Blue Devil eNews

Reading Community City School District | February 2021

Staff Vaccine Day Next Week

Reading Community City School District is partnering with the Reading Fire Department for staff COVID-19 vaccinations. The vaccination clinic will take place beginning at 1:00 pm on Tuesday, February 16. With this great partnership, we are able to schedule the clinic in a way that will minimize the impact on the school day and our students. According to early reports, reaction to the first dose of vaccine is minimal, but the second dose can result in a 24-hour period of moderate to significant symptoms. That may require us to use a remote learning day or calamity day after the second dose is administered in 3 or 4 weeks. We will keep you posted as we learn more.

Symptoms? Stay Home!

A reminder to our families that if your student is experiencing any symptoms, they should stay home from school. We know that an unexpected sick day can create an inconvenience for your family, but a sick student at school sets off a cascade of consequences for others. When students display symptoms at school, it can require our district nursing staff to conduct contact tracing and other students/staff being quarantined. Please do your part to keep our students healthy and in the classroom.


Here are the symptoms we should all be watching out for:

  • Loss of taste or smell

  • Fever or chills

  • Cough

  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

  • Fatigue

  • Muscle or body aches

  • Headache

  • Sore throat

  • Congestion or runny nose

  • Nausea or vomiting

  • Diarrhea

Presidents' Day, No School 2/15, students return 2/16

Black History Month

During February, Reading Community City Schools will be marking Black History Month. A walk through the building shows bulletin boards and hallways decorated at all grade levels. Each day our students are learning more about significant African American figures during school announcements, and teachers are incorporating Black History into their lessons during this month. We want students to understand that there isn't anywhere in our history that African Americans have not been present and making a contribution.

A Closer Look at District Finances

As part of our commitment to communication and fiscal responsibility, Reading Schools is sharing more information about district finances. Funds for the district are generated from local taxes and have a specific purpose.


An operating levy pays for operating expenses, such as salaries & benefits, utilities, maintenance, transportation, supplies, and other services for students.


A permanent improvement levy is used to pay for capital improvements and equipment with a life-span of 5 years or more, such as school buses, HVAC systems, technology, and curriculum.


A bond issue is for a capital improvement project, such as school construction or renovation, and these funds can not be used for operating expenses. One way to look at this is that levies are for learning, bonds are for building.


Superintendent Jason Enix and Treasurer Colette Lewis have been holding a series of Community Chats and Community Forums to give everyone an opportunity to learn about district finances and operations. If you have questions, they are always available. If there is something you’d like discussed at an upcoming community event email: questions@readingschools.org

Community Forum

On Wednesday, February 10, Superintendent Jason Enix and Treasurer Colette Lewis held a Community Forum. They discussed the Safe Routes To School (SRTS) program, to improve safety for students walking or biking to school. The district’s Strategic Planning process was discussed ahead of the board taking action to adopt it at the February 17 meeting. Mr. Enix also explained the decision-making process around Calamity Days and weather delays. Take a moment to watch the Forum on the district YouTube page, view the presentation slides, or sign up for future Community Chats. The next chat takes place Thursday, February 18 at 1:00 pm.

Making Valentine’s Day Brighter for Local Seniors

8th-graders in Cindy Taylor’s FOCUS class are participating in the B-Young At Heart program, sponsored by B-105 FM. The program connects students to nursing homes and assisted living centers, to brighten the days of the residents. The students created Valentine’s Day cards to bring a little joy during a time when many residents have not been able to spend time with family because of COVID-19 restrictions. The students were connected to the Alois Alzheimer's Center in Greenhills, OH, and have been using their time in their FOCUS bell to create Valentine’s Day cards.

Blue Devils Show the “Power of the Pen”

Students in grades 7 and 8 at Reading Middle School have been performing well in their “Power of the Pen” creative writing contests. Power of the Pen allows students to compete as individuals and teams in a timed writing challenge. 8 of our Blue Devil writers qualified for regional competition this year. 7th graders Kiersten Kleehamer received a 9th place medal and Bayleigh Thompson earned 12th place. Our 7th-grade team, coached by Cindy Childs places 2nd overall. Our 8th-grade team, coached by Kate Moster, had two medalists - Zach Fritsch placed 7th, and Hudson Schierloh placed 10th. They’ll move on to Regional Competition Saturday, February 27th!

2nd Quarter Honor Roll

Congratulations to all our Blue Devils who made Honor Roll in the second quarter.

Devils’ Advocate: Was 2020 Half Full or Half Empty?

The newest issue of our student newspaper Devils’ Advocate is available now. Our students write, edit, and handle the layout of the publication. In the most recent issue student writers Julie Thomas and Katie Altman take a look at the wild year of 2020 through the perspective of a pessimist and an optimist. Catch up on what’s going on around Reading High School and support our team of reporters in training.

