Jason A Barr Why we celebrate Manchester man killed in single-car accident Adams County Election Results – 2017 Hubert Knauff To keep or not to keep Time again for the changing of the seasons November proclaimed as Adoption Recognition and Recruitment Month Local business is seven decades old and counting Local student gets Nashville call Senior Profile: Gabe Grooms Lady Indians fall in districts Quest For The Cup complete for Dragons Meeting a true sports hero WU’s McCarty named District Player of the Year With regional run, Pennywitt completes memorable career West Union eighth grade volleyball finishes as SHAC runner-up Senior Profile: Tray Brand Greyhounds drop home finale, finish at 4-6 Lady Devils fall in district semis Devils go down in district finals Matt Seas headed back to State XC Meet Senior Profile: Charlee Louden Lady Indians ousted in sectional final Lady Devils down Minford 4-1 in district semis North Adams volleyball claims fourth consecutive sectional crown Senior Profile: Brooklyn Howlett Afterschool fun begins at NAES Wearing it pink in October Kenneth L Austin Jay E Minnich Reuben E Hershberger Bobby L Williams 18 years just isn’t long enough Emotional, historic, and victorious Taking action against addiction Utilities commission approves DP&L electric security plan What matters and what doesn’t Oh dear, is that a deer? Junior Gaffin Charlotte J Thatcher Matthew D Miller Megan R Phillips Ralph M Swearingen Linda C Ackley Robert Ralston Shelly Seaman Increased access to treatment, Improving economic opportunity keys to combating Ohio’s Opioid Crisis Seas siblings are again SHAC Cross-Country Champions Lady Hounds cruise to sectional victory Senior Profile: Alyssa Hoskins 101 and another sectional championship Lady Indians claim sectional title North Adams tops Peebles for sectional soccer crown Senior Profile: Shay Boldman 13.5 seconds, heartbreak for West Union PHS JV Volleyball completes unbeaten season On the course that Nicklaus helped design On the ballot: Meigs Township Trustees West Union Christian Church will again be collection center for Operation Christmas Child Peebles voters will choose council members in upcoming election Seven candidates seek seats on ACOVSD school board A time for transformation What will future generations say? Finding all those treasures Janet K Campbell Robert D Hill Lady Devils blank West Union 7-0 in SHAC soccer finale Vikings invade and conquer the Greyhounds Outpouring of community support for local business woman with cancer Manchester mourns teen killed in single-car crash Kylie S Lucas Sharon R Grooms Steven L Wootten Forest J McDaniel Ralph O Grooms Adams County teenager dies in auto accident Charles N Vance Wesley M Baldwin James Kennedy Tom A Mihalovich Brand hat trick leads North Adams past West Union 5-2 in SHAC soccer action Senior Profile: Bryant Lung Lady Hounds pull off thrilling Senior Night win Volleyball milestones continue to pile up at North Adams Banner season for Lady Indians soccer SHAC holds Junior High Volleyball Tournament Tournament match ups set for volleyball and soccer Senior Profile: Morgan Edmisten Hounds dominate, improve to 3-4 Is this not the best time of the year? Volley For The Cure is another big success Getting everything we ask for Oh, that dreaded leaf project Manchester: Adams County’s oldest community looks to the future with hope Congressman visits Manchester’s newest business Six candidates vie for MLSD School Board Highway 41 road work stalls MFD holds annual Safety Day for kids, families Lenora Mckee

Adams County school districts facing some major challenges for the coming year

West Union High School Principal Roger Taylor in one of the new waiting areas reconfigured this summer for the three Adams County schools.

