Here We Grow

Our Mission: Inspire, Engage, & Grow each of our Students

Superintendent's Message

Impact of Proposed Cuts on Education

I believe every child in the state of Kentucky deserves the opportunity to be great.

I would like to provide some insight into the impact that the governor’s proposed budget cuts of 4.5% this school year and 9% over the next two years will have on the children of Dayton Independent Schools. Governor Bevin has stated his proposed cuts to education are a mere “9 cents” on every dollar. Framing these cuts in this way could lead one to believe that only “pennies” are being cut from our children. This is far from the truth.

The impact of the proposed cuts will directly impact our ability to educate and support our children. Our Preschool budget of $249,083 per year will be cut in the proposed budget a total of $56,044. With the current research in neuroscience supporting the fact that 90% of a child’s brain develops before age five, we must provide quality early educational programming for all children.

Our Safe Schools budget of $27,745 goes directly to funding a School Resource Officer; that would be reduced by $6,243. These funds, provided by the state, are not enough to fully fund this position. Our Board of Education highly values the safety of our students and staff and already funds this position an additional $10,000 to provide for a police officer to be on our campus during each school day.

Each of our schools qualifies for funding for Family Resource/Youth Service Centers and would be cut $27,037. These centers provide much needed support for families, advocacy for children, and removal of barriers so that all children have an equal opportunity to learn. Currently, our district is sustaining this work with an additional $10,000 a year to support families and children.

Supports for students are being threatened and might be reduced in key areas such as textbooks, professional development, and Gifted and Talented services. Textbooks for students would be cut $5,282, professional development would be cut $2,607, and services for children who qualify as Gifted and Talented would be reduced $4,394. Currently, our district is providing an additional $10,000 above the state allocation to provide part-time services for our Gifted and Talented students.

Extended School Services creates the greatest immediate challenge for our district with proposed cuts totaling $8,022. These mid-year cuts mean that Summer Learning funds must now be used to cover the shortfalls in other areas, thus resulting in no or limited Summer Learning programming for students. Malcolm Gladwell, in his book Outliers, researched the impact summer learning has on students; he concluded that summer learning experiences are what truly separates our top students from our lowest performers.

Along with the 4.5% mid-year cut and a 9% cut over the next two years, the governor has also proposed that there be no increase to SEEK (state funds per child) funding for the next two years. We have already been handed a mid-year cut to SEEK this school year for a total of $17,000. Expenses for next year will total $120,000 due to mandatory step/rank raises and other increases. In the two year budget Dayton Independent Schools will have to reduce services to children by $240,000 due to no SEEK increase.

This total brings Dayton Independent Schools’ “penny cuts” to a total of $350,000 over a 2.5 year period.

Dayton Independent School students are not alone in being negatively affected by these suggested cuts. All students in Kentucky face this challenge. All students in Kentucky will lose services if these cuts are approved, and these “9 cent” cuts to services for children play out to be millions of dollars.

We should all work collaboratively to honor the expectation of taking care of the next generation by ensuring that their educational needs be met. Children fail when policy makers fail, families fail, and schools fail. We must not fail our children.


Jay Brewer, proudly serving as Superintendent of Dayton Independent Schools

Professional Development

Effective Questioning Techniques

  • Give students "thinking time" or "wait time" after asking a question. If there are no responses to your questions, don't answer your own question. Ask another, simpler question or give an example.

  • Ask only one question at a time.

  • Make sure that everyone can hear a student question. Repeat the question if necessary. (Better yet, ask another student to repeat the question. ) If you don't understand the student's question, ask for clarification, "Give me an example" or "Do you mean..."(Again, seek the clarification from another student.) Sometimes turn a student question back to the class. If no one can answer it, you know it's something difficult for all. Turn the question over to pairs or small groups for a couple of minutes and then open it back up to responses. If you're still getting blank stares, ask where the confusion is.

Brain Breaks??

Check out this very informative site on Energizing Brain Breaks:

If anyone is interested in the book, please contact Rick Wolf for a copy.

Be In The Know

Jury Duty Reminder:

Per policies 03.1237/03.2237, "any employee who serves on a jury in a duly constituted local, state, or federal court shall be granted leave with full compensation, less any compensation received as jury pay (except expense monies), for the period of actual jury service." Therefore, if you are out an entire day for jury duty and are paid the $12.50/day by the courts, you will then need to give the district $5.00/day.

Health Insurance Reminder: for anyone who carries a Health Insurance plan with the LivingWell Promise. If the LivingWell Promise is not fulfilled January 1, 2016 thru May 1, 2016, members will not be able to enroll in a LivingWell Plan for the 2017 year.

Diverse Learner Instructional Tip

What are Executive Functions? Simply put, executive functioning consists of the essential self-regulation skills needed to successfully participate and function in a classroom setting — and in life. (Petlak 2013)

Executive skill focus: Working Memory:

The capacity to hold information in mind for the purpose of completing a task.

What can we do when students have weak Response Working Memory skill?

1. Teach visualization skills: Encourage students to create a picture of what they’ve just read or heard. This is especially important with math. Have students draw pictures and as they get better at visualizing, they can start describing the image to you instead of drawing it.

2. Have your students teach you: Being able to explain how to do something involves making sense of information and mentally filing it. If they are learning a new skill, memory storage is increased substantially by teaching that skill to someone else.

3. Suggest games that use visual memory: Give your students a magazine page and ask them to circle all instances of the word “the” or the letter “a” in one minute. Also, the game “Memory” is a great way to practice this skill with younger children.

