(Posted Feb. 15, 2017)
By Linda Dillman, Staff Writer
The luck of the draw is affording Norwood Elementary students the chance to expand their physical education opportunities following news the West Jefferson school received $21,000 in a pair of awards.
“We had a fifth grade parent nominate us in a physical education contest on 97.1 The Fan for a $1,000 award,” said Principal Sue Barte. “Last year, we had a morning fitness club and participated in Jump Rope for Heart.
“Before Christmas, we found out we were one of about a dozen $1,000 winners and we were all put into another drawing for a $20,000 award. Then, in January, we found out we won the big award.”
Barte said the school plans to use the $1,000 award for a morning fitness team program. Due to high student interest, the morning club is expanding into a pair of six-week sessions held twice a week an hour before school. Students participating in the program, which starts later this month, move through a series of activity stations.
Bigger plans are in the works for the $20,000 award. It will be formally presented to the school during a ceremony on March 9 at 9 a.m. with “special” visitors from The Ohio State University—one of the award sponsors—along with the West Jefferson High School pep band and cheerleaders.
Barte, instructor Kevin Cutler, and district facilities and transportation director Robert Hiss are in the process of developing a vision plan for the award.
“We want to use it to install a permanent, large-scale physical activity in the Norwood gymnasium,” said Barte.
The three-member team intends to unveil their plans to the student body during the March 9 assembly.
In other school district news
A presentation of a different kind will be held March 10 at the West Jefferson’s high school and middle school. At the Feb. 13 school board meeting, high school Principal Dave Metz announced that Franklin County prosecutors will present a program on “sexting” laws.
According to the prosecutor’s office, sexting—sending sexually explicit messages or images via cell phone—is illegal and on the rise. Many teens and tweens do not realize the severe consequences of sexting, which can include sex offender registration, prison, probation, community service and counseling.
“This is a good way to educate our kids on what they can’t do,” said Metz.
For the presentation, middle school and high school students will be split into two 45-minute sessions.
“We’re separating them because it’s a little different talking to middle school and high school students,” he said.
In other board discussion, Hurt-Battelle Memorial Library Director Cathy Allen reported on Idita”read,” a winter reading program the library is holding in conjunction with Norwood Elementary March 1-26. The program is inspired by the annual Iditarod sled dog race in Alaska.
“We’re asking students to read as much as possible,” said Allen.
For every minute a child reads, they move one mile on the Iditarod trail and fill in 15-minute blocks on a 67-block chart. According to Allen, winning classrooms in each grade will receive a small collection of books. The event concludes on March 26 with the appearance of an actual sled dog.
The board re-employed district treasurer Jill Smith for another five years, effective Aug. 1, 2017-July 31, 2022. While the board approved the contract, the action was not unanimous. Board members Jerry Doran and Jerry Garman voted against the $94,368 agreement, which also includes a travel stipend, life insurance, Medicare and retirement cost pick-ups.
The next Jefferson Local Schools board of education meeting is at 7 p.m. March 13 in the high school auditeria.