BW Intermediate opens in former Baughman MS building
By LENNY C. LEPOLA
News Assistant Managing Editor
Big Walnut Intermediate School (BWIS), opening this year to serve district fifth and sixth grade students at the former Baughman Street middle school building, has had a number or reincarnations. It served as Big Walnut High School from the early 1950’s until 1991 when the current high school opened. From 1991 through 2011, Big Walnut Middle School was housed in the building.
After the new middle school opened in August 2011, the building sat idle. But the district’s goal was always to open an intermediate school serving grades five and six to relieve swelling student populations in the elementary buildings and the new middle school, allowing room for future growth.
Steve Butler will be the Big Walnut Intermediate School principal. Butler first came to Big Walnut during the 1974–75 school year, serving at the then Big Walnut Eighth Grade Building at the old Harlem School in Center Village. He left the district and came back in January of 1984 when there was a grade seven/eight intermediate school at the Harrison Street building; and in 1991 Butler served in the district’s traditional sixth, seventh and eighth grade middle school.
But say the name Steve Butler today and most folks think of Hylen Souders Elementary School, where Butler sat in the principal’s chair from 1996 until 2009. After retiring from Souders, Butler served for three years as the school district’s gifted coordinator.
“Throughout the summer, district and building personnel have worked to get the building ready for its new role, with cleaning, painting, new technology and a staff ready to share a new adventure beginning on the opening day of school on Wednesday, August 22,” Butler said. “Among our goals this year will be striving to provide the best educational opportunities possible as we help our students through the beginning of adolescence.”
Anyone who has experienced Steve Butler as a principal knows that he expects students to exhibit good manners — being polite, respectful and thoughtful.
“Big Walnut Intermediate School students will be expected to respect themselves, each other and the adults responsible for their education,” Butler said. “By the same token, the staff will set an example for the students to follow.”
Butler said courses in both fifth and sixth grades would include daily classes in language arts, math, science and social studies, as well as a study center. There will be an ABCD schedule of art, music, physical education and a technology/library component.
“The sixth grade students will either be on the 6 Red or 6 Gold team,” Butler said. “Each team will have four teachers for core courses and specialists for the related arts areas. Fifth grade students will be on two teacher teams, also with specialists for the related arts areas.”
Instrumental music will be offered to fifth and sixth grade students, Butler said. Band will be offered two or three days per week during lunch recess. Registration for band will take place after school gets started; registration details will be sent home with students. High School Band Director Craig Porter will be the instructor.
“As parents and students select back-to-school clothing for the 2012–13 school year, they need to keep the school dress code in mind,” Butler said. “The practice of the elementary schools will be closely followed, and appropriate modesty will be stressed — no spaghetti straps, no tank tops, undergarments must be covered, shorts must extend at least halfway down the thigh – and for safety, no flip-flops.”
Butler said parents with questions about the dress code could call the intermediate school office for further information at 740–965-7800.
“The five/six building will allow more time for children to grow up and mature before being thrust into an adolescent world,” Butler said. “Our school activities will emphasize age appropriate events; and the staff is excited for this chance to focus on the fifth and sixth grade age group to provide educational and extra opportunities for growth.”
An Open House for students and parents will be held from 4 p.m. until 5:15 p.m. on Monday, August 20. The Open House will provide an opportunity to tour the building and to meet BWIS teachers, secretaries, educational aides and other staff.
Beginning Monday, September 10, BWIS will offer a free “Grab ’n Go” breakfast program to all students.
Each student will be assigned a locker through his or her homeroom teacher. The lockers have built-in combinations. It may be helpful for students to practice with a combination lock prior to the beginning of school. Teachers will be very understanding of the difficulty students have with operating combination locks the first few days, and they will be available to help students as necessary.
Class lists will be posted at 4 p.m. on Thursday, August 16. They will be displayed on the windows of the school entry that is closest to the flagpole. Lists will show students the name of their homeroom teacher and their homeroom number. On the first day of school students will report to that room for homeroom and to receive the rest of their schedule.
Students will be taking art, music, physical education and library/technology on an ABCD schedule as they have in the past at each of the district elementary schools. Students will not be changing into gym clothes for physical education other than wearing gym shoes on their physical education days to participate.
School Age Child Care, SACC, will be offered at BWIS from 7 a.m. until school begins at 9:10, and from the end of the school day at 4 p.m. until 6 p.m. Direct questions about the SACC program to Childcare Unlimited, the program providers, at 614–361-6990.
Parents should take the opportunity to use the Big Walnut School District web site at < bigwalnut.k12.oh.us > for information including upcoming school events, school supply lists and other information.
The Big Walnut Intermediate School faculty and staff at BWIS have been teaching and working at each of the district’s schools. Big Walnut Intermediate School for the 2011-12 school year will include:
• Office Staff:
Steve Butler, Principal; Ric Cavicchia, Counselor; Kathie Bowman, secretary; and Pam Ott, secretary
Elaine Blakley, 5th grade intervention specialist; Karen Bodker, 5th grade math and science; Savannah Brown, 6th grade math; Rhonda Corven, 5th grade math and social studies; Jason Crawford, 6th grade science; Mike Denton, 6th grade physical education; Chris Eddy, 6th grade intervention specialist; Chris Epstein, 5th grade art; Joe Evener, 5th and 6th grade reading tutor; Rob Firchau, 5th grade language arts and social studies; Laurel Fitch, 6th grade social studies; Barb George, 6th social studies; Doug Germann, 5th grade REACH, math; Katie Graven, 5th grade language arts and social studies; Justin Heck, 5th grade music; Scottie Hefner, 5th grade physical education; Rina Hoge, 5th grade language arts and social studies; Susan Likens, 6th grade intervention specialist; Heather McCoy, 6th grade language arts; Susan Missman, 5th grade intervention specialist; Craig Porter, 5th and 6th grade band; Barb Porter, 6th grade art; Amy Read, 5th grade music; Jessica Shelton, 5th and 6th grade intervention specialist; Paula Sieradzki, 5th grade language arts and social studies; Ann Spence, 6th grade language arts; Mike Stone, 5th grade math and science; Scott VonAlmen, 6th grade math; Mike Wion, 6th grade science; Casey Wright, 5th grade math and science
• Educational Aides: Rene DeMint; Marrianne Hines; Kriste Martin; Christy Zvansky
• Food Service: Alice Huffer; Cathy Black; Margaret Harlor
• Custodian: Teresa White
Big Walnut Intermediate School
Steve Butler, Principal
105 Baughman Street
Sunbury, OH 43074
Hours: 9:10 a.m. to 4 p.m.