Fifth graders at Madison Elementary will get a boost in their efforts to master the Ohio Achievement Test (OAT) when Dale Carlson comes to their school to speak with them on April 22 at 9:25 a.m.
Students in third and fifth grades will take the OAT test April 28 – May 2.
Carlson, who will speak at the school at no cost to the district, is the head football coach for Ohio Dominican University (ODU). He is in his fourth year at ODU and has more than 20 years of successful college coaching experience. He is known as a dynamic motivational speaker.
Carlson likes to have his players get involved in the community and joining him at Madison Elementary will be his quarterback Cris Reisert; defensive backs Bryan Braddy and Dave Jenkins; linebacker Reshuwn Newell; running back Justin Brantley; tight end Kyle Reichelderfer; defensive tackle Nick Yanko; and outside linebacker James Dingus.
"Carlson and his players will speak about the importance of working hard, setting goals and overcoming difficult situations," said Madison Elementary Principal Cyndi Toledo. "He will relate football to school and the players will share some real life experiences with the students."
When asked how much benefit the students will receive from hearing Carlson speak Toledo stated, "When the students hear about the players’ experiences, some may see similarities in the player’s life and themselves. My hope is after listening to coach Carlson and his players, the students will see there is importance in setting goals and striving to be the best they can be in life, even though they may run into tough times or situations. I would like for them to see that anything is possible. I also hope the students will remember this experience when it comes time to take the OAT test. They students have all set goals for the test. Some goals relate to putting effort into taking the test and some goals relate to setting a goal to make improvement from their past test score."
Toledo said selected students have been invited to attend the school’s OAT Academy held before school. The academy enables teachers to work with small groups of students to work on particular skills in reading and math and other areas needing improvement for performance on the OAT.
"Sam’s Club staff members also come in on Thursday mornings to help the teachers," said Toledo. "This allows the teacher to student ratio to remain small and some students receive individual help on these particular days."
Third grade teachers and students work one hour, four days a week on OAT preparation. The third grade classes are split into groups according to their academic needs.
"I also met with all the third and fifth grade students and discussed the importance of the OAT test," said Toledo. "Together, the students and myself came up with a goal. All the students have a goal to improve their score from last year to this year. I also set up a ‘Principal’s Challenge’ for each grade level."
"Students are accustomed to seeing some form of the OAT," said Toledo. "We do a ‘question of the day’ each day on the announcements and the question is pulled directly from the OAT tests. We also use the ‘Buckle Down’ series as a supplement to target specific skills for each grade level. Many of the teachers are using the effort rubrics in the classroom on a daily basis. They are setting the expectations for work ethics within the classroom. OAT preparations are embedded into the teacher’s day to day teaching."
In 2006, Madison was rated as an "effective school."
"We are striving to get to this rating with small improvements from each student," said Toledo. "If everyone can make an improvement we can bring up our scores as a school!"