- As we have discussed several times so far, there are certain things that even the Mighty ‘Rona can’t stop. To that list, we’ll add the search for a new CEO in Lorain City Schools… (Elyria Chronicle, 4/30/20) …and we’ll add yet another so called charter/district “merger” (although they do call it an “absorption” here, which has a much more satisfactory connotation for me). Dayton supe Elizabeth Lolli says she does not expect major changes to the Mound Street Academy dropout recovery program right away. Seeing as many of Mound Street’s students are likely to be young people who had trouble succeeding in traditional schools in the first place, let’s hope whatever changes do eventuate under the new paradigm continue to serve as workable alternatives for them. (Dayton Daily News, 4/29/20) Also unstoppable: the actual, proper merger of the West Geauga and Newbury school districts. Longtime Gadfly Bites subscribers (did I really lose count of you when I ran out of fingers?) will recall that the Newbury/West G merger was a long and laborious process with quite a lot of rancor and the occasional “dead child” appeal. Now that it’s all done and ready to go into effect next year, I worry that no amount of “virtual tours” is going to help some folks absorb the changes on either side of the equation. (Geauga Maple Leaf, 4/30/20)
- Graduation, also, will continue in various forms. Since Governor DeWine made his ranked list of preferences for how graduations can be handled in the midst of pandemic-mitigation restrictions, it will be interesting over the next few weeks to see which districts and high schools opt for which kind of event. To wit: Mansfield Senior High was quick out of the gate to commit to the staggered, crowd-controlled, in-person, video-taped graduation ceremony which was the gov’s least-preferred choice. (Richland Source, 4/29/20) Meanwhile, a record-high 47 high school students will graduate from Sinclair Community College with associate degrees as soon as they finish all their class requirements, thanks to Ohio’s College Credit Plus Program. There will be no ceremony of any kind, because this is real life. (Dayton Daily News, 4/29/20)
- And how are the younger children faring in the pandemic-propelled pandemonium (triple alliteration!)? One Columbus City Schools dad has some complaints, which the district has responded to. If you ask me, I don’t think either side has much proof of their claims. (ABC6, Columbus, 4/29/20) Meanwhile, the superintendent of the Richland School of Academic Arts, a Mansfield charter school, describes the efforts she and her staff have implemented to maintain the progress of her school’s early readers during mandated at-home learning. “Parents have not been trained to start a reader or to give any kind of foundational strength to the reading,” she says. “And it’s not their fault, it’s not their job.” I think that Columbus dad might agree. (Richland Source, 4/30/20) Meanwhile, the good folks in Parma City Schools seem to be oblivious to the pandemic and to the possibility that the start of next school year might look a little different than the start of a typical year. Never mind that, they seem to say. Check out our new Kindergarten Launch Academy! That’s right, loyal subscribers: it’s that interesting effort we’ve talked about around here before in which kids who are legally able to enroll in Kindergarten but would be among the very youngest in their classes get the “opportunity” to not enroll in Kindergarten and instead attend a redshirt non-K/K-prep program. A Baby Gap year, if you will. (Cleveland.com, 5/1/20)
- Speaking of oblivious, I’m not sure whether this interview is pre-pandemic or pre-historic. The superintendent of tiny Central Local Schools—in some part of Ohio near Brigadoon I think—is dropping wisdom and, especially, is opining on the changes he’s seen over his long career as a public servant. To summarize: tests bad; cellphones in class good. Really good, in fact. They’re just like little computers! (The Crescent News, 4/30/20)
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