February 10, 2016
Welcome to Mason City Schools' e-Newsletter that highlights happenings in   Logo the Mason City School District.

For information, email Tracey Carson at carsont@masonohioschools.com.
Quality Profile: Focus on School Safety


Watch
Soroya Smith , Mason Early Childhood Center kindergarten teacher, present the third video in the district's Quality Profile Series - Focus on School Safety .

In September, Mason City Schools released its third Quality Profile . The Quality Profile helps characterize the overall educational value of public education beyond standardized testing. It goes beyond the State Report Card, which while somewhat informative, offers just one snapshot of the complex and important work that is happening in our classrooms each day.   This year's report highlights six key areas: Academics, Finances, Innovation, Learning Environments, Global Awareness and the Whole Child.

Mason Middle School Students Explore World, Virtually
Google  


On January 28, Mason Middle School seventh and eighth graders explored the world - and beyond! - without leaving their school's Media Center.

Students in Ryan Bunch, Sallie Carney, Lisa Fish, Marty Fish, Hayley Kennedy, Kristyn Keriazes, Renee McKinney McCord, Megan Overbey, Drew Renner, Jay Reutter, Lauren Richardson, Melody Riggs , and Rita Shriver-Schehr's classes traveled the globe by beaming three-dimensional, 360-degree panoramic images from their teachers' tablets to their own set of Google Cardboard cellphone powered virtual reality glasses.

MMS students oohed and aahed as they scuba dived in the Galapagos Islands, explored the ancient ruins of Macchu Pichu, visited literary London and historic Philadelphia, artistically examined US National Parks and the Seven Wonders of the World, toured Mexico and the moon, and studied biomes.

Most importantly, the experience provided a window into what the future looks like.

MCS Orchestra Founder Named OSTA Teacher of the Year

Mason High School Orchestra Director Stephanie Jones had a big surprise waiting for her at the Ohio Music Education Association 2016 state convention.

The founder of Mason City Schools orchestra program was named the 2015-16 Public School Teacher of the Year by the Ohio String Teachers Association during the convention held in Cincinnati on January 28.

Jones was nominated by her peers for being a role model in the string teaching profession, and going above and beyond the job description to make a difference in the lives of students.

Check out "3 Questions with Stephanie Jones" that was featured in the most recent CenterPoint magazine.
Focus on Local Control: Mason Schools Advocacy

The Mason City School District is a leader in the Greater Cincinnati School Advocacy Network. We believe that educational decision-making is best done by the people 
closest to students: our teachers, principals, parents
and locally elected school boards.  Consequently, we are advocating for reduced state testing, local control, and stable funding.

Here are some reforms that we believe are needed to improve state accountability measures:
  • Gather input from local school districts and their stakeholders before Ohio creates its Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) guidelines.
  • Reduce state testing to federal requirements.
  • Use ACT for high school graduation test, and eliminate end-of-course exams.
     
  • Make retention decisions at the local level.
  • Eliminate "opt outs" from counting in school/district rating systems.
Here is a reform that we believe is needed to support stable funding for public schools:
  • Stop transferring local tax dollars to charter schools.
Read the  rationale behind the reforms needed to bring back local control. 

Take Action
To add your voice to this important conversation, please contact Rep. Paul Zeltwanger, 67th District: district67@ohr.state.oh.us , Senator Shannon Jones at SDO7@senate.state.oh.us , State Board of Education President Tom Gunlock at Tom.Gunlock@education.ohio.gov and District 4 State Board of Education Representative Pat Bruns at Pat.Bruns@education.ohio.gov .
Two MHS Creative Artists' Talent Recognized by Overture Awards; Named Finalists


Two MHS students were named finalists at the Overture
Awards Scholarship Semi-Finals Competition on January 29 and 30 at the Aronoff Center for the Arts . These talented MHS students include  Jocelyn Kang (Instrumental) and Jessica Sommerville (Creative Writing).

Six other MHS students competed in the Semi-Finals competition along with both Kang and Sommerville, including Noah Bradford (Visual Art), Brandon Cole (Theater), Sanjana Datla (Dance), Kedi Hu (Visual Art), Danielle Morey (Vocal), and Lauren Zell (Creative Writing).

This competition ranges beyond the visual arts, including Creative Writing, Dance, Instrumental and Vocal Music, and Theatre. The Overtures entries for the entire high school were coordinated by MHS visual arts teacher Tina Roberts .

