Fort Thomas Independent Schools Employee Newsletter

Volume 3 Issue 1

September 2015


Welcome Back!

It’s been a great start to the school year!

I realize that there have been some technology glitches, but otherwise we have had an incredibly smooth opening. As I walk through our schools, I see students who are happy to be back and engaged in meaningful learning experiences. One of the things that makes this district so special is that our students genuinely enjoy being here. This is a credit to each of you!

As for the technology issues, I really appreciate your patience as we continue to problem solve. You are doing what great teachers have always done, being flexible, creative and resourceful. The tools that we use will be ever changing, but these characteristics of high quality instruction will always endure. There is truly no substitute for outstanding teachers.

Have a tremendous 2015-16 school year!




All Fort Thomas Independent Schools’ employees are eligible to participate in Microsoft’s Software Assurance Home Use Program (HUP). This program enables our employees to purchase a licensed copy of most Microsoft® Office desktop applications (Windows and Mac) to install and use on a home computer.

To access the Microsoft Home Use Program Web site:

1. Go to
2. Select the country to which you want your order to be shipped and choose the language for viewing the order Web site.
3. Enter your school e-mail address and insert the following program code B6F72BB18A.
Note: This program code is assigned to our organization for our sole use in accessing this site. You may not share this number with anyone outside our organization.
4. Place your order online, using a credit card, and the software will be shipped to the location you have chosen. Please note that a fulfillment fee will be charged to cover packaging, shipping, and handling costs if you choose to order the software CD.


Yale University’s Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library contains more than 73,000 items, including 57,000 photographic prints, as well as thousands of books, pamphlets, maps, and theater broadsides. These materials document American history from the Civil War through the end of the nineteenth century and record the emergence of photography as a distinctive cultural practice.

Listen Current makes it easy to bring authentic voices and compelling nonfiction stories to the classroom. The website curates the best of public radio to keep teaching connected to the real world and build students’ listening skills at the same time.

The Newseum’s innovative Digital Classroom features interactive timelines, archival videos and downloadable historic front pages with cross-disciplinary lesson plans for middle school, high school and college teachers and students. Primary sources, interactives, videos and lesson plans bring history, journalism, and the First Amendment to life for students. The Newseum offers lesson plans in three areas: Media Literacy, History, and Civics. For example, in the lesson titled News Confusion: What’s News (media literacy), students play a sorting game to figure out what types of stories and events are “news,” and they begin to explore how news is different in different places.

Look, listen and explore! At the Engineering Your Future website, you can see and hear real engineers talk about their careers. Through streaming video and audio, engineers from a variety of fields - mechanical, civil, chemical, electrical and others - will tell you their stories and answer frequently asked questions.



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. Watch for information to be sent out separately. All participants will be asked to register in advance through PD Express.


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 I: What Great Teachers Do Differently by Todd Whitaker
Format: Book Study
Presenters: Gene Kirchner, Ginger Webb and Jon Stratton

Tuesday, September 15, 2015 OR Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Module II: Fostering Creativity, Curiosity and Innovation
Recommended Reading: Creating Innovators by Tony Wagner
Presenters: Michael Howton and Lee Gatens

Tuesday, October 6, 2015 OR Thursday, October 15, 2015

Module III: Understanding and Assessment by Design
Recommended Reading: McTighe
Presenters: Brian Robinson, Jeff Schneider and Matt Haskamp

Wednesday, November 4, 2015 OR Tuesday, November 10, 2015

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



September 7 - Labor Day - No School
September 12 - Board Meeting
September 16 - Student Late Arrival Day


Rank Change Reminder
Verification of completion of the course work necessary to achieve a change in Rank for 2015-16 must be on file in the Central Office by September 15, 2015.

Make sure you are entering your absence (sick days, personal days, vacation days, etc.) into Aesop. Contact Lisa Biltz (Ext. 2610) or Mary Turner (Ext. 2001) with any questions.

Delta Dental Insurance & Grange Life Insurance Open Enrollment

If you are making no changes to your dental coverage, you do not have to see the representatives. Your coverage level will continue as is. If you need to make any changes, or have any questions, please be sure to see them on your appointed day, or feel free to come by Central Office if you miss them at your school.

Representatives will be at your school on the following dates/times:

HMS - Tuesday, Sept. 1, 7:30am-3pm

Johnson - Wednesday, Sept. 2, 8am-1pm

Woodfill - Thursday, Sept. 3, 8am-1pm

HHS - Friday, Sept. 4, 7:30am-3pm

Central Office - Tuesday, Sept. 8, 8:30am-12:30pm


Congratulations to...

Jodi Leverman (JES) on the birth of her daughter Josephine Claire (Josie) on August 14. Josie weighed 7 lbs. 5 oz.
Melinda Greenwood (District) on the birth of her son Miles James on August 26. Miles weighed 6 lbs. 3 ozs.

Our Sympathies to...

Mary Kinsella (MES) on the loss of her mother Jessie Waddle on August 20.

Heather Ralphes (HMS/MES) on the loss of her father Charley Sroufe on August 27.

Submit information for FORWARD FOCUS to