On Sept. 2, 2008, Penta Career Center opened its new 522,000 square foot facility on a scenic 150-acre campus in Perrysburg Township. The new facility:
• Includes professionally designed career-technical labs, science labs and academic classrooms; an expansive commons area; state-of-the-art infrastructure for technology; an expanded media center; and flexible meeting space.
• Enabled Penta to expand program offerings for the 2008/2009 school year including a Sophomore Exploratory Program; Geospatial Information Systems; Exercise Science/Sports Health Care; Machining/Integrated Systems Technology; Emergency Medical Technician/Fire; and Animal Science.
• Offers dramatic improvements in the use of technology, including infrastructure for wireless environments.
• Is a model for environmentally sensitive design.
For the 2009/2010 school year, new programs available for high school students will include Broadcast Production, Optometry Assistant and Environmental Resource Management. In addition, the Penta Adult & Continuing Education Division is currently expanding its course offerings in the medical field. These new programs will include State Certified Nurse Aide (STNA), Dietary Management Training (DMT) and Medical Coding & Billing.
Penta serves students from 16 school districts including Benton-Carroll-Salem, Eastwood, Genoa, Lake, Northwood and Woodmore.
Last fall, a record-breaking 21,296 students chose to attend Owens Community College last fall.
Since becoming a comprehensive community college in 1994, Owens has more than doubled its Fall Semester student enrollment by 107 percent. The college enrolled 10,255 students for fall semester classes in 1994.
• Showcased a refurbished College Hall Atrium designed to create a social and learning environment for students.
• Introduced a new Honors Program partnership with The University of Toledo, enabling students to pursue academic success at the highest level from both institutions.
• Continues to expand its eOwens distance learning education.
• Offered an array of opportunities for high school students through innovative partnerships with post secondary schools, through the Weekend College and at The Source, Lucas County’s One-Stop Employment Center.
Cardinal Stritch High School
For the third consecutive year, Cardinal Stritch High School was named one of the best 50 Catholic High Schools in the United States by the Catholic High School Honor Roll.
Other 2008 highlights include:
• A new Senior Internship Program was initiated.
• CSHS hosted Catholic Heart Work Camp.
• The girl’s basketball, softball and volleyball teams all won league titles in 2008.
• The school hosted its first “Volley for the Cure.” Stritch and Toledo Christian School volleyball team members wore special pink jerseys for their game and raised funds for the Susan G. Komen Foundation for breast cancer research.
• CSHS teachers and staff volunteered at Helping Hands of St. Louis and Cherry Street Mission.
• CSHS students participated in the first Seminars 2009 – for example, students learned how to make blankets, which were donated, to Children’s Cancer Hospital.
A look ahead – 2009/2010 School Year
• Kateri Catholic School System, of which CSHS is a part - will establish a Middle School grades six through eight. The KCSS will offer integrated sports and extra-curricular activities for pre-K through 12th grade.
• More tutoring opportunities will be made available, along with other new programs to help students succeed at all levels
Toledo Public Schools
Toledo Public Schools achieved a “Continuous Improvement” rating on the State Report Card for the 2007-08 school year. The district saw significant increases in fourth-grade reading and math, sixth-grade reading and math, and eighth-grade across the board (reading, math, social studies and science).
The district also:
• Saw a measurable increase in attendance (from 92.3 percent to 95.2 percent).
• Passed Issues 34 & 35 in November. Issue 34 - a renewal of a levy that was originally approved by voters in 1991 - generates approximately $16 million annually for the next 10 years. Funds from this levy will enable teachers to continue positively impacting students in the classroom and allows the district to update materials, maintain classroom support services, continue programs essential for student learning.
Issue 35 allows the district to utilize $37 million in bonds originally intended for new schools. The funds will be used to complete the renovation of Waite High and Scott high schools as well as four other district schools.
• Opened seven new schools for the 2008-09 school year.
• Launched a recycling program with Lott Industries - middle schools and high schools are now actively recycling plastic, aluminum and paper.
Waite High School Principal David Yenrick noted that the school received a “Continuous Improvement” rating by the Ohio Department of Education.
Other Waite highlights include:
• Providing 75 holiday baskets for the less fortunate.
• Collecting 265 pints of blood for the Northwest Ohio community.
• Collecting $1,600 for the United Way.
• For the 92nd year, honoring war heroes with a special Memorial Day Program.