Mock Trial Makes the Case at District Championship

The Reading High School mock trial team competed at the district championship on January 22. They were paired up with Solon High School and Upper Arlington. With competition taking place remotely over Zoom, this was the first time district draws were not based on geographical location.


Reading won the first trial with ballots 93-86 and 90-87. Junior Jakob Allen won his first district Outstanding Attorney award in the trial. Reading lost the second trial in a close ballot against perennial state qualifier Upper Arlington with scores of 92-94 and 91-92. Senior Emily Turner earned the 3rd district Outstanding Attorney award of her career.


The high school team is now turning their attention to acting as coaches and leaders for a set of 8th graders in Reading Middle School.

Say Hello to a Familiar Face

Beth Foster has returned to Reading Community City School District, staffing the Reading Elementary office after the departure of Heather Mattingly.
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Reading Small Business Owner Helping Students with Blue Devil Bakery

Several days per week, Reading students get hands-on work experience and learn about entrepreneurship thanks to a local business owner. Yok Shaw runs Bitter Sweet at 1001 Jefferson Avenue in the Reading Bridal District. During the day the restaurant serves crepes, coffee, and smoothies.


For the last few months, Ms. Yok has been volunteering her time, kitchen, and expertise to Reading students through the Blue Devil Bakery. Students learn everything from teamwork and problem-solving skills to baking, designing, and marketing their creations. Try the Classic Chocolate Chip, The Blue Devil, Everything but the Kitchen Sink, Sea Turtle, Cocoberry, Birthday Bliss, Rocky Road, and Pitch Fork Peanut Butter. Cookie orders can be placed by calling the store (513-554-4000) before Tuesdays at noon or through students involved with Blue Devil Bakery sales. Orders will be filled and ready for pickup at the bakery on Thursdays.


Thank you Ms. Yok for giving our students this great opportunity!

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2021 Blue Devil Wrestling Season Update

The Blue Devils were shut down in early November and restarted practice again on January 4. The devils start 5-6 freshmen, 3 sophomores, 2 juniors, and 1 senior this season. Reading started the season 10-2 and is looking to schedule more matches including Wyoming, Indian Hill, and Finneytown. The Stat leaders so far are John Thomas - 170, Caden Conner - 152, Austin Fancher - 126, and Jacob Sayles - 182.


RESULTS

Reading 43 - 30 over Norwood, Reading 33 - 25 over C N E

Reading 37 - 36 over Madeira, Reading 42 - 30 loss to Goshen

Reading 70 - 12 to Campbell County, Reading 45 - 28 over Norwood

Reading 42 - 24 over Lakota West, Reading 45 - 9 over Winton Woods

Reading 60 - 9 over Deer Park, Reading 54 - 12 over Aiken

Reading 66 - 15 over HighLands, Reading 46 - 27 over Taylor

Matches next week Madeira and Blanchester.

Resources for Families

We are approaching one year since COVID-19 forced the sudden closure of schools across Ohio. This has been a stressful time for our students, families, and staff, but support is available. Reading families who are in need of mental health resources can visit our District Help Center, or contact our counselors:

High School

Ronda Eisenhard

Teri Bemmes

Middle School

Leslie Salerno

Elementary

Amber Stinson

Additional resources are available through the Children’s Home, which can be accessed here.

RHS Counselor Corner

  • Second Quarter Honor Roll students will receive their certificate and a small token during first bell on Friday, February 19. Great job!

  • AP Students, please make sure that your deposit for your AP exam(s) has been paid. All fees were added to your student fee account and may be paid online, with cash, or with a check. Students on free or reduced lunch do not have fees. Please be watching for an email with more information. AP test balances are due in full by Wed, March 17.

  • All Juniors (including Great Oaks students), you will be taking a mandatory ACT test on Tuesday, February 23 at RHS. RHS Juniors will sign up on MyACT to create an account. You will be receiving more information over the next week.

  • Quarter 3 interims will be coming home with your student on Friday, February 19. You may always check Progress Book for the most current information. If you need assistance signing into Progress Book for your high school student, please contact Mrs. Bell at cbell@readingschools.org.

  • District-wide parent-teacher conferences will be on Thursday, February 25 from 7:30 AM - 7:30 PM. A PTCFast sign up will be sent to high school parents soon. This will allow you to schedule conferences with your student's teacher(s). Friday, February 26 will be a Teacher Inservice day, there is no school for students.

  • In the coming month, the high school Guidance Department will be starting scheduling for next year! Look for emails to be sent out with parent and student meeting information.

  • Seniors!!!! Local scholarship applications will be available to you on Wed, March 10.

  • Seniors!!!! Make sure to check your student fees. All fees must be paid in full prior to May 27 for you to receive your diploma at graduation and for your final transcript to be sent to colleges. You may pay online through EZ Pay or with cash or check in the high school office. The last day we will accept a personal check is Friday, April 30.