Superintendent’s Message – February 2015
The administration, faculty, and staff of Wayne Trace Local Schools hope that you’re finding 2015 to be everything that you had hoped it would be. Congratulations to those of you who have kept your resolutions. Hopefully, they are making an improved difference in the quality of your life.
Speaking of quality, high academic expectations continue to be at the forefront as we progress through the 2014-2015 school year. Educating our youth is a collective effort between the school and home, and your continued cooperation is needed as we place high demands on our students to perform at a high level in the classroom. At times, this means supporting what may be perceived as too much homework. We are confident that our teachers do not assign homework for the purpose of giving students work to do. The general goal of homework is to reinforce the lessons learned in the classroom. Again, school officials appreciate your support as we continue to strive for an improved overall rating on the Ohio Department of Education state report card.
Speaking of ratings and the state report card, I would once again like to remind our parents/guardians and community members that the testing system, as we currently know it, has change this school year. Students in grades 3-8 will be taking tests through the new PARCC system, an entirely on-line testing process. The bar has been significantly raised this year. Earning a “proficient” score will no longer be a passing score. Students must earn what is now considered to be an “accelerated” score in order to be a passing score. This will likely have a dramatic impact on school building and school district ratings. As I’ve stated many times, the faculty and staff of Wayne Trace Local Schools is dedicated to teaching the state content standards to its students each day, which in turn should lessen the potentially negative effect of much higher expectations from the state level.
Continuing the academic theme… I would like to take this opportunity to thank our administration, faculty, staff, and students for the manner in which they have embraced the influx of technology in our school district this year. The 1:1 initiative at the JH/HS building is going quite well, as very few problems have arisen during the first five-plus months of school, and learning has taken on a whole new look. And at both elementary buildings, our students are being introduced to keyboarding at a younger age than ever before, while our teachers are incorporating more technology-based lessons due to the availability of more computers. Additionally, our Wayne Trace Digital Academy is thriving again this school year as approximately thirty students are utilizing some faction of the alternative-education possibilities that on-line learning provides, while approximately twenty-one college-bound students report to the digital academy for on-line college classes taken through Northwest State CC. These twenty-one students are taking a total of twenty-eight college-level classes. Parents/guardians with questions about any of the on-line learning options offered at Wayne Trace JH/HS should contact Mr. Leeth or Mr. Alt for more information.
Turning to the district calendar: Due to the combination of fog, snow, ice, and extremely cold temperatures, we are now in the position of making up at least one day of school. So… please mark your calendars for Monday, February 16 as a regular day of school. Should we need to make up any more days, we will do our best to communicate this information to you in a timely fashion. Following February 16, the next possible make-up day is scheduled for May 29. Any additional calamity days will be made up on June 2, June 3, etc. If you have any questions about the district calendar for this school year, feel free to contact the principal’s office at your child(ren)’s building(s).
We continue to seek nominations for the Wayne Trace Staff Hall of Fame Class of 2015. Please consider nominating a worthy former staff member who may have had an extraordinary impact on your life. Last month’s newsletter contained instructions for how to make a nomination, but if you have any questions about this process, feel free to contact the central office.
The Ohio State Board of Education has designated January as “School Board Member Appreciation Month.” The men and women who serve on local boards of education do so out of sincere interest in their local schools. With that said, we would like to thank our local board members for their service and dedication to Wayne Trace Local Schools. Remember that community members are welcome to attend school board meetings. Upcoming meetings will be held on February 9 and March 9, starting at 7:30 in the high school lecture room.
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