Olentangy Board of Education – March 14 Meeting Summary

The Olentangy Board of Education held a special meeting/business meeting on Thursday, March 14, 2013.

Click here to read a brief summary of the meeting or click on the link for one of the recordings below.

The Olentangy Board of Education’s next meeting will be a business meeting on Thursday, April 25 at 6:30 p.m. at the the district’s administrative offices, 814 Shanahan Road in Lewis Center.  The agenda and exhibits for the meeting will be posted on the board’s records page at least 48 hours before the meeting.

Students Embrace Diversity Work

By Todd Corley, chairperson of the Olentangy Diversity Committee

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On March 19, more than 8,600 students across the entire district, worked together to show how important it is to build cross-cultural relationships, be open minded to people that might look different than themselves, and reduce personal biases.
The district diversity leadership team, administrators and teachers all had a hand in educating students from the 6th grade through the 12th grade as they worked in both large and small groups. The main objective of the effort was to create action plans to reinforce the message across the district that discrimination and harassment – which are often seen as a catalyst for bullying – will not be tolerated. In line with the commitment from Superintendent Dr. Wade Lucas and the dedicated resources that have been established to support the district-wide diversity effort, these students are building the foundation for a better tomorrow. Use the links below to view the resources for this event.

Dr. Lucas shared that our staff facilitators were amazed by the energy and ideas of Olentangy students. “This is just part of the journey in our commitment to diversity work,” he said. “We will continue to support our students and encourage them to be proactive in creating a positive, welcome learning environment for everyone.”

The momentum from this event will be carried forward next school year. Students will continue to organize and have ownership in co-creating the environments and building culture they want to see exist. Look below for pictures and quotes from the school buildings to see the excitement and collaboration in action!

Word of Mouth
“There were almost 150 students in the high school auditorium. Many students felt comfortable expressing their feelings concerning how to continue making our school a great place to be! It was a challenging experience that is a beginning to hopefully more opportunities for students to have a safe space to share their concerns, receive support, and be of support to others!” –High School Diversity Liaison

“We had roughly 213 students show up for the 2nd hour!  The energy and ideas were amazing.” –Middle School Diversity Liaison

“Nothing but positive responses from teachers and students!” –Middle School Administrator

“We had such a great turnout! We had so many more students than I ever imagined!  The discussion in each group was amazing, and the kids keep telling me thank you for the opportunity and that they loved it!” –Middle School Diversity Liaison

Introducing Dual Enrollment: The New Way to Earn College Credit in High School

Olentangy students interested in earning college credit while in high school will soon have another option.

Applications are currently being accepted for the district’s new dual enrollment program, which gives qualifying Olentangy juniors and seniors the opportunity to not only receive college credit, but to also attend class in a college setting while being taught by Olentangy teachers who are also college faculty members.

Beginning with the 2013-14 school year, students enrolled in the program will attend their selected courses at Columbus State Community College’s Delaware Branch (CSCC) located at 5100 Cornerstone Drive, off U.S. 23, in Delaware. Any public college or university in Ohio will accept credit from these courses. In addition, CSCC has transfer agreements with a number of private institutions in Ohio including Otterbein and Ohio Wesleyan universities.

Dual enrollment courses offer students benefits that traditional AP classes do not, said Dr. Kevin Streib, an Olentangy Liberty High School (OLHS) calculus teacher and CSCC dual enrollment instructor.

“In dual enrollment courses, students will be evaluated based on homework, quizzes, and tests throughout the entire semester to determine their grade. Students who pass the course earn the college credit. This is a drastic difference compared to AP courses, where a single test determines if students will receive college credit.” Dr. Streib said.

Since the classes will be held at Columbus State’s Delaware Branch, introducing students to the college atmosphere is another benefit, added Dr. Jaivir Singh, a CSCC dual enrollment instructor and physics teacher at Olentangy Orange High School (OOHS).

“I have previously worked in a university setting and it’s a totally different attitude and atmosphere from the traditional high school setting. There is more of a focus,” Singh said.

Those advantages are why OOHS AP English teacher Ben McKibben was eager to become a dual enrollment instructor.

“I’m excited about participating in this venture with CSCC because it offers another rigorous option for our students,” he said.

Dual enrollment courses cost $25 per college credit hour.

Parents and students interested in learning more about the program should see their school’s guidance counselor.

School Safety Initiatives Highlighted at Public Forum – Video Available

Olentangy Liberty High School on March 7 was the scene of a community forum on the critical topic of school safety. The event, part of the Olentangy Local School’s Community Forum series, featured a guest panel that included Superintendent Wade Lucas, Ed.D., Delaware County Sheriff Russ Martin, Delaware County Mental Health and Recovery Services Board Executive Director Steve Hedge and Government Relations Director for the Buckeye Association of School Administrators Tom Ash.

The audience also heard presentations from Olentangy Executive Director of Human Resources and Operations Gale Marsh as well as Olentangy School Resource officers Ron Vogel and Lance Leonard.

The forum was sponsored by the Olentangy Rotary Club as part of its Peace Through Service campaign.

OOMS Students Sewing for a Good Cause

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OOMS students in the Life Skills class work to make special pillows to be donated to the ConKerr Cancer program, which provides children who have cancer with colorful pillowcases to brighten their hospital stay.

A passion for service and some basic sewing skills led Olentangy Orange Middle School (OOMS) students enrolled in the school’s Life Skills class to give back in an unique way. Under the direction of family and consumer science teacher Julianna Harper, the students have been making pillow cases for children diagnosed with cancer. The class worked with the all-volunteer ConKerr Cancer program, which provides children who have cancer with colorful pillowcases to brighten their hospital stay.

“The students are involved in each and every step of the pillow-making project,” Harper said. “We practice measuring skills before cutting out the fabric, we work on converting inches to feet for our measurements, we get a lot of practice with eye-hand coordination while ironing, cutting, pinning and sewing, and we have discussions about how thankful we are that we are healthy enough to be in school rather than in a hospital.”

The students are making 16 pillows for the service project and will donate them to Nationwide Children’s Hospital this month.