Niles - Spring/Summer Dispatch

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Dragon Dispatch


Niles City School District


SWEET SUMMERTIME! Another summer is in full swing, and the Board of Education and I would like to thank our community for your support, trust and flexibility - it all led us to a successful 2021-22 academic year! For the first time in two school years, our students were able to fully access the opportunities that are essential to their learning. Seeing our students engaged in collaborative learning, small group instruction, participating in spelling bees and Prep Bowl, showcasing


art displays, playing sports and performing concerts and musicals in front of family and friends clearly confirmed the important role our school district plays in the betterment of our community and the intellectual and social development of our students. Thank you, again, for your support. We are already busy preparing for the 2022-2023 school year. Our maintenance and custodial staff members are deep cleaning our schools; and annual school bus maintenance and inspections are taking place. Teaching and support positions are being filled in a responsible manner to meet the most pressing needs of our students and staff. The District is preparing to start the school year off in a way that aligns with what took place before the pandemic. I am continually grateful and humbled to lead this dynamic school district. Whether you are a student, a family member, or part of our educational team, you inspire me every day. Please do not hesitate to reach out to our District Office if you have any questions or need anything. I wish you a wonderful summer.

Ann Marie Thigpen

Ann Marie Thigpen, Superintendent

McKinley Alma Mater McKinley Alma Mater, Guiding star above, Forever in our gratitude We offer thee our love. In Joys and in all sorrows, We shall e'er be true, While in our hearts we ever love thy flag of Red and Blue! McKinley Alma Mater, Tender, brave and true, So proudly in eternal skies Now gleam thy Red and Blue, Then proudly shall thy mantle, O'er thy children fly, While in our hearts we ever praise Thy name McKinley High!


Leslie A. Tabor JAN. 6, 1963 - JUNE 17, 2022

Remembering Les

The Niles City School District is heartbroken over the recent, unexpected passing of Niles Primary School Principal, Les Tabor. Les embodied the Niles Dragon spirit, and truly loved being the Principal for our youngest Dragons. We will miss his guidance and leadership, but most of all, we will miss him. Our thoughts are with the Tabor family; may Les rest in peace.

Obituary - Joseph Rossi Funeral Home Leslie A. Tabor, 59, of Niles, passed away on Friday June 17, 2022, at Mercy Health St. Joseph's Warren Hospital. He was born January 6, 1963, in Warren, the son of Louie and Bessie Jane Williams Tabor Sr. Les was a 1981 graduate of Niles McKinley High School. He was employed at National Gypsum for 15 years and U.S. Bank for 5 years. He was a 2008 graduate of Youngstown State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Education and a Master of Arts in Administration and his Principal's License in 2010. He was employed for Niles City Schools for 13 years having served as a Special Education teacher, then Dean of Students, and most recently he was the Principal at Niles Primary School. He was a member of Niles Frontliners, The R.H.E.O.T.N.D.L. (Dart Club) with his friends, a P.A.N.D.A. Coordinator for Niles Middle School, and a basketball coach with Niles City Schools. Les was an avid football fan, especially dedicated to his favorite teams: the Niles Red Dragons, the Ohio State Buckeyes, and the Pittsburgh Steelers. In his free time, Les could often be found fishing, entertaining friends, or spending time with his family.

On the last day of school, second graders received a special send-off where they paraded through the halls as other students cheered and clapped. As students rounded the last corner, Mr. Tabor was there to give each one a fist bump, and the occasional hug, as they walked out the NPS doors for the final time.


CONGRATULATIONS CLASS OF 2022! The Niles City School District was proud to graduate 181 students from the Niles McKinley High School Class of 2022 on Sunday, May 22! Congratulations Dragons, we wish you the very best as you start this new chapter in life! Class Notes Scholarship money awarded: $1,734,404.00 Class Colors: Lavender & Teal | Class Flower: Daisy Class Motto: “I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling 22.” Class Song: "History" by One Direction Top 10% Nicolas Arnaut, Katherine Buttar, Dustin Chapline, Allison Cline, Andrew Huffman, Brad Isabella, Hannah Johnston, Maia Kover, Logan Lewis, Hannah Loveless, Talia Morgan, Curtis Nelson, Alayna Orsine, Arianna Pounds, Kasidie Sheely, Halle Snider, Haylie Srbinovich, Lacey Sudano, Marissa Sullivan, Anthony Vigorito Honors Diploma Recipients Cameron Cline, Ryssa Coudriet, Chazz Davis, Alissa Erwin, Sage Fall, Anthony Fisher, Michael Guarnieri, Jr., Tyler Haggerty, Ryan Hillier, James Howell, Brooke Isabella, Jordan Knight, James Kover, Jason Libert, Bryanna Losey, Samara Medley, Alexis Palumbo, Dominic Ragozzino, Samuel Reigle, Rylie Sosnowski, Emma Uhlar, Tiffany Wagaman, David Wilson, Jr.

