Fairborn gearing up for new school year


FAIRBORN — While Fairborn is “a city in motion,” the Fairborn City School District is “on the move,” according to district officials.

“We’re very excited about the upcoming school year,” Superintendent Gene Lolli said. “Great things are happening.”

Lolli highlighted that a number of items are being added and improved across the entire district. A third School Resource Officer has been added to the district. One will be assigned full-time to Fairborn High School, while another will be assigned full-time to Baker Middle School and the third will cover Fairborn Primary School and Fairborn Intermediate School.

The district has also opted to add two mental health counselors and has hired a total of 25 new staff members over the summer months.

“It will be a huge help at the building-level for teachers and students,” District Spokesperson Pam Gayheart said in reference to having new mental health counselors on staff.

Throughout the summer months, all buildings — district-wide — have undergone a number of improvements to its grounds and technologies. Lolli acknowledged that while the district has two new facilities going up in the coming years, the current buildings still need to be up-kept.

“It was a concerted effort over the summer to keep things nice — inside and out,” Lolli said, highlighting members of the district’s technology department including Emily Geisel, Rich Hawley and Mike Morrow for coordinating new camera systems.

The district website has received a face-lift with the help of Eschoolview over the spring months and went live this summer. Gayheart highlighted that it is more user-friendly with a better layout and easier navigation with a more mobile-friendly version for individuals observing the website from their phones.

Some changes have been made to specific buildings.

Fairborn Primary and Fairborn Intermediate Schools

Construction of the new Fairborn Primary School has been taking place over the last several months since the passage of a bond issue in November 2016 to fund the ongoing project that will also include the construction of a new Fairborn Intermediate School. Lolli said walls have gone up and the roof is expected to be constructed through the fall and winter months. Fairborn Primary School will have a new visitor pass system in place and will serve as a pilot before implementing the same system across the entire district. When construction of the new Fairborn Primary School is finished, it will include new state-of-the-art security systems, including cameras.

Upon finishing the new Fairborn Primary School facility by summer 2020, students currently occupying the Fairborn Intermediate School will move into the current Fairborn Primary School building. The current Fairborn Intermediate School facility will be demolished by summer 2020 so that the grounds can be prepped for construction of the new Fairborn Intermediate School.

Construction of the new Fairborn Intermediate School is expected to be finished by 2022.

Elementary art is being added into the curriculum, something Gayheart said has not been present for the last 10 years. The music program is also being expanded, allowing students to attend music classes weekly instead of every-other-week as it stands now.

“Art helps with present skills and enhances what they’re learning in other classes,” Gayheart said.

K-6 literacy coaches are also being added to the district.

“It’s been a huge help to teachers with instruction,” Lolli said, adding that the hope is that it will help improve state report cards.

Baker Middle School

Baker Middle School had its camera systems upgraded for the inside and outside of the building over the summer months. Students in health classes will also have new textbooks.

Baker Middle School students will also experience the addition of a new social-emotional learning component as part of the curriculum to teach them social-emotional skills.

Fairborn High School

Fairborn High School students are currently only offered Spanish as a world language. However, starting in the 2019-2020 school year, students will have the option to take sign language as well. Students were surveyed at the end of the previous school year, Lolli said, and a high percentage of students expressed interest in having sign language as an option. Botany, geology, current events and speech and drama are also being added to the high school curriculum in the 2019-2020 school year. Students will also have new health textbooks.

“The focus has been on creating curriculum opportunities for kids,” Lolli said. “It’s important to have diverse curriculum [so we have] more options and opportunities.”

The camera systems inside and outside Fairborn High School have been upgraded, in addition to its HVAC system and its parking lot was resealed. It is also undergoing upgrades to its football stadium. Some bricks were recently discovered to have been falling out of the grandstands and are in process of being repaired. The area where the repairs are taking place is currently roped-off, restricting access, and bleachers for the visitor section and student section are rentals. However, Lolli said it is still safe to use the football stadium and the district will make use of it for its home football games.

Lolli and Gayheart said Randy Kerns has also been hired to serve as the Fairborn High School football coach. Fairborn was changed over to the Miami Valley League for this school year as well. Gayheart highlighted that the new league is a good thing for the district.

“He’s really building the program and creating a positive culture,” Lolli said.

Former Fairborn High School Principal Amy Gayheart was promoted to the central office as director of classified and educational services. Brian McKnight, who formerly served the National Trail Local School District, was hired to serve as the new principal of Fairborn High School. Steve Anticoli, formerly of the Northridge Local School District, was hired to serve as the new assistant principal.

Fairborn High School will also be implementing a new credit recovery program that will allow students to work and learn on-the-job skills while still being able to graduate on time. District officials described it as an alternate path to graduation. Gayheart said a number of local employers in Fairborn were willing to hire local high school students.

“We need the continued support of our community,” Lolli said to parents. “That’s what makes the district so exciting — we have supportive parents.”

If parents have questions they’d like to address with district administration, they will be present at a booth at the 38th Annual Sweet Corn Festival slated for Saturday, Aug. 17 and Sunday, Aug. 18. School calendars, supply lists, bus route information and more will be available. District Treasurer Kevin Philo and Assistant Treasurer Rick Taylor will be manning the booth 3-5 p.m. Sunday for individuals with questions concerning the finances of the district.

Submitted graphic A rendering of the new Fairborn Primary School, scheduled to welcome students in summer 2020.
https://www.fairborndailyherald.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/50/2019/08/web1_fpsinitialdesign-copy.jpgSubmitted graphic A rendering of the new Fairborn Primary School, scheduled to welcome students in summer 2020.


A rendering of the new Fairborn Intermediate School, scheduled to open in 2022.
https://www.fairborndailyherald.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/50/2019/08/web1_fis2019rendering.jpgA rendering of the new Fairborn Intermediate School, scheduled to open in 2022.

By Whitney Vickers

[email protected]

Contact Whitney Vickers at 937-502-4532.

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