For School superintendents and treasurers


Waiver deadline to address school safety plans and training extended

In recent weeks, ODE received several inquiries and requests from districts for school calendar flexibility in the current school year to complete training related to school safety, including, but not limited to the A.L.I.C.E. program. While the deadline to request an Innovative Education Pilot Program waiver was Dec. 31, it is important for schools to have as much flexibility as possible to address this crucial process related to the safety and security of our students. To that end, ODE will permit schools to submit a defined waiver for school safety training on or before February 15, 2013 for use during this current school year. The waiver day application may be found here. If applying, please complete the application comprehensively with detail and clearly outline the varied stakeholders involved, including local law enforcement and emergency responders, county personnel, mental health partners, or other stakeholders involved.

HB555 includes Teacher Evaluation System changes

HB555 contains changes related to the use of Value-Added data for teacher evaluations. Through June 30, 2014, the use of Value Added must constitute the majority of the 50 percent student growth measure required for evaluations if they teach only subjects in which Value-Added data exists. Beginning July 1, 2014, the 50 percent student growth measure must be exclusively Value-Added data for those who only teach Value-Added subjects.

Beginning in the 2013-2014 school year, for teachers who teach Value-Added subjects, as well as other subjects, Value Added must be weighted proportionately to their teaching assignments, with the remainder coming from vendor assessments or local measures, including student learning objectives. This FAQ provides more definitive guidance in moving forward with Ohio Teacher Evaluation System implementation.

Stakeholder input needed for new rule on approving online community schools

The Office of Community Schools invites comments on a draft rule for approving applicants for new internet- or computer-based community schools. Those interested can join a webinar on Tuesday, Jan. 29, from 2:30-3:30 p.m. to discuss the proposed rule. To access the video portion of the webinar go to www.anywhereconference.com and login using the number 130235639 and the participant PIN 6103365. To access the audio, call toll-free (866) 551-1530 and enter 6103365# when asked for your participant PIN. Email comments about the rule by Jan. 31 to community.schools@education.ohio.gov.

Expand the use of technology in classrooms - 2013 Ohio’s Education Technology Conference

Practical information about expanding and blending technology into classroom instruction is the focus of Ohio’s Education Technology Conference on Feb. 11-13 in downtown Columbus. Additional features of the conference include the newest technology available to streamline data and resources for school improvement data and services to support students. There will be several sessions on Monday and Tuesday on the new Thinkgate Instructional Improvement System. The first day’s program will spotlight blended learning for K-12 administrators and teachers. Attendees will leave equipped to implement this forward-thinking practice in their district. Day two of the program is Tech Coordinator Tuesday. The day is planned to respond with innovative solutions to the common problems attendees present that day. Interactive sessions will focus on social media and practical ways to engage students in classrooms. Day Three features a round table hosted by the Ohio Board of Regents that focuses on college-level learning in the digital age. Program and registration information is available here.

Webinars on new Instructional Improvement System are available online

ODE and recently-selected Instructional Improvement System (IIS) provider Thinkgate are hosting a series of webinars designed to introduce the features of the IIS solution. While the live webinars are nearing capacity, they will be available online after the event. The first webinar, which provides a general demonstration and rollout timeline, is now available for viewing here. Before proceeding, please review these WebEx System Requirements. Additionally, a WebEx software test can be conducted here.

Spanish Visiting Teacher Program specifics to be shared via conference call on Jan. 31

To provide quality instruction in Spanish from native speakers of the language, Ohio has a Memorandum of Understanding with Spain that facilitates the placement of visiting Spanish language teachers in Ohio schools. See the announcement here for more details. ODE will hold a conference call with schools interested in the program on Thursday, Jan. 31 from 9 to 11 a.m. Please note the following about the call:

  • All interested districts and schools should contact Paula Sondej at paula.sondej@education.ohio.gov about participating in the call. Also, download both the program application and the program contract posted here in advance of the call. Access the conference call by dialing toll-free: 1(866) 551-1530 and entering this PIN: 4 0 7 2 9 9 1 #.
  • Ohio community schools interested in procuring Spanish teachers must have an appropriate official from their sponsoring institution participate in the call and sign off on the application.