Qualified students are given the opportunity to enroll in full or part-time college courses for either high school and/or college credit. During the 20212022 school year, 91 students in grades 10-12 completed 279 college courses, earning a total of 877 semester hours. At a state average of $433/semester hour, these CCP courses will save Niles families approximately $379,741 in future college savings.

TOP OF THE CLASS Valedictorians: Brad Isabella Katherine Buttar Kasidie Sheely Allison Cline Salutatorian: Scott Johnson

SENIOR SIGNING DAY A first for Niles McKinley High School - a Senior Signing Day! The Class of 2022 was invited to sign their commitment to their current postsecondary plan during a special ceremony. Students were called down by various categories, including college/university, trade, or cosmetology school of attendance, military enlistment, or full time employment. As their choice was called, those students came to the table, signed their certificate of commitment, and had their picture taken as classmates cheered on. This was something students asked counselors if they could do this year to celebrate the graduating class. Congratulations and best wishes on your future plans!


IMPORTANT DATES Aug. 6: Dragon Day, 12:00 - 2:00 p.m. Bo Rein Stadium Aug. 24: TENTATIVE - Freshman Orientation, 11:00 a.m. & 6:00 p.m. (Attend only one session) Aug. 29: First Day of School *Dates / times / events subject to change; check our website for changes and updates!

Prior to the end of the school year, Freshmen had an opportunity to visit with16 employers in our Career Day event. Represented career fields included: police / fire, military, masonry / concrete, manufacturing, electrician, mortician, plumbing, graphic design, restaurant, real estate, human resources, attorney, aesthetician, barber, nursing, dentist / dental assistant.

The event is an excellent opportunity for students to learn more about various careers available to them and to gain a better understanding of the educational path they need to follow in order to be successful in that area. Thank you to Niles Mayor, and Niles City School District alumni, Steve Mientkiewicz, who spoke to the Freshman class at the start of the event.

NILES MIDDLE SCHOOL DRAGON TALES The 6th Grade Prep Bowl team finished 3rd at the county tournament this year with a record of 4-2! Coached by Mrs. Clark, team members included: Kasen Helmick, Chelsey McCullough, Stacy McCullough, Alinah Salamah, David Young, Addie Sprague, & Donovan Tabor.

8TH GRADE HONORS Top of the Class: *All A's in grades 6-8

Caroline Cormell Sierra Ryan Robert Ward Noah Young Honors Students

Three 8th graders participated in the OMEA District V Junior High Solo & Ensemble Contest! Alex Lipp & Noah Young, both earned Superior (1) ratings on the snare drums, & Jonathan Bell earned an Excellent (2) rating performing a tuba solo.

*Made Honor Roll 9 times, or more, in grades 6-8

Logan Bird Andrew Blose Caroline Cormell Faith Darrow Alysse D’Errico George Gillie Benjamin Gress

7th graders Jasper Ries, Amia Tichenor, Addison Campbell, Jazlynn Poling, Karli Cox, Sophia Marotti, Kherington Stanford, Addison Martin, & Airiana Jones, and 8th graders Natallia Crank, Alaina Haroulakis, & Keira Preusser, participated in the YSU English Festival. Keira earned an Honorable Mention for her Impromptu Writing piece.

William Gress Samantha Hahn Alaina Haroulakis Olivia Hendricks Brennen Hodge Jobee Kovacich Camryn Liakaris Emily Marino Emma Merlo Anthony Mymo Keira Preusser

8th grader Alysse D’Errico received an honorary badge for her article titled, "Sarah's Way," from School Newspapers Online (SNO). The piece is a reflection on losing her mother to cancer & is a testament to her courage & strength as a writer. Click this link to read her article.

Cali Rodgers Sierra Ryan Lukas Signor Andrew Strader Robert Ward Caja Wolf Noah Young

8TH GRADE AWARDS NMS recognized 52 eighth grade student-athletes on Thursday, May 26th for their academic achievements in YSU English Festival, OMEA Honors Band, OMEA Solo and Ensemble Competition, NMS Spelling Bee, Prep Bowl, Scholastic Art, and the TCTC Innovators Academy. Athletically, students were recognized for their participation in Cheer, Volleyball, Football, Cross Country, Basketball, and Track. Congratulations!


