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June 9 Yellow Springs School Board— School leaders travel to High Tech High

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While school may be out for students, teachers and administrators are hard at work preparing for a successful 2016–2017 school year. In recent weeks district personnel visited High Tech High in San Diego, the school’s safety plan was updated and the district sifted through applications of candidates vying for the positions left open by outgoing teachers and staff.

The first item on the June 9 school board agenda was a presentation by Yellow Springs School District athletic director Nate Baker, who highlighted some of the athletic department’s recent successes and plans, including high-level tournament play and the completion of the gym renovation project.

Going forward, Baker said he wants to focus on a greater social media presence and pursuing possible sponsorships. The department is currently searching for sponsors for its new soccer scoreboard, he said, and is looking to host more tournaments.

Similar athletic department updates are planned for every sports season.

In other school board business:

• Basora, advancement director Dawn Boyer, and three veteran and two new teachers took a trip to High Tech High in San Diego to look at their facilities and investigate how some of their practices can be implemented in Yellow Springs schools.

The facilities aspect was of particular interest, said Basora in a subsequent interview, as it’s not only aesthetically pleasing but conducive to collaborative activities. High Tech High features classrooms with garage door-like doors that open to shared space, classrooms connected by movable walls, shared office spaces and many open common areas around the school for kids to work in, he said.

The Yellow Springs contingent also gained some insight into High Tech High’s rigorous hiring process, and Basora expressed interest in integrating some of these practices into the district’s own process. Also explored was the idea of one-day internships, in which teachers visit area businesses, learn about what they do and develop relationships that could be used for projects with students.

The trip was paid for by the Yellow Springs Public School Fund.

•  Nine district staff members have accepted positions outside of the district. The outgoing staff includes a middle school history teacher, an intervention specialist, and one of the district’s nurses. The district is currently interviewing candidates for a number of the positions.

“With change comes opportunity and I am excited to hire the right people to work with our students and families,” said Mills Lawn principal Matt Housh, whose school is losing at least four staff members. “I am encouraged by the applicant pool thus far and know that we will find the right fit for all of our positions.”

• The school’s safety plan was reworked in accordance with recently-changed Ohio laws.

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