Big Walnut School News Briefs

Compiled by Gary Budzak -

The recent Government Fair at Big Walnut High School.

Courtesy Photo | BWHS

Big Walnut Local School District

Calamity Days

All BW Schools were closed, Wednesday, February 7, 2018.

BW Schools were on a 2 hour delay Monday, February 5, 2018.

BW Schools were closed, Tuesday, January 16, 2018.

BW Schools had early release Jan. 12, 2018.

BW Schools were closed Monday, January 8, 2018.

BW Schools were on a two-hour delay, Friday, January 5, 2018.

BW Schools were on a two-hour delay, Wednesday, January 3, 2018.

The district assesses windchill predictions in the morning to make a decision on whether or not to close.

Request for Qualifications to Provide Design Services

Big Walnut Local Schools accepted qualifications from design professionals to provide design services for a new high school and new elementary school and other potential improvements at these buildings/sites. Services will begin immediately upon selection.

Big Walnut Local Schools accepted qualifications from design professionals to provide design services for security improvements in vestibules at 5 school buildings and other potential improvements at these buildings/sites. Services will begin immediately upon selection.

Mobile Dentist

The Mobile Dentist is coming to Big Walnut Schools the week of March 5th. The schedule is: BWHS: 3/7 (am); BWMS: 3/5 (am); BWIS: 3/7 (pm).

Delaware County Drug Tip Line

Delaware County is not immune to the opioid/heroin problem that is facing much of our state and nation. Just as it takes a village to raise our children, it takes the efforts of us all to help address this community drug problem. You can help by reporting information to the Delaware County Drug Task Force through the anonymous Drug Tip Line at 740.833.2790 or you can email information to

College Credit Plus Informational Night

Otterbein hosted a College Credit Plus informational (CCP) night this Wednesday, January 24, 2018. The event included Ohio State, Columbus State, Otterbein and other central Ohio schools. In addition, the High School had a BW Educational Options night on Thursday February 1, 2018 to help children prepare for their 2018-19 school year and class schedule.

Upcoming Events

February 15: BWLSD Board of Education Meeting 6:30 p.m.

February 19: NO SCHOOL-Presidents’ Day

February 27: ACT for all Juniors

February 27: Career Fair for all Juniors (after the ACT)

Big Walnut High School

Alumni Hall of Fame

Big Walnut High School was seeking nominations for the 3rd annual BW Alumni Hall of Fame. All nominees must have graduated prior to 2008 to be eligible. Nominees will be evaluated and results will be based on contributions to their career/field, honors received and most significantly contributions to our community.

CCP Information Nights

College Credit Plus (CCP) is a program that allows students in grades 7 through 12 to earn college and high school credit at the same time. Central Ohio Colleges offered collaborative CCP informational nights: Columbus State; Otterbein University; Ohio Wesleyan University; The Ohio State University; Ohio Dominican University.

Educational Options Night was on Feb. 2. This evening was oriented toward current 9-11 grade families. Students visited with High School Staff to talk about courses and programs with Delaware Area Career Center Representatives, Military personnel, and College Credit Representatives from The Ohio State University, Mount Vernon Nazarene University, and Columbus State Community College.

Scheduling Season for 2018-2019

Scheduling for next year is underway. School counselors met with each student one-on-one to discuss their future plans and help them make the best choices for their schedule for next year. If you would like more information about course offerings, please see the school counseling website.

School Counselors: Meghan Vituccio (A-G); Jeanne Collett (H-O and P grades 9-11); Tammi Jordan (P grade 12 and Q-Z); Cindi Strahler, Administrative Assistant 740-965-2243.


The final week to order yearbooks passed. Yearbook staff was looking for senior baby photos to include. Jostens delivered class rings in January.

Big Walnut Spirit Night was at Raising Cane’s in Polaris January 10. Mr. Porter, Mr. Jados and staff were “Guest Star Caniacs” working at the restaurant. A portion of the proceeds were donated to the Big Walnut Music Boosters.

