By Steve Lee
Superintendent | Maumee City Schools
May 25, 2023
Looking Both Backward & Forward As The School Year Ends
As we approach the end of May, it is the ideal time to look back and celebrate our 2022-23 school year successes, update you about summer happenings and preview some of what we have planned for the new school year that begins the week of August 14.
If you are a parent, grandparent or family member of a current Maumee City Schools student, you undoubtedly attended a concert, award program, our Art & STEAM Festival, an athletic event or a similar student/family activity in the last month or two. There were far too many end-of-year events to list here, but I hope you enjoyed yourself. Thank you to every adult who supports and lifts up the students of our school district. It takes an entire community to work together to educate generations of young people.
Class Of 2023 Graduation Ceremony Held May 21
Please join me in congratulating the 189 members of the Maumee High School Class of 2023. They graduated on May 21 at the Stranahan Theater in what was the 137th commencement ceremony of Maumee High School. While we say goodbye and best wishes to these graduates, we also get ready to welcome the MHS Class of 2036, who will start kindergarten in August at Fairfield and Fort Miami.
Milestone years are extremely important to school district staff. We have activities and supports in place for students, not only in kindergarten and senior year, but as they matriculate from elementary to intermediate school, intermediate to middle school, and middle to high school. These activities include preview nights, visits to the new school building, onboarding/orientation teams of upperclassmen and staff who work with students in small groups, and school counselors who walk alongside transitioning students. Did you know that for the last few years, we have taken a Maumee City Schools bus to local preschools in Maumee so that children have the experience of boarding and sitting on a school bus before their first day of kindergarten?
Lots Of Activities In Our Schools Over Summer Break
You will see our buses rolling throughout the summer for six weeks of summer academic camp that 270 students have registered to attend. Summer Camp this year will be at Fort Miami Elementary School. Our athletic department and varsity coaches are hosting youth sports camps throughout the summer months, and the Maumee Police Division again hosts Safety City at Wayne Trail from Monday, June 5 through Friday, June 16.
Our amazing custodians and grounds crew will undertake deep-cleaning projects, painting, and interior and exterior repairs, and our technology department will be upgrading safety and security systems districtwide. We have several large-scale improvement projects underway on the front and back playgrounds at Union School and in the Family and Consumer Science classrooms at Maumee High School. Follow us on social media (www.facebook.com/maumeecityschools, twitter.com/Maumee_schools) to see photographs of these projects as they progress between now and the start of next school year.
Maumee City Schools Staff Retirements
Retirements occur at the end of school years, and we are saying “Happy retirement” to seven teachers, three operational staff members and our district nurse. Our best wishes to Karen Brebberman, Theresa Loeffler, Jeff McIntire, Sandy Poto, Jan Schell, Julia Stratton, Ken Walczak, Toni Kern, Rick Smith, Julia Stokes and nurse Jane Fender.
New Athletic Conference Games Begin This Fall
Maumee City Schools will officially join the Northern Buckeye Athletic Conference (NBC) beginning this fall. While we will continue to play many of the NLL schools, our students will be in league play and tournaments with other NBC schools – Rossford, Eastwood, Oak Harbor, Fostoria, Woodmore, Lake and Genoa. We are looking forward to welcoming these teams and their athletes to our high school and middle school.
Please feel free to contact me anytime by calling (419) 893-3200 or emailing me at email@example.com.
Maumee City Schools Look Forward To A Busy Spring
Spring is always a busy time in the school district. We are getting ready to start our fourth quarter, which means we have about 45 days left in the school year. Maumee’s Spring Break is April 7-14 and after that, we are looking forward to numerous spring sports athletic contests and family/community activities such as STEAM and Arts Fest, concerts and academic award nights most evenings until graduation on Saturday, May 27.
