Kirtland Schools News
February 11, 2020 by Kim Bonvissuto / Communications

School Board Appreciation Month

At their Jan. 29 meeting, Kirtland Schools Board of Education members were recognized for their commitment to the schools for School Board Appreciation Month.

Superintendent Bill Wade thanked board members on behalf of students, staff and community for their hard work and sacrifice for the school district.

“We appreciate all your efforts to work with us to create a vision for our schools to empower our students through personalized learning,” Wade said. “We thank them for their efforts in ensuring our school are safe learning environments so that we can provide our students with a positive educational experience.

“We thank our board for being the community’s voice to ensure we are economical in our approach, and maximize our expenditures so we meet the needs of our students in the classroom.”

Kirtland students used the district Makerspace — a collaborative work space that encourages entrepreneurship in the STEM fields — to design and create T-shirts, mugs and signs thanking board members for their service.

Kirtland Students Present on Energy Savings Measures

Students from Kirtland Middle School English teacher Mary Reilly’s English Language Arts class and STEM teacher Heidi Grunenberg’s Project Lead the Way class recently presented on energy saving measures to the Kirtland Schools Board of Education.

The students researched and reported on a variety of options, including LED lights, light sensors and solar energy. This was an example of the “Excite” phase of the 6-12 College and Career Pathways Program, which promotes career awareness through creation of a pathway portfolio, grade-level exploration and awareness, and experiences through local partnerships.

The goal of the Pathways Program is to empower students with the skills they need to be successful.

Project Lead the Way empowers students to adopt a design-thinking mindset through compelling activities, projects and problems that build on each other and relate to the world around them. Through pathways in computer science, engineering and biomedical science, students not only learn technical skills, but also learn to solve problems, think critically and creatively, communicate and collaborate.

Kirtland Launches Program to Make Students ‘Future Ready’

This school year, Kirtland Schools introduced the new “Excite, Explore & Engage” College and Career Pathways Program for grades 6-12 to prepare students to be “future ready.”

The primary goal of the program is to place students on a path to becoming empowered citizens — someone who seeks opportunities and experiences that stimulate intellectual curiosity, that support the pursuit of their own learning, that foster open-mindedness, and that inspire critical reflection, voice and agency.


A productive and empowered citizen is ready for the future. Future Ready means every student deserves a rigorous, personalized learning environment filled with caring adults, and encourages students to take ownership of their learning. Through the College and Career Pathways Program, Kirtland graduates will demonstrate skills as a:

  • Resilient, self-directed learner
  • Respectful collaborator
  • Empathetic, purposeful communicator
  • Problem solver
  • Inspired innovator
  • Self-confident critical thinker


At the middle school level, the new program will “Excite” students and make them aware of various career fields. Students will gain exposure to real-life career opportunities, experience an introduction to planning the college/career pathway, understand self-regulation and positive relationships, ignite intellectual curiosity, and engage with the online learning platform Thrively to identify skills, strengths and interests.


At the high school level, freshmen and sophomores will “Explore” different career options. Students will gain an understanding of the college/career planning process, develop their own plan, experience the real-life workforce, practice self-regulation, promote positive relationships, and reflect and revise their plan.


Upperclassmen will “Engage” in the process to make decisions on future studies and/or careers after graduation. They will evaluate the progress of their individual plan; exhibit problem solving skills; model integrity, ethical behavior and leadership; communicate clearly, effectively and with reason; embody creativity and innovative thought; use critical thinking skills and demonstrate perseverance; and revisit and finalize their individual plan.

The Kirtland Local Schools are committed to working with students, educators, families, community members, higher education institutions and the business sector to prepare students for the future pathways through site visits, speaker series, seminar, job shadowing, internships and a Capstone project.

KHS Robotics Team Heading to State Contest

The Kirtland High School Electric Hornets robotics team placed third in their first competition of the season and is headed to the state contest in March.

The Kirtland Electric Hornets FTC (FIRST Tech Challenge) 8120 team hosted the Northeast Ohio FTC Qualifying Tournament Jan. 3 and 4 at Cuyahoga Community College Eastern Campus, taking care of setup, tear down and volunteer duties, including escorting teams to judging, field reset and registration.

The team earned advancement to the Ohio FIRST Tech Challenge State Championship March 13 and 14 at Loveland High School near Cincinnati. The group also will compete at the 2020 FIRST Tech Challenge at Kent State University on Jan. 30 and Feb. 1.

FIRST Tech Challenge teams from grades 7-12 are challenged to design, build, program and operate robots to compete in head-to-head challenges.

KMS Robotics Team Heading to State Championship

After winning awards at two regional contests, the Kirtland Middle School robotics team Buzz Buzz Sting Sting is heading to the state contest in Dayton next month.