January Eagle Strong Raffle Winners were freshman Mark McNish, sophomore Kassie Bowmar, junior Trevor Ambrose and Senior Claire Oglesbee. These students were randomly picked from the white Eagle Strong cards turned into the main office. Students are given cards for exemplifying one of our core values: excellence, acceptance, goal-driven, leadership or effort.

The High School had a very full building for its final round of parent-teacher conferences and our Educational Options Night.

As always, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your child’s teachers, school counselor or the administration if you have any questions or concerns. Feel free to contact the main office at 740-965-3766 between the hours of 7:15 and 3:15.

JUNIORS: All Juniors to Take ACT and Attend Career Fair

All members of this year’s junior class will be taking the ACT during the school day on Tuesday, February 27. This is due to a requirement by the State of Ohio and the test will be given at no cost to families. Students will report to school at the regular time and then will take a bus to St. John Neumann Catholic Church for testing. This will provide students with the optimal testing environment (no bells or announcement interruptions, less noise in the hallways during class changes, etc.). Students are asked to bring a snack, pack a lunch and bring sharpened pencils. Due to the length of the test, students will not eat lunch during the normal lunch periods. All students will have a opportunity to purchase a lunch or eat their packed lunch when we return to school before attending our first ever BWHS Career Fair. All juniors will have the opportunity to hear four career presentations of their choosing during the afternoon of February 27. If you have any questions about either of these events, please contact the main office or your child’s counselor.

An ACT Prep workshop was offered on February 6. The workshop was given by instructor Dan Morrison. As a reminder, all members of the junior class will be taking the ACT on February 27, during the school day.

SENIORS: Delaware County Foundation Scholarships

Seniors and families, you can see a listing of scholarships our seniors may be eligible for. If you have any questions about any of these opportunities, please contact your school counselor.

JUNIORS: Buckeye Boys and Girls State Summer Opportunity

All juniors are invited to apply for either Buckeye Boys State or Buckeye Girls State this summer. This week-long, state government simulation is held on a college campus each summer and gives students an opportunity to participate in the many facets of government, experience college life and create lasting friendships. Buckeye Girls and Boys State is sponsored by the American Legion and our local Sunbury Post chooses students to attend each year. For more information on the program in general, or to download an application for your student, see the links below. Additionally, all juniors received an e-mail to their school e-mail account with the same information.

The application deadline is February 15 and completed applications can be submitted to the American Legion or given to Mrs. McDonough in room 116.

Semester Exams were December 15-December 20.

Government Fair

The second annual evening Government Fair was held at the high school. The top 16 projects from our senior government students were showcased at this event and judged by board members, administrators, community members, local politicians and others. Students researched a government-related topic of their choosing and first presented to teachers and students last Friday. From these presentations, the top 16 were selected to present.

The four students who made the Government Fair Final Four were Chloe Willison, Gabby Adair, Claire Oglesbee, and Tori Buxton. Chloe Willison was this year’s winner with her project titled, “Social Media’s Effect on Elections—What impact can social media have on election outcomes?” Congratulations to all our presenters!

Jillian Pratt—Overpopulation: Is overpopulation a problem in the United States?

Kaitlin Meade—Death Penalty: Should the death penalty be legalized or abolished?

Tori Buxton—Emancipation of Minors: How will the right to emancipate oneself affect the life of a minor?

Claire Oglesbee—Sex Education: Should safe sex education be mandatory

Justin Stooksbury—Eminent Domain: What can people do to prevent eminent domain from happening?

Chloe Willison—Social Media’s Effect on Elections: What impact can social media have on election outcomes?

Gabby Adair—Eminent Domain: Is eminent domain pushing us out of Sunbury?

Gabby Rockett—Paris Climate Agreement: What is the economic impact of leaving the paris climate agreement?

Kinsey Tanner—Stem Cell Research: Should Stem cell research be publicly funded?

Grace Schenz— Mental Health: What is the economic impact of closing state run mental health facilities?

Camryn Bishop-Simpson—Genetic Testing: What regulations are there for genetic testing (cloning)?

Andrew Pohlod—Eminent Domain: Should the government be able to confiscate private land for public use?

Allie Tornes—Minimum Wage: Should minimum wage be raised

John Sutton—Syria: How is the US involved in Syria?

