honorable mention at the 2010 Art in Architecture Student Design Competition. Each student received Becoming an Architect: A Guide to Careers in Design by Lee W. Waldrep.

25. Dayton Public Schools students were big winners in Montgomery County’s 2010 environmental calendar contest. Cover honors go to the grand prize winner, senior Jeremy Rosen from Stivers School for the Arts. Other winners are: Clarice Mueller-Johnson, Sevil Shakhmandarova, Shawn Brewer, and Courtney Payne, all from Stivers School for the Arts; Tyler Frazier and Travis Hutchins, Ruskin Elementary; and D’Laquahna Trammell, Longfellow Alternative Center.

Community Partnerships
26. Longfellow Alternative School’s long neglected 130-year-old auditorium was restored to its original splendor with a $100,000 grant from the Lowe’s Charitable and Education Foundation. Work was done by DPS facilities staff and Lowes volunteers. The changes will allow use of the auditorium for student projects and community events. Part of the funding was used to purchase new playground equipment for the preschoolers served by the school.

27. More than 400 students at Wogaman PK-8 School received new books to take home, part of a book give-away organized by the Dayton Chapter of the Links, Incorporated. The give-away, was part of a program themed “Freedom to Be Who I Am.” Students created projects based on the books they read and presented them during a special family night.

28. Airmen Acting, a mentorship group from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, was formed to work with students at Meadowdale PK-8 School. Lead by SMSgt Dellaina Grundy, Airmen Acting mentors are present at the school daily, each working with two to four students several times each month. A group of Meadowdale students received a red-carpet tour of the base and the rare privilege of meeting the AFMC vice commander—just one example of the activities students enjoy, thanks to community partners.

29. More than 400 guest readers—from the superintendent to the mayor to area sports figures shared the tongue-twisting tales of Dr. Seuss and other literary treasurers with delighted students across the district on Read Across America Day. Sponsored by the Dayton Education Association and Dayton Public Schools, Read Across America Day features a wide variety of reading-themed activities in district schools.

30. Dayton Public Schools, in partnership with the Dayton Philharmonic Volunteer Association, accepted donations of gently used musical instruments for use in district programs. Instruments collected by the DPVA have been vital in helping to maintain instrumental music programs in DPS, according to the district’s music teachers. The donations have replaced many worn-out instruments, giving students an opportunity to make music. Since the drive began more than six years ago, hundreds of instruments have found their way to Dayton schools, creating band programs where there were none and helping students to discover their musical talents.

Other Notable Events

31. DPS families with children in pre-kindergarten through eighth grade enjoyed a free day of family fun at the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery, which included admission to the museum, entrance to the planetarium, live animals, tours, and a nature walk. The crowd (about 1,500) was so great that the museum closed its doors to other visitors to accommodate DPS families. It’s all part of the yearlong parent and family involvement program sponsored by the DPS Office of School Improvement and External Resources. Other events included the Dayton Art Institute, Dayton Metro Library, United States Air Force Museum, and Carillon Historical Park—all events have attracted large turnouts.

32. Local leaders, students, parents and community residents celebrated the groundbreaking for the new Belmont High School at 1127 Wayne Ave. The new $21.5 million, 124,000 square-foot high school, designed by Levin Porter Associates, will be set on 47 acres formerly occupied by the Ohio Department of Mental Health with a presence on Wayne Avenue, between Epworth and Watervliet. Belmont is part of the third and final segment of the district’s school construction plan and is projected to be completed by Aug. 2011.

33. Dayton Public Schools celebrated the opening of the David H. Ponitz Career Technology Center, the district’s 15th school in the school construction program. Now in Segment Three, the district will complete the building program in the 2011-2012 school year. Passage of a bond issue in 2002 made it possible to provide for the local share of 39 percent; the state funds the remaining 61 percent of the project.


Cyndi said...

This is just amazing! I had no idea - thank you for sharing!

These students and groups should be mentioned in the paper - they deserve the recognition for their hard work and positive attitudes.

I'll do my part and post this on facebook. :)

(Btw, the last paragraph is repeated in number 30.)

Gary said...

Fixed the repeat. Thanks for pointing it out!