Middletown schools to go Hollywood for first district-wide open house

Middletown Schools will take an unusual Hollywood approach to an upcoming, district-wide open house event that officials hope will raise excitement for its reforms.

City school officials this week posted a teaser movie trailer on YouTube to hype the Jan. 31 event they hope will fill the Middletown High School's sports arena with more than 2,160 plus standing room only if they get enough RSVPs.

Dubbed the “Middie XL,” the open house will feature the premiere of a locally made short movie – starring a Middletown senior girl – that showcases the changes going on to improve the previously low-performing school system.

“We decided to hold Middie XL (Excellency Live) as a way to open our doors to our community and truly showcase our district,” said Middletown Schools spokesperson Elizabeth Beadle.

“We can write a 25-page Quality Profile document, but not many people will read it. So why not invite the community into our schools to see, hear, and experience the Middie Modernization Movement?” she said of a phrase which Middletown Schools Superintendent Marlon Styles Jr. coined shortly after taking the job in 2017.

“There is life here in Middletown Schools and we’re excited to show our community what our students experience every day,” Beadle said.

The event is open to the public but free tickets that double as RSVPS, which are available on the district's website, are required so district officials can better plan for the crowd in the year-old Wade E. Miller sports arena and the adjacent Middletown Middle School, which opened in September.

Middletown City Manager Doug Adkins will be among the speakers addressing the crowd in the arena.

“We will premiere the video at 6:45 p.m. and then release the community into the middle school and high school,” Beadle said.

“Each school will show off two to three innovative ways they help students. For example, Wildwood Elementary will have their Robotics Club at the event; the Amanda Elementary STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) Room will be dismantled and reassembled in the high school and the music department will have on-going concerts in the high school auditorium,” among the variety of student-led exhibits, she said.

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