• Girls and boys varsity basketball teams reached the final four in Toledo City League play.
In addition, Waite alumni raised more than $350,000 for the renovation of Mollenkopf Stadium, Yenrick noted, adding that the Alumni Association gave $40,000 in scholarships.
Oregon City Schools
A dedication and grand opening ceremony were held Sept. 30 for the new wing at Clay High School. The addition, funded by a bond levy passed several years ago, includes safety upgrades and enhanced workspaces for district employees. “Most importantly, it offers increased security,” said Jeff Ziviski, school board president.
• The district earned an “Effective” by the State of Ohio rating for the sixth year in a row. Additionally, Clay High School was rated “Excellent” for the fourth consecutive year.
“These are tremendous accomplishments for our school district and community and reflects the hard work and dedication of the teachers, students and parents,” said Ziviski said.
• The district implemented the “Oregon Reads” program in all four of the elementary schools. Originally funded by a government grant that was discontinued, the program is being kept alive by volunteers who help the students with all aspects of reading.
• Several district staff members were recognized for their accomplishments in their field of teaching. Dennis Slotnick, Clay science instructor was named Teacher of the Month for October by BCSN. Lisa Stevens, physical education instructor at Fassett Middle School, was selected as the Secondary Physical Education Teacher of the Year by the Ohio Association of Health, PE, Recreation and Dance. Nancy Pevits, science instructor at Eisenhower Middle School, was selected as one of four finalists for the 2009 Ohio Teacher of the Year Award.
• Dr. Mike Zalar was hired as the district’s superintendent. Dawn Henry was promoted to Coy Elementary principal, Jeff Thompson was promoted to Eisenhower Middle School principal, Dean Sandwich was promoted to business manager, Loren Dirr was promoted to Clay High School principal.
“This was a redefining time in Oregon City Schools as we introduced many familiar faces to new positions within the schools and continued to improve the quality of education we provide our students,” Ziviski said.
• The district began a process of redesigning its Web site. The new site, is scheduled to be rolled out within the next few weeks, utilizes new technology that will allow the district to better communicate in a timely manner with the community.
Lake Local Schools
“Our implementation of all-day, every-day kindergarten has resulted in student achievement being two months ahead of where they were at this time last year,” reports Lake Local Schools Superintendent Jim Witt.
He notes other district highlights for 2008 include:
•. More collaboration with local universities. “We have more college student mentors for our Ohio Reads program than we have had before this year,” he said.
• Lake High School achieved an “Excellent” rating from the Ohio Department of Education.
• The boys’ soccer team won the league and advanced to the regional finals.
• The girls’ soccer team won the league and advanced to the regional semi-finals.
Northwood Local Schools
“The Northwood Local Schools school community and our community at-large have a great deal to be proud of as our school once again achieved an ‘Excellent’ rating on the Ohio Department of Education School Report Card,” Superintendent Greg Clark said.
Clark also notes that the district faces challenges, especially in the area of school funding. Toward that end, the board of education implemented the following changes after the passage of the levy for this year to help move the district forward:
• Reinstated some previously-eliminated items such as field trips; alcohol, tobacco and other drug counseling services; among other measures.
• Implemented measures to increase revenue, including adoption of an admission fee schedule requiring Northwood senior citizens to pay student rates for attending Northwood School events; and amendment of Enrollment Policy to allow open enrollment, among others.
• Implementing budget reduction/restructuring measures, including restructuring buildings to include district-wide grade-level elementary schools, (Lark serving pre-K through grade 1, Olney serving grade 2 through grade 4, middle school continues serving grades 5 through 8, high school continues serving grades 9 through 12; non-renewal of the least senior principal; not replacing retiring staff; restructuring kindergarten into all-day every-day classes, among other measures.
• The district has added classes in science and computer skills and increased graduation requirements in science and math.
• The high school is currently working with Owens Community College to form a partnership where college-level classes can be taught at Northwood by Northwood faculty.
Gibsonburg Exempted Village Schools
“Gibsonburg High School made an investment in computer software and hardware to assist students and teachers prepare for success on the Ohio Graduation Test (OGT),” Superintendent Tom Peiffer said.
Peiffer also notes that at the high school, using “Study Island” software with “Turning Points” hardware and software, teachers are able to give students short-cycle assessments that require them to use interactive “remote controls” to answer the questions. At the end of each assessment, the teacher is able to access a report on each student detailing the student’s performance on each question asked. This enables the teacher to identify content standard and benchmark areas needed for intervention. The data also allows the teacher to identify students who are successful in the various content areas and provide enrichment activities to enhance the student’s learning and performance.
