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New Riegel Local Schools

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New Riegel Local School District News Article

District News and Notes - July 2023


Facilities and Maintenance
    The summertime cleaning and waxing continues in the building, the HS and ES wings are completed and open.  The auditeria, health room, band room are being cleaned and waxed this week and next.  
    The HS gym floor has been sanded, painted and is complete and the JH gym floor is being buffed this week.  
    The track building was started a couple of weeks ago.
    Access Doors - In process of getting completed  
    The blast proof window film on all glass has been completed in the building.  
    The sound system in the JH gym is complete.  The cost of the system was paid through a grant from the Ohio Facilities Commission Safety Grant.
    A new boiler system is being installed.  The maintenance fund is covering the cost of the new boilers.  

Safety and Security
    Superintendents met with Sheriff Stevens and Chief Deputy Boyer this past month to review communications between schools and the Seneca County Sheriff's department.  

Agenda items in July included the following hiring:
    Assistant Volleyball: Hailey Hoepf
    Freshman Volleyball: Taylor Brodman
    Assistant Boys Basketball: Derek Sallee
    Varsity Bowling: Caz Anez
    School Year and Summer Weight Room: Kristin Tiell
    Volleyball scoreboard operator and JH Assistant Track: Paul Reiter
    Sophomore Class Advisor: John Kramer
    Assistant Girls Basketball: Judy Pusateri
    Volunteer Girls Basketball: Kaiti Hughes
    8th grade Boys Basketball: Bill Faeth

    Graduation is set for 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 19, 2024 with Senior Awards at 11 a.m.

    The student handbook, volunteer handbook, athletic code of conduct and drug testing policies are approved for 23-24
o    p. 30 Student Handbook: “Senior students who are employed outside of school and wish to work a shift during the school year that may conflict with the school day may be able to leave for work with the permission of the principal so long as they also meet the following criteria: The student must maintain at least a 2.0 GPA with no Fs. The student can only work during a study hall and not during scheduled class time (periods with a scheduled independent study or GradPoint class do not count as a study hall).  At any time, a student who drops below a 2.0 GPA or is failing a class, may have their privilege to leave school for work revoked.”
    Approved Contract with Carey for our JH wrestlers to wrestle for the 23-24 school year with Carey Schools

Here’s the latest by Hannah News Service on the different areas of the new state budget and how it impacts education.

It's in the Budget: SBOE Looks at Which Education Initiatives Made Final Cut With the state operating budget officially passed and signed, Ohio Department of Education (ODE) Budget Chief Aaron Rausch and ODE Director of Policy and Legislative Affairs Jennie Stump Monday took the State Board of Education (SBOE) on a tour of education funding and policy initiatives, explaining what made it into the final budget and what didn't.

The FY24-25 budget includes new state spending of about $2.79 billion over the biennium for K-12 education. Due to the expiration of federal COVID relief dollars, the education department's All Funds Budget will still see a decrease from $17.4 billion in FY23 to $17.1 billion in FY24 and to $15.7 billion in FY25.

Rausch said changes to state foundation funding are the major drivers behind the large increases in new state spending. The budget continues the phase-in of the new school funding formula and includes updates to student enrollment and local capacity calculations. It also uses FY22 inputs for salaries, insurance and other expenditures to increase resources to schools.

Another major area of funding is around the state's school choice programs. The Senate was successful in establishing universal eligibility for the EdChoice Expansion program. Full scholarships will be available for families at or below 450 percent of the federal poverty level (which equals an income of about $135,000 for a family of four). Partial scholarships will be available for families earning above that amount with a 10 percent minimum scholarship award regardless of family income, Rausch said.

Due to changes in the state funding formula and increases to the statewide average base cost per pupil, EdChoice scholarships will also see an increase. Rausch estimated maximum scholarship amounts will increase by about 12 percent.

Responding to questions, Rausch told the board the total funding going toward the state's five scholarship programs - which also includes the traditional EdChoice program, the Autism Scholarship Program and others - amounts to $964 million in FY24 and about $1 billion in FY25.