Superintendent urges parents to give their kids the ‘gift of school’ – 

Story and photo by Patricia Beech – 

Budget slashes, program cuts, lack of sufficient personnel, and cumbersome state-imposed regulations are the four big challenges facing administrators of Adams County’s two school districts during the coming 2017-18 school year.
Budget cuts rising from the Trump administration’s decision to trim back 11% of the national public school budget has stripped $250,000 from Ohio Valley Schools (OVSD) and $160,000 from Manchester Local (MLSD), a significant amount for rural schools in an impoverished area.
“We have to make it work with what we’ve got,” says Brian Rau, the new MLSD Superintendent. “It’s not going to be business as usual, but we still have to find a way to get the business done, we just have to find a creative way to do it.”
Rau’s attitude is both pragmatic and hopeful despite the extreme constraints being placed on the district’s administration and staff.
“You deal with the hand your dealt,” he says. “I have the utmost faith in our staff and administration, I have very high expectations for the students and the staff – just because we have less resources, our expectations won’t be lowered.”
Ohio’s new Truancy and Excessive Absence law – House Bill 410 – will further tax the stretched-thin time of administrators and staff in both districts, in addition to imposing stiff legal penalties on students who fall behind on their required number of classroom hours.
The new law requires schools to play a greater role in pursuing chronically absent students.
“This is a really big change for us,” says ACOVSD Superintendent Richard Seas. “It requires that our schools reach out to our students and their parents and make sure they’re coming to school. If they miss a certain number of hours we now have a defined process like we’ve never had before to address the issue of kids not coming to school.”
According to Seas, students who are missing excessively will be “run up the flag pole” if they miss too many hours, they may end up in the court system – after they’ve gone through an intervention process.
“Obviously we understand that everybody has situations beyond their control,” says Seas. “The simple fact is we cannot educate your children if they aren’t in school. We know if a kid graduates with a skill, or if they go on to college they have a good chance to get a good paying job, but any thing short of that – data shows a good job won’t be in their future. If parents believe in us and believe we can educate their kids, then they need to do their part and give their kids the gift of school.”
Habitual truancy and subsequent interventions, according to Rau, are “going to amount to a lot of work in every district” – many of whom lack funding for additional personnel.
Truancy is a big deal,” Rau says. “Kids have to be here, and it’s up to the districts to figure out how to do it.”
Rau and his administration also have to figure out how to fill still-vacant positions left by staff members who moved on to better and higher positions.
“We’ve got a lot of changes this year,”he says. “A lot of our previous staff and administration have moved on so there’s definitely going to be new faces this year.”
Rau says, despite the school’s personnel issues, there is a silver lining – an all-female administrative staff who he believes “will be positive role models who will encourage female students to aspire to be in leadership positions.”
Seas agrees the news isn’t all negative.
“On the positive side, renovations at our three high schools have created an even safer environment for our kids while they’re in the buildings.”
According to OVSD Facilities Manager Steve Wolfe, the three high school office areas have all undergone renovations to include a more comfortable public entry area, while at the same time increasing the safety of the students and staff. Visitors will enter the school through a new side door adjacent to the office area entrance. The new interior space features a waiting area where the school receptionist greets visitors from behind bullet proof glass. He, or she will buzz adult guests into the school, and accept dropped off items for students.
“Security wasn’t as much of a concern 20 years ago when our high schools were built,” said Wolfe. “We realize now there is a need to make them as safe as possible for our students.”
The renovations also allowed for much-needed updating of the schools’ office facilities, said West Union High School Principal Roger Taylor.
“We were able to add a couple of smaller offices and a conference room that previously was used for paper file storage,” said Mr. Taylor. “We no longer have as many paper files, so the office is now streamlined into a space suitable for 2017, as opposed to 1997.”
Parents and guardians from both districts will have the opportunity to visit the schools and their kids’ classrooms, in addition to meeting their teachers and bus drivers, during Back to School Night on Monday Aug. 21 from 4-7 p.m.
“There’s absolutely no better time for there to be an emphasis on education in our county than now with the onset of the power plants closing,” said Seas. “In Adams County, we’re better than we often define ourselves, and we’re better than the way others may want to define us – with education kids can make things happen, without it, they probably aren’t going to go anywhere. Our job is to provide opportunities for kids that can lead to a good job, which will lead to economic growth, so it’s time for education to come right to the forefront. We’ll help Adams County if the people in Adams County are willing to help themselves.”

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