Alex Williams—Police Screenings: Should we increase psychological screening for potential police candidates?

Kaleb Bryant—Government Media: How does the government use media to manipulate public opinion of foreign nations?

Honors Biology HeLa Walk

Honors Biology students hosted their annual HeLa Walk recently. Students read The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. In the 1950’s Henrietta Lacks’ cervical cells were taken from her without telling her and they are still alive. In fact, her cells have allowed scientists to discover and understand enormous amounts of information about disease, mental illness and how the human body works. The students explored an aspect of Henrietta’s life, an important person in her story or a health topic in which HeLa cells were crucial in finding new information. Students presented their work to their fellow classmates, teachers, administrators and the general public.

Congrats to Charis Ellet

Charis Ellet, a junior at BWHS who is enrolled in our Drama as Literature course, submitted an original 10-page script to MadLab Theatre’s Young Writer’s program and was selected as one of ten out of hundreds of applicants to have her play fully produced. This means that Charis will participate in a 7-month program, working with a published mentor playwright, actors, directors, and designers to workshop her short play and then have it fully produced in July of 2018 as a part of MadLab’s season in Downtown Columbus. This is a really cool opportunity to work with writers and theatre professionals. The program is in its seventh year, and the application process has become significantly competitive. Congratulations Charis!

AP Spanish Students Escape

AP Spanish students learned about the 250 year old annual lottery Lotería Nacional of Spain. It is the lottery that gives the most in prizes in the world. We did an escape room based on the 2016 commercial (done yearly).

Employment Opportunity for Students

Ralph Cirillo, General Manager of Sansotta’s Fresh Italian Restaurant, is looking for student employees at his Sunbury restaurant. Any interested student should stop in at 137 St. Route 3, Sunbury (the location in the Kroger Plaza) and fill out an application.

American Studies Students Win Local VFW Contest

Sophomores Jasmine Lucas and Lauren Murphy were honored by our local Sunbury VFW for their essays, written for the “Voice of Democracy” audio-essay contest, held each year. This year’s theme was “American History: Our Hope for the Future.” Both girls were honored at a dinner and were awarded a cash prize. Congratulations to Lauren and Jasmine!

Pre-ACT and PSAT Score Reports

The pre-ACT and PSAT score reports were distributed to 10th and 11th graders on January 19th during their class meetings. Students can see how they did and how they can best prepare for the actual college entrance exams.


Local scholarship information is available in Naviance and in the school counseling section of the high school website. February 1st was a major deadline for college and FAFSA applications.

Seniors — This is a reminder that you need to complete a career shadowing experience this year. If you have already done your career shadowing, please be sure to turn in your blue signature form to Mrs. McDonough. Additional forms can be found in the school counseling office or downloaded from the senior class website.

Seniors — You should have received a gold graduation contract in homeroom this week. This document contains very important information concerning our graduation ceremony in the spring. Please look over the entire contract, both front and back, very carefully and see Mrs. McDonough if you have any questions. The most urgent part of the contract is your name verification for your diploma! If you have not received a contract, please see Mrs. McDonough ASAP.

Manufacturing Night

Columbus State hosted Manufacturing Night on January 23rd. Students met with CState staff, engineering faculty members, and representatives from Honda, PK Controls, and Worthington Industries to learn about career opportunities in the field of advanced manufacturing.

Big Walnut Middle School

Continue to send in those Box Tops with your Student in order to have a chance at a $25 Amazon Gift Card. Big Walnut Middle School PTO needs your help to reach our goal of 2000 box tops (or more) for the school year! Students can Submit to their first period teacher by Feb. 15th in a baggie with their name. The top student submission will win a $25 Amazon gift card!! 2nd highest student submission will win a $10 Tim Horton’s gift card!!

Parent Drop Off and Pick Up

For safety and traffic flow, students should be dropped off and picked up at the front of the building. We do ask that Parents Pull Down and Fill the front sidewalk so we can be the most efficient as possible with this process. All passenger traffic is to enter and exit via the Fair Lawn entrance. This allows for state required bus safety and for buses to stay on time for elementary routes.