You may not know that each spring, we schedule time for students who will be transitioning to a new school because of their grade level to visit their new school as a first step in getting oriented. This allows them to meet staff members, tour the school and ask questions that may be on their minds. Our third-graders from Fort Miami and Fairfield spend time at Wayne Trail (our intermediate school for fourth- and fifth-graders), and our fifth-graders spend a few hours at the middle school as well as have classroom presentations from our middle school counselors. Maumee eighth-graders have several opportunities to get acquainted with Maumee High School with counselor visits, high school student visits and a tour of Maumee High School. And, eighth-grade student-athletes are invited to start attending open gyms to work out with their future teammates. Last year, we started the practice of taking a Maumee school bus to Maumee preschools so that children who will start kindergarten with us this August get to sit on the bus and meet a driver and a kindergarten teacher who both go along for the visit.
I want to personally invite the community to come out and watch our middle and high school students compete in athletic competitions and to attend concerts and our spring musical, The Little Mermaid, which features not only high school students but also elementary students. Performances are Friday, Saturday and Sunday, March 24, 25 and 26, and you can find details about times and how to purchase tickets on the school district website at www.maumee.k12.oh.us. Locate the ticket box office link at the top of the home page. This is also the link to buy athletic event tickets.
Maumee City School Staff Members Honored By Community
Congratulations to the community members and volunteers who were recognized at this year’s Hometown Heroes banquet hosted by the Maumee Chamber of Commerce on March 2. I had my first opportunity to take part in the program and had the honor of introducing the three Maumee City Schools staff members selected to receive a Golden Apple Award. Congratulations to Fairfield Elementary School principal Michele Loboschefski, Fairfield Elementary School counselor Amy Johnson (MHS graduate) and Maumee High School social studies teacher Jamie Naragon (MHS graduate) for earning this honor. Congratulations to Maumee High School junior varsity basketball coach Jim Richardson (MHS grad) for receiving the Bridge Award. Maumee City Schools is grateful that the chamber of commerce allows us to be part of the wonderful event.
Congratulations To All The MHS Students Who Competed In State Competition
Maumee had teams excel at sectional and district-level competition and a number advanced to states. These include gymnasts Courtney Crawford (balance beam) and Elisa Borello (vault); wrestler Tommy Gast (126 pounds); speech and debate team members Sophia Bula, Zab Kessinger, Phoenix Smith, Michael Varwig and Caris Wedge; indoor track and field team member Lucas Polkinghorn; and the MHS cheerleading team. Our DECA students were at the state competition this past weekend and 22 of them placed high enough to advance to the national DECA competition in Orlando in late April.
We Appreciate The Support Of Parents & Community
It would fill an entire page of the newspaper if I attempted to list all of the parents, community members, local businesses and Maumee nonprofit organizations that support Maumee City Schools students, staff and our initiatives. Each year, our PTOs and athletic and music parent booster clubs work tirelessly to raise money and organize family/community events that foster camaraderie and a sense of community. The generosity of businesses and organizations is greatly appreciated, as we know that some of you are contacted several times each year and asked to donate, put your logo on an event T-shirt, provide a meal or coupons or contribute to a new initiative. We thank you and appreciate the countless opportunities that your support provides for our students.
Maumee City Schools To Receive Additional $200,000 In Safety Grant Funding
I reported in my last Superintendent’s Message that the school district had received $300,000 in state safety grant funds to be used in our elementary schools. We were able to apply for our middle and high school buildings as well and now an additional $200,000 has been received, meaning each school will receive $100,000 in safety enhancements in the coming months. Work is already underway on a number of projects and will continue through the spring and summer. As a result of securing these grant funds, all of our schools will have safety enhancements in place ranging from more secure entrances, enhanced surveillance, additional and upgraded technology for radio communication to security system upgrades and more by the start of the new school year.
Superintendent Welcomes New Year With State Of The District Report
Happy New Year from Maumee City Schools. As we begin a new calendar year, I want to take this opportunity to update the community on several key areas that we are very excited about: new financial resources, improving academics, facility enhancements, new staff supporting our students and the fall 2023 move to a new athletic league.
