There’s no doubt there are plenty of news reports detailing the challenges local schools are facing during these tough economic times.
The Press’ annual Progress section offers an opportunity to highlight the fact that throughout the year, Northwest Ohio students are participating in innovative programs; earning academic, athletic and extracurricular honors and preparing for successful futures under the tutelage of dedicated educators.
Here is just a brief list of highlights from our area schools from 2010. To follow your school district and/or to contact district administrators and staff, visit their websites, which contain a wealth of updated information. In addition, The Press features Student Stars and other highlights from metro and suburban area school in the monthly Education and Careers section.
Toledo Public Schools
• TPS recorded one of the highest graduation rates among the large urban school districts in Ohio – 83.7 percent. In addition, the district has one of the highest attendance rates in the state – district attendance rate is 94.9 percent.
• Birmingham Elementary was among eight TPS schools that earned an Excellent rating from the Ohio Department of Education. East Side Central, Garfield, Navarre and Raymer all earned Effective ratings, while Oakdale earned a rating of Continuous Improvement.
• In October Birmingham Elementary students helped fight hunger, volunteering with Kids Against Hunger, a humanitarian food-aid organization that works to reduce the number of hungry children in the U.S. and throughout the world.
• Waite High School students continued a 79-year-old holiday tradition when they, along with several Waite alumni and community partners, prepared holiday baskets for 79 less fortunate local families. More than 3,000 non-perishable food items were collected during food drives at the schools in the Waite learning community.
• Waite High School Lady Indians, were the runners-up in the Division I State Girls Basketball Championship. Senior Natasha Howard was named to the first team of the 34th annual Parade High School Girls Basketball All-America team and as Ohio’s Ms. Basketball – the first player from Toledo to win this honor. Lady Indians Coach Manny May was named coach-of-the-year.
Oregon City Schools
• Oregon City Schools maintained an Effective rating while reducing the operating budget approximately 25 percent during the last three years.
• Initiated an online grading system to allow students and parents to monitor progress.
• Established a partnership with Imagination Station and Mercy Health Partners that allows third-graders to participate in an educational program focusing on healthy living.
• Facility upgrades at Fassett and Eisenhower middle schools included renovation of gyms and libraries, as well as entrance enhancement and parking lot paving.
• Developed and implemented a district-wide anti-bullying program.
• Formed a partnership with Oregon Community and Family Coalition to help prevent and address substance abuse problems.
• Accepted a $30,000 donation from BP-Husky Refinery to enhance math and science education.
• Continued the eight-grade field trip to Challenger Learning Center, sponsored by Oregon/Northwood Rotary Club.
Northwood Local Schools
“Northwood Local Schools continues to manage the resources provided efficiently while providing excellent opportunities for students,” Superintendent Greg Clark said.” “A tough decision to close Lark Elementary after the 2010-2011 school year and reorganizing the district into a PK-2 primary elementary building a 3-6 intermediate elementary building and a 7-12 high school was made in June of 2010 to maintain this effort of reducing the budget and not asking more from the community during these tough economic times”
• Northwood Schools earned an Effective rating from the ODE, with Northwood High School and Northwood elementary schools rated Excellent for 2010.
• NMS raised almost $3,000 to help with the Haiti relief efforts and teacher Andy Dickey, Principal Jason Kozina and Superintendent Clark had their heads shaved as a part of the effort.
• NHS 2010 graduate Shayna Hague named BSCN student of the year.
• NHS cross country team returned to the high school after not competing for a few years.
• NHS implemented an extra help period for students as a part of their Highs Schools that Work initiative.
• Students in Kateri Catholic Schools began the first day of the 2010-11 school year all together on one campus. At pep rallies held on the Oregon campus, students pre-K through grade 12 were greeted by Fr. Eric Schild, who succeeded Fr. David Reinhart as the President of Kateri Catholic Schools and as the Pastor of Bono, Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish.
• Kelli Malinowski became principal of Cardinal Stritch High School, and Michael Petro became assistant principal.
• The new Sister Rosa Angela Education Center houses all the music programs and administrative offices.
• 97% of Stritch graduates attending college were admitted to their first choice school.
• In 2010-2011, more than 80 percent of students received tuition assistance from the schools, totaling over $1,000,000.
• 23 Cardinal Stritch High School students Marched for Life in Washington, D.C.
