• Opinions on Testing

    Posted by Dr. John P. Kronour at 4/10/2015 1:00:00 PM

    Parents, educators, and other stakeholders are telling the Ohio Senate how they feel about state student assessments.  Legislators say legitimate concerns have been raised about the current state assessments as well as Ohio’s overall testing policies.  With this in mind, the Senate President created the Senate Advisory Committee on Testing.  As indicated on its website, “the immediate charge of the committee will be to review and evaluate the PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College & Careers) math and English language arts state assessments and the AIR (American Institute for Research) science and social studies state assessments and provide advice to the Senate as to whether Ohio should consider alternative tests and/or make specific modifications to the tests for the next school year. The committee will also explore whether or not the quantity of testing currently being conducted in Ohio classrooms is out of balance with time students are engaged in active learning.”  If you have an opinion and want your voice heard, please submit a comment to this newly formed committee at http://sact.ohiosenate.gov.  This is an opportunity for you to have a voice and perhaps effect change in policy.   Please use the provided link and do not leave your comment on this blog.

     

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  • Learning More About Testing

    Posted by John P. Kronour at 2/26/2015 4:00:00 PM

    A great deal of conversation has been circulating about the new testing requirements in Ohio.   To better explain the assessments and clarify misunderstandings, the Board of Education has invited Senator Bill Beagle (R) - District 5 to attend its next monthly meeting.  Senator Beagle will present a short information session and, time permitting, will field questions from the community.   This meeting will take place on Monday, March 23 beginning at 6:30 p.m.  at Tippecanoe High School in the Center for Performing Arts.    What would you like to ask?  What do you want to know?  If you have comments or questions you would like Senator Beagle to consider, please forward them to beagle@ohiosenate.gov  

     

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  • Winter Weather Decision Making

    Posted by John P. Kronour, Ph.D. at 1/13/2015 1:00:00 PM

    When Tipp City Exempted Village Schools makes the decision to close or delay school due to the weather conditions, we do not make the decision lightly or quickly.  

    The Transportation Director and I travel area roadways, bus routes and parking lots to determine potential safety issues.  This process starts as early as 4:30 a.m. or even the previous night.  Often main roads are passable while secondary streets are not.  In addition to road conditions, we consider existing weather and hourly forecasts.  How much snow has fallen?  How much is expected?  How fast is it falling?  When will it end?  Is there blowing snow?  Is ice, sleet or freezing rain in the forecast?  What is the temperature and wind chill factor?  

    We also consult with city and township officials to confirm plowing and salting schedules when applicable. We also must take into account sidewalk and parking lot conditions and whether crews can clear them in a timely fashion.  

    There is not an established formula for determining whether to delay the opening of school or cancel classes for the day.  It is a decision with many variables and needs to be decided on a case-by- case basis.  And, while it is ideal to make the call well in advance of the morning alarm, that is not always possible. There is also the potential for two calls, first a two-hour delay and then a school closing, if the conditions do not improve as anticipated. 

    The safety of our students, staff and parents is the most important factor.

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  • Calamity Days

    Posted by John P. Kronour, Ph.D. at 11/21/2014 11:00:00 AM

    Here we go again.  Winter weather is upon us (a bit earlier than expected) and that brings with it the decision whether to delay or close school.  This year with a new law in place parents are asking how calamity days will be calculated against the required time in school. 

    The Ohio Department of Education now requires school districts to count hours of instruction as opposed to the number of days in school as has been the traditional practice.  Tipp City Exempted Village Schools will continue to follow the old plan of five calamity days.  At this point, the morning delays will not adversely impact the required hours because the district is substantially above the state mandated minimum hours of instruction. 

    We place a premium on education and feel our children need to be in the classrooms.  Once those five days are used, the district will make up future missed days.   This could be e-days/Blizzard Bags or additional days at the end of the year.  Parents will be notified of such decisions as they are made. 

    I also want to remind families that local government entities are dealing with lower-than-usual salt supplies.  This means the city and township may be forced to adjust their strategies for snow and ice removal.   For example, crews may tend to the roads later into the inclement weather and/or initially skip some areas.  These difficult assessments will influence the district’s decision to issue a school delay or closing.  The safety of our students, teachers, and families is paramount in making that early morning call.  What you see out your front door may not accurately depict the situation elsewhere in our community.  

    Perhaps forecasters are less accurate when predicting that this winter’s weather could be worse than last year.  At least we are not in Buffalo where snow already is being measured in feet!

