Summer 2017 Points of Pride
Kathy Stone, Director of Education
Our Technology Team has worked diligently during this past school year designing a technology plan that will enable our students to progress as creative, self-directed learners with the knowledge, skills and behaviors to succeed in the 21st century workplace. I am excited to announce that our district Technology Team has finalized the district’s five-year strategic technology plan.
Our plan includes providing Chromebooks for students in grades 6-12. At the beginning of the 2017-2018 school year, students in grades six and nine will receive a Chromebook. Each year we will purchase Chromebooks for two grade levels, with the goal of every student in the middle school and high school receiving a Chromebook by the 2020-2021 school year.
Insurance will be offered to students and is strongly encouraged. The cost of insurance is $25 per year. If a student breaks a device and has insurance, there is a $25 deductible on the first incident, and $35 for each additional incident per year. If insurance has not been purchased, the family will be liable for the replacement of the entire device. More information about the insurance and Chromebook policies will be sent home in August to all families.
Ongoing professional development will be provided for our teachers as they learn how to use Google Apps for Education. We have many teachers in our district currently using Google Apps and I am working with these teachers to design teacher inservice for August and throughout the year. Ontario Schools strongly believe that teachers teaching teachers is one of the most effective means of providing professional learning. Our teachers will learn to use Google tools that focus on the core areas of 21st century learning skills: creativity, critical thinking, communication and collaboration.
At the elementary level, our goal is to have 16 Chromebooks per classroom in second through fifth grades. The fifth grade will receive 16 the first year, and the second through fourth grades will receive eight the first year, and eight the second year. Kindergarten and first grade classrooms will each have eight iPads. These devices will not travel home with the students.
Stingel will be utilizing a new resource called “Learning A-Z”. This program allows students to read books electronically at their individual reading level and then complete a short comprehension quiz. Data from the test questions can be accessed by the teacher, and the information will be used to inform instruction. A real benefit of the Learning A-Z resource is that students can read books electronically at home. We piloted the program for three months, and the students were engaged and motivated to read independently.
We believe that Chromebooks are a tool to be used by students for accessing, creating, evaluating, applying and communicating ideas and information. The devices will be used across the curriculum to enhance student achievement, personalize learning and engage our students. Ontario Schools has always had a strong commitment to providing current technology in our schools and we are excited to launch this new initiative!
2017-2018 State Testing Dates
Source: Ohio Department of Education Website
Ohio’s State Tests in English Language Arts, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies
Fall 2017: Grade 3 English Language Arts October 23 to November 3
Spring 2018: English Language Arts March 26 to April 27
Mathematics, Science and Social Studies April 2 to May 11
Ontario Local Schools provides regular opportunities for screening and assessment of students in grades K-12 for possible gifted identification each year. If you have questions or concerns regarding the assessment or opportunities for your child, please contact the building principal. The procedures utilized by the district are based on the state guidelines as stated in section 3324.04 of the Ohio Revised Code for identifying children who are gifted. A Gifted and Talented brochure and parent referral form can be found on the Ontario Schools website or in all district offices.
The Search For Students With Disabilities
Ontario Local Schools is participating in an effort to identify, locate and evaluate all children who may have disabilities. Ontario Local Schools has responded vigorously to federal and state mandates requiring the provision of free, appropriate public education regardless of a child’s disability. But before we can serve children, they must be found.
All information regarding testing or identification of children with disabilities will be held in strict confidence and released to others only with parent permission or as allowed by law.
District policies and procedures for special education are available in all district offices. Ontario Schools is committed to meeting the needs of children with disabilities. If you have or know of a child who may have a disability, contact any school office for more information or help.