On the policy side of EdChoice Expansion Scholarships, Stump said the budget permits parents to certify eligibility by affidavit, proof of eligibility for another income-based government program or other evidence. Individuals who are exempt from filing a state tax return do not have to certify their income eligibility at all. “For the other scholarship programs -- the traditional EdChoice ... Autism Scholarship, Jon Peterson Scholarship and Cleveland scholarship, it prohibits the department from requiring verification of income for any of those programs," Stump said. The budget allows for students to apply for the EdChoice or Cleveland Scholarship by Oct. 1 to be eligible for the full scholarship amount. In addition, the budget allows chartered nonpublic schools to accept private scholarships to make up the difference between tuition and scholarship amounts; and requires the education department to develop a student growth measure for EdChoice students in grades 4-8 by July 1, 2025.

Other items that were included, or removed, from the budget include the following:

- $258.4 million in total for early childhood education, including $122.2 million beyond what the SBOE or governor had recommended. Rausch said the additional spending will mean Ohio will be able to serve more than 33,000 low-income children. This item is also one that will eventually transition to the new Department of Children and Youth.
- $86 million over the biennium for educator professional development stipends for training in the science of reading. The stipends are $1,200 for K-5 teachers and $400 for grades 6-12 teachers.
- $64 million over the biennium for schools to purchase high-quality instructional materials aligned to the science of reading.
- $6 million in FY24 and $12 million in FY25 to hire literacy coaches for schools with the lowest rates of literacy proficiency.
- Funding for a dyslexia screener paid for by the state, a recommendation of the SBOE, was not included in the final budget.

Learning Acceleration
- Funding for high dosage tutoring, which were programs launched during the pandemic with federal dollars, were removed from the final budget.

Workforce Readiness
- $300 million over the biennium for Career-Technical Education -- $100 million for equipment (to be administered by ODE) and $200 million for facilities (to be administered by the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission).
- $28.6 million for career awareness and exploration activities.
- $32 million over the biennium for Industry Recognized Credentials.
- $6 million over the biennium for College Credit Plus (CCP) Teacher Credential Grants, and another $5
million over the biennium for CCP Start-up Grants.
- $4.8 million over the biennium for the Ohio Military Veteran Educator Program.
- $1.2 million over the biennium for the Fifth Quarter Vocational Agriculture Program.
- $2.5 million in FY24 for a pilot program allowing 18-21 years olds to participate in the 22+ Adult Diploma Program.
- Funding for upgrades to the Ohio Means Jobs K-12 Portal, incentives for Business Advisory Councils and the Making Schools Work grant program were all removed.

Student Wellness and Safety
- The budget generally continues Student Wellness and Success funding, Rausch said, including with $15 million over the biennium for school-based health centers, to be operated by the Ohio Department of Health.
- $8.4 million over the biennium to make reduced price school meals free.
- $5 million in FY24 for feminine hygiene products as well as a mandate that schools not charge for these products.
- Funding for school resource officers (SROs) was removed. Rausch said ultimately the General Assembly opted to wrap that funding (about $195 million in each year of the biennium) into the funding formula, saying it is still in the budget but not restricted for SROs.
Schools and Districts
- An additional $91.6 million over the biennium for increases for brick and mortar community school facilities funding.
- An additional $165 million over the biennium for Quality Community and Independent STEM Schools.
- $390 million over the biennium to support the cost of the funding formula and scholarship programs from the Sports Gaming Profits Education Fund.
- $9.7 million in additional funding over the biennium for IT support for schools and districts.
- There were 17 earmarks to specific programs and entities totaling $29.6 million over the biennium in the budget.

