By Dedra Cordle
The South-Western City Schools District began the new school year with the distressing fact that 105 students were retained because they did not meet the criteria established in the Third Grade Reading Guarantee. However, not all is lost for those students for additional help is on the way.
At a recent meeting, the board of education announced they were contracting with the Educational Service Center of Central Ohio to provide intensive, after-school instruction for those students who have been retained.
According to Patrick Callahan, the district’s assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, all the parent has to do to sign their child up for this program is contact the principal and decide which day, time and location would best fit their schedule.
“They (the licensed teachers with the ESC) can provide lessons at the house, the school or even the library,” he said.
The instruction requires that lessons take place twice a week for one hour and in blocks of 8 weeks. There will be no charge for the parents to enroll their child into the tutoring program.
In other news
•The state report cards were recently released and the district has received high marks in the four Value-Added categories. Additional points of pride for the district, said Callahan, are that graduation rates are up from last year (1.3 percent) and the ACT scores saw a rebound from last year as well. (Students at Franklin Heights High School had their best year in this category.)
Callahan also remarked that more students are scoring at the proficient level in reading than ever before.
“We are very happy and proud of that fact, but we know that we must continue to help those who are struggling reach their goals and close the gap,” he said.
•Bryan Mulvany, the district’s executive director of information services, and Dave Hitchcock, the district’s EMIS and Technology coordinator, gave a technology update at the meeting.
According to Hitchcock, the four new schools (and the renovated ones) have wireless access throughout the building to meet the needs of a 21st century classroom.
He mentioned that students in grades 1 through 4 are being supplied with 2,200 Chromebooks and kindergartners are being supplied with 118 touch screen Chromebooks. Plans are in place to provide Chromebooks for high school students in the near future.
They also discussed a “bring your own devise” program to the classroom, but said more planning needs to be done before that idea can come to fruition.