Butler Co. superintendent finds plenty of reasons for optimism, excitement as opening day nears; new kindergarten safety vest program set...

Banner-Republican, Morgantown, July 27, 2016

Butler is ready for back to school
by Melissa Mudd

Back to school is quickly approaching for students in Butler County, and educators are ready to take on the important task. Here is what families need to know for the coming 2016/17 school year.

Butler County Superintendent Scott Howard gave a brief overview on the changes. There are currently 2,216 students and 325 faculty and staff involved with the school system.

“There will not be any sweeping changes across the district for this school year,” Howard mentioned. “Technology and staying up-to-date with our hardware is becoming increasingly difficult for the simple reason that it changes so quickly. It seems like we purchase new computers and literally a couple of months later a new faster and better machine is on the market. It is very important over the next few years that we get into a cycle so that we purchase new student and teacher workstations.

"Our facilities director, Jimmy Arnold does a great job and all of buildings look very good. In the future, the district should strive to build at least four tennis courts and a soccer field at a location on district property.

"I believe our strengths revolve around our stakeholders; our students, parents, staff, and overall community. First we have great students who deserve the best possible education that they can get. We are extremely lucky to have the students that we have. We have parents who do a wonderful job. They are more focused than ever on helping their children through building a strong relationship with the individual schools and district. I personally want to thank all of the parent, grandparents, and guardians for what they do for the kids and the schools. Our faculty and staff is second to none!”

The main focus for this year is to have youth become college and career ready. The end result is to create future leaders who are equipped with the right tools for the workforce.

“As for families, I want everyone in our district to be approachable and want to make sure the district provides open communication with each family,” Howard said. “I want the families to know that they can contact me at any time of the day or night with any concern or question.”

His goals are to work as hard as he possibly can to make sure every student is successful, and the graduation rate for students is 100 percent. He wants to continue to build new relationships and strengthen the ones that are already in place.

He added, “I want all staff to place this item at the top of their to do list. They should strive to make connections with every student and build relationships with all families. I want everyone to have a safe and most memorable year.”

The Leader in Me program will be back for another year. Morgantown Elementary helped to launch the program. North Butler Elementary is next in the initiative. They will start the program in August.

Kindergarteners also will be participating in a new safety platform. Jeff Jennings will be heading up the initial inception.

“The district did purchase some bright neon vests that we are going to give every Kindergarten student to wear,” Howard said. “Students will wear them home and the parents can place them in their child’s backpack to return to school the next day. Principals will send home more information about this when the school year begins.
If you have any questions, please contact Jeff Jennings at the district office.”

In summary, Howard said he is excited about the coming school year. The district is only as successful as the community which supports it.

“I am so blessed to be able to work with all of them,” he mentioned. “They are driven and committed to making Butler County Schools a premier district. The overall community is the best in the state. All of our great businesses go above and beyond to support the district. The caring and family-like attitude is demonstrated all the time in our community.”

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