Read more about the Overture Awards
MSF Reading Challenges Raise Nearly $85K to Take Kids "Above & Beyond!"

groovy dance party at the Mason Early Childhood Center, a 70s-themed Lip Synch competition at Western Row Elementary, and a wacky dodgeball tournament at Mason Intermediate rewarded readers in grades PK-6 after they shattered their reading goals as part of the Mason Schools Foundation's annual Reading Challenge.

MECC students read 30,179 books, Western Row students read 269,172 minutes, and MI students read 535,628 minutes. Families raised nearly $85,000 which will be used to take Mason students "above and beyond!"

"We saw Darth Vadar and Cupid play dodge ball at MI, Sonny and Cher sing at WR and teachers prove they could dance at MECC! Our generous community funded an outdoor classroom at MECC, technology at Western Row and MI and other innovative programs that will receive grants later this year. We love our schools!" said Reading Challenge Chair , Brenda Hefferan .
Mason School Board Renews Superintendent's & Treasurer's Contracts
 

The Mason City Schools Board of Education unanimously approved new contracts for Superintendent Gail Kist-Kline and Treasurer Ronda Johnson at its January 26 meeting - ensuring that both women will continue to lead the district through the 2019-2020 school year.

"The Board appreciates Dr. Kist-Kline and Mrs. Johnson's steady leadership," said Courtney Allen , board president. "We are particularly proud of their efforts to advocate for more local control as they lead the charge for less state testing, and stable funding."

Under the new contracts, there are no changes to either leader's compensation structure. Kist-Kline was hired in July 2011. Her current contract runs through July 31, 2020. Johnson was hired in August 2014. Her current contract runs through July 31, 2020.

Read more about the contracts.

MHS Lip Dub Viral Video Raises $19,600 for LLS, Spreads Comet Pride
 


The Mason High School National Honor Society kicked off this year's Pasta for Pennies Campaign in epic fashion. A
school-wide lip dub featuring the entire student body went viral - with 100,685 views. So far, the campaign has raised $19,600 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. TV stations from all over the country ran the Fox 19 Story , and Comet alum and friends have shared and tweeted their Comet Pride.

Consider donating to the campaign to fund therapies and treatments that help save the lives of blood cancer patients today.

Check out the MHS Lip Dub.
High Fives to... 

...the 38 Comets who committed to playing at the college level this week as part of #NationalSigningDay!  They might wear new colors next year, but they will always have a place in their hearts for the Green & White! 
   




... 
MCS families who shared their Snow Day adventures with us. We are particularly impressed with this creative Snow Day Bingo that the Kosina kids took on!





... 
MHS Comp Cheer and Dance Team, who rooted for each other and both teams are now headed to State!#GrowingGreatnessTogether
 




... our incredibly talented Taste of Mason performers, wonderful local food vendors, hard-working student volunteers and Mason City Schools Diversity Council who collaborated to create an event that celebrates our community's rich diversity! Check out the MCS Facebook Photo Gallery .


 

2,642 MHS Students Named to 1st Semester Honor Roll
  
Mason High School is pleased to announce its 2015-2016 first semester honor roll. 1,375 students earned highest honors, 813 students earned high honors, and 454 students earned honors.
MMS February Students of the Month

Mason Middle School is proud to announce the February Students of the Month.
They are: Carson Block, Kelly Bangs, Alanna Carter, Claudia Diaz, Kathryn Gross, Mari Hall, Margaret Hojnacki, Shravya Kamaraju, Sarah Oberto Monasterios, Tyler Ringwald, Chase Schubert, Natalie Schwartzkopf, Ann Vettikkal, Francesca Wehr, and Abigail Zimmerman.

About Mason Middle School Students of the Month
Students of the Month are selected for showing good character. This month's character spotlight was Responsibility. Students celebrate their accomplishment with their teachers, principals and parents during a breakfast in their honor that is sponsored by the Mason Kiwanis Club.



Start with Hello

M ason High School and Mason Middle School student leaders are working together to make sure their classmates understand a simple message: It doesn't take much to change someone's life - it can start by simply saying 'Hello."

The national Start with Hello campaign  "teaches students grades K-12 the skills they need to reach out to and include those who may be dealing with chronic social isolation and create a culture of inclusion and connectedness within their classrooms, schools and community."
Welcome to
Mason City Schools
Click here to watch the video!
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Our Mission
"To deliver excellence every day for all students by ensuring high impact learning, engaging parents and the community, providing a safe nurturing environment, and maximizing cost effectiveness"