Teacher in-service days
Staff uses time to do behind-the-scenes work
For many people in the Marysville community, the scheduled two-hour delays or teacher in-service days for Marysville Exempted Village School District are a chance to sleep in or a complication in child care -- pending on the point of view.
But for teachers it actually means time to complete the behind the scenes work that most people are unaware even exists.
Superintendent Diane Mankins wants to make sure parents are aware of the use of these delays and days off and sends reports to parents via email summarizing the work completed.
"We have been sending the reports all year so that our parents and community have a better understanding of the work our buildings are doing," said Mankins.
The district's goal is to complete the K-12 transition to Ohio's new learning standards.
"The transition to the common core will be a challenging one and it is important to show what we are doing to prepare for the transition," said Mankins.
The most recent communication with parents shows reports from December and January.
In December, the entire district K-4 elementary staff met at Navin Elementary School to work on goals for the transition and put together the Literacy Collaborative Framework, including the specific goal of strengthening writing instruction.
Creekview Intermediate School teachers met with several goals in mind, including understanding how to assess and prioritize strengths and challenges associated with the current education program in the building and how to better communicate student achievement levels to parents and teachers.
Bunsold Middle School staffers dedicated the time to working on curriculum maps in an effort to be fully aligned to the new state and common core standards.
Marysville High School also reported working on matching the curriculum to core standards through all subject levels, focusing on reading comprehension and math standards.
"With all the new changes in education, it is important that we share and educate our parents on the new challenging standards for learning," said Mankins.
The teacher in-service day on Jan. 7 was divided into two sections. Two and a half hours was allocated for group curriculum/assessment meetings while the remainder of the day was used to complete first semester grades/grade cards, prepare for the second semester, and to complete the Public School Works required online staff training modules.
In each report, each building lists specifics on how its staffers are evaluating certain learning programs and curriculum assessment outcomes.
"Parents who have responded have been grateful to see what we are doing during teacher work time. Many did not even realize that there were new Ohio Learning Standards and Assessments in our near future."
The Ohio Department of Education adopted a Model Curriculum to help districts design curriculum aligned to the standards. It expects full implementation to be in place for all grade levels during the 2013-2014 school year.