Peiffer noted that Hilfiker Elementary School had a successful 2007-2008 school year. “While the school had seen steady increases in the State Performance Index Rating over the last three years, it saw its first ‘Excellent’ designation, hitting a Performance Index Score of 100.3.”
Hilfiker Principal Meri Skilliter attributes the success to many factors, including high quality instruction focused on state indicators by highly motivated teachers and staff, a tiered and student-centered approach to intervention, multiple intervention programs, student motivation and incentives, and parent involvement.
At a celebration Oct. 3, the principal made good on her promise to do cartwheels at the assembly, should the students hit the ‘Excellent’ rating of 100 or more.
Genoa Superintendent Dennis Mock reports exciting times in the past and the future.
“The highlight for the fall was two-fold,” he said. “First, the football team advancing to the Final Four football playoffs.
“Also, the passing of the bond levy to build a new K-5 elementary building on the grades six to 12 campus scheduled to open for the 2011-12 school year,” the superintendent said.
Mock also noted the school district achieved an “Effective” rating from the Ohio Department of Education for the sixth consecutive year. In addition, the high school continued its rating of “Excellent” for the fifth consecutive year.
Woodmore Local Schools
In 2008, CAGE (Community Achieving Goals for Extra curricular) completed the track at the high school, reports Woodmore Superintendent Jane Garling. “They continue to raise funds for school improvements.”
• New computers and wiring have been added at Woodmore High School. Other technology improvements are in progress at the high school, as well as the elementary school.
• Woodmore test scores remained high again.
• The district’s all-day kindergarten program is successful and growing.
• “We are fortunate to have businesses and community groups helping us with our strategic plan,” the superintendent said. “We have added many safety features to the buildings. All of our accomplishments would not be possible without them.”
• Two district teachers were recognized by The University of Toledo for outstanding instruction leading to the tremendous success of Woodmore students at UT. Wendall Markley and Phil Renner were recognized at a board meeting for this accomplishment.
• The Ohio State Marching Band performed at a Woodmore football game with the Woodmore and Lakota bands before a packed audience.
The Benton-Carroll-Salem Schools district continued efforts in business and school collaborations, Superintendent Diane Kershaw reports. One example - National Bank of Oak Harbor, the Athletic Boosters and student groups worked together to secure a new interactive information school sign at the high school.
Other highlights for 2008 include:
• Athletic success - Sandusky Bay Conference champions in girls soccer, boys soccer and wrestling; and District Champions in girls cross country.
• The district boasts two American FFA degree recipients - Scott Ryder and Brittani Brough.
• Elementary students were active in community/charity projects, including projects to benefit the United Way, Make-a Wish, Jump Hoops for the Heart, Relay for Life and Back to the Wild.
• B-C-S students earned “Superior” ratings in instrumental and vocal competitions.
• Passage of two school levies.
• 21st Century initiative helps students learn “21st-century skills” to become prepared for a fast-changing future.
Eastwood Local Schools
Eastwood Schools has continued to provide its students and staff with new and exciting technology tools this school year, Superintendent Brent Welker said. Last July, 23 Smartboards were installed in the district, bringing the district total to 32. (Smartboards are interactive whiteboards that turn a computer and projector into a powerful tool for teaching and presenting.)
The district has also increased its technology professional development this school year by offering “Tech Days” for staff. One of the focuses of the training was Moodle, which provides staff a “virtual classroom” for students to access files, links and classroom agenda online.
• Last June, Eastwood teachers Barb Stough and Bethany Cox were awarded a $10,000 grant from BP in their A+ for Energy Program for use in the middle school.
• Seven new advanced classes are available to Eastwood’s top performing students in grades six to eight. In addition, More than two dozen staff members have voluntarily taken several hours of professional development this year through presentations developed by the Ohio Department of Education's Javits Gifted Program and Eastwood's Gifted Intervention Specialist. In addition, last year, Eastwood's Gifted Parent Advisory Council (GPAC) was created as a proactive advocacy group for top students.
“With the advent of Ohio's value-added scores on a school's report card, providing such necessary services to our top achieving students is a must for attaining an excellent school district rating,” Welker said. “All in all, Eastwood continues to find ways to take our students to the next level, a level where they will be productive and leading citizens.”