ExtraCredit, the official blog of the Ohio Department of Education, offers commentary and insight on a wide range of education issues from department experts and guest bloggers from throughout Ohio’s schools and support organizations. We encourage your ideas, feedback and comments to promote a two-way dialogue. See our Comment Policy for more information.

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State Supt. Paolo DeMaria Visits Delaware Area Career Center and Cleveland Metropolitan School District

By: Staff Blogger

State Supt. Paolo DeMaria spent time with some of  Ohio's career-tech educators and students anticipating the premiere of The Career Path Less Taken, a documentary about career-technical education in Ohio. Today’s visits on his back-to-school tour brought him to Delaware Area Career Center and the Lincoln-West School of Science and Health in Cleveland Metropolitan School District. After the visits, it was time to join the viewing party for The Career Path Less Taken. He also moderated Career Tech Talkan after-show discussion with students and industry experts.

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Time to Thrive…Ohio’s Options for Adults to Complete Their High School Education

By: Julia Simmerer

469220096.jpgEditor’s Note: Samantha Fallucco helped author this blog. Samantha is a program administrator in the Department’s Center for Teaching, Leading and Learning. You can contact Samantha here.

Recently, I heard some news that reinforced how meaningful it can be for adults who didn’t receive their diplomas in high school to take advantage of Ohio’s options for earning a diploma or the equivalent. Graduates from these programs don’t just survive, they thrive. In July, two Ohio GED graduates received national recognition and $1,000 scholarships at the GED Testing Service Annual Conference. Reginald Latten was one of only four people to receive the 2019 GED Graduate of the Year Award and Kyle Reckart received the 2019 GEDWorks Graduate of the Year Award.

In today’s rapidly changing job market, finding meaningful employment can seem out of reach for many Ohioans without a high school diploma. The good news is Ohio offers several pathways for adult learners to earn a high school diploma or equivalent. These pathways include taking a high school equivalence exam, such as the GED, enrolling in the Adult Diploma program, or participating in the 22+ Adult High School Diploma program.

High School Equivalence exams provide learners 18 years old and older the opportunity to gain the academic skills and credentials needed for acceptance into postsecondary education programs or directly into the workforce. The most well-known of these exams is the GED®. Other Ohio-approved options for high school equivalence are the HiSET and TASC exams. For learners interested in earning high school equivalence by taking one of these exams, more information, including the location of testing centers and exam costs, can be found here.

The Adult Diploma Program provides job training and a new pathway for adults ages 22 or older to earn a high school diploma AND industry credentials aligned to one of Ohio’s in-demand jobs. What makes this program different is that instead of measuring academic achievement through clock hours, seat time or credits earned, the focus is on a competency-based approach that provides a self-paced option. Once competencies have been learned, adults then demonstrate mastery of skill. Each eligible adult works with his or her provider to create a customized student success plan. Click here to learn more.

The 22+ Adult High School Diploma Program helps adults earn a high school diploma. The program is free to adults over 22 years old who live in Ohio and do not have a high school diploma or equivalent. Counselors work with adult learners to develop individual plans to identify the courses and assessments needed to graduate and earn a diploma. Providers try their best to schedule instructional dates and times to meet the needs of adult learners. To learn more about this program, click here.

By taking advantage of one of these programs, adult learners can find meaningful employment to support themselves and their families. With a little hard work and a shot of inspiration from adult learners like Reginald and Kyle, your dreams are within reach!

Julia Simmerer is senior executive director of the Center for the Teaching, Leading and Learning at the Ohio Department of Education. You can learn more about Julia by clicking here.

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State Supt. Paolo DeMaria Visits Columbus City School District and Bexley City School District

By: Staff Blogger

As part of his back-to-school tour, State Supt. Paolo DeMaria visited Arts Impact Middle School and Windsor STEM Academy in Columbus City Schools and Maryland Elementary in Bexley City Schools. 

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State Supt. Paolo DeMaria Visits Princeton City School District

By: Staff Blogger

With the 2019-2020 school year underway, State Supt. Paolo DeMaria is back on the road learning about what works in Ohio’s schools. His first stop of the year was to Princeton City School District. In Princeton, educators recognize that building partnerships and supporting the whole child are major contributing factors to the success of each student in their schools and in their community.

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Tackling Chronic Absenteeism Together with the Get 2 School Network

By: Staff Blogger

Whether it’s on the football field or in a learning community, teamwork makes a world of difference! For educators, partnerships can transform the school experience and create new opportunities for students. On Saturday, we officially launched an exciting effort to elevate the importance of school attendance in Ohio schools.

Introducing the Get 2 School, Stay in the Game Network! We’re working with the Cleveland Browns Foundation and Harvard University’s Proving Ground to put an end to chronic absenteeism. Missing one or two days of school every few weeks is enough to cause students to fall behind and become chronically absent. More than 260,000 Ohio students were chronically absent last year.

At the foundation of Get 2 School is a belief that student success starts with engaged learners who attend school each day. To begin, our network includes a core group of districts – including learning communities in rural and urban settings – to test and evaluate the effectiveness of specific, attendance-related strategies. The network’s website, Get2School.org, has many resources for educators, families and communities—all available at no cost. 

Visit Get2School.org to download posters, yard signs, attendance trackers and more. We’re encouraging students to take the attendance pledge, and there’s an attendance spotlight to submit your school’s success stories to potentially be featured by the Cleveland Browns Foundation.  

In celebration of the network’s launch, 500 students, family members, educators, community members and leaders from across the state gathered for a pep rally at FirstEnergy Stadium, prior to Saturday’s Orange & Brown Scrimmage. See more highlights from our kickoff event below!

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