Fort Thomas Independent Schools Employee Newsletter

Volume 3 Issue 5

January 2016


Dear Staff,

Welcome Back! I hope that each of you had a wonderful holiday break and are off to a great start in the New Year. While most of you were away, there was a lot going on here in the district, especially with the construction projects at Highlands and Moyer.

Highlands - We are very close to the grand opening of the renovated gymnasium. I hope that, regardless of where you work within the district, you will take some time to stop by and see it firsthand. The transformation is truly amazing! Even after the gym itself is completed, work will continue on the front plaza and walk of fame components of this project. These are the final crowning pieces of the Highlands renovation, which by the summer of 2016, will be entirely finished after a full decade of dedication and hard work. In the end, the total cost of this 10-year renovation will be approximately $40 million. Seeing this dream become reality would never have been possible if not for the incredible support of the Fort Thomas Education Foundation and the entire Fort Thomas community.

Ruth Moyer – Because of the milder than normal weather, there has been very steady progress on this project. While the recent wet weather has slowed things down a bit, we are still ahead of schedule. If you have looked down James Avenue, you know that the back part of the campus has been transformed. By spring, the mobile village will be complete and demolition will begin on the gym. I truly appreciate the patience and resilience of the entire Moyer community as we move ahead with this 30-month project. It is never easy living through a renovation; however, the end product is going to be spectacular!

We are truly blessed to be in a community that provides such tremendous support. This is what enables to us accomplish so many great things. Therefore, as we enter into 2016, perhaps our New Year’s resolution should be to demonstrate our appreciation each and every day by being the absolute best we can be for our students.

Happy New Year!



Bits and Bytes


Every Kentucky school district must develop a technology plan and have that plan approved each year by the local Board of Education. One of the components of our current technology plan states that the technology department will “publish periodic electronic reminders of acceptable use, its provisions and how and where to report abuse of the policy”. In the next few issues of Forward Focus, we will publish reminders. Please contact Diana McGhee if you have questions about these reminders.

Reminder #3: Board policy 08.2323 states: Users with network access shall not utilize District resources to establish electronic mail accounts through third party providers or any other nonstandard electronic mail system. This board policy directly reflects instructions given to districts from 701 KAR 5:120. The Kentucky Department of Education, in partnership with Microsoft, provides email services to all public school employees and students, and this is the only email service districts are supposed to use or promote.

Internet Connections


Microsoft OneNote is a software program for free-form information gathering and multi-user collaboration. You can enter notes (handwritten or typed), drawings, screen clippings and audio commentaries. Notes can be shared with other OneNote users over the Internet or a network. OneNote is available for free, and several teachers in our district are finding great uses for this product. And, the OneNote app is available for any Internet-enabled device and all operating systems (Windows, iOS, Android).

The following link includes good information for OneNote users or for those considering using OneNote.

Easy Annotate was the first side-by-side PDF editor. Users can read, annotate and compare two PDF documents simultaneously. You can even link pdfs to create references. Studying with multiple documents has never been easier.

NoteLedge is an app that helps users take notes and organize multimedia content in one place. The NoteLedge app is available for Android, iOS and Windows and can be used for taking notes, writing journals, sketching and scrapbooking.


Technology PD Sessions for January

This year, we are going to introduce a new form of technology PD sessions. Sessions will be held during evening hours and will be held online using Skype for Business. All participants will be asked to register in advance through PD Express. Reminders will be sent.

Office Live Tools

Thursday, January 21, at 8pm

The statewide switch to Office 365 moved our email services to “the cloud”. But what does “the cloud” really mean? And what other tools are available in “the cloud”? This session will focus on the new collaborative tools in Outlook Live such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Skype and OneDrive Pro.

Educational Study Seminars

All Educational Study Seminars will be held from 3:30 – 5pm in the Central Office Conference Room. Please register for each module online via PD Express.

Module IV: Using Data to Ensure Individual Student Growth and Differentiate Instruction

Presenters: Patrick Richardson and Donna Schulte

Wednesday, January 13, 2016 OR Thursday, January 21, 2016

Module V: High-Quality Classroom Practices
Recommended Reading: Danielson FfT, Madeline Hunter, Rick Stiggins
Presenters: Dawn Laber, Keith Faust, Jamee Flaherty and Norma Lawless

Wednesday, February 3, 2016 OR Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Module VI: Utilizing Technology to Transform Student Learning
Presenters: Diana McGhee, Jody Johnson and Brian Mercer

Thursday, March 17, 2016 OR Tuesday, March 22, 2016


Upcoming January Calendar Events

January 11 - Board Meeting
January 18 - Martin Luther King Day - No School
January 28-31 - HMS Musical - The Wizard of Oz

Payroll / Benefits

It's 2016 - so that means payroll changes you will see reflected beginning with your January 15 check:
  • New premiums for any health insurance and/or cafeteria program changes that went into effect on January 1.
  • Campbell County taxes start up again on January 1 for those who reached the maximum in 2015.

Eye Med Vision Plan ID Cards/Welcome Packets

Members should receive their ID cards the week of January 11. Members do not need cards to receive services - just give your name, birth date, and group name to the provider. See PDF attached to this email for directions to print a card or even download the app for iPhone or Android.


Congratulations to...

Shauna Luebbers (MES) on the birth of her son Jude Phillip on December 22. Jude weighed 7lbs. 3ozs.

Our Sympathies to...

Kim Vogel (MES) on the loss of her father-in-law, Robert Vogel, Sr., on December 1.

Theresa Bradley (HMS) on the loss of her mother, Lewisa Kalsbeek, on December 16.

Summer Employment Opportunities at Great American Ballpark


Are you looking for maximum pay for minimum hours during the summer months? A part-time, seasonal job with flexible hours and competitive wages that will work with your vacation and family schedule? If so,




Each season, Sportservice, the food, beverage, and retail provider for the Cincinnati Reds, has teachers and administrators like you join their staff to earn extra income during the summer.

Now hiring for the following positions:


Retail Associates



Concession Attendants


Club Attendants

…And much more!

Sportservice is starting their hiring process now…please visit us at to find out more information about our company, as well as apply for your position of interest. Click on the JOB link and this will guide you to the application process.

Managers will begin reviewing your profile in January and will be in contact with you to schedule an interview!!

If you have any questions or would like additional information, please call

Human Resource Manager, Ashley Noel at 513.765.7577 or email at


Congratulations to...

HHS junior Adrian Mester who was selected to perform in the elite Kentucky all-state orchestra. The orchestra will rehearse and perform during the Kentucky Music Educators Association conference in February. Adrian was ranked 1st chair in the ensemble for percussion.

The 8th-grade strings students spread cheer with their performance of holiday favorites at the Northern Kentucky Children's Home in December.

Woodfill 2nd-graders in Michelle LaMantia's class started a Random Acts of Kindness countdown to winter break. Each day they popped a balloon that held their random act of kindness for the day. The task for the day pictured below was to write a thank you letter to an adult that works at Woodfill who is not a teacher. The students are proudly displaying their letters to instructional assistants, cafeteria staff, custodial staff, office staff and recess monitor. Notice Rita Bird helped in their project.

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