Stow City Schools Superintendent Bratton weighs in on how k-12 schools are handling COVID-19

Students may have had a chance to relax but Superintendent of the Stow Munroe City School District, Tom Bratton, Assistant Superintendent Kristen Prough, along with most of the districts teaching staff did not get much of a break this summer.  They were too busy restructuring entire schools and curriculums to prepare for this upcoming school year taking place in the midst of a global pandemic. Throughout this Q&A Bratton and Prough discuss the ways they have been navigating their way through these uncertain times.  How has the transition towards a partially and fully remote school year gone so far?  Bratton: We certainly started a lot differently this year and backed our

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2018 worst year for school shootings

In 2018, 113 people were killed or injured in school shootings around the United States. The US Center for Homeland Defense and Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency says 2018 had the highest number of incidents ever recorded, going back to 1970. The earliest record of school shooting was in 1940 at the University of Virginia. He was shot while trying to break up a riot on campus. He died three days later and was buried at the campus cemetery. It’s been almost 20 years since the Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado happened on April 20, 1999. There had been school shootings before in the country, including at

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Ohio districts respond to “Prepared for Success” grades

The Ohio school report cards are designed to give parents, educators and policymakers information about the performances of districts and schools and celebrate success.  So when most Ohio schools received poor grades in the “Prepared for Success” category, there wasn’t much to celebrate. Without a requirement from the federal government, the Ohio Department of Education has created the “Prepared for Success” category to the school report card. The 2018 report cards revealed that just nine of 608 school districts in Ohio received an A in the “Prepared for Success” section. Out of the 608 districts, 520 of them received either a D or an F, implying that Ohio students are

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Story Time: Inspiring Early Readers

Most of Ohio’s 251 public library systems have children’s libraries, and most children’s libraries have weekly story times for young children — what many librarians and researchers say is critical to the development of early literacy.   Shelley Hall, the youth services manager for Kent Free Library, said reading is an important building block for success later on in life. “Reading to your child, especially a baby, is so important because it engages so many senses with your baby,” she said. “It starts their brain moving. They recognize pictures then, they hear the sound of your voice. It’s bonding time for you and the baby, so reading from a young

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Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, and Evaluate – a school’s plan for the worst

As school safety becomes a more prominent and pressing concern, many schools rely on the same system to guide their communication and response to an active shooter.   ALICE stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, and Evacuate. It teaches kids not just to sit in silence, but to stay active and look for an escape.   According to the ALICE website, this program is used in 4,200 K-12 School Districts, as well as 1300 healthcare facilities and 480 houses of worship. They have a wide variety of training programs that suit everyone from trained police forces to crisis communication to the evacuation of people with disabilities and emergent limitations.    

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ALICE Training offers an alternative solution during active shooter situation

Ever since the Columbine mass shooting in 1999, schools have been required to have a lockdown drill in which students lock the door and hide in the classrooms. As this is a more passive approach, programs like ALICE training have become more mainstream as they offer a more proactive approach. ALICE stands for: “Alert,” “Lockdown,” “Inform,” “Counter,” and “Evacuate.”   Flow Light Infogram It was created by a swat officer and teacher named Greg Crane. It’s meant to be a different way of approaching school shooting situations in which students have more flexibility in what they must do. According to ALICE’s website, 4,200 k-12 school districts have implemented this training

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Kent City School District’s Bullying Initiatives

BULLYING IN SCHOOLS IS A PROMINENT ISSUE THAT OFFICIALS TAKE AS A SERIOUS MATTER IN ORDER TO KEEP STUDENTS SAFE. TV2’S STARR BODI HAS THE STORY. Kent City School District Bullying Initiative from Csilla Bodi on Vimeo. Words by Tierra Thomas It is mandated for all school districts to have a board policy that provides an annual or semi-annual report of any reported bullying incidences in schools. Despite only needing to list the year prior, as well as the current year, the Kent City School District website shows bullying incidents from 2012 up to 2017. “That gives a little bit of longevity to see what these numbers mean compared to

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Kent Roosevelt High School teams up with Kent State & Akron Children’s Hospital to bring mental health screenings to students

By Sam Karam and Kellie Nock Image courtesy of Kent Roosevelt High School Kent Roosevelt High School (KRHS) is partnering with Kent State nursing students and Akron Children’s Hospital to bring mental health screenings to its students. “As part of a combination of grants, including a $3,000 pilot grant, ninth graders at Roosevelt will be involved in mental health screening in their Health Education classes,” the KRHS website states. Kent State nursing students will screen the high schoolers in health classes for substance abuse, depression and anxiety. After the screening, students with any of these issues can attend up to eight counseling sessions through Kent State or Akron Children’s to

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Community Partners with School to Assist Lower Income Families

By Samantha Karam and Kellie Nock Windham is a small village in Portage County. There are roughly 1,852 residents and about 742 people work in the village. According to statistics from DataUSA, a data visualization website, the median household income for Windham is 37, 569 dollars. A Business Insider article states the average salary in the United States for 2017 was 49,400. In 2016, the percentage of Windham residents with incomes below the poverty level was 34.5 percent. While the state of Ohio had a percentage of 19 percent. Information from City-Data, another data visualization site, reports Windham has a percentage of children below the poverty line of 42.2 percent.

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Portage County school districts receive annual report cards

Superintendents respond to how their grades meet state standards Students aren’t the only ones who receive report cards. Every school year, Portage County school districts in Ohio receive report cards to measure state expectations for students. Last month, the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) released the report cards for the 2016-17 school year. The report cards have undergone multiple sets of changes over the past several years based on state policy reforms such as the No Child Left Behind Act and the Every Child Succeeds Act. The report cards currently use an A-F letter grading system and have six components: achievement, progress, gap closing, K-3 literacy, graduation rate and preparation

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