Newly hired Middletown teachers get tour of city before classes start: What they learned

Credit: Journal News

Caption

Credit: Journal News

Dozens of newly hired teachers, who’ll be stepping to the front of Middletown classes for the first time later this month, first stepped onto a school bus for rare tour of the new city where they’ll be working.

It’s part of an unusual program for new teachers hired by Middletown Schools and it works say rookie teachers and district officials.

“I’ve never seen Middletown before,” said Jim Weir, who will soon be starting as an art teacher at Wildwood Elementary in the 6,300-student city schools.

Weir, who lives in Washington Twp. near Dayton, was particularly impressed with the Sorg Mansion and the 20th Century architecture of some older downtown Middletown buildings.

The school district’s recent bus tours, which includes frequent stops for teachers to walk about, also covers each of the feeder neighborhoods for its 10 schools.

Weir took a pause from the group’s tour of the Middletown Regional Airport, where the classroom instructors learned about the Butler Tech Aviation Exploration Program for area high school students.

ExploreButler Tech opens latest new campus at Middletown airport

“This (tour) will really help me to better understand the city and my students,” said Weir.

The tour, which saw 80 teacher participants, is just the latest of series of regional activities that will kick into high gear this week through mid-to-late August when area public and private school students begin returning to classes for 2021-2022 school year.

For local schools, the coming school year will be the second consecutive one conducted while in the shadow of the coronavirus pandemic.

Some school districts, such as Middletown and Lakota, are adjusting to the continued presence of Covid-19 by holding staggered class start days to better ease students back into in-person classes.

ExploreMiddletown Schools preview: Many COVID precautions remain in place, but some optional

And thousands of students, whose families decided to continue virtual, at-home learning rather than live classes, will also begin their instructional year soon.

Officials from area private schools and public school systems urge school families to check their school and district’s websites for information on details of school openings.

The Middletown teacher tours are an important part of building a greater connection between new instructors and students, said district officials.

“The bus tours for our new Middie staff members are such a fun way for them to get to know our community and understand the neighborhoods we serve,” said Elizabeth Beadle, spokeswoman for the city schools.

“There is so much history in Middletown that has contributed to who we are today. Our tours show off our rich diversity, the exciting economic development plans, and hopefully encourage residency in our great city,” she said.

First day for schools

Badin: Thursday, Aug. 19.

Butler Tech: Tuesday, Aug. 10.

Edgewood: Tuesday, Aug. 17.

Fairfield: Tuesday, Aug. 17.

Fenwick: Wednesday, Aug. 18.

Hamilton: Monday, Aug. 16: PK-12 students with last names beginning with A-K. Wednesday, Aug. 18: PK-12 students with last names beginning with L-Z.

Lakota: Wednesday, Aug. 18: Students in grades 1-2. Thursday, Aug. 19: Kindergarten phase-in days begin.

Madison: Tuesday, Aug. 17: Middle and high school students with last names beginning with A-M. Wednesday, Aug. 18: Middle and high school students with last names beginning with N-Z. Monday, August 23: Pre-K and grades 1-5 students; Kindergarten students with last names beginning with A-L. Tuesday, August 24: Kindergarten students with last names beginning with M-Z.

Middletown: Wednesday, Aug. 11.

Monroe: Thursday, Aug. 19.

New Miami: N/A

Ross: Wednesday, Aug. 18.

Talawanda: Wednesday, Aug. 18: Students in grades 2-12. Monday, Aug. 23: First day for students in grades K-1.