Call on Ohio’s leaders to step up and enact common sense reform for the benefit of Ohio’s public school children.
In 2016, the federal government passed a new law to replace the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). The new law, The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), is designed to provide new flexibility to states. The new law is structured such that learning and testing decisions are returned to the states and even local districts. Each state must submit a plan to the US Dept. of Ed. The Ohio Dept. of Education (ODE) had many meetings across the state to hear from people about how the new state plan should look. I attended our regional meeting. Participants urged the ODE to reduce the amount of state testing – a change that is allowable in the new federal law.
Recently, Ohio officials released a draft of their plan. Unfortunately, Ohio does not reduce testing at all. In fact, it keeps all 24 tests it requires of students in grades 3-11, when ESSA only requires 17, thus failing to hear the urgent and overwhelming advice of the people of the state.
If you, like me, are upset by the amount of state testing our students are subjected to in our state, I urge you to go to http://education.ohio.gov/getattachment/Topics/Every-Student-Succeeds-Act-ESSA/ESSA_Framework_Report.pdf.aspx to read the proposed plan.
Then, add your comments here, https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ESSAOhioOverview , to tell the plan designers to follow the minimum requirements set forth by the federal government. You are able to submit comments through March 6.
Social media is everywhere! Many people view social media in a negative manner. But how you use it makes a big impact on how you are perceived by others. Scott Grant, President & Chief Impact Officer of Triple Threat Leadership, gave a great presentation on using social media to develop your personal brand. If you use social media in a negative and emotional manner, then others will believe that is who you are. If you use social media in a positive manner to promote your interests and to develop professional contacts, then you will be perceived positively. He says to ask yourself, "What impression am I making?"
Because of some online issues, Scott had to change the link to his presentation. The one I gave in the newsletter no longer works. But here is the new link:
Feel free to check it out!
Winter has returned!
When it is cold, how do I decide if it is cold enough to delay?
I rely on a wind chill chart put together by NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association) and NWS (National Weather Service). This chart lets me know when the combination of air temperature and wind speed creates a wind chill that could cause frostbite. As you can see on the chart, I start to worry about wind chills around the -20 degree mark. It is always a tough decision that we take very seriously.
November 13-19 is American Education Week with the theme: Great Public Schools: A Basic Right and Our Responsibility. An educated population is the foundation for our nation which depends on the decisions of its educated, informed citizens. Public schools are the only schools that must serve and meet the needs of ALL students. When you attend a public school, you get to know people from every corner of your community - you are part of the "public". Every child in the community has an opportunity to obtain an education. While too many children remain limited in their ability to take full advantage of that opportunity due to circumstances at home, it is important to me that those opportunities remain available to ALL. Public education is all about lifting up, not weeding out.
This week provides an opportunity for everyone to celebrate public education and honor those making a difference everyday in ensuring every child receives a quality education. This includes not only teachers and principals, but also bus drivers, aides, custodians, food service personnel, secretaries, maintenance, transportation directors, mechanics, coaches, counselors, psychologists, technology coordinators, athletic directors, and central office personnel. It takes everyone working together to provide a quality education to every student. I encourage everyone to get involved in our schools and see for yourself all the great things happening everyday here in Upper Sandusky.
Did you know -* The school bus is the safest form of student transportation. Students on a school bus are 12 to 25 times safer than when riding in a passenger car.
* School transportation is cost-effective. Transporting a child on a school bus costs a fraction of the cost of transporting a student by car.
* Ohio's school transportation operation is highly regulated. It is overseen by local administrators and the state departments of education and public safety and covered by an exhaustive set of state rules and regulations.
* Ohio school bus drivers must meet strict standards related to driving records; criminal background checks; drug and alcohol testing; physicals; driving and student management skills; and ongoing in-service training.
Here at Upper Sandusky, daily our bus fleet travels over 1300 miles and transports over 650 students. We are fortunate to have caring, local school bus drivers who have an excellent safety record. If you get a chance, be sure to thank your bus driver and transportation director this week to let them know how much we appreciate them!
I love exploring new technology when I get a chance. Just when I think it can't get any more amazing, some new technological advance comes out and I am "wowed" again!
Technology is infused in just about everything we do in this world and it will only become more so. To prepare our students for the future, we need to embrace technology and use it to expand course offerings, experiences, and learning materials; support learning 24 hours a day, 7 days a week; build 21st century skills; increase student engagement and motivation; and accelerate learning. These are exciting times! We have a chance to rethink what courses we offer and our expectations of both ourselves and our students.
The other day I was able to experience VR - virtual reality learning. In one module, I became a doctor in an ER and had to figure out what injuries my patient had and how to treat them. It was like I was in an actual ER! I could look around, "pick up" tools, "touch" the patient and make decisions on how to proceed. Thank goodness it was VR as I made some mistakes. But that is what made it such a great learning experience. I could learn from my mistakes and try again and I was engaged the whole time. Here is a picture:
This got me thinking, wouldn't this be awesome in Anatomy and Physiology? You could explore internal organs and look at them from all sides and learn the various parts. Or how about exploring Mexico City or Spain in Spanish class? I could think of all sorts of uses to enhance our curriculum and expand our students' learning.
What types of course work and technology would you like to see offered here at Upper Sandusky Schools?
We are very excited to start the new school year! We have worked hard to improve the learning environments around the district and are excited for students, families and staff to get in to them. I want to thank the maintenance supervisor and all the custodians and summer helpers for getting our buildings in tiptop shape. I also want to thank our transportation department for all their hard work in getting the buses and routes ready to go. Another thank you goes to the administrators and teachers who have prepared in a variety of ways for this upcoming school year - everything from attending professional development, to designing new lessons, to decorating their rooms, to even helping with painting! We would not be able to begin school without everyone's hard work during the summer. Finally, I want to thank the great community of Upper Sandusky for all their support, which made all the improvements possible. I encourage everyone to visit a building or attend a sporting, music or other special event and see for yourself. We have a lot to be proud of!
Congratulations to all academic award and scholarship winners! It was an exciting night seeing all the students who earned recognition at the annual USHS Honors Night. We are blessed to have such a supportive and generous community. I was delighted to present the awards to the top ten students in the senior class. They are:
1. Corrie Knapp
9. Betsy Young
8. Chase Barnett
7. Mitchell Fogle
6. Thomas Martin
5. Zoe Garber
4. Cory Miller
2. Amanda Dierkes3. Emma Smith
What an awesome accomplishment!
Congratulations to all the awardees! May your futures be filled with wonder, excitement and many new adventures!
During the months of January through March, the Fair Board sponsored square dances at the Masters' Building. My husband and I spent some great times with the youth of Wyandot county and many other community members. Each evening was full of square dances, line dances, slow dancing and even a polka or two! It was wonderful to see the high school students take the lead in helping to teach line dances to both the younger and older crowd. Those of us with more experience in square dancing made sure we had youngsters in our sets to help them learn how to "swing", "allemande left", "do-si-do" and other calls. There was always a lot of laughter and fun, not to mention the great exercise!
I was so proud of the leadership roles I saw our Wyandot county youth taking at these dances. Many of them also have leadership roles in 4-H, church, school and other community organizations. Encouraging our students to lead is one of the best things we can do as a school and community to help them prepare for the adult world. I want to commend all our youth leaders throughout the community - keep up the great work! You are helping to make a difference.
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