From the Superintendent



The winter freeze has provided snow, ice, and fog throughout Ohio. I realize that such weather results in some early mornings for everyone. Thank you for your efforts to do what is necessary to keep our students safe.

As mentioned previously, HB555 requires the State Board of Education and ODE to create a new letter grade report card system. The Board created an Accountability Committee that will provide policy direction to ODE. Committee members include: Tom Gunlock, Chair; Bryan Williams, Vice-Chair; Mike Collins; Stephanie Dodd; C. Todd Jones; Mark Smith and Debe Terhar. Committee meetings will be held each Wednesday beginning this week through March 6. Meeting notices, documents and updates about their work can be found here on the ODE website.

Last week, the Ohio Technical Advisory Committee, a group of nationally renowned academic testing experts, met to provide valuable insight about the transition to the new college- and career-readiness standards and assessments. The learning gained is being used by ODE to complete a blueprint for the assessment transition in Ohio.

I have continued to receive several inquiries from superintendents regarding the need for consideration for an innovative waiver request related to school safety planning. As a result, I am pleased to announce that I am extending the innovative waiver application for this current school year for a school safety related request to February 15, 2013. Please find additional information below.

We also spoke with the U.S. Department of Education to propose hosting a national rural education conference next fall. The goal is to raise support for improving rural education across the country by sharing successful models of transformation and highlighting powerful instructional and leadership practices. Look for more information in upcoming editions of EdConnection.

Another conference coming soon is Connecting the Dots: Diving Deeper into Ohio's Education Reform Effort in Columbus on March 22. This event will provide a unique interactive training experience where participants will learn how to relate reform initiatives to one another and create a customized implementation plan. Teams of district educators will work to see the “big picture” and how Ohio’s education reforms support student success. Afternoon breakout topics will include a presentation of Ohio’s Instructional Improvement System (IIS), Student Learning Objectives, Formative Instructional Practices, Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) and more. Registration for this free event opens the week of Feb. 4. I hope your district chooses to join in the learning.

Thank you for your dedication to Ohio’s students.


Michael L. Sawyers