Changes ahead for Canal Winchester students


By Linda Dillman
Staff Writer

Classes just ended, but Canal Winchester Schools Superintendent James Sotlar is already looking forward to the 2015-16 school year while reflecting on the post-secondary plans of the graduates of 2015.

“The 2014-15 school year was a very successful school year and we’ll continue to move forward in meeting the goals of our new mission statement of empowering students for success,” said Sotlar during a June 16 Canal Winchester Board of Education meeting. “In the 2015-16 school year, we’ll continue to see new faces, new ideas and new courses.”

Sotlar said the high school will offer 16 new courses and the middle school will offer eight new courses, which are all designed to follow the district’s Pathways for Success initiative.
“Indian Trail and Winchester Trail Elementary will continue to utilize Innovative Learning Zones that will teach all students to think and innovate while more effectively using space and technology to improve engagement and learning,” said Sotlar.

According to Sotlar, 258 Canal Winchester seniors graduated on May 23. Nearly three dozen were also enrolled in programs at Eastland-Fairfield Career and Technical Schools and 149 were accepted at a four-year college or university. Sixty seven plan to attend a community college or technical program, 18 plan to work full time, 11 will attend college outside the state and 16 enlisted in the armed forces.

“Eighty-four percent of the graduating class plans to further their education,” said Sotlar. “Seventy-seven students graduated with honors and 58 met the criteria for a state of Ohio honors diploma. We had a very outstanding senior class.”

Changes are coming for future graduates. The state implemented new graduation requirements last year impacting the classes of 2018 and beyond.

In addition to the opportunity of taking a nationally-recognized college admission exam free of charge their junior year and the standard course requirements, students will need to meet new requirements including: end of course exams in Algebra I and geometry or integrated math I and II, physical science, American history and American government and English I and English II.

Students studying Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate or taking dual enrollment courses in physical science, American history or American government may take assessments aligned to those courses in lieu of end-of-course exams to avoid double testing.

Students in the class of 2018 must also meet one of the following requirements: earn a cumulative passing score on seven end-of-course exams set by the State Board of Education; earn a “remediation-free” score on a nationally recognized college admission exam such as ACT or SAT; or earn a state-approved, industry-recognized credential or earn a state issued license for practice in a career; and achieve a score that demonstrates workforce readiness and employability on a job skills assessment.

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