We have worked hard over the past few years to carefully manage the district’s financial resources and allocate funds to maximize the positive impact on student learning and achievement. We have maintained a strong financial position despite the challenges and uncertainties of the past two-plus school years. We were fortunate to receive pandemic relief funding that we will continue to spend down during this school year and next to remediate learning loss and help offset additional costs of providing educational services during the pandemic.
In addition to good financial stability, we have also made significant progress in meeting our academic strategic goals and initiatives. This work has led to measurable improvements in academic outcomes and created a more positive and inclusive school culture as reflected on our last school report card from the state of Ohio.
Maumee City Schools To Receive $300,000 In Safety Grant Funding
The school district applied for safety funding made available by the state of Ohio and we will receive $300,000 this school year to be spent at our three elementary schools for projects outlined in the grant application. These will include many safety enhancements within the schools as well as building access improvements. In addition to these grant-funded enhancements, we will continue to convene our monthly safety committee (which includes Maumee first responders and staff from across the district) to continually review and discuss ways to make our schools safer for students and staff.
Facility Improvements Are Coming This Spring & Summer
We have painting, tiling and small building repair projects underway inside our schools, and a large fencing installation on Fairfield Elementary School’s back playground area. When the weather warms, other improvement projects will be started, including paving at the back of Wayne Trail Elementary School and improvements on the front playground at Union School. Facility improvements such as these are possible thanks to Maumee taxpayers approving a permanent-improvement levy in November 2014. This levy generates approximately $900,000 annually for improvements that have a very long life.
Professional Development Opportunities Available For Faculty And Staff
In addition to six full days of professional development throughout the school year that covers a wide range of topics, staff receives training at their individual school staff meetings, after school and in the summer.
A major focus for Maumee K-3 elementary teachers continues to be LETRS training. LETRS (Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling) is evidence-based professional learning that is showing a dramatic impact on literacy success for students. LETRS teaches the skills needed to master the fundamentals of reading instruction – phonological awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, comprehension, writing and language. It strengthens knowledge of the science of reading and the development of the reading brain and trains teachers to help students improve foundational literacy skills such as decoding and language comprehension. LETRS is a two-year intensive professional learning experience.
Our teachers in grades 4-12 are working together to vertically strengthen and align curriculum and instruction in the subjects of math, science, social studies, English language arts, art, music and physical education. In addition, staff who work with students identified as gifted, as well as students with special learning and behavioral needs, take part in specialized training. And, we are all gearing up for required training in suicide awareness and prevention, violence prevention and social inclusion; all of which are required following new state and federal mandates.
District Adds New Staff Positions To Meet Student Needs
At the start of last school year, behavioral specialist Nate Bishop joined the Maumee City Schools staff. He assesses students’ unique behavioral needs and creates an individualized behavior intervention plan when necessary. This school year, we added four behavior technicians to the team, and they work with students in grades K-8, under the supervision of Mr. Bishop and school principals.
Why these new positions, you may ask? When a student is struggling in math or reading, there are many traditional interventions to employ. But helping students overcome behavior issues that impact their academic success is not as clear-cut. These specially trained staff members are making remarkable progress with our students.
We are in the process of employing a social worker who will work exclusively with Maumee families with children from preschool through third grade to reduce barriers to school success during these early years. This staff member will be very involved in family engagement activities and will assist parents in finding community-based pre-kindergarten educational programs for their children.
Northern Buckeye Conference Begins With Fall Sports Season
Beginning in the fall 2023 sports season, Maumee City Schools will officially be a member of the NBC and not the NLL. While we will continue to be in athletic competition with many NLL schools, our students will be in league play and tournaments with the other NBC schools – Rossford, Eastwood, Oak Harbor, Fostoria, Woodmore, Lake and Genoa.
January puts us about half of the way through the 2022-23 school year, and we are excited to continue building on the momentum of the first half of the year. We look forward to the continued support of our families, students, staff and the entire Maumee City Schools community, so that we can live out our mission to be a community that invests in every child, every day, to ensure all students find their success.
Please feel free to contact me any time by calling (419) 893-3200 or emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.