IMPORTANT DATES Aug. 17: 6th Grade Orientation & Schedule Pick Up (Last name A-L), 9-10:30 a.m.; Parent Orientation 10:45 a.m. Aug. 18: 6th Grade Orientation & Schedule Pick Up (Last name M-Z), 9-10:30 a.m.; Parent Orientation 10:45 a.m. Aug. 22: NEW Student Orientation (7th & 8th grades only), 9:00 a.m. Aug. 22-25: 7th/8th Grade Schedule Pick Up 8-11:30 a.m. & 1-2:30 p.m. Aug. 29: First Day of School *Dates / times / events subject to change; check our website for changes and updates!

A special to the school year for our 8th grade students! In addition to the awards ceremony, our 8th grade Honors students were also treated to a special end-of-the-year breakfast in the cafeteria. Nutrition Group provided an excellent spread while students enjoyed visiting and eating with their peers and NMS Staff. Congratulations on all of your hard work!

At the end of the day, all 8th graders and our retiring teachers, Mrs. Freeze and Mr. Rogge, were given a special send off. Sixth and seventh grade students, along with all staff members, lined the entrance and flag pole outside the building to cheer them all on as they left the building for the final time! Good luck 8th graders and best wishes to our retirees!

intermediate school SUMMER LEARNING Learning never stops! We have welcomed 44 students in grades 3-5 to our summer school program! Students are working on their academic and social-emotional learning skills!

A'S PAYS! There are nine Niles Intermediate School students who are riding around in style this summer thanks to their hard work during the second semester of the 2021-2022 school year! Beginning in January, students at school started participating in the A's Pays rewards program. Any, and every time, a student received an A grade on an assignment or a test from January May, their teacher gave them a special ticket. Students would then write their name on the back of the ticket and put it in their respective grade-level box for a chance to win a brand new bike! On Monday, May 23, Mr. Staph and Mr. Fasline drew tickets, picking one boy and one girl from each grade to win a bike and helmet! After grade-level winners were chosen, all remaining tickets were combined and three more winners were chosen! Congratulations to our winners: Vayda Battaglia, Vincent Dennis, Joscelyn Jackson, Mason Nurkiewicz, Arabella Roth, Camden Swistok, Sebastion Tomko, Joe Toth, & Hayden Winn!

2ND GRADERS VISIT Our incoming 3rd graders are breathing a little sigh of relief this summer, feeling much better about their transition to NIS after visiting classrooms. Students were able to meet the teachers, tour the school, and interview students and staff to find out what 3rd grade is all about. We can't wait to see you again in August!

MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS The month of May was Mental Health Awareness Month and several students took time to help others notice. 5th graders Gianna McKinley, Aliyah Harris, & Madison Llewelyn made posters in support of Mental Health Awareness. The girls say they wanted students to know they're not alone and it's ok to reach out if they need help.


IMPORTANT DATES Aug. 24: 3rd Grade Orientation, 4:00-4:30 p.m. Aug. 29: First Day of School Sept. 1: Meet the Teacher Night (4th & 5th grade, & Specials teachers), 5:15 - 6:45 p.m. *Dates / times / events subject to change; check our website for changes and updates!

Niles Intermediate students were pleased to participate in the Great American Cleanup event for Earth Day this year. Some of our 4th graders and student council members worked with high school students to pick up trash around campus in April. The Geauga-Trumbull Solid Waste Management provided cleanup supplies and free t-shirts for those who participated.

niles primary school MENTAL HEALTH

HELLO SUMMER! What. A. Finish! Boy did we have a great time celebrating the end of a successful school year at NPS! The final weeks were filled with numerous activities, including Beach Day, and celebrations to reward students' hard work! We were especially excited to celebrate our second graders, who will be leaving us for the Intermediate School next year. Students received personal and academic honors during an awards assembly that we were so happy to welcome parents to. They also got a building-wide send off on the last day. Students and staff lined the halls cheering as they walked through. Mr. Tabor gave each student a fist-bump as they walked out the NPS doors for the final time. Go get 'em Dragons! All of our students had a blast at Field Day, enjoying games, activities, snacks, and a very cool foam party! Thank you to everyone who helped make the end of the year a success for our students!

Our schools have partnered with Cadance Care Network to support mental health growth. Counselors worked with students during the school year and will continue their efforts throughout the summer. Together, we are committed to promoting positive mental health and social skills support for our young citizens.

OCEANS OF LEARNING We are also proud to partner with the McKinley Memorial Library to promote summer reading! We have coordinated our extended, summer learning program to go along with the library’s Oceans of Learning theme. Our hope is that by working together, students will be encouraged, and excited, to read all summer long!