Stump reviewed the following policy changes in the budget:

Third Grade Reading Guarantee
- After the House voted to remove retention under the guarantee and the Senate voted to keep it, the conference committee struck a deal which retains the retention requirement, but permits students to be promoted to fourth grade at the parent's request and in consultation with the reading teacher and principal. Stump said the provision won't take effect until around Oct. 1 and students from spring 2023 who would have been retained still will be.
- The conference committee also added language that struggling readers must receive intervention services until they can read at grade level and that it must be aligned to the science of reading and include high-dosage tutoring. This applies up to grade 12.

Dropout Prevention and Recovery Schools
- The budget includes SB79 (Reynolds) and requires the education department to establish a Dropout Prevention and Recovery Advisory Council to review existing rules and guidance for dropout prevention schools and proposed new rules.
- The budget also requires the education department to establish 10-week fall and spring testing windows and summer testing windows and to base report card indicators on an analysis of data from prior years.

- Defines district noncompliance with obligations to transport students to community schools and charter non-public schools. That definition is "five consecutive school days, or 10 days within the school year, in which a bus arrives more than 30 minutes late to school, students are picked up more than 30 minutes after the school day ends, the bus doesn't arrive at all to pick up students or the district doesn't comply with any other transportation requirements," Stump said.
- For the first noncompliance, districts must develop corrective action plans. For each subsequent instance of noncompliance, ODE must withhold 25 percent of the district's daily transportation funds. Then on the fifth instance of noncompliance, the department must withhold 100 percent of the district's daily transportation funds. And these funds must be distributed to the community schools and charter non-public schools to be distributed to parents.
- Creates transportation pilot programs for two educational service centers to transport students in Franklin and Montgomery counties to community and private schools.
- Allows districts to use vans to transport nine or fewer students to community and chartered nonpublic schools; and permits community schools to use vans if the district declares transportation impractical or a student lives more than 30 minutes from school. The budget also establishes safety precautions for vans.

Educator Licensure
- Collapses the licensure grade bands from three to two for grades preK-8 and 6-12.
- Allows teachers to teach up to two grades outside of their licensure grade band for two years at a time.
- Makes permanent the authority for schools to set their own educational requirements for substitute teachers and establishes a one-year temporary substitute teaching license. This is a COVID-era provision that is being made permanent.

- Increases the minimum teacher salary to $35,000 from $30,000.
- Creates the Grow Your Own Teacher Program for low-income 12th graders and educational aides to receive college scholarships of $7,500 per year for four years in exchange for teaching in high-need schools in their own district for four years. This is similar to HB9 (Manning-Lightbody).

Ohio Computer Science Promise Program
- Allows public school students in grades 7-12 annually to take a free computer science course not offered by the student's school and requires the school to award high school credit for the course and count it toward graduation requirements.

Governor's Merit Scholarship
- Awards scholarships of $5,000 per academic year to students in the top 5 percent of their high school class. The award is available to students at public and chartered nonpublic schools as well as home schooled, though that criteria is still being determined.

Workforce Readiness
- Permits multiple districts to create a career-technical cooperative education district, which will be able to levy property taxes up to 3 mills to fund CTE programs.
- Allows districts to contract with an Ohio Technical Center to serve students enrolled in a CTE program.

- The budget bill abolishes the Lorain Academic Distress Commission (ADC) but maintains the ADCs for
Youngstown and East Cleveland.
- Requires all non-licensed school employees to be enrolled in Rapback. These would include cafeteria
workers, bus drivers, and others.
- Removes the "blizzard bag" law by allowing schools to make up three calamity days by remote learning.
- Requires schools to provide a transfer of a student's records to a new school within five days of the request. The records can still be withheld if the student's family owes $2,500 or more. This is similar to SB66 (Ingram).
- Requires schools to accept cash for sports events and other school activities.
- Requires schools to create a seizure action plan for each student with a seizure disorder. This is similar
to 134-HB606 (Bird-Ingram).
- Requires school athletic coaches to complete training on student mental health.
- Eliminates the State Report Card Review Committee.

Governor Vetoes
- Of the 44 vetoes issued by Gov. Mike DeWine, one had to do with education -- a provision that would have required JCARR to review and approve proposed changes to the community school full-time equivalency (FTE) manual.

