A National Blue Ribbon School

NBRSWe have an amazing array of schools throughout Worthington.  We’re really lucky! Who has it better than us? No-body! With that said, it’s fun when outside organizations recognize our schools for their work with our students.

Earlier this fall Bluffsview Elementary was designated as an Exemplary High Performing School National Blue Ribbon School for 2019 by U. S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. Bluffsview is one of only 362 schools in the nation and one of only fourteen schools from Ohio to be recognized in 2019.

Since 1982, The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has recognized public and private elementary, middle, and high schools based on their overall academic excellence or their progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups. Every year the U. S. Department of Education seeks out and celebrates great American schools, schools demonstrating that all students can achieve to high levels. 

The formal award was bestowed last week at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center outside of Washington D.C.  Bluffsview Principal, Cindy Fox (who has been the principal at Bluffsview now for 17 years) Art teacher, Giannalisa Schumer, Media Specialist, Megan Mott, 6th grade teacher Kate Reik, and a stuffed Bear named Blue, traveled to receive the award on behalf of Bluffsview staff and students.  

In September when Bluffsview was selected for this award I sent the following message to Bluffsview staff which encapsulates how I feel about Bluffsview:  “It’s an honor for Worthington Schools to have Bluffsview named as a National Blue Ribbon School!  Thank you for taking the time to complete the application process and go through the evaluation. Without question Bluffsview is a school of excellence.  As a staff member at Bluffsview you know this to be true. Obviously Bluffsview meets the academic requirements for this award. Students at Bluffsview grow and achieve at high levels.  More importantly in my mind Bluffsview is just an amazing place for kids. You have created a warm and supportive culture where kids and families know that they are loved. Bluffsview embodied “Be Kind to Kids” before we began using that phrase.

Thank you for showing up everyday committed to making a positive difference in the lives of our students, their families, and our community.  Thank you for showing others throughout Worthington what excellence looks like. We’re proud of our Bluffsview Bears!

We’re proud of all of our schools in Worthington and excited to see one of them recognized with this award!

-Trent Bowers, Superintendent

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World Kindness Day!

Be Kind to KidsIn Worthington, our first and last expectation is to “Be Kind to Kids.”  Today is World Kindness Day. The Prevention Action Alliance wrote the following regarding kindness:

“While there appears to be a designated “day” on the calendar for everything these days, World Kindness Day is one to celebrate and share with the young people in our lives. It takes place annually on November 13th, and promotes putting kindness into action through caring and compassionate acts. In a world where far too many youth face bullying, deal with anxiety and depression, and fight the pressures to succumb to a variety of risk-taking behaviors, why not encourage kindness and compassion? The benefits can be far-reaching and long-lasting.

Richard Davidson and his team of researchers from the Center for Healthy Minds at the University of Wisconsin-Madison say that humans are biologically hardwired for kindness and selflessness. He says that even very young children show a preference toward being cooperative, giving and warm-hearted in their interactions with others. Dr. Davidson also believes that kindness can and should be nurtured in youth, and is absolutely teachable. He says, “It’s kind of like weight training, we found that people can actually build up their compassion ‘muscle’ and respond to others’ suffering with care and a desire to help.”  

While the motivation behind acts of kindness should simply be about doing something nice for a fellow human being, with nothing in it for ourselves, it cannot be helped that the giver receives a host of benefits in return. In addition to improving one’s relationships and connections with others, KINDNESS…

Kindness Increases

  • Oxytocin and Serotonin – powerful hormones that stabilize mood, and provide feelings of well-being.
  • Energy – some people report a spike in energy after doing good for others.
  • Pleasure – kindness toward others lights up the brain’s pleasure and reward centers.
  • Happiness – in a survey that spanned 136 countries, those who reported being charitable givers also reported being the happiest overall.

Kindness Decreases

  • Pain – produces endorphins, the brain’s natural painkillers.
  • Stress – reduces the stress hormone cortisol in the body.
  • Anxiety and depression – kindness elevates mood, wards off social avoidance.
  • Blood pressure – as oxytocin is produced, nitric oxide is released, a chemical that dilates blood vessels and lowers blood pressure.

