From the Superintendent
Several things come to mind this week that I want to share with you.
With the Ohio Achievement Assessments for third-grade reading just completed, many parents of struggling readers may be wondering how the Third Grade Reading Guarantee will affect their child. I urge you to reassure these moms and dads by explaining to them all that your school will do throughout the school year and the summer, if necessary, to get their struggling readers on track. It’s understandable that parents could be anxious, and we want them to know that we care about and have a plan for their child’s well-being. The Ohio Department of Education’s three-minute Third Grade Reading Guarantee video can be a great resource for you, because it explains the intensive help each child will receive and why early reading is so important. On that note, the Ohio Achievement Assessment results we will send to parents will contain a short letter from me also explaining what they can expect and urging them to work with their child’s school.
Many good and exciting things are happening in Ohio’s public education system right now. Here’s a quick round-up:
Right now we are distributing an additional $10 million to high-quality public preschool programs in areas of the state with the most high-needs youngsters of preschool age. The allocation was set aside in House Bill 59, passed by the legislature and signed by Gov. Kasich. The money will allow these programs to open up spots for an additional 2,500 Ohio children from low-income homes. Research paints a sad picture of the effects of poverty on children’s educational opportunities, so giving these boys and girls a chance they wouldn’t otherwise have to get a great start on learning should be gratifying to all of us. If your district runs one of these funded preschool programs I’ll look forward to hearing about your success stories.
I love visiting schools, and I’ll get to do that this week under the happiest of circumstances. We are announcing 141 Schools of Promise and 37 High Performing Schools of Honor tomorrow, and I’ll be handing out School of Honor and School of Promise banners in five schools. If you are notified that any of your schools are on these elite lists I congratulate you! The banners will be in the mail shortly.
The CCIP is now receiving Straight A Fund applications for innovative local learning and cost-saving projects, and it will continue to be open through 11:59 p.m. Oct. 25. I eagerly look forward to seeing the innovations our local educators have in mind to transform learning for Ohio’s students. I appreciate the hard work you are doing to prepare your applications.
Thank you for all you do for the boys and girls of Ohio.
Richard A. Ross
Superintendent of Public Instruction