Upper Arlington News

Battelle for Kids contract will cost schools $145,079 for a year


The Upper Arlington school district has signed a one-year "strategic measures support" contract to pay Battelle for Kids $145,079 to improve the district's systems for collecting and using student data.

"Our partnership with Battelle for Kids will focus on improving our data systems to improve our ability to meet the individual needs of students," Superintendent Paul Imhoff said at the Sept. 9 board of education meeting.

"We will be making sure we are getting teachers very usable data on students so that they can use it to guide instruction."

The contract calls for payments of $36,269.75 on Sept. 30 and Dec. 31 this year and on March 31 and June 30 next year.

Battelle representatives said the goal of the project is to improve student learning and professional growth by providing an on-site district data team for professional development; on-site consulting and coaching for school data teams and administrators; and an assessment of literacy support, according to the contract.

Battelle also will help develop a College Readiness Task Force to support community outreach efforts and communication about college readiness.

The contract runs from Sept. 9 through June 30, 2014.

In other business, Imhoff updated school board members on the progress of a district efficiency project, which he began to plan in early August, when board members approved the placement of a 4-mill levy request on the Nov. 5 ballot.

He said the efficiency project will help the district find a cumulative $4.5 million in savings by the end of fiscal year 2017.

"We have internal meetings scheduled in each building to begin reviewing initiatives and possible budget inefficiencies," he said. "We are also working on a community survey which will be drafted this month, for distribution in October."

He said a link to the online survey will be posted on the district website at uaschools.org and included in parent emails and on social media sites.

Imhoff said all survey data will be posted on the website; school leaders will use the data to create the efficiency plan, which will be presented to the Upper Arlington Board of Education in January 2014.

"Treasurer (Andrew) Geistfeld is also forming a citizens advisory group which will be a key part of this project," he said. "And I will be meeting with the PTO Presidents Council."

Imhoff has also been conducting information meetings with individuals and groups to discuss school district issues and anything else participants want to discuss.

He said 136 meetings have been scheduled.

"I've had 102 very enjoyable meetings so far," he said. "I want to extend an open invitation to anyone who wants to schedule a meeting.

"Some of the common themes we've been discussing in meetings include that parents have high expectations for their children and that they want us to focus on the whole student," he said. "They know our students are more than their test scores."

Imhoff said efficiency is a popular topic at the meetings.

"It comes up every time I meet with someone," he said. "I'm also impressed with the number of people who tell me they are always willing to lend a hand to help in whatever capacity we need them."

Anyone who wants to schedule a meeting with Imhoff should contact Karla Croswell at 614-487-5007, extension 1121, or email her at kcroswell@uaschools.org.