Ways to be Kind

Kindness comes in all shapes and sizes, cannot be measured by cost or skill, and can be done at any age. Since this tip focuses on tweens and teens, however, here are some ideas geared toward their age group. Of course, youth are more likely to become more engaged if they come up with their own ways to put kindness into action. But here are a few ideas to help them get started.

  • Go through your closet and donate some clothing items.
  • Send a positive text to someone.
  • Rake a neighbor’s leaves or shovel someone’s sidewalk or drive (depending on where you live).
  • Give someone a compliment.
  • Give your mom, dad or other caregiver a random hug.
  • Thank a veteran.
  • Smile more often at others.
  • Say hello to someone new.
  • Offer to babysit for free one evening.
  • Send someone a hand-written thank you note.
  • Hold the door for someone.
  • Do a chore around the house without being asked.
  • Forgive someone.
  • Bake cookies for a neighbor (or the Superintendent of Schools)
  • Ask about someone’s day.
  • Call your grandparents.
  • Put a happy face sticky note on someone’s locker.
  • Volunteer at any kind of shelter.
  • Smile and say “good morning” to an adult in your school building.
  • Invite someone sitting alone to sit with you at lunch.

These are so many simple ways to be kind. Challenge your child to rattle off or jot down some ideas of their own. Of course, parents walking the walk is the greatest way to nurture and teach children the importance of doing good for others. 

Also, keep in mind that you play an important role if you or your child happen to be on the receiving end of a good deed. Kindness goes full circle when someone accepts that offer of help, smiles back or acknowledges another’s kind gesture. 

Let World Kindness Day be the kickoff to purposeful acts of kindness among your family that in turn, may grow and spread worldwide.”

Today and everyday, Be Kind to Kids!

  • Trent Bowers, Superintendent

 

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Worthington High School Parents Say “Yes”

WKActThere are two groups of parents in Worthington schools that are not administrators, teachers, or staff but support our students as if they were. They are the Activity Clubs of Thomas Worthington High School and Worthington Kilbourne High School. While not every parent knows about these organizations, it’s likely that their work will touch every student in our high schools in some way before they graduate. 

Each Club consists of parents of high school students. The original Activity Club was founded in 1937 with a charter to “stimulate correct thinking about social problems, strengthen personalities, overcome shyness, and eliminate class distinctions.” As the years have passed, the single group became two when Kilbourne opened, and their mission has evolved as well. Their purpose is simple: to serve the needs of their school community. Much of the success of the Clubs can be attributed to an organizational attitude that a member always strives to say “yes” when asked to do a job to help our students. And these groups have done just that. 

Guided by school counselors, administrators, and teachers, the Activity Clubs operate programs that assist students in need, provide opportunities for personal growth through service and leadership, and organize events to make students’ high school years safe, fun, and memorable. Some of these programs include: 

  • Cards for Kids/Wolves for Cubs – mentorship programs pairing high school students with elementary students needing positive role models
  • Baccalaureate Program – Senior celebration held prior to graduation
  • Prom After Hours – Fun, safe activity for students to attend after prom
  • Scholarships – Service-based scholarships for seniors
  • Student Assistance – Meals, hygiene products, and assistance for students in need
  • Insight – Speakers and activities designed to educate students on relevant topics and prepare graduating students for next steps

To fund these activities, each Club organizes an annual fundraiser. After attending a few of these, I can attest these are pretty fun events!  As a community, I hope we will support these great parents as they strive to enrich our students’ high school experiences. Please consider supporting our Activity Clubs so they can continue to say “yes” when called upon by our school community. 

WKHS Activity Club Fall Fundraiser

Heavy hors d’oeuvres, grand desserts, silent & live auction

Worthington Hills Country Club

November 16, 2019, 6:30pm

wkhsactivityclub@gmail.com for tickets

TWHS Activity Club Fundraiser

The Jessing Center

March 6, 2020, 7:00 p.m.

Jpischel@columbus.rr.com for more information

-Trent Bowers, Superintendent

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