It's in the Budget: HB33 Provides Six Months to Transfer Education

Governance Powers
Most of the powers of the State Board of Education (SBOE) will be transferred to the DeWine administration over the next six months as a result of budget bill HB33 (Edwards), Ohio Department of Education (ODE) officials said Monday.

"Most of the budget bill provisions are effective 91 days after the act is filed with the secretary of state. We do not know that date ... but we are tracking that," ODE Chief Legal Counsel Tony Palmer said during SBOE's meeting. "There is also an additional 90 days after that, so it's a period of six months altogether to complete any actions necessary to implement the transfer of powers."

ODE Chief of Staff Jessica Voltolini said she and other administration officials are working on an estimate of how many staffers will be moved from ODE - which will soon be renamed the Ohio Department of Education and Workforce (DEW) -- to SBOE in order to carry out SBOE's remaining responsibilities,
which mainly include teacher licensing.

"We estimate it will be about 70 employees because it will encompass our entire Office of Educator Licensure and the entire Office of Professional Conduct. It will also include board relations and some members doing work within our Office of Educator Effectiveness. We would also anticipate that the superintendent would also need to make hiring decisions with respect to back office operations, HR, communications, legal etc. So right now, based on our current staffing levels ... we are estimating about 70 employees, which is approximately 11 or 12 percent of our current staff," Voltolini said.

SBOE member Charlotte McGuire said the board should consider creating a transition strategy, and suggested a small working group or a retreat to discuss the issue in mid-August. McGuire said it's important for the board to "make sure we're not in a jam at the last minute."

SBOE member Diana Fessler said she appreciates McGuire's optimism that SBOE will have any real role in making education policy moving forward, but she is much more pessimistic.

"We are not in the driver seat. We could all die and go to glory tomorrow, and the bus is still going down the road with or without us. Now if some people think it's entertaining to put up a facade of involvement and support and collaboration, go for it. I'm not there," Fessler said.

SBOE member Antoinette Miranda asked who will be fired at DEW when the test scores do not improve after the transition is complete. Voltolini said there are accountability measures in the legislation, such as the deputy directors' facing confirmation by the Senate.

Fessler said she shares Miranda's concern on accountability of DEW."I think the state can get any outcome they want in the future by working with Pearson, because Pearson can change the test questions, and they can change the scores," Fessler said. "So, I think the kids are going to be doing amazingly well in no time at all. But it'll be a lie from the pit of hell."

SBOE members Teresa Fedor and Meryl Johnson asked about transparency, with Voltolini saying DEW will be required to hold monthly public meetings in addition to other standard cabinet transparency requirements. Voltolini said she couldn't answer Johnson's question on whether DEW will be allowed to
hold private meetings.

ODE Shares 2022-2023 Third Grade Reading Scores
The Ohio Department of Education (ODE) released the 2022-2023 third grade English Language Arts
(ELA) tests scores on Monday.

ODE Office of Assessment Director Lisa Chandler told the State Board of Education (SBOE) that the scores did not include exemptions or summer data. She noted that between 5,000 and 6,000 students took the test during the summer, which is a record high. A total of 122,000 students were tested, with 84 percent (about 102,000 students) doing so online and 16 percent (about 20,000 students) doing paper tests.

The "proficient or higher" score increased to 63 percent in 2022-2023, up from 60 percent in 2021-2022. However, those meeting the promotion score dropped slightly from 76 percent in 2021-2022 to 75 percent in 2022-2023. However, Chandler noted that the scores needed to be promoted in 2022-2023 were slightly higher than the previous school year.

Those reaching the "advanced" level increased to 29 percent in 2022-2023, up from 22 percent the previous school year. Those reaching the "accomplished" level stayed the same at 19 percent, while those rated "proficient" dropped to 16 percent from 20 percent. Those performing at the "basic" level dropped from 19 percent to 18 percent, while those performing at the "limited" level dropped from 22 percent to 20 percent.

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