     

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  • Classroom Champions

    Posted by John P. Kronour, Ph.D. at 11/5/2014 10:00:00 AM

     

               From academics to fine arts to athletics, our students are soaring.  With only one quarter of the school year completed, we are congratulating students for academic successes, significant extra-curricular accomplishments and athletic victories. Three students are National Merit honorees, a coveted recognition reserved for THE top scholars in the country.  The Quiz Bowl Team is proving itself a strong contender at local and regional competitions. The award-winning marching band continues to earn recognition for its musical talents and advances to the prestigious Bands of America.  Our fall sports teams captured CBC, district, and regional titles.  For the first time in school history, the THS boys cross country team won a team state championship. 
                Much of this success is a credit to our teachers who are committed to student achievement and provide a positive learning environment that fosters student excellence. Just as with many professionals, teachers work hard; they put in numerous hours outside the traditional school day arriving before the day’s first bell, staying late, and bringing work home.  They spend time preparing curriculum, planning projects, and grading papers.  The teachers in the younger grades do this for multiple subjects while those in the upper grades do this for multiple classes.  And, it is not a one size fits all.  Teachers also have lunch duty, bus duty, and study hall.  They contact parents, respond to emails, attend meetings, tidy rooms, meet with parents, and provide extra help to students. And, they never lose sight of what is most important---the kids.
                They do so much for our students often when no one is looking.  Yet, rarely do we share these stories out loud. Please share a positive experience about one (or more) of our teachers and what makes them special to you, your family, or the district.  Help us start a chain reaction of kindness by complimenting the ones who are building the foundation for our future. 

    Please include your full name and valid email address if you wish for your comment to be posted.

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  • Make Your Vote Count

    Posted by Dr. John P. Kronour at 10/29/2014 3:00:00 PM

    On Tuesday, November 4, voters go to the polls for the Ohio General Election.  Though Tipp City Exempted Village Schools has no issues, levies, or bonds on this ballot, this is an important election for our school district. 

    Your vote in this midterm election helps determine policies that impact our district and our students.  Elected officials make significant decisions at the state capitol that can have a lasting, profound impact on your life.  Who is in office has implications for education policy changes in funding, academic standards, high-stakes testing, teacher evaluations, district report cards, charter schools, and school choice.  Our legislators hold greater control on how education looks at the local level.  

    Significantly decreased state funding and increased unfunded mandates continue to burden our limited resources.  We are tasked with implementing SLOs, OTES, and eTPES – assessment tools designed to evaluate teachers and administrators.  There are also Ohio’s New Learning Standards for students in math, language arts, science and social studies. The new standards bring a host of new student high stakes testing and those results will be used to evaluate educators.  What impact will these changes have on student achievement? 

    Before you cast your ballot, I encourage you to consider the issues that are most important to you and evaluate the positions of the candidates.  Read through the literature and decide with whom you most identify.  Assess government performance, voting records where applicable, and visions for future prosperity. 

    Our nation’s prosperity and the success of our students rely on a quality educational system.  When you cast your vote, please consider where the candidates stand on education issue so that we can maintain a tradition of excellence.  Polls are open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

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  • Proposed 2015-2016 Academic Calendar

    Posted by John P. Kronour, Ph.D. at 10/10/2014 3:00:00 PM

    A Calendar Committee has been working on the calendar for the 2015-2016 school year.    The district is offering parents an opportunity to provide suggestions and comments on the proposal being considered. This version is a mirror image of this year’s calendar with a longer Thanksgiving break and no early dismissals or late starts.  Unlike this year, students get out for summer recess before Memorial Day.  Specific details are listed below.  When completing a calendar, administrators must consider several factors including federal holidays, state testing dates, a balance of days in each quarter, graduation date, and testing for AP, mid-terms and final exams.  It can be a juggling act to accommodate these considerations and the state-required number of hours with the least amount of disruption to the classroom instruction.  This is only a proposal.  Please review the proposed calendar and provide feedback, positive or negative. Comments will be considered before the final draft is presented to the Board of Education for approval. 

    Tipp City Schools
    2015-2016 District Calendar (Calendar Proposal Subject to Revision) 


    August

    Wednesday, August 19                        First Day of School for Students 

    September

    Monday, September 7                          Labor Day - No School

    Friday, September 18                          Teacher In-Service-No Classes

    October

    Friday, October 16                               1st Quarter Ends

    November

    Monday, November 23                        Teacher In-Service-No Classes

    Tues. 11/24-Fri. 11/27                         Thanksgiving Recess - No School

    December

    Friday, December 18                           Last Day of Classes before Christmas Break

    Mon, 12/21 - Fri, 1/1                          Christmas Break 

    January

    Monday, January 4                              First Day of Classes in 2016

    Friday, January 8                                 Second Quarter / First Semester Ends

    Monday, January 18                            Martin Luther King, Jr. Day - No School 

