Bloom-Vernon part of network asking for $15M

By Ryan Ottney

November 6, 2013

Ryan Scott Ottney

PDT Staff Writer

Bloom-Vernon School District, in South Webster, is part of a 27-school collaborative applying for $15 million from the Ohio Department of Education’s Straight-A Fund, to accelerate student achievement and increase student access to advanced learning opportunities.

Bloom-Vernon Superintendent Rick Carrington said if approved, the district would use its share of the funding to continue programs it began with Race to the Top grant funding. The district is also applying to continue receiving Race to the Top District funding.

“We’ve prepared for the implementation of new standards and new assessments which is coming in full next year. We have used that for professional development with our staff, particularly in the area of formative instructional practices. That’s simply monitoring students understanding as you’re teaching so that you know if they’re getting it or not, or do I need to adjust my teaching or not, do I need to go back and re-teach?” Carrington said. “Also some of that money has been used to transition to the new teacher and principal evaluation systems. Then, something that’s being rolled out this year, it’s called IIS — Instructional Improvement System. I haven’t seen it firsthand because it’s not out yet, but we’ve had a couple of teachers that’s been training on it and it is a robust database that will house all the testing information, and achievement information for students, so a teacher can go to one place and find all the data they need for a student’s progress.”

The requested $15 million Straight-A project one-time investment would enable the 27 participating rural school districts to continue those programs and further increase student access to advanced learning and effective instruction through a networked 6-12 grade blended learning and dual enrollment system.

Joining Bloom-Vernon on the request is Barnesville Local School (Belmont County), Batavia Local (Clermont County), Bellefontaine City Schools (Logan County), Belpre City Schools (Washington County), Bethel Tate Local Schools (Clermont County), Coshocton City Schools (Coshocton County), Crooksville EVSD (Perry County), East Guernsey Local School (Guernsey County), East Muskingum Local (Muskingum County), Fort Frye Local Schools (Washington County), Foxfire Schools (Muskingum County), Franklin Local Schools (Muskingum County), Georgetown EVSD (Brown County), Indian Valley Local Schools (Tuscarawas County), Maysville Local Schools (Muskingum C0unty), Morgan Local Schools (Morgan County), New Lexington City Schools (Perry County), Noble Local Schools (Noble County), Northern Local Schools (Perry County), River View Local Schools (Coshocton County), Rolling Hills Local Schools (Guernsey County), Switzerland of Ohio Local Schools (Monroe County), Tri-Valley Local Schools (Muskingum County), Warren Local Schools (Washington County), West Muskingum Local Schools (Muskingum County), and Wolf Creek Local Schools (Washington County).

Together the schools are part of the Ohio Appalachian Collaborative, which established in 2010 to help rural districts accelerate college and career readiness by working together on ways to improve effectiveness, increase access to advanced learning, and share school improvement costs.

Carrington said the collaborative of districts should receive a response, whether or not their grant request is accepted, in early December. He said he’s not sure yet what portion of the funding would come to Bloom-Vernon, and that it will be divided based on student populations.

Ryan Scott Ottney may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 287, or rottney@civitasmedia.com. For breaking news, follow Ryan on Twitter @PDTwriter.