For School Superintendents and Treasurers


Updated list of approved vendors for Student Growth Measure Assessments

An updated list of approved vendors for assessments for 2013 is available here. The assessments offered by vendors on the list meet the fundamental requirements for measuring student growth. Districts should contact the vendor directly for specific details about the formulas, data or evidence used to measure growth.

Also, districts must use the EVAAS Value-Added data from Ohio Achievement Assessment (OAA) results for grades 4-8 in reading and math at the teacher level. Since no other assessments for ELA/reading and/or mathematics for grades 4-8 would be applicable, these are no longer included on the list. Assessments used in these areas are considered local measures. The next updated list will be posted in January 2014.

Medical Emergency Waiver for assessments process updated

With the arrival of the next testing cycle, questions concerning medical participation waivers continue to arise. There are circumstances when it is not possible for the entire student body to participate in assessments. For this reason, the USDOE allows states to exclude, for accountability purposes, students who “…cannot be assessed at any time during the testing window due to a significant medical emergency (e.g. a student is hospitalized due to an accident).” For the purpose of calculating the participation rate, a student experiencing such a significant medical emergency is eligible for a participation waiver.

Since a significant medical emergency is not foreseeable, medical waivers are, by nature, requested and evaluated annually. USDOE allows states to define those circumstances that represent a significant medical emergency.

ODE updated its process for granting medical waivers beginning with the 2012-2013 school year. The updated process requires districts to submit their facts through a Medical Emergency Waiver Application and through the submission of accompanying documentation, such as a doctor’s order or other medical records that will help the agency to understand more fully the nature of the emergency that has prevented the student from participating.

Questions concerning medical participation waivers may be directed to Jackie Seward at (614) 387-7570, by email to Jackie.seward@education.ohio.gov or visit the ODE Local Report Card and Accountability page for additional information.

ODE offers Twitter hashtag to promote or find summer professional development opportunities

Agencies are beginning to schedule summer professional development courses and sessions that teachers can take advantage of during the summer break. ODE is encouraging the use of its growing network of teachers using Twitter as a source for promoting and finding summer training for teachers. To accomplish this, ODE has established the hashtag “#ohedsummpd” that can be searched for or included in Tweets about summer professional development.

ODE’s @OHEducation account on Twitter currently has more than 11,000 followers and continues to grow as the social media channel gains popularity among educators as a tool for sharing information and best practices with educators from all parts of the state and country.

ODE seeks applicants for State Superintendent’s Parent Advisory Council

ODE is seeking new members to serve on the State Superintendent’s Parent Advisory Council. Interested parents have until March 22, 2013, to submit an application. Council members work with ODE and communities to increase parent and family engagement in education. Members representing all regions of Ohio are currently needed for the state-level council.

Additional information and the application are available here. Applicants will receive a letter indicating the status of their application by May 1, 2013.

Reminder – annual statewide tornado drill scheduled for Wednesday, March 6

The statewide tornado drill will be held at 9:50 a.m. on Wednesday, March 6. Ohio law requires schools to conduct a drill every spring so that they are prepared in the event of severe weather. Schools are encouraged to work with their county Emergency Management Agency to prepare for this important safety drill. The statewide tornado drill is held each year during Ohio's Spring Severe Weather Preparedness week, which is designated this year as March 3-9. Each spring, floods, tornadoes, severe thunderstorms and severe winter storms can pose threats to people and property throughout the state.

The Ohio Committee for Severe Weather Awareness provides safety information and tips on how to reduce the impact of severe weather hazards for all seasons. This information can be found here.

New OTES training modules available

Two new multimedia modules are available to help educators better understand the Ohio Teacher Evaluation System (OTES), particularly aspects of the system that support teacher professional growth.

Module 1, the OTES Framework, explains the components of the teacher evaluation framework adopted by the State Board of Education in 2011. Districts must adhere to this evaluation framework whether they are using the OTES model created by ODE or designing an evaluation system of their own. Module 2, the OTES Model, exemplifies best practices for teacher evaluation built on the OTES Framework. Both modules are available here.

Parent Involvement Coordinators’ meeting scheduled for March 20 in Columbus

ODE Office of Federal Programs is hosting a Parent Involvement Coordinators’ (PIC) meeting Wednesday, March 20, from 3-5 p.m. This meeting will be held before the start of the Ohio Association of Administrators of State and Federal Education Programs (OAASFEP) statewide conference, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, at the Greater Columbus Convention Center, in the Fairfield Room. Two contact hours will be available for those who attend the entire session. The meeting will include a Title I parent involvement requirements review and a summary of the Ohio Parent Forum follow-up sessions.

New Ohio law requires additional concussion awareness training for coaches seeking pupil activity permits

Beginning April 26, recently passed return-to-play legislation requires any applicant for a new or renewal pupil activity (coaching) permit from the Ohio Department of Education to complete specific training on recognizing the signs and symptoms of concussions and head injuries as well as brain injury management.

Either of two online training courses listed on the Ohio Department of Health’s Concussion in Youth Sports webpage will satisfy this requirement. Concussion in Sports – What You Need to Know offered by the National Federation of State High School Associations and the National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention program Heads Up – Concussion in Youth Sports Online Training Program are both free and take an hour or less to complete.

A certificate of completion may be printed out upon successful completion of either training. An applicant should submit a copy of the certificate with the pupil activity permit application.