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Dayton Schools Seek More Day Care Students, Recovering After Embezzlement

The Dayton Independent school district is looking for four-­year ­olds in the city whose parents would like to enroll them in a free preschool for a half day. Currently the district is running at a deficit for their day care, and these are the children that feed directly into the district’s preschool classes.
 
“Right now only 35 percent of our children are ready for kindergarten, and we want more of them to be ready,” said Brittney Howell, who is in charge of Special Education and Early Childhood Education. “If anyone is interested in enrolling their child, they can call Lincoln Elementary at 859­-292-­7492.”
 
At the regular school board meeting, children were once again honored as students of the month, standing at the front of the room in front of their proud parents to have their picture taken with Superintendent Jay Brewer. Also receiving an award for athlete of the month was senior Felicia Watts, who not only excels on the volleyball court, but she also maintains a 3.0 grade point average and plays basketball. Employee of the month, which is voted on by residents online, was Wes Newsome.
 
Brewer announced that Evelyn Herald, who has been his assistant in the two and a half years he has been at Dayton, is retiring after 43 years. He presented her with a plaque from the board and a blanket in school colors from himself. Kati Newsome will succeed her in the job.
 
 
“Ev is always cold,” he said, wrapping it around her. “You covered me since I have been here, now I will cover you.”
 
 
In the principals’ reports,Jeremy Dodd said that academics across the board were up, except for social studies in the middle school, which went down drastically. As for the high schoolit was reported that every area declined, but college and career readiness and the graduation rate were both up, so that offset the decline.
 
George Sparks, from Barnes and Dennig Accounting, gave a report on the financial state of the district.
 
“It was a good year financially,” he stated. “As a district you have made a turn for the better. You weren’t that far away from having the Department of Education step in and help manage your funds.”
 
The reference was to the fact that the previous Superintendent is now in prison for embezzling money from the district. In the reports he handed to the board, Sparks showed how the three year downhill slide in profits had stopped and was now turning around.
 
“Usually this is the time that we are thinking, What can we cut?” said Brewer.
 
The board approved his report, and also approved Brewer’s suggestion to subscribe to KSBA’s eMeeting service, which would allow all the board meetings to be online. Brewer pulled up the Ludlow Independent School’s meeting as an example of how people at home could see exactly what was going on in the meetings.
 
“When I came here I promised more transparency, and this would be a good step toward that,” said Brewer.
 
Dayton Students of the Month, grades 6-12. The DHS students are Trenton Downard (7th), Allison Watson (8th), Polly Carr (9th), Hayley Hamblin (10th), Andrew Stewart (11th), and Brittany Bishop (12th)
 
Finally the board heard Brewer’s suggestion that the Dayton Independent School District take over the responsibilities of being the District of Record. The Regional School Program is a facility that accommodates students with behavioral or special needs where the smaller, independent school districts in Northern Kentucky can send their students if they don’t have the programs to help them. The District of Record is the school district that accepts the responsibility of compiling all the data and keeping track of records that they send to the state, since the Regional School Program is funded by the state. In the past several school districts have taken on the title of District of Record, Erlanger and Silver Grove as examples, and currently Campbell County is the District of record. Campbell County has recently said they would like to pass the baton to another district, and Brewer had suggested to the board that Dayton take over the title and responsibilities. Last night the board officially agreed to accept the position and that will begin next year.
 
Story & photos by Patricia A. Scheyer
Top photo is students of the month from grades K-6, bottom photos is students of the month from upper grades