DATE:October 28, 2018
TO:Members of the State Board of Education
FROM: Paolo DeMaria
RE:Weekly Update –Week of October 22, 2018
October is almost over…..yikes! That was fast. Happy Halloween everyone!
#EachChildOurFuture World Café: On Wednesday, November 14, as part of the Board meeting agenda, we have set aside time for you to experience the #EachChildOurFuture World Café. What’s a “World Café?” – you might ask. Wikipedia defines it as “a structured conversational process for knowledge sharing.” We co-designed the Café with a handful of local school district partners to help ODE staff better understand components of the strategic plan and how their day-to-day jobs enable its success. All ODE staff are experiencing the café, and we will also use it, as appropriate, with stakeholders and partners outside of the agency. We wanted to give you the opportunity to experience it as well. You may find it a useful approach if you find yourself sharing the strategic plan with a group. There is no preparation required for this interactive and upbeat experience.
Report Card Workgroup: The Extended Accountability and Continuous Improvement Committee had its final meeting this past Wednesday. Draft recommendations will be prepared based on the discussion and circulated back to members of comments and feedback.
EMIS Advisory Committee: This past week saw the first meeting of the newly constituted EMIS Advisory Committee. This group will be a forum to share feedback, reflect on improvement opportunities, and generally inform our efforts to ensure that EMIS continues to be an effective and well-regarded data collection system for Ohio’s schools. We have an excellent roster of members, and the work is off to a great start.
Meetings/Activities: This past week included a number of notable events.
• School Visits: I visited a couple of schools this past week. I was accompanied by Rep. Kyle Koehler for these visits. Interestingly, while visiting Springfield we stopped in to his family-owned manufacturing business – and had a chance to discuss workforce and career education issues.
o My visit to Tecumseh Middle School was wonderful. My first stop was the choir room to hear a great choir share a few of their upcoming holiday concert pieces. So energizing – and what a great sound. I also had the opportunity to see some great social-emotional learning work in practice. The school uses the E + R = O program (“Event” plus “Response” equals “Outcome.”) The idea is that the only thing we, as individuals, can control is our response – so we need to be deliberate and attentive to that response. It was great hearing from students and teachers about what the culture at the school was before this program and what it is now. Impressive stuff.
o I visited the School of Innovation and Lincoln Elementary in the Springfield City School District. The School of Innovation is a new effort to support a high school that is focused almost exclusively on project based learning. All the classes are focused on strategically selected problems that guide the learning and classroom activity. Lincoln Elementary has a beautiful courtyard that has been converted into a learning space. By growing plants and creating community art projects that student have contributed to a learning space that is beautiful and functional. I also happened to stop in to a class that was studying bats – different kinds of bats, and how two types of bats have things in common, but also things that are different. (They were developing the concept of intersecting sets.)
As you know, whenever I visit schools I never fail to be impressed by the awesome students! I’m always energized to see wonderful learners.
In the coming weeks, I have the following notable events/activities:
• National Dropout Prevention Conference: I will be providing a keynote address during the lunch of this conference on October 30. My comments will reflect Ohio’s new strategic plan and the notion of how hope, learning environments and student connectedness are keys to preventing students from dropping out.
• Ohio Manufacturers Workforce Summit: I will be attending part of this conference to gain a better understanding of both the workforce needs of Ohio’s manufacturing community as well as strategies being used to address those needs.
• Future Health Professionals Leadership Conference: I will stop by this conference of one of the career-tech student organizations focused on health care professions. I look forward to seeing students competing and displaying their skills and abilities.
• School Visits: I’ll be visiting school in the Kings Local School District and also the Dayton Early College Academy.
• Latino Education Summit: I’ll be providing some brief remarks at this summit that is focused on the education of Ohio’s Latino students.