Students came home with STAR Assessment results in Reading and Math on December 20. As a reminder, the STAR assessment is our universal screener which allows our teachers to provide targeted instruction and supports at the middle school. If you have any questions about the tiered supports available at BWMS, please do not hesitate to contact our Grade-Level School Counselors.

Important Dates


19 Presidents’ Day ~ No School

21 Holocaust Speaker

23 Advisory Day


Congratulations to the 1st EVER Big Walnut Middle School VEX Robotics Team who competed at Tri Rivers Career Center recently. The team gained some valuable experience and laid the foundation for high-level Robotics at BWMS in the future.

Big Walnut High School students and staff were at BWMS on Feb. 2 during 8th grade student center to share learning and club opportunities with our 8th grade students. This is one of the first events that assists with the transition to HS.

Washington DC Trip

The final registration deadline for the 8th Grade Washington DC Trip was January 1st. We will assume that any 8th grade student not registered by this time will not be going to DC in May. Part of registering for the DC trip includes a non-refundable $120 deposit. All registration and deposit information can be found in the Washington DC packet which is available online. As a reminder, all registration and deposits are handled through Prodigy Student Travel. Please do NOT send DC money to BWMS. The second DC payment in the amount of $190 was due on January 19th. In addition, please remember that all school fees must be paid in order to participate in the trip. Please contact the office or email Ms. Kelly Robinson with any questions.


On January 19 students participated in a hands-on budget management and decision-making spending simulation. Real Money. Real World is a financial literacy program for youth from Ohio State University Extension. This curriculum is time tested and has been highly successful at helping students connect college and career planning with budgeting principles within schools. Volunteers helped run the following stations for students to see all of the factors that contribute to a healthy budget: Chance, Child Care, Clothing, Communications, Contributions, Credit and College Loan, Entertainment, Food, Housing, Insurance, Transportation, Utilities.

BWMS had a lot of visitors come help support the Real Money, Real World Program for our 8th grade students. This program assists with financial literacy by teaching budgeting principles through a simulation. Students used an interest inventory to help select a possible career with corresponding salary. Next, they traveled to over 12 stations to see just how far that monthly income would stretch. Here were the stops where your student had to make some decisions: Child Care, Clothing, Communications, Contributions, Credit and College Loan, Entertainment, Food, Housing, Insurance, Transportation, Utilities.

Special thanks to the over 35 community volunteers who made this event possible by helping our students connect college and career planning with budgeting principles. 8th grade parents: ask your student what they learned from this budget simulation. Ask them if they have a better appreciation for the things they have and the effort it takes to be successful.

Parent Survey – BWMS Grading Practices

BWMS Requests your Feedback. Our teachers have been reviewing grading practices and we want to hear from our parents. Share your feedback about Grade Cards, Homework, Retests and more. Please complete the BWMS Grading Practices Parent Survey to help us refine our Practices.

BWMS receives Momentum Award

BWMS received the “Momentum Award” from the Ohio Department of Education for exceeding expectations in student growth for the year. Because of the efforts of staff and students, the school received straight A’s on all Value-Added measures on the most recent state report card. This award is directly connected to the mission to inspire and guide each student to his or her maximum potential through classrooms that personalize instruction, engage students and grow minds.

8th Grade Baby Pictures

The Yearbook Sale for the 2017-18 School Year is set to begin on January 26th and last until February 23rd. One of our favorite sections of this book each year is the baby pictures of our 8th grade students. We will share soon how to submit your pictures but now would be a great time to start to search through those old pictures. The price of the yearbook is $27 and purchasing options will be available online or by paper submission.

Parent Update

The students displayed much talent at the Band and Choir Concert in December for the packed house.

There was much creativity walking the building with Ugly Sweater Contest. Special thanks to BWMS Staff Sunshine Committee for organizing this event and a shoot out to all the students and staff who participated.

Winter Break was Dec 21st through Jan 2nd. School resumed Jan. 3. Second quarter grades were posted on Jan. 9.

College Credit Plus Update from Mrs. Sturtevant

College Credit Plus (CCP) is a program that allows 7 through 12 grade student to earn college and high school credit at the same time. There are many opportunities Big Walnut will be providing for students and families to learn about this program. Please mark your calendars for the dates that are best for you and your child.