• Kateri Preschool offers a supervised, structured play approach to learning where children are given a range of opportunities to enhance their potential for intellectual, physical, social skills and a healthy, positive self-image.
• Kateri Catholic Academy plans an open house Sunday, March 6 from noon to 3 p.m.
Penta Career Center
• Matt Travis 2010 Penta and Woodmore High School graduate earned the top award in the criminal justice contest at the National SkillsUSA Championships held in Kansas City, Mo. in June.
• Social Studies instructor David Harms, of Walbridge, was honored as one of only 20 educators around the world honored as an Emerging Leader by Phi Delta Kappa International. Harms also traveled to Jordan in July to study the country’s culturally diverse population as part of the 2010 Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad (GPA) Program.
• Some 70 student in grades 7-9 explored careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) at a hands-on learning camp at Penta in June.
• In 2010, Penta Adult & Continuing Education began offering online courses through a partnership with Education To Go (ed2go), an industry leader in affordable online learning. Over 300 courses are offered in areas such as computers and technology; career and professional training; personal development; writing and publishing; and many others.
•Two new career-technical programs – Green Energy Management and Digital Video Production are now offered.
Eastwood Local Schools
• Luckey Elementary School earned an Excellent with Distinction rating from the ODE for 2009-10. Pemberville, Eastwood Middle School and Eastwood High School earned Excellent ratings.
• Eastwood Schools earned an “Excellent” designation on the Ohio Report Card with a performance index of 103.3 – the fifth highest in Northwest Ohio.
• Eastwood’s boy’s track team enjoyed back-to-back state championships
• The district will be closing Webster Elementary School and converting Eastwood Middle School to a 5-8 building and Luckey and Pemberville to K-4 buildings for 2011-12.
Gibsonburg Exempted Village Schools
• Gibsonburg Elementary was named an Ohio Hall of Fame School, and was an “Excellent” building for a third straight year. “In addition, our performance index on state testing was among the highest in the three-county area,” said Superintendent Tom Peiffer.
• The district received a state grant to train teachers in Universal Design for Learning, a program that fosters better instruction in all learning styles, domains and special needs.
• Began a four-year staff development program, “Differentiated Instruction Through 21st Century Learning.” High and middle school classrooms were outfitted with projectors, amplified classrooms, and student response systems. Elementarys will be outfitted this spring and summer.
Woodmore Local Schools
• The district used Education Job Funds to employ a curriculum director that has focused on data-driven decisions to improve the district’s report card.
• The C.A.G.E. organization is completing the new entranceway to the football field that contains restrooms, a concession area and ticket booths.
• Approximately $90,000 was spent for interactive whiteboards in every classroom.
• Cody Curry was chosen as the AmeriCheer “Cheerleader of Cheerleaders” in December. He will serve as a spokesperson for AmeriCheer for 2011 and will be on the cover of “Inside Cheerleading Magazine” and will be featured in a two-page article.
Genoa Area Local Schools
• Construction continued on the new K-5 elementary building, which will replace Allen and Brunner elementaries. The new building will be ready for students during the 2011-12 school year.
• Over 52 teams and 5,000 people gathered at Genoa High School Feb. 20 for the 6th Annual Cheer for a Cure Championship The event, organized in memory of Stella Bertz, raised a record $31,000 to support the American Cancer Society.
• The Genoa Area Local Schools Scholarship Foundation awarded over $26,000 in scholarships to 35 graduating seniors.
• As part of Genoa High School’s student service project, “Pay it Forward,” students collected more than $5,050 in cash and gift cards in an addition to an abundance of food/pantry items to help local families during the holidays.
• Genoa Middle School student Savannah Compton created the winning design in the middle school category in the Toledo Walleye T-Shirt Design Contest. Her design showed Spike telling folks to “Talk to the Tail Fin.”
• Benton-Carroll-Salem Schools received an Excellent rating from ODE for 2010. Two of the elementary buildings, Carroll Elementary and R. C. Waters Elementary, earned n Excellent with Distinction ratings.
• Oak Harbor Middle School implemented project-based learning for its seventh-grade class. Project Based Learning teaches students 21st century skills as well as content. These skills include communication and presentation skills, organization and time management skills, research and inquiry skills, self-assessment and reflection skills, and group participation and leadership skills.
• B-C-S Schools began the process of implementing the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program for each elementary building as well as the middle school. This program is the most researched and best-known bullying prevention program available and has been utilized by many school districts across the U.S.