A Virtual Learning Reflection
On Thursday March 12th Ontario Local Schools, like all schools across the state of Ohio, received the unprecedented news that in person classes were going to be shut down for a period of time due to COVID-19. We met with our teachers that Thursday afternoon and informed them that Friday would be the last day they would have their students “in class,” for what turned out to be the rest of the school year. Like educators across the state of Ohio we were given about 48 hours to completely reinvent how school was going to take place. Our teachers quickly transitioned from providing in person lessons on a daily basis to delivering virtual lessons and assignments to their students while working from home. As we have had time to reflect on the end of last year we would like to take a minute to sincerely thank our students, parents and staff members for their extraordinary efforts that allowed us to make it through an extremely challenging situation. Thanks to the efforts of everyone involved, Ontario Local Schools was able to continue to provide educational opportunities to our students through a virtual learning environment.
As we prepare for the coming school year our goal is to get back to in person teaching and learning as soon as possible. While that continues to be our primary focus we have also taken the time to analyze our virtual learning environments from last spring to look for ways to improve. If it were to become necessary to provide virtual lessons again in the future we have identified a few key components that would be the basis of any virtual learning environments our teachers would provide moving forward.
Key components of of any future virtual learning environments would include:
Teachers would be teaching live lessons from their classrooms that students would access virtually in real time.
Live lessons would be recorded and archived to allow students who may have had to miss the live lesson to go back and watch it at a later date.
Designated “virtual office hours” would be established where teachers would be available to answer questions and communicate with parents and students.
Tips for Students and Parents to be Successful in a Virtual Learning Environment:
Create a designated work space at home for virtual learning.
Keep a daily schedule of when learning will take place.
Limit distractions in your work space.
Stay in contact with your teachers to make sure you are clearly understanding what is expected of you.
Again, we would like to say thank you to everyone involved with the virtual learning process that took place last spring. We can not wait for students to walk through our doors again and begin to get back to school as normal. While reopening our schools to in person learning is still our ultimate goal, know that we have also been making preparations to take virtual learning to the “next level” if our current health crisis would force that to become necessary at some point in the future. A great deal of effort has gone into planning for the coming school year. No matter what challenges come our direction, we are prepared to adjust quickly, and provide an outstanding education to our students.
State Testing Dates
FALL TEST WINDOWS 2020
Grade 3 English language arts – Five consecutive school days, including makeups, within the Oct. 19, 2020 - Oct. 30, 2020 window
High school end-of-course tests – Fifteen consecutive school days, including makeups, within the Nov. 30, 2020 - Jan. 8, 2021 window
SPRING TEST WINDOWS 2021
English language arts - March 22, 2021 - April 23, 2021, 15 consecutive school days, including makeups, within the test window.
Mathematics, science and social studies - March 29, 2021 - May 7, 2021, 15 consecutive school days, including makeups, within the test window.
State Report Card Summary
The state report card this year was greatly reduced as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Below you will find the brief highlights of the information released.
Graduation Rate: Our 4 year graduation rate was at 95% (state average 85.9%) and our 5 year graduation rate was at 96.8% (state average 87.5%).
Improving at risk K-3 Readers: We had 99.3% of our students meet the requirements of the 3rd grade reading guarantee. Last year was the year that we switched diagnostic measures, so when we look at the “on track by grade level” data, it becomes a little difficult to compare or put too much weight into those results, as they were derived from two different sources of data.
Student Racial Demographics: 82.8% Caucasian, 6.6% Multi-Racial, 4.3% Black, 3.4% Hispanic, 2.9 Asian or Pacific Islander
Teacher Attendance: 96.7%
Teacher Average Years of Experience: 17
Teachers with a Master’s Degree: 57.8%
Staffing Ratios: We continue to be very lean in terms of our staffing levels:
Ontario Teachers: 40.2 general education teachers per 1,000 students (state average 45.7 per 1,000)
Ontario SPED Teachers: 8.7 teachers per 1,000 students (state average 13.8 per 1,000 students)
District Mobility: This chart shows the percentage of students, that because they moved in or out of the district, did not spend the majority of the year within the district. There have been studies that show a correlation between mobility and academic performance.