The Northwest Ohio Educational Service Center Governing Board in Archbold discussed numerous topics at its organizational and regular meeting held May 25.
Among state legislation reported by Brian Baker, Ohio School Boards Association, legislative liaisoThe committee held sponsor testimony on SB 131, which would require an occupational licensing authority to issue a lin: the passage of Ohio House Bill 244 will require K-12 schools to allow military children who are relocating but not yet residents of the district to enroll electronically and participate in technology-based educational opportunities; the House Primary and Secondary Education Committee amended HB 73, which would reduce the number of end-of-course exams required for graduation from five to four by requiring a new single American history and government exam beginning with the class of 2024; the Senate Workforce and Higher Education Committee accepted a substitute version of SB 135, which would require school districts to include in career advising policies information for career fields with an associate’s degree and certificates; provide information on the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps; and require school districts to adopt a policy on free speech that includes a process for a student or teacher to file a complaint due to a violation of the policy; the House Health Committee amended HB 248, which would require school districts to disclose available exemptions when disclosing required vaccinations. The committee amended HB 253, which would prohibit school districts, among others, from requiring proof of a COVID-19 vaccination.
Dr. Christine Smallman, OSBA student achievement liaison, reported that, according to a recent study, the coronavirus pandemic altered education in the U.S. and highlighted inequities according to some data. During the pandemic, a majority of children shifted to distance learning; a majority of parents preferred in-person learning; the digital divide (access to adequate internet connection and devices) touched every state; and higher education institutions witnessed decreased undergraduate enrollment (-4.5%) and increased graduate school enrollment (4.3%). According to a survey by Afterschool Alliance, the number of students with access to after-school programs has been cut in half since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. Data shows that students from families of low income are less likely to have access to in-person programs at a time when after-school programs face challenges.
Homer Hendricks, CFO/treasurer, provided an update on Red Rover that will replace Frontline (AESOP/Veritime) for Absence/Substitute Management and Online Timesheets next school year. Ten area districts are moving to Red Rover next year as well, with a few other still considering it.
Jill Gilliland, director of special education, commended NwOESC supervisors, psychologists, teachers, paras, related service providers, and office team for their hard work and flexibility this year. The facility is following the development of requirements related to Ohio’s dyslexia legislation. OAPSA and the Northwest Ohio chapter of the International Dyslexia are great resources in the area. The staffing plan is coming together for the 2021-22 school year, and will be a work in progress throughout the summer.
Josh Clark, director of curriculum, instruction, and professional development, reported that Summer Honors Academy registration is at capacity and that he is looking forward to hosting 200 students from the four-county area at Archbold Elementary School on June 9. He also reported that Jane Meyer has accepted the open consultant position Andy Hunter will be vacating. Clark added that planning for the Aug. 10 PD Palooza event is nearing the final stages.
Chad Rex, director of technology and operations, said he’ll be facilitating the last technology leaders network meeting of the school year on May 28. Rex shared that additional student Chromebook will be purchased for next year, and said he’s been working with NWOCA/Dataserv to troubleshoot the video surveillance system and is putting steps in place to improve performance. He also reported that the energy project continues to move forward with the focus being on the solar array work. Although there have been delays in the permit process, the land has been staked and installation will begin in mid to late June. The HVAC controls work is complete at the main office and at the IEC.
NwOESC Superintendent Kerri Weir said the facility is on track this year to complete 64 OTES 2.0 evaluations, which incorporates performance and high quality student data measures into a final holistic rating of Ineffective, Developing, Skilled or Accomplished. A flier announcing the NwOESC Annual Fall Staff meeting, “Celebrating Opportunities”, set for the morning of Aug. 10 was shared.