ACADEMIC DATA SOARS The implementation of a new spelling and reading curriculum is paying off, as we've seen our academic data soar in the right direction! Prior to the start of the year, our teachers received training on implementing LETRS (Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling) into their classrooms, and our students have made incredible gains this year because of it. This, along with a focus on phonics and decodable readers, have been tremendous in helping our students grow! Great work Dragons!


IMPORTANT DATES Aug. 10: Preschool Open House, 10:00 a.m. -12:00 p.m. Aug. 10: Final Kindergarten Screenings (by appointment only) Aug. 29: First Day of School (Grades 1 & 2) Aug. 29: Preschool assessments (by appointment only) Aug. 30: First Day for Preschool Aug. 31: KG Stagger Day (Girls only) Sept. 1: KG Stagger Day (Boys only) Sept. 1: NPS Open House, 5:30 p.m. Sept. 2: All KG First Day *Dates / times / events subject to change; check our website for changes and updates!

Our inaugural Niles Primary Family Carnival Night was a HUGE success! We saw nearly 1,000 people come through to enjoy games, food, prizes, a DJ and a book walk (instead of a cake walk), book fair, a visit from therapy dogs, Cadance Care, and the McKinley Memorial library. A magician and balloon artist were also on hand.

Nutrition Group provided an outstanding array of food and snacks and once again, our Home and School Association outdid themselves with the decorations! We raffled off two bicycles and multiple gift cards for gas, groceries, and more! Thank you to everyone who came out - we already can't wait for next year!

Congratulations Niles City Schools 2021-2022 Retirees! Best Wishes! Renee D'Andrea - 4th Grade Teacher Claudia Freeze - NMS Art Teacher Sandy LaMonica - NPS Educational Asst. Anna Lenno - NPS Asst. Cook Linda Lombardo - NMS Special Education Asst. Danny Rogge - NMS Career Tech/STEM

CONTACT US Board Office: 330-989-5095 McKinley High: 330-652-9968 Niles Middle: 330-652-5656 Niles Intermediate: 330-989-5093 Niles Primary: 330-989-5091

Drew Six - 1st Grade Teacher

WHAT'S NEW FOR 2022?! STOPFINDER The district is launching a new, transportation app this Fall that will give parents/guardians real-time updates on bus arrivals, departures, and changes!

MINI DRAGONS PRESCHOOL The Niles City School District is excited to launch the Mini Dragons Preschool Program for the 20222023 school year! This marks the first time the district has launched its own preschool program. Administrators say providing families with this option will better prepare students for success in Kindergarten. The classes will be housed in the Primary school, and Mr. James Taneri will be leaving his position as an NIS third grade teacher to lead our preschool program. We are excited to welcome in the first class of Mini Dragons and look forward to seeing them in the halls this coming school year!

Click here to view the full 2022-2023 District Calendar

PAID LUNCHES COULD RETURN School lunch waivers put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic will expire June 30, 2022. Waivers allowed schools to provide meals to all students, at no cost, during the last two years. Unless waivers are extended by the Federal government, families should prepare for the return of paid meals for the 2022-23 school year. Families who feel they are eligible for free/reduced meals should fill out and submit applications once the school year starts. Applications will be available in all building offices.

TRANSPORTATION DEPARTMENT TO LAUNCH NEW BUS APP! The Niles City School District will be implementing a new app called StopFinder for the 2022-2023 school year. We are hopeful this app will help our parents stay informed about bus scheduling, delays, and stops in a timely manner. StopFinder is designed to keep parents in the loop to avoid misinformation and strengthen confidence in our transportation operation. Those using the app will have real-time information on where your child's bus is and when its arrives at school!


LEARN MORE ABOUT THE STOPFINDER APP VISIT: nts/ WATCH: https://www.mytransfinder.c om/mytf/videos/NFStopfinderAppGeoAlerts.mp4


Know you child’s bus schedule / location Receive push notifications Notice bus substitutions Track multiple buses Know when your children arrive at school / home Two-way communication with transportation office Provide parents and caregivers with route information (multi-lingual)

HOW TO SIGN UP FOR STOPFINDER Parents or guardians who provide their email to the district will be invited to use the app once it is rolled out. The email will have instructions on how to download, set up, and connect the app to your child(ren)'s information. Once the set up process is complete, parents will be able to see all information regarding their student(s)' stop(s).

Parents: to provide, update, or check your email information, please visit your Final Forms account. Click here to update your email in Final Forms

Go Dragons!