Archive for October, 2011

Highlights from 10/20/11 school board meeting

October 21, 2011

Articles this month:
Athletic update
Five-year forecast is a planning tool, but right now in flux
HB 136 could cost Milford millions – please stand with us against it!
Steve Jobs model for education reform

NOTE: The community discussion George Lucas & I will be holding next Wednesday has been expanded to include Dr. Bob Farrell, Milford Superintendent.  This will be the first stop on the “District’s Listening Tour,” a series of casual, open discussions/listening sessions that will be held this school year.  Please join us at Padrino’s next Wednesday, October 26, from 7-8:30 to share your thoughts and questions.  In order to guide our district in the direction the community wants it to go, we must hear from YOU!

The October meeting had some interesting updates.  Here is a summary:

  • The Milford Education Association ran a canned food drive to benefit Miami Ministries.  In addition to boxes and boxes of food, teachers from the district donated $100 to this worthy cause.
  • This past summer, the district hired four high school students to supplement our IT staff.  The students helped with projects including installing access points and cabeling in the Junior High and Boyd E. Smith; distributing & cleaning equipment; and upgrading hard drives.  The work they performed saved the district appr. $20,000 versus budget, plus gave the students valuable work experience (and some summer job money!).  This is a fantastic way to enhance the education we provide in the classroom, by giving students the chance to experience the world of work.  Not only do they learn important skills needed in the workplace, but they get to “test out” a job to see what they think.  Dr. Farrell and Jeff Johnson, Operations Manager, have some “Big Ideas” coming for expanding this concept and getting more students involved in programs that will help prepare them for the world after Milford High School.
  • Dr. Farrell reported on the district’s work in the Race to the Top program.  We have been granted $317,000 over four years to work on standards and assessments; data to improve instruction; and developing leaders.  Much of the work in Race to the Top must be done by all districts as part of the changes in evaluations and compensation passed by the state; by participating in the program, we are able to work on these areas early and receive money to help us in developing them.  Just a couple of the things we are doing:  Milford is piloting a new teacher evaluation program at McCormick, which uses student achievement as half of the evaluation, teacher performance as the other half.  We are also using some funds to train our teachers in the new curriculum.  Changing curriculum is no longer simply replacing text books – it includes new technology systems that allow for new approaches and more differentiation than ever before, which requires training.
  • The state is changing how the graduation rate is calculated.  With the new requirements, students who have transferred to another Ohio school/district but who are not reported by that district (due to no fault of ours) will still be counted in our numbers – as non-graduates.  In addition, students who take longer than 4 years to graduate will also not be counted.  Based on these two changes, our graduation rate for last year would be 95%.However, another change is even more impactful.  Students on certain types of Individual Education Plans (IEPs) are able to continue their education for another 4 years after graduation, at a technical school such as Great Oaks.  However, if they choose to do this, they will no longer be counted in our graduation numbers – even if they do receive a Milford diploma!  This past year, that would be 23 students, which would bring our rate down to 91%.

    As we develop our new report card (read article), we will be reporting the graduation rate as it has been reported in the past – reflecting all students who have graduated that year.  This way, we will be able to understand better how many of our students truly are graduating.

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