Our Students and Staff Give Back

EKUE3K_XsAE5fYfThe mission of Worthington Schools is to empower a community of learners who will change the world.  Being active in community service can be an important component of that development.  

Our teachers and staff strive to develop our students into good citizens, and service allows our students to experience firsthand how their actions make a positive difference. 

Although service projects occur throughout the year in our schools, the holiday season is a great time to share how students and staff are taking part in community service.

In Worthington, service includes not only donating to charities and those in need financially, but it’s also about giving time and attention to the social and emotional needs of our fellow community members as well. 

The Worthington Resource Pantry provides fresh healthy food to neighbors right here in our community. Last year, Worthington Schools donated 17,228 pounds of food to the pantry.

Both Thomas Worthington and Worthington Kilbourne High School students and staff hold multiple food drives throughout the year, sponsor families during the holidays, mentor younger students, and volunteer at the Worthington Resource Pantry. 

Our middle school students not only participate in various charity programs but also provide social and emotional support to peers through programs that empower students to be comfortable with themselves and “Where Everyone Belongs”- a middle school orientation and transition program that welcomes 7th graders and makes them feel comfortable throughout the first year of their middle school experience.

Our elementary schools take part in many activities to help the community, including food drives, outreach with senior citizen homes, buddy and mentoring programs, and clothing drives. 

Notable clothing drives include making 44 blankets to send to Children’s Hospital and the Quarters for Coats program, which helped teach students the value of working for something and turning it into kindness for others. 

Students were challenged to have their parents or guardians identify a chore they could do to “earn” a quarter. They then donated their quarter at school with the goal of purchasing 100 coats for local children.

These are just a few of the many examples of students and staff giving time and energy to causes in our community.  By being an active member of the community, students are contributing to the betterment of society and ultimately, changing the world! 

On behalf of Worthington Schools, we wish you a safe and enjoyable holiday season.

  • Trent Bowers, Superintendent
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Middle School Feeder Patterns

EEYCkwRWwAIYG7EAt Monday evening’s Worthington Board of Education meeting (12/9/19), Assistant Superintendent Randy Banks and several staff and community representatives made the second phase of recommendations for changes to school feeder patterns beginning in the fall of 2021.  As Superintendent I accepted those recommendations and the board voted 5-0 to approve the recommendations.

The passage of the 2018 bond issue provided the funding necessary for the district to proceed with Phase One of our Master Facilities Plan.  Phase One provides capacity for our elementary schools by moving 6th grade to the middle school in the fall of 2021. It will address our aging buildings by rebuilding Worthingway Middle School and Perry Middle School (Perry would reopen as a 6-8 grade middle school, while Phoenix and Worthington Academy and Rockbridge remain on that site).  The plan balances high school enrollment by moving to four traditional middle schools (plus Phoenix) with two middle schools feeding to each high school and by moving a current TWHS feeder elementary to the WKHS feeder pattern.

In our 2019 Winter Newsletter that was mailed to all homes in Worthington, we outlined four tasks for the Feeder Pattern Committee:

  • Determine which elementary school will shift to WKHS – the committee has identified its top considerations for school selection: student diversity, travel time and distance to school and enrollment at each building.
  • Establish WKHS feeder pattern – reassigning which elementary schools feed into either Perry or McCord Middle Schools.
  • Establish TWHS feeder pattern – reassigning which elementary schools feed into either Kilbourne or Worthingway Middle Schools.
  • Make suggestions to ensure a smooth transition – implementation of communication and welcoming strategies, early enrollment for families and a possible grandfathering process for families.

On March 25, 2019, our Feeder Pattern Committee presented their first recommendations to our Board of Education in order to balance the high schools over time (view the slide show here.)  The committee recommended that Slate Hill Elementary move to WKHS.

The committee reconvened this fall and came to a recommendation for elementaries feeding into middle schools.  The task before the committee was reassigning which elementary schools feed into either Kilbourne or Worthingway Middle Schools and reassigning which elementary schools feed into either Perry or McCord Middle Schools.

After the recommendations from the committee, students from Brookside and Bluffsview will move from McCord to Perry.  In addition, students from Slate Hill will also attend Perry moving from Worthingway. Students from Wilson Hill will move from Kilbourne to Worthingway.  

The Thomas Worthington Feeder Pattern will be:

Kilbourne Middle – Colonial Hills, Evening Street

Worthingway Middle – Wilson Hill, Worthington Estates and Worthington Park.

The Worthington Kilbourne Feeder Pattern will be:

McCord Middle – Granby, Liberty and Worthington Hills

Perry Middle – Bluffsview, Brookside and Slate Hill

In addition, our new schools are to open in the fall of 2021.  We estimate that 35-40% of this year’s 6th-grade class will need to begin 7th grade in one middle school and then attend 8th grade in their new middle school.  For instance, a 6th grader at Bluffsview would spend 7 years at Bluffsview, one year at McCord, one year at Perry and then four years at WKHS. Finally, our current 5th graders and current 4th graders at all elementary schools will exit elementary school the same spring (2021) and will be the first 7th graders and 6th graders at the middle schools district-wide.

