From the Superintendent



Feb. 6 is National Digital Learning Day, a campaign sponsored by the Alliance for Excellence in Education to spotlight successful instructional practice and effective use of technology across the country. We have joined with several partners to celebrate Ohio’s commitment to increasing student access to quality digital and blended learning. eTechOhio is hosting a collaborative website containing great information about Ohio’s strengths in providing infrastructure, creating innovative policy and model sites for the digital transition, as well as information on Digital Learning Day events around the state. I encourage you to explore it for ideas to use in your district and to participate in two Digital Learning Day events on Feb. 6. Your participation is needed in our attempt to set a world record for the most students learning online in one day. The Ohio Digital Learning Day Committee is teaming up with the American Dairy Association to offer grade-appropriate online learning sessions about nutrition. These lessons include multiple digital learning approaches and align with most course topics. The lessons and participation information are available here.

Additionally, that evening, WOSU and the state partners are hosting a leadership panel entitled: Leadership’s role in launching and expanding blended learning in Ohio. The panel will take place at WOSU’s COSI studio in Columbus from 5:30-6:30pm. Four Ohio school leaders will reflect on what’s worked and what hasn’t as they’ve journeyed into blended learning with students, teachers and parents. The presenters include Loveland Schools Superintendent John Marschhausen, Gahanna-Jefferson HS principal Dwight Carter, Cleveland Metropolitan School District’s New Tech West High School principal Erin Frew and Forest Hills Local Schools’ Nagel Middle School principal Natasha Adams. The panel will take questions from the audience and be broadcast on WOSU and other Ohio Public Television stations in the weeks following the event. The recorded forum will also be available on the Ohio Digital Learning website for viewing once production is completed. If interested in attending, please contact Tracy Taylor at eTechOhio by Friday, Feb. 1 at tracy.taylor@etech.ohio.gov.

Last week, the State Board of Education approved the proposed Positive Behavior Interventions and Support and Restraint and Seclusion policy by a vote of 12-4. The proposed rule regarding the same subject must now go to the Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review (JCARR) for a hearing. Once the JCARR process is finished, the rule comes back to the State Board for a final vote in April. The rule and policy will be effective for the 2013-2014 school year and can be found here.

Thank you for your dedication to Ohio’s students.


Michael L. Sawyers