    February

    Friday, February 12                             Teacher In-Service-No Classes           

    Monday, February 15                          Presidents' Day - No School 

    March

    Friday, March 18                                 Third Grading Period Ends      

    Friday, March 25                                 Good Friday – No School                

    Mon, 3/28 – Fri, 4/1                             Spring Break - No School 

    May

    Friday, May 27                                    Second Semester / Fourth Quarter Ends - Last Day for Students

    June

    Tuesday, May 31                               Teacher Record Day

    Tues., 5/31 – Fri, 6/3                        Calamity Make-Up Days if necessary

     

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  • Rachel's Challenge: A Chain Reaction of Kindness

    Posted by Dr. John P. Kronour, Ph.D. at 9/11/2014 8:00:00 AM

    Tipp City Exempted Village Schools is participating in a nationally acclaimed program dedicated to providing students a safe, supportive learning environment. Rachel’s Challenge is an awe-inspiring program intended to combat bullying and address feelings of isolation through kindness. It inspires, equips, and empowers people to create a positive cultural change by actively involving students to treat others the way they want to be treated.  

    The concept grew from the 1999 Columbine High School tragedy and the death of a 17 year old student.  Rachel Joy Scott believed “if one person can go out of their way to show compassion, then it will start a chain reaction” of kindness, generosity, and forgiveness.  Thanks to the Upper Valley Medical Center Foundation, all students in our schools will attend an age appropriate Rachel’s Challenge assembly between September 30th and October 2nd; students in the upper grades will have the option to be a part of a leadership team to sustain this effort.  

    This is a powerful presentation with the opportunity to replace bullying and negativity with acts of respect and kindness.  It is an opportunity to better reach those who feel they are different, picked on, or new to our school.  It is an opportunity for our community to show how far a little kindness can go and reinforce the decisions our youth are making.  Organizers say the impact of Rachel’s Challenge is compelling.  Bullying and violence decrease, while community service and acts of kindness increase.  It’s a combination that can benefit all of us.  

    We are excited about this chance to make a difference in our students’ lives and welcome community members to share in this effort.  In addition to the student assemblies, the district is hosting a community event on October 2 at 7:00 p.m. at Tippecanoe High School. This is open to the public and appropriate for those over the age of 13.  Together we can create safer, more caring and supportive learning environments essential for academic achievement.  I invite you to be a part of the chain reaction.

    If you wish to comment on this blog, please include your full name and valid email. 
     
     
     
     
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  • Welcome to a New School Year

    Posted by John P. Kronour, Ph.D. at 8/28/2014 11:00:00 AM

    Welcome to a new school year.  Despite a few days of heat and humidity, students and staff are off to a great start.  There is a high level of excitement in our schools, an excitement I am confident will continue through the final bell at year’s end. 

    We continue our commitment to working closely with families to improve student achievement and success.  A strong school-home partnership helps maximize students’ potential and enriches the learning experiences.  Please let the teachers, principals, or administrators know how to better facilitate this connection. 

    Even with today’s hectic schedules, I encourage you to get involved in our schools as much as you can.  This might be volunteering in a classroom, serving on a committee, or sharing ideas.  Please ask questions, voice your concerns, and offer suggestions for improvement.  Give us feedback, whether positive or negative; issues don’t get solved if we don’t have open lines of communication.  

    We want parent and community engagement to be meaningful and enjoyable.  Let’s work together to continue our tradition of excellence for all students.

     

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  • New Parent Advisory Group

    Posted by John P. Kronour, Ph.D. at 7/1/2014 10:00:00 AM

    Maintaining an effective communication system between schools, parents, and the community is important to the Tipp City School District. Strong two-way communication increases awareness, promotes student success, and creates stronger partnerships with stakeholders.   The already established communication system within the district includes a social media presence, webpage, emails, phone alerts, and newsletters.  We want to make sure parents and community members are getting the information we provide and feeling connected. 

    The district’s School Community Relations Coordinator, Liz Robbins, is forming a new parent group to make suggestions on how to better facilitate communication.  What do parents and community members want to know?  What information do they find most useful?  How do they prefer to receive the information?  We want to hear ideas,thoughts, and concerns. 

    The one-hour informal brainstorming session is scheduled for Tuesday, July 15 starting at noon at the Board of Education office.  An evening meeting will be organized for later in the summer.  If you can’t attend but have a suggestion or question,  please contact Liz at lrobbins@tippcity.k12.oh.us or 937-669-6302. 

    IF YOU WISH TO COMMENT ON THIS BLOG AND HAVE IT POSTED, PLEASE INCLUDE A FULL NAME AND VALID EMAIL ADDRESS. 

     

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