By RYAN SCOTT OTTNEY
PDT Staff Writer
Teachers from three Scioto County schools have been invited to present papers in May at the High Schools That Work southcentral regional conference in Westerville. They also will attend the national conference in July, where they might be asked to present again.
Ten regional schools present at the conference each year. Invited this year was Beth Smith, Jimmy Bailey and Chad King from Glenwood High School in New Boston; Sommer Picklesimer, Terrina Albright, and Kristen Wawro from East High School in Sciotoville; and Jackie Hickman, Erika Merrill and Megan Large from Green High School in Franklin Furnace.
This is New Boston’s fourth year presenting at the regional conference.
“High Schools That Work is a school initiative, and 30 states are involved in this. It helps us look at the new standards as a way for us to look at ways for our school to improve,” said Beth Smith, from New Boston.
The theme for this year’s conference is “rigor” and each of the participating schools had to present papers outlining ways their district has shown rigor within their schools. These practices have lifted the New Boston School District from continuous improvement status to an effective rating by the Ohio Department of Education.
“An example would be giving the kids extra help. We have in our math classes accelerated lessons for those kids that have already met the standards, they can move on to the next standard. And for those kids that need extra help, they work on these accelerated lessons,” Smith said.
Teachers at East High School in Sciotoville also followed the theme of “rigor,” and focused their paper on how they are creating a culture of success for their students.
“We provide support and mentoring to get below-grade-level students to meet or exceed grade-level standards,” said Sommer Picklesimer, from Sciotoville. “We’ve definitely seen our suspension rate drop by 50 percent. Also looking at our positive support Star Card system, students are earning more Star Cards this year than last year. Then of course you still have the personal stories of culture and morale of students. More students are engaged and participating in extra-curricular activities and being successful in those activities. Those are all things we consider good indicators of increased morale and culture.”
Teachers from Green High School were unavailable to comment Friday afternoon.
Along with being invited to present at the regional conference in May, each of the area schools has also received a $6,000 mini-grant to send several of its teachers to attend the national conference in Louisiana in July. Teachers have also submitted their work to possibly present again at the national conference.
Smith said there are 1,400 school districts participating in the national conference.
Ryan Scott Ottney can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 235, or firstname.lastname@example.org.