4. Play card games: Allow your students time to play simple card games like Crazy Eights, Uno, Go Fish and War to help improve working memory in two ways. The student has to keep the rules of the game in mind, but also has to remember what cards that have and which ones other people have played.

5. Make up category games: When words and ideas are put into categories, they’re easier to remember. Playing games in which you name as many animals as you can think of can eventually lead to playing games with more complicated concepts. For example, you may ask your student to name as many clue words for addition as they can (such as “all together,” “in all,” “total” and “plus”).

6. Number your directions: Beginning a sentence with words like “I need you to do three things…” can help your students keep all of the different points in his head. You can do the same thing with other information, too, like shopping lists (”We need to buy these five items…”).

7. Connect emotion to information: Processing information in as many ways as possible can help your students remember it. Help them connect feelings to what they are trying to remember. For instance, if they’re learning about how the pyramids in ancient Egypt were built, ask them to think about what it felt like to have to climb to the top of one of them pulling a heavy stone in the hot sun.

8. Help make connections: Connections are the relationship between things. Finding ways to connect what your students are trying to remember with things they already know can help them learn the new material. For instance, show them that the twos times table is the same as their doubles facts, such as 4 x 2 = 8 and 4 + 4 = 8.

Faculty & Staff News


We would like to recognize Shirley Edwards as the January Employee of the Month. Shirley is our Lincoln Elementary School cafeteria manager, drives a morning and afternoon bus route, and often drives sports team to evening and weekend events.

To quote one of her nominations, “Shirley is dependable, always showing up for work with a good attitude. I think what fuels this is the relationship she has with the students of Lincoln. She loves the kids and greets them all with a smile and hugs as they come through the line. This creates a good experience for the kids during breakfast and lunch!”

Another nomination stated, “Shirley is a great employee. She has many great qualities, but the three qualities that I admire about her the most are her dedication, flexibility, and ability to get along with students. Shirley has shown her dedication to Dayton Independent Schools and its students by never missing work. She is always here on time and ready to work every day! The other quality that I admire her for is her flexibility to adjust her daily routine. Shirley will switch back and forth from working in food service to driving a bus. She is willing to do whatever she can to help our students. I also think Shirley has a great relationship with the students at Lincoln and they enjoy seeing her every day in the lunch line. The Mission of Dayton Independent Schools is to Inspire, Engage and Grow and I can tell you that Shirley inspires me to be a better employee too.”

Last year Shirley had perfect attendance at school and so far this year she has not missed a day. She is a great role model for our students and staff! We greatly appreciate all that Shirley does to Inspire, Engage and Grow our Students!

March Birthdays

Sylvia Elliott- 7th

Joanne Cozart- 8th

Lauren Schwierjohann- 8th

Michael Hellmann- 9th

Mary Waxler- 10th

Justin Fussinger- 14th

Cami Young- 15th

Tammy Vercheak- 18th

Heather Stuempel- 19th

Michelle Litzler- 21st

Lisa Coleman- 23rd

Brian Volpenhein- 25th

Emily Klopp- 26th

Cheryl Spahr- 27th


Congrats to Clara and Brian Schawe! Gentry Mae Schawe was born on February 13th, weighing 7 lbs 8 oz. and 20 inches long.
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Student News




Zoe Hedger

Andrew Miller

Nevaeh Embry

1st Grade

Lyssa Mullins

Daniel Johnson

Ashlynn Mays

Aiden Schoonover

2nd Grade

Aven Adams

Devlin Flannery

Emily Hall

Tony Giglia

Nikki Hauser

3rd Grade

Livia Robinson

Gracie Cutshaw

Brooklyn Gibson

Gavin Puetz

4th Grade

Caaron Poellnitz

Kristen Marksberry

5th Grade

Branden Fromeyer

6th Grade

Lorenzo Price


Kylie Cottingham - 7th Grade

Brianna Holt - 8th Grade

Damien Freeman - 9th Grade

Jody Wildeboer - 10th Grade

Noelle Brooks - 11th Grade

Michaela Navarre - 12th Grade


We want to recognize DHS Senior, Kaitlyn Lowery, as the February Artist of the month. Kaitlyn is a student in Mrs. Spahr’s sculpture class. She has been working very hard spending extra time outside of class to get the finishing touches on her work. She is very detail oriented and her work shows it. If you are interested in seeing some of her artwork you can stop by the high school and her work is in the main trophy case in the front entrance. You can also see some of her work along with other artwork at our 8th Annual Fine Arts Festival on March 24, 2016.


We want to recognize Draven Garcia as the January Athlete of the Month. During the month of January, Junior forward Draven Garcia has put up some impressive numbers on the basketball court to establish himself as one of the team leaders. In 7 games, Draven is averaging 12.57 points per game, 7.43 rebounds, 1.4 steals and 1.3 blocks to go along with 21 made 3 point shots during that stretch. His numbers show that he is a hard worker on both ends of the court. Draven was also named to the 9th Region All-A Classic All-Tournament Team after posting 27 points, 10 rebounds and 6 made 3 pointers in the opening round game of the All-A Classic at Lloyd High School.

Draven also excels in the classroom, having ended the second quarter with a 3.5 GPA, which earned him recognition on the Honor Roll. Draven shows us on a daily basis that he is just as gifted intellectually as he is academically and really sets a great example for the under classmen on how to be a student athlete. Draven is a tireless worker who loves being on the basketball court, but also understands that his academics will always come first. We are looking for more great things out of this young man in the future.

Safety Corner

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Board of Education Meeting

Wednesday, March 23rd, 6pm

200 Clay St

Dayton, KY