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Dayton School Board Celebrates Rise in Preschool Numbers, Awards New Contract to Superintendent

At a special meeting of the Dayton Board of Education on Wednesday before its regular meeting, the general fund tax levy of 106.4 cents per $100 of real property, and 108.1 cents per $100 on personal property were approved.

Also approved was a tax rate of 85.9 cents per $100 of assessed value on motor vehicles and watercraft.

"This is a 4 percent increase in revenue and is expected to produce $1,913,207 (at 100 percent collection)," said Superintendent Jay Brewer. "Due to the increase in tax assessments overall of $14 million, our tax rate can be lowered." Brewer said that because of the newer housing developments of Grant Park and Manhattan Harbour, the tax rate from last year, which was 108.1 per $100, was able to be lowered while the board still opted for the allowable 4 percent raise. The personal property rate and the motor vehicle rate stayed the same as last year.

Brittney Howell, Director of Special Education and preschool, announced that numbers are up for the preschool, with 70 students in the half day program and 38 in the Head Start program, whereas last year the numbers were 63 for the half day and 20 in the program. She also told the board that Children, Inc. has established a hybrid preschool, one of the two successful hybrid programs in the Northern Kentucky area for this school year.

"The other one is in Erlanger, but they already had most of the stuff in place, while we had to set everything up from scratch," said Howell. "Our goal was to increase the time and the number of kids, and we have done both. Research supports the fact that the more time children are exposed to preschool, the better prepared they are for Kindergarten."

She cited the accomplishments such as:

  1. the district continues to be universal for all four year olds,
  2. three year olds will be attending four days a week,
  3. the district has added a half time preschool teacher,
  4. the district has expanded capacity from being able to serve 100 students to 117 students,
  5. their early start date compared to other districts increases preschool days,
  6. they are one of three districts that house their Headstart program in the same location as kindergarten,
  7. the establishment of Children, Inc hybrid classroom.

"In June we only had like three students signed up, and I thought, I don't know if we can make this go," said Brewer. "But you did it. Bravo!"

Ron Kinmon, Director of Student Services, told the board that the enrollment numbers were down a little from last year, but he said when all the districts were officially in school, sometimes the numbers would go up since the difference wasn't that much.

The board approved the new contract for the Superintendent commencing on July 1, 2016 and ending June 30, 2020, with a special approval of the third amendment to the contract dealing with retirement. They also approved a request to use capital funds to maintain facilities.

Eleven students are scheduled to take Gateway classes, according to high school principal Jeremy Dodd, and he added that they are resurrecting an academic team.

The employee of the month is Sherri Chan, and Brewer said that she is 100 percent dedicated to the students, and lives the mission of Inspire, Engage, and Grow.

Emela Halilovic from the Northern Kentucky Area Development District, gave a presentation on the Summer Ignition program, which allows students to work with the NKADD and other community agencies for 29 hours a week. In the program 8 students from Dayton and three from Holmes High School competed to create a marketable item, write a business plan, forecast a market and find out the company's worth. The Dayton students created a HangaThang, and the Holmes students created an Eco Can. Two of the Dayton students, Destiny Hurst and Diamond Ramirez showed their creation to the board.

Story & photos by Patricia A. Scheyer, RCN contributor

Top photo: Superintendent Jay Brewer congratulates Sherri Chan on being the Employee of the Month.

Slideshow Images & Captions: 
Destiny Hurst and Diamond Ramirez, both 18, talk about their creation in the Summer Ignition program.