Monday, March 10-Friday, March 14
Friday, March 21
End of Third Nine Weeks
Wednesday, April 9
Board of Education meeting
Thursday, April 17
Friday, April 18-Friday, April 25
No School; Good Friday& Spring Break
Monday, April 28
Tuesday, May 6
The state has allowed districts to push back when they will give students Ohio Achievement Tests because of the number of calamity days so many have taken. The new dates, which will give teachers more time with students beforehand, are:
In January we began dispatching regular email updates called "Board Bits" summarizing action taken by the Board of Education at its regular meetings. The wrap-up is just one way we are committed to sharing important news and information about Groveport Madison Schools with our community. The news is also posted on our website under the Communications tab.Take a look.
Next year's incoming kindergartners will never know the difference, but when they are assessed at the beginning of the year their teachers will be using a whole new model.
The state of Ohio has revamped its Kindergarten Readiness Assessment to help teachers better understand what - and how - each child in the class needs to learn. The results establish a broader starting point (as compared to previous years) for the teachers to measure student progress throughout the year; how a child performs does not prevent entrance.
The KRA will measure following through a mix of teacher observations, student response to prompts and performance tasks:
Teachers will be provided with training to prepare for the new KRA so they are ready to administer to the children beginning the first day of the 2014-15 school year. The assessments will be complete by Nov. 1, 2014.
Take a close look at backpacks as students unpack this coming week. Blizzard Bag assignments come home Monday.
All assignments are required and are due March 24. Teachers will grade or mark the work with the same expectations as other classwork.
The Board of Education approved the use of Blizzard Bags to make up three of the district's calamity days. The state provides five waivers. So far, Groveport Madison has missed 11 days (with Middle School North out an extra at 12 due to an electrical problem) because of inclement weather.
The legislature is considering additional exemptions but has taken no formal action. That leaves three make-up days in June, unless the discussions among lawmakers materialize into something concrete.
Voters will have the opportunity to help build a new high school and set district finances on solid footing with a vote at the polls this spring.
Issue 4 is the combined measure placed by the Board of Education on the May 6 ballot. Issue 4 is a:
If passed, the state would chip in 53 percent of the cost for a new high school through the Ohio School Facilities Commission. The money is not available if residents do not support Issue 4. Groveport Madison High School was built for 900 students between between 1966-1970, with an addition built in 1975; roughly 1,400 attend the school each day.
The cost is about $26/month per $100,000 property valuation. For more information about Issue 4, stay tuned to the district's website.
Full court press
One thing was clear this basketball season: the varsity boys Cruisers were there to hold court.
The team, 11-11, made it to the first round of tournament play after not having a winning season since 2007-08. Coach Ryan Grashel said victories over Walnut Ridge, Westerville Central and the sweep of Pickerington North were season highs.
While the Cruisers fell to St. Charles in game one, several players received Ohio Capital Conference honors within the Ohio division: senior CJ Crowder was named 2nd Team All OCC-Ohio; sophomore Tyus Ferguson got Special Mention All OCC-Ohio; and junior Carmearl Thomas received Honorable Mention All OCC-Ohio.
All District Honorable Mention Honors went to Crowder and sophomore Tyus Ferguson.
Grashel (who also teaches algebra at the high school) said with as much talent the team is expected to bring next season, it should expect continued success on the court.
Resourcefulness saves district lots of dollars
Looking for alternative funding is just one more way district officials are working to save taxpayers dollars, stretching resources as far as they can go.
As a result, Groveport Madison receives money through E-Rate, a federal program designed to help schools and libraries across the country afford advanced telecommunication services and Internet access. E-rate falls under the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) umbrella and is officially administered by the Schools and Libraries Division of the Universal Service Administrative Company.
Priority 1 funding helps offset external connections such as building-to-building networks and telephones and saves about $300,000 each year. Priority 2 dollars are used for internal connections, which most recently was used to help pay for the wired and wireless network upgrades the district completed in May 2013 which saved about $130,000.
Detailed applications are required each year for funding requests. Groveport Madison applies for Priority 1 money each year and will ask for Priority 2 dollars again this year to increase wireless density.
The 2013 Priority 2 funds were awarded when the district had four buildings that qualified for 90 percent reimbursement through E-Rate; it now has seven buildings that qualify at the 90 percent level. The FCC determines levels of eligibility based on poverty and the location of a district (urban versus rural).
Practice will help officials see if new tests are ready to go
Collaboration is a hallmark of education and no stranger to Groveport Madison Schools.
The district is participating in a practice run of the new online tests the state will give to students in core subject areas: math, science, social studies and language arts. The new assessments are scheduled to be in place next year and replace the "bubble-sheet" tests students currently use and align with the new national Common Core standards.
The district will not receive scores of the students who participate in the field test. Those who take the new computer-based test will help provide information to those who have developed the test to ensure it stacks up against what it is supposed to measure.
The state is moving to the online assessments because they have been created to better measure real-world skills such as critical thinking and problem solving. They will be tailored to give teachers and parents during the year a better picture of where students are succeeding and where they need help.
Participating in the field test will also help us in Groveport Madison to determine if we are ready as a district to put the online testing in place by next spring.
Superintendent to deliver State of the District Address
You're invited to join us as Superintendent Hoover presents the State of the District Address on any of the following dates: March 6, 13, 19, and 27. You can participate in a Q & A session at the end of the address, and you can also send in your question on Twitter to @GMschools and by using the #GMSotD hashtag.
Each event will be held at 7 p.m. in the auditorium at Groveport Madison High School, 4475 S. Hamilton Road, Groveport.