Inaugural graduating class
The first class of seniors to graduate from KIPP Columbus were honored with a front page story in the Columbus Dispatch this week, with a great look at the school’s rise from humble beginnings and attention given to several impressive seniors. Congratulations to the students, faculty, staff, families, and supporters of this awesome school!
It stands to reason…
It stands to reason that any school with at least one foot already in the cyber world before the onset of COVID-19 would have been able to more nimbly adapt to the sudden changes the pandemic has wrought. Tillie Elvrum, director of the Colorado Coalition of Cyberschool Families and president of PublicSchoolOptions.org, reiterated that notion, saying that fully online schools were best positioned by virtue of their long experience to lead the way in education now and going forward.
…but we must also heed the data
New research from Brookings released this week reminds us that for many students, a fully online education is not the right fit even in the best of circumstances. It remains to be seen whether COVID-related shifts to online education will be a) longer lasting than just this school year and b) able to produce better outcomes than the data currently show.
Looking ahead to next year
The shape of the next school year in Ohio remains unknown: fully in-person, fully remote, some hybrid version with staggered schedules. Any or all of these could come to be between now and the fall. The General Assembly is working to address these issues and more. Case in point is Senate Bill 319, introduced this week, which tackles issues related to transportation, teacher evaluation, testing, charter sponsor ratings, and more. It will be an important piece of legislation to keep on eye on in coming days.
Also next year
A new charter high school is scheduled to open in Mansfield next school year. This quick profile calls it “non-traditional”, but the details matter. Cypress High School will have a focus on core academics and a goal to make sure all its graduates are job ready when they leave. But the top bullet point defining the school, as stated in its website is “a safe school environment without all the drama”. Seems like that could be a strong selling point for a high school. Here’s hoping that there’s no drama that keeps Cypress from opening its doors.
New rounds of federal grants
The U.S. Department of Education recently announced the opening of applications for new grants in both the Expanding Opportunity Through Quality Charter Schools Program (a.k.a. CSP) and the Grants to Charter School Developers for the Opening of New Charter Schools and for the Replication and Expansion of High-Quality Charter Schools (a.k.a. Developer Grants). Deadline for application for both programs is June 19.