Apr. 8—While the coronavirus has disrupted schools across the region, Middletown's district has also used the pandemic to try out some more high-profile advertising and outreach messaging including most recently two billboards along a major highway.
Middletown Schools has used a billboard lease agreement with Atrium Medical Center to recently include advertisements for kindergarten registration.
The billboard is visible from southbound Interstate 75 near the Middletown and SR 122 exit.
And last month a parents' organization at Creekview Elementary arranged for some donated electronic messaging to flash on a billboard for I-75 south-bound drivers near the Monroe and Ohio 63 praising their school building community.
"Thank You Students And Parents!" read the electronic message board, citing the message was "From the staff at Creekview Elementary."
And earlier this school year, hundreds of Middletown teachers and school staffers were surprised to find encouraging yard signs on their lawns courtesy of the city schools and thanking them for their hard work.
And last month Fairfield Schools partnered with a local anti-drug agency to highlight the volunteer efforts of its high school students on billboards across Butler County.
The global pandemic has Middletown Schools exploring different messaging strategies, said district Spokeswoman Elizabeth Beadle.
"I think the difficulties of the past year have reminded people of the importance of a simple 'thank you,'" said Beadle.
"No matter your job — teacher, parent, custodian, healthcare — we are all deserving of praise. From yard signs and billboards to written notes and fist bumps, Middletown City Schools is saying thank you to our staff, students, and parents constantly," she said.
Creekview Principal Michelle Peterson said her school's parent association thought of the billboard.
"The Creekview action team came up with the idea to show our families another way of appreciation to them. It is important to our building to show our community is valued and we want to recognize their effort. Basically, what they mean to us," she said.