The Marysville Board of Education agreed Thursday, June 20, to spend more than $400,000 on new math textbooks that district officials said will help students meet more rigorous Common Core standards.
Treasurer Cindy Ritter said the overall purchase will cost more than $500,000, with $402,591 going for math books. She said the district was able to buy the books sooner than expected.
"Because we refinanced some of the bonds this past year, and with the additional 1 mill that was added to the bond millage in 2012 for payments of the bonds, the amount of money that had to be transferred from the permanent improvement levy was less than expected, so we were able to purchase the textbooks in June instead of waiting until the next fiscal year in July," Ritter said.
The Marysville school district has spent the last year working to adjust its curriculum to meet Common Core standards.
"Our current materials will not meet the rigorous nature of where Common Core is going," said Sean Saffell, instructional coach for math and science for grades 7-12.
Common Core is a U.S. education initiative that seeks to bring different state curricula into alignment with each other by following the principles of standards-based education reform for math and English language arts. The initiative is sponsored by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers.
Corestandards.org describes the Common Core initiative as a movement that began in 2010 when states across the country collaborated with teachers, researchers and leading experts to design and develop the standards. So far, 44 states have opted to adopt them.
Assistant Superintendent Andy Culp said the Common Core shift is 50-percent about alignment, or "what's going to be taught when."
"The rigor is far greater," he said. "Higher content standards are pushed down to earlier grades. But it's also about instructional strategy and meeting every single kid where they are."
Board members also approved hiring a new technology director for the district and two new principals.
Christopher Deis is the new director of technology. He comes from the Olentangy school district.
"Chris brings a really nice blend of classroom instruction," Superintendent Diane Mankins said. "He has done the pieces part side of it as well, and IT side so we're excited to bring him on board. He understands the role of strategic planning and he's definitely collaborative."
Craig Lautenschlager is the new principal at Mill Valley Elementary School. He previously worked for the Teays Valley school district.
"Craig is instructionally very strong," Mankins said. "He's very collaborative and definitely relationship-oriented. With someone who opened the building leaving, we need someone skilled at building relationships."
Jonathan Langhals is the new principal at Edgewood Elementary School. He is coming from Westerville schools, where he was described as one of the district's top five administrators, according to Mankins.
The board approved 14 other staff hires as well as the recall of two certified positions and two classified positions.
Members accepted the resignation of 18 other employees and approved the retirement of Carla Steele, director of elementary curriculum, effective July 31.
"She has built a legacy around the literacy collaborative in our district. We definitely want to thank her for her time and service," Mankins said.