Later this spring (April 2020), district administrators will set up a meeting at each elementary school to provide information on the proposed 6-8 middle school schedule, transportation additions or changes, and to discuss what individual school traditions may look like for the 2021-2022 school year.  This will happen a full 15 months before the actual transitions occur providing us time to listen and make adjustments as necessary. 

If you’d like to learn more about the feeder pattern change process please visit the feeder pattern page on the Worthington Schools website.  https://www.worthington.k12.oh.us/domain/1131

-Trent Bowers, Superintendent

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Julie Keegan – A Cardinal for Life

IMG_1644Sometimes you cross paths with a person in life and forever your life is enriched.  For me, the 11 years I have been able to spend working with Julie Keegan has done exactly that.  I will always be grateful for my association with Julie and her family. After serving on the Worthington Board of Education for the past 12 years, tonight marks Julie’s final board meeting.

Jerry Katz graduated from Worthington High School in 1958.  He married Merci, became a banker, bought a house in Columbus and eventually had two daughters, Julie and Nicole.  In 1978 they moved back home to Worthington. Julie enrolled in Colonial Hills Elementary, transitioned to Worthingway Middle School and graduated from Worthington High School in 1985.

At Worthington High School Julie Katz met Mike Keegan.  They eventually married, 70939579_2749896248363291_3332301181769744384_n.jpgmoved to Virginia, and started their family.  Worthington called them home. Their children; Josh, Casey, Quinn and Layne all graduated from Thomas Worthington High School.  Thus, they became the third generation of Worthington graduates from this family.

In 2007, Julie Keegan ran for election to the Worthington Board of Education.  She began her term in January 2008. As a Board of Education member, Julie served tirelessly.  She knows Worthington Schools inside and out. Julie supported tough decisions to right-size the district budget when enrollment was declining and she was part of passing successful operating levies and bond issues in 2009, 2012 and 2018.  Julie served as President of the Board of Education for multiple terms. She’s spoken at commencement and handed out student diplomas. Julie helped negotiate union contracts, she supported the creation of Worthington Academy and multiple updates to school safety.  She constantly pushed for us to be more efficient and effective in our operations, and she was always confident in sharing her perspective. If you know Julie, you know that she’s honest, upfront, and never afraid. 

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As a community member, Julie volunteered for years at Slate Hill Elementary.  She’s mentored a family who has immigrated to the U.S. and resides in Worthington Schools.  She’s been a booster club parent in soccer, swimming, cross country and volleyball. She’s run the Gary Smith, been in numerous Worthington parades and has been the secret admirer of retired Worthington teacher Mr. Jim VanArsdale.  

I’ve learned a lot from Julie.  Just last week, with only a few days left in her term, and with a thousand outside things going on, Julie showed up for several different evening meetings to represent the board when she didn’t have to. She’s been a tireless supporter of Worthington Schools.  She leaves Worthington Schools a better place than when she arrived.

Julie Keegan has devoted a significant portion of her life to Worthington Schools.  She’ll always be a Worthington Cardinal and as she turns over her seat on the Board of Education to Amy Lloyd, I can say from a grateful Worthington community, thank you for your service!

-Trent Bowers, Superintendent 

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City, Schools & Pools – Part 2

poolWe’re hosting a community meeting this Tuesday evening (December 3rd) at 6:30 P.M. beginning in the auditorium at Thomas Worthington High School and concluding in the cafeteria at Thomas Worthington High School.  The meeting is designed to provide feedback both to the City of Worthington and Worthington Schools on future funding for the Worthington Pools.

Back in October Worthington Schools and the City of Worthington held a joint meeting of the Board of Education and the City Council.  One of the major topics on that October agenda was a presentation by the non-profit group Swiminc that operates both the indoor and outdoor Worthington Pools complex.  The Worthington pools have exceeded their operational life-span and thus Swiminc presented several options for the Board of Education and City Council to consider. At the conclusion of the meeting in October Board of Education President, Jennifer Best, and Council President, Bonnie Michael, asked the schools and city administration to host a meeting for community feedback.  

At our meeting Tuesday evening we plan to begin in the auditorium at TWHS because it is the best presentation space for both a screen and microphones.  Swiminc will provide an overview of the pool complex, it’s current assessment of the facilities and their plans for the future. Worthington City Manager, Matt Greeson, will provide the City’s perspective of the pools complex and I will provide the perspective of Worthington Schools.  We will then ask everyone in attendance to move from the auditorium to the cafeteria where participants can discuss their personal perspective with other meeting participants and we will capture everyone’s thoughts on paper so that the Board of Education and City of Worthington has the thoughts of those who chose to come to the meeting.  In addition, we’ll post all of those thoughts for the community to review on our Worthington Schools website.

Following the meeting in October I wrote the following blog post that attempted to explain the perspective of the school district.  In addition we commissioned Fallon Research to conduct a Pool Facilities Community Survey.  Paul Fallon presented the results of that survey to the Worthington Board of Education on November 25th.  

In the next few months the Worthington Board of Education and the City Council from the City of Worthington will need to decide on a course of action.  There’s no question that aquatics are important in this community. The current pools complex has served the community well for the past 40-50 years. Together we’ll need to decide what aquatics will look like and how we’ll fund aquatics for the next 40-50 years.  We’d love to see you Tuesday so you can provide your feedback.

-Trent Bowers, Superintendent

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