I want to welcome everyone back for the 2017-2018 school year. I look forward to working with our school community. It takes all of us working together to reach our goals during the year.
House Bill (HB) 410: New Attendance Law
Each parent or guardian will be receiving a letter to HB410. If you have any questions, please contact your building principal.
In December 2016, the General Assembly passed HB 410 changing the student attendance laws and redefining excessive absence and truancy beginning in the 2017-2018 school year. The WNLSD is amending and adopting policies that are required by this change in law.
The definition of a “habitual truant” student is as follows:
Absent 30 or more consecutive hours without a legitimate excuse;
Absent 42 or more hours in one school month without a legitimate excuse;
Absent 72 or more hours in one school year without legitimate excuse.
Students that are deemed “habitually truant” under any of these circumstances will be reported to the attendance officer. The attendance officer is required to contact the parent regarding a time and a date for an Absence Intervention Team (AIT) meeting which the parent is required to attend. The AIT will develop an absence intervention plan that will be monitored and evaluated. If the student and parent fail to meet the requirements of the plan, the attendance officer will file a complaint in juvenile court.
The definition of an “excessive absence” student is as follows:
Absent 38 or more hours in one school month with or without a legitimate excuse
Absent 65 or more hours in one school year with or without a legitimate excuse
The parents of students that are deemed “excessive absent” in either of these circumstances will be notified by the school attendance officer. There is no further action required of the parent unless the student’s absences continue.
The District will continue to update your regarding changes to our student attendance policies. Specific building level details will be given to you in written form as an addendum to the school handbook. The most important point to remember is regular school attendance is very crucial to your child’s education. Consistent, all-day-every-day attendance from the beginning bell to the ending bell should be your child’s practice in order to maximize their achievement.
Portsmouth West High School American History teacher, Carolyn Callihan, was presented the 2017 Educator of the Year Award by the Ohio American Legion on July 8, 2017. Nominated to represent the 7th legion district, Mrs. Callihan was in a pool of candidates comprising the 14 legion districts in the state of Ohio.
Mrs. Callihan was chosen for the award - which is based on educators’ contributions to the field of education and their involvement in the field of Americanism - because she goes above and beyond for her students, especially focusing on the topic of America and the military, according to Susan Frasher, American Legion Post 23 and 7th District Americanism Chairman. One of Mrs. Callihan’s yearly class projects consists of students researching family members who were veterans and writing a biography focusing on the veteran’s time of service, branch, and life within the military.
Aware of the competitive nature of this state-level award, Mrs. Callihan is proud of the recognition and plans to continue working with the local American Legion Post. “I am very grateful to the American Legion District 7 Post 23 for their nomination and support and very proud to represent the Washington-Nile Local School District for this state award. It was a very humbling experience, one that I will never forget and without a doubt the highlight of my career! I am thankful for the programs that Post 23 provides for our district's students from the flag raising ceremonies before home football games, veterans assemblies, Buckeye Boys' State, Legion Baseball, and the American Legion Government and Americanism test. These programs all model and emphasize good citizenship and patriotism,” she stated.
In December 2016, the Ohio General Assembly passed House Bill 410 to encourage and support a preventative approach to excessive absences and truancy. Beginning with the 2017-2018 school year, several changes take effect.
Student absences will be tracked by hours and not days. All minutes missed, including tardiness and early dismissals, count.
The following are the reasons for reporting students to the county attendance officers:
When a student is referred to the attendance officer, a meeting of the Absence Intervention Team will be scheduled. The Absence Intervention Team will include a school administrator, the attendance officer, parents, student, and any other personnel that may be related to the matter.
Students who continue to be absent may be reported to Juvenile Court.
Eli Cole, a junior at Portsmouth West High School, has been named to the Ohio Center for Law-Related Education, 2017 Civics & Law Honor Roll by the Ohio Center for Law-Related Education. The OCLRE recognize and celebrate the achievements of Ohio high school students who are vested in civic learning and active in their communities. This is a great honor and the Washington-Nile Local School District is very proud. Eli is the son of Bobby and Sherry Cole of West Portsmouth.
According to usatoday.com, Red Nose Day aims to end child poverty by raising money and awareness for kids in the U.S. and around the world. This day was launched in the U.S. in 2015 and has reportedly raised $60 million that has benefited children in each of the 50 states. You may have seen the movie Love Actually, written and directed by Richard Curtis in 2003, in which the cast donned the giant, red, round nose (usatoday.com).
Phyllis Rice, bus driver for Portsmouth West School District, handed out red noses to each of her students that boarded the bus today, May 25, in Honor of Red Nose Day. Thank-you Phyllis for bringing joy to our students and bringing awareness to this important cause. We have the best bus drivers!
Photo by Carolyn Callihan
Mrs. Leah Blevins, high school math teacher at Portsmouth West, and Mrs. Malissa Sarver, dietician at KDHS, collaborated to implement a mini-grant awarded to the high school. The below article is from the Action for Healthy Kids newsletter and website.
For more information about the Action for Healthy Kids and programs they provide please use this link to Action for Healthy Kids Website.
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2017 Miss West Jade Ratliff