This fall, three KMS FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) LEGO League (FLL) teams – Buzz Buzz Sting Sting, Steel Stingers and Hungry Hungry Hornets – participated in the Lorain County Community College FLL Regional Qualifier tournament.

Hungry Hungry Hornets won the Motivate Award, which celebrates a team that embraces the culture of FLL through team building, team spirit and enthusiasm. Buzz Buzz Sting Sting won the Coopertition Award, which celebrates a team that displays unqualified kindness and respect in the face of fierce competition. It is the concept and a philosophy that teams can and should help and cooperate with each other even as they compete.

Based on their performance at the regional tournament, Steel Stingers and Buzz Buzz Sting Sting were selected to advance to the Northeast Ohio FLL District Qualifier competition at the University of Akron in December. Buzz Buzz Sting Sting brought home the Motivate Award and was one of the teams selected to compete at the Ohio FLL Championship Feb. 1 and 2 at Wright State University’s Nutter Center in Dayton.

The middle school FLL teams are advised by eighth-grade Social Studies and STEAM teacher Heidi Grunenberg.

FLL introduces students to real-world engineering challenges by building LEGO-based robots to complete tasks on a thematic playing surface.

New Classes Added to KHS Curriculum for 2020-2021

The Kirtland Board of Education approved the 2020-2021 Kirtland High School Program of Studies at its December meeting.

The new high school Program of Studies was redesigned to be more interactive and aligned with Ohio Department of Education standards, according to Kirtland 6-12 Principal Scott Amstutz.

The Program of Studies includes graduation requirements, scheduling protocol, Honors Diploma requirements, cumulative GPA calculation, extracurricular/athletic eligibility, advanced options (Advanced Placement, College Credit Plus), standardized testing and course descriptions.

KHS also will introduce new course in the coming year. They include:

  • English (Introduction to Film Studies, Creative Writing, Speech and Communication, Poetry and Journalism)
  • Science (Astronomy, Intro to Engineering Design and Principles of Engineering)
  • Social Studies (Ethics and Philosophy, and Advanced Placement Psychology)
  • World Language (French and Spanish conversation classes, and Business/Medical Spanish)
  • Advanced Placement Capstone Program (AP Seminar and AP Research)
  • Music (Rock and Roll History, Voice class and Treble ensemble)
  • Health and Wellness (Personal fitness and overall wellness, and Mindfulness)
  • Magoosh ACT prep

The “Excite, Explore & Engage” College and Career Pathways program also is expanding, by providing students with experiences to gain awareness, explore and engage in opportunities that stimulate intellectual curiosity, support the pursuit of their own learning, foster open- mindedness and inspire critical reflection, voice and agency. Focus areas for Pathways experiences include:

Grades 9-10: Explore

– Understand college and career planning

– Develop the plan to a pathway

– Experience real-life work force

– Practice self-regulation

– Promote positive relationships

Grades 11-12: Engage

– Evaluate plan progress

– Exhibit problem solving skills

– Model integrity, ethical behavior and leadership

– Communicate clearly, reflectively and with reason

– Embody creativity and innovative thought

– Use critical thinking skills and demonstrate perseverance

Kirtland Math Textbook Adoption Focuses on Personalized Learning

In early 2020, Kirtland Middle School and Kirtland High School began implementing a new math program to make personalized learning a reality in the classroom.

The Pearson enVision Math 2.0 program – with a math XL online component – and Pearson MyMathLab, a companion online resource for upper-level math courses, offer embedded interactive and digital math tools that empower and aid students in taking more responsibility for their learning.

Personalized math practice and personal study plans provide a powerful scaffolding to help every student grow and master middle and high school math. This new resource fosters a balanced approach to instruction, conceptual understanding, procedural fluency and overall application of math practices, while enriching through visual cues and math modeling for a better understanding of math concepts.

The enVision Math with mathXL programs, which align with Kirtland Local Schools and Ohio state standards, provide increased focus, rigor and coherence that meets the needs of high achieving students, as well as those students who need additional time and support.

The enVision Math 2.0 program provides a comprehensive pathway form sixth-grade math through Algebra 2 that ensures all students are college and career ready when they graduate. The middle school program emphasizes ratio and proportional reasoning, number sense, expressions and equations, leading to an understanding of functions and linearity. These concepts are revisited to show interconnectedness at each grade level. Algebra 1, Geometry and Algebra 2 are content-specific.

Some of the exciting components of the new programs include:

  • Videos and/or interactive technology lessons to support math work.
  • Student materials that are accessible at home for a blended learning approach.
  • Hands-on situations and real-world/authentic problems that will help students develop a deeper understanding of math and reasoning concepts.
  • Math literacy activities that help students develop critical thinking and writing skills.

The goal is to continue to provide all students with a personalized, balanced and flexible resource to foster maximum mathematical growth and academic achievement.