Superintendent’s Message – October 2014
Faculty, staff, and students at all three Wayne Trace Local School buildings continue to work hard everyday. Educating our youth is and always will be a team effort, with continued cooperation and communication needed between parents and school personnel. The more we stay informed about our children’s education, the more we can help pave the way to a successful school experience. As I’ve stated many times, feel free to frequently communicate with your child(ren)’s teachers concerning educational and co-curricular issues.
Fall is right around the corner, signifying the beginning of shorter days and longer nights. As we continue to make safety a high priority, parents are encouraged to remind their student-drivers to use the “defensive approach” when operating a motor vehicle. As you’re well aware by now, texting while driving is a violation in the state of Ohio, and drivers under the age of eighteen can be pulled over simply for this violation. Parents are highly encouraged to remind their student-drivers of the dangers involved in driving at night or in the early morning, especially when other young people are also in the vehicle. Texts can and should wait. Everyone plays a part in getting students to and from school safely.
In academic news, Wayne Trace Local Schools showed improvement in some areas on the ODE report card. Our performance index (PI) and four-year graduation rate were up from a year ago. Areas of concern continue to be closing the gap between our highest & lowest students and meeting the 80% passing rate on all state-mandated tests. At Wayne Trace, we recognize that we still have some challenges ahead of us concerning the state report card, and we are committed to meetings these challenges. We have a very diverse student population with an array of educational needs, and each one of our students deserves the best education that we can provide. As someone who cares deeply about academic success, I can assure the WT community that I spend enough time visiting classrooms to know that teaching and learning are taking place every day in all three Wayne Trace school buildings.
Our teaching staff has several new teachers this year. As part of being an entry-level teacher, the Ohio Department of Education has outlined a “Teacher-Mentor Program.” Experienced teachers work with inexperienced, developing teachers right in the classroom of the new teachers. As part of this program, experienced teachers may videotape the new teachers presenting a lesson to students. Notice: If you do not want your child to appear in any of these confidential videos of new teachers, contact your child(ren)’s building principal(s) in writing, stating that you do not want your child to appear in a video. If we do not hear from you within a reasonable amount of time, then we will consider it acceptable for your child(ren) to appear in these videos. Please understand: These videos are completely confidential, with the sole purpose of the videos being to help inexperienced teachers improve, not to record the behavior of the students.
The JH/HS students enjoyed another exciting Homecoming week during the week of September 22-27. Many thanks go out to our HS student council, under the direction of Mrs. Annette Sinn, for coordinating many extra-curricular events related to the annual Homecoming ceremony.
In school calendar news, please be reminded that school will not be in session on Wednesday, October 1 for the purpose of a full-day teacher in-service. We anticipate that the in-service on October 1 will be our final full-day in-service of the 2014-2015 school year. However, we do have two-hour delays planned for in-services on October 15, November 19, January 21, February 18, and April 15. Buses will run two hours late on each of these Wednesdays with school starting two hours later than the normal start-time. We appreciate the cooperation from our parents/guardians as we use this time to conduct building-level initiatives that will better prepare our students for academic success.
Be sure to mark your calendars for Friday, October 10 as we honorably enshrine the fifth class into Wayne Trace Staff Hall of Fame. This year’s inductees include Mr. Harold Sponseller and Mr. Jim McElroy. The induction is set to begin at 6:30 at the football field.
Finally, please be aware of our annual parent-teacher conferences, scheduled for October 29-30. But also be aware that you may schedule times to meet with your child(ren)’s teachers at any time during the school year, not just during the scheduled, annual conferences.
As always, if you have questions or concerns about your child’s educational experience at Wayne Trace, feel free to contact your building principal or superintendent.
Stephen Arnold, Superintendent