Big Walnut Intermediate


Spring Individual and Homeroom Pictures, February 27th

BWI Literacy Night, February 27th (changed date to avoid conflict with elementary)

Mobile Dentist visits BWI, March 7th.

District Science Fair

The Big Walnut District Science Fair took place on February 8th at the high school. This was an optional event for BWI students.

Yearbook Orders

The deadline to order a yearbook was February 2. The cost is $15 and they will be delivered to school May 16th.

Outdoor Recess

BWI students go outside for recess as long as the temperature is at or above 25 degrees. The expectation is for students to bring their jackets with them to lunch. If a student does not have their jacket, they will be able to borrow one from lost and found.

Parent Portal

The Parent Portal will allow you to see your student’s schedule, grades, and report cards. If you are having difficulties, please call the BWI office at 740-965-7800 for assistance. Report Cards are now available online via the Parent Portal (be sure to click Report Card and not Grades & Attendance).

BWI Podcast

The new BWI Podcast’s first episode has information about events that are coming up at BWI. Future episodes will include interviews with our students.

STAR Reports

Your child should have brought home their STAR Report from the winter benchmark testing. You do not need to return this, it are simply another way of providing you with information on your child’s academic progress. If you have any questions of concerns, please reach out to your child’s math or language arts teacher.

Big Walnut Elementary

Student council sponsored a food drive. The winning class earned a pajama/stuffed animal day!

If you are interested in registering your third or fourth grade daughter for Girls on the Run, there is still time! There will be a Spring session of Girls on the Run. The spring 2018 season will start the week of Monday, March 5th and run through the week of Monday, May 14th. Just a reminder that this program is for girls in third and fourth grade only.

Valentine’s Day celebrations were on Wednesday, February 14th.

This time of year brings many different germs. Please remember that if your child is sick and has a fever your child may not return to school until he/she is 24 hours, fever free.

General Rosecrans Elementary

A free resource for kiddos to listen to reading at home is the Community Library has an online account with Tumblebooks that kiddos can go to and access hundreds of books. Certainly, reading a “real” book is always top choice, but listening to reading is a great way to become a better reader (by listening to a fluent reader). So, the next time you are cooking dinner, have your kiddo jump on and try it out!

Celebrating GRE Artists!

The following students have had their artwork chosen for state level recognition during Youth Art Month. These are the students from GRE that will be attending the March board meeting to be honored.

Alyssa grade 3 from General Rosecrans Elementary was chosen as an exhibitor for the 38th Annual Youth Art Month Exhibition sponsored by the Ohio Art Education Association.

Rylee L. in grade 1 from General Rosecrans Elementary was chosen as an exhibitor for the 38th Annual Young People’s Art Exhibition sponsored by the Ohio Art Education Association.

Grace M. in Grade 4 at General Rosecrans Elementary, has been accepted into The 2018 Central Ohio Art Education Association K-8 Art Exhibition in Columbus, Ohio.

Winter Eagle Extensions

Eagle Extensions is an enrichment program for Big Walnut students currently in grades kindergarten-6th grade. Clubs were filled on a first come, first serve basis from Jan. 5-19. Clubs with less than 15 registered students will be cancelled. You will be notified of your placement in the club via email once the registration window is complete. All fees will be assessed through PowerSchool and can be paid online or at any school building. Parents must provide transportation home from the after-school clubs. Please see the picture for the options or visit our website.

The Flu Season is upon us!

As many of you may be aware, cold and flu has arrived to our area. The school’s goal to always keep our classroom safe and healthy, and if your child should experience a fever (over 100 degrees), vomiting and/or diarrhea or an unexplained rash the night before or the morning of school, they should remain at home. They should remain at home until they are free of vomiting, diarrhea or rash for 24 hours or fever-free without medications for 24 hours. These guidelines are provided by the Ohio Department of Health. Students will be sent home from school should they have the above mentioned symptoms, which will help prevent illness among students and staff.

Continue to follow good hand hygiene (frequent washing with soap and water) as well as cough and sneezing habits (use of tissues or bend of arm followed by handwashing). If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact District Nurse, Megan Truax BSN,RN at Thank you for helping keep students and staff safe and healthy at Big Walnut.

Thanks a Million Project

During the Month of December, students in Mrs. Crawford’s class wrote friendly letters to service Men and women to show gratitude and appreciation for Those who are serving our Country.

Harrison Street Elementary

Classroom Happenings at HSE

• Preschool had reading buddies, enjoyed sorting animals that hibernate and migrate, and showed off their smarts during winter assessments. Preschoolers enjoyed traveling around the world to learn about holidays! They visited Spain to celebrate King’s Day, Mexico to celebrate Las Pasadas, China to celebrate the Chinese New Year, and the USA to celebrate Christmas. They also enjoyed making tacky sweaters and making gifts for their families.

• Kindergarten had a good time building CVC words, practicing with word families, learning about 3D shapes. Kindergarteners continued working on addition of numbers 0-10 and enjoyed learning about holidays around the world. They also made LOTS of CVC (consonant-vowel-consonant) words… such a big skill.

• 1st Grade did mental math to add 10 more or 10 less within 100, enjoyed learning about arctic animals, made igloos with marshmallows and toothpicks, made polar bears, and learned about Stranger Danger from Deputy Snyder. 1st graders boarded the plane to travel around the world. So far they visited Germany and Mexico, and made gingerbread men.

• 2nd Grade enjoyed their trip to the Community Library, used vocab words in sentences, read folktales, fairy tales, and fables, and talked about safety. 2nd graders made holiday cards for someone from Germany and read the Legend of the Poinsettia to learn about the traditions of Mexico. In writing they wrote about the Christmas traditions and did loads of review in math.

• 3rd Grade talked about non-fiction texts, started talking about geometry, continued their opinion writing, and learned about different rocks and map skills. 3rd graders enjoyed working in their book clubs, worked on their final drafts for their Fortunately/Unfortunately pieces, made surprises for their parents, dug further into fact families, and either did quizlet live to practice science vocab or made a citizen book in government for content.

• 4th Grade continued working on their scrapbook projects, practiced area and perimeter, and built circuits in science. 4th graders started creating a book commercial, finalized their hat challenges (connections with the text), wrote letters to an elf, challenged themselves with big division problems, and were busy elves making holiday gifts.

Thanks to the PTO for buying water bottle fillers for the downstairs drinking fountains and for the BW Maintenance crew that installed them.

Family STEM Night was January 25 with STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) activities for the family.

During the colder months, they try to take the students outside as often as possible. They go outside if the “real feel” temperature is 25 or above. Encourage your children to dress warm and bring hat and gloves even if they do not think they will be going outside. The decision is made before each recess.

The school encourage students to carry water bottles at school, but not in glass containers.

Upcoming Events

Feb. 2-16: Rockstar Recess Collection Begins

Feb. 5-16: Box top Collection

Hylen Souders Elementary

Recently, the high school girls basketball team read to the 2nd graders. This is part of the 2nd and 7 Foundation. The mission of the 2nd and 7 Foundation is to promote reading by providing free books and positive role models while encouraging young athletes of the community to pay it forward.

Also, more than 200 people attended the annual STEM Night on Jan. 25. Jordan Blosser, the STEM teacher, along with several other teachers planned an interactive evening for Souders students and their families. There were different stations to learn more about STEM.

Next is Literacy Night on March 1.

Remy Largent was named Souders Art Student of the Month.

The school encourages students to carry water bottles at school, but not in glass containers.Thanks for your understanding.

Souders PTO recently held their monthly meeting. Throughout the year, meetings have focused on updating our playground. A playground committee was formed. The committee set goals, created a timeline and discussed fundraising. This week a motion was passed to continue fundraising the remainder of the year with the goal of having a new playground ready for the start of school. The committee has spent a great deal of time working on this project.

The PTO is sponsoring Eat and Earns at many local restaurants. Please check the calendar on our building website or the PTO page on the website for dates and times.

The recent Government Fair at Big Walnut High School. recent Government Fair at Big Walnut High School. Courtesy Photo | BWHS

Compiled by Gary Budzak

Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0906 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.

Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0906 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.