• 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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  • Competitive Pay for Teachers

    Posted by Dr. John p. Kronour at 6/19/2014 8:00:00 AM

     

    Teachers matter.  In fact, they matter a lot.  A quality teacher is the most important factor for achieving student learning.  The high stakes testing and rigorous mandated curriculum standards heighten this significance.  

    Tipp City Exempted Village Schools takes great pride in attracting quality educators who share our vision and commitment to excellence.  Unfortunately, we are losing too many of these teachers to higher paying positions in other districts.  I do not want the district to become a training ground for young educators who leave after 3 to 5 years with us.  

    The exit of teachers is costly.  It is costly to the students who lose experienced teachers; it is costly to the district that must recruit, hire, and train replacements.  The district is losing on its investment. 

    In a cost-saving measure, the Board of Education froze the traditional “step” salary rubric used for annual staff compensation increases.  It provided salary schedules based on level of education, years of experience and professional development.   A replacement or hybrid model is not formulated.  In its absence, the board resorted to a year-to-year consideration that included 4 years of a salary freeze largely because of significantly reduced state funding.  Recently, the BOE authorized an across-the-board salary increase of 2 percent, working within the budget available to them.  Yet, it is not enough to make up for the years of wage freezes and lack of steps. Teachers are looking and leaving for higher paying jobs. 

    Where do we go from here?  A  Strategic Compensation Committee, consisting of teachers and other staff members, has been meeting regularly to determine how best to adequately pay teachers in order to attract and retain the superior staff our students deserve and our community expects.  Is it time to explore the level of support for an earned income tax or other type of levy?  

    I am looking for your ideas to help us formulate an equitable solution.  Teachers deserve fair compensation. They are the reason for our success. A structured salary schedule helps a district stay competitive in attracting and retaining high-quality teachers in the classroom.  Without some evidence of competitive reward, I am very concerned that we will forfeit the opportunity to maintain excellence.  Teachers need to and should feel valued.  This includes a competitive compensation package. 

     

    In order to maintain the integrity of this dialogue, you must provide a valid email and full name in order for the comment to be considered for posting on the blog.   


     

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  • Ohio's New Local Report Card

    Posted by John P. Kronour, Ph.D. at 5/9/2014 12:00:00 PM

    The district’s state report card has a new look.  Gone are the labels like “Excellent” or “Continuous Improvement.”   Instead,  the district will  receive A thru F letter grades on several measures in the same way a student receives grades for each of his or her classes.

     

    Report card measures are grouped into six components:

           Achievement is based on state tests that measure the level of achievement for each student in a grade and subject.

           Progress uses the "value-added" measure to how much progress students made during the school year. 

           Gap Closing measures the academic performance of specific groups of students, such as racial and demographic groups.

           Graduation Rate grades school and districts on percentages of students graduating in four or five years.

           K-3 Literacy measures how well schools and districts are helping young students develop the reading skills they will need to succeed in later grades.

           Prepared for Success measures students' preparedness for success in college and careers.

    Beginning in 2015, the new report card will provide a grade for each of the six components and a combined overall grade.  Our preliminary district grade during this transition time is a B with most individual component grades at A and B. 

    Within the broad categories, or components, there are individual Measures.  These measures are descriptive, graded elements of the components.  For instance, within the Progress component, there are three measures:  Gifted, Students with Disabilities, and Lowest 20 percent in Achievement.  Within the Graduation Rate component, there are two measures: four-year graduation rate and five-year graduation rate.    The Ohio Department of Education will add more.

    The new A-F system is a distinct change from the old report cards, which means the two assessments cannot be compared.    The results will help us evaluate our strengths and highlight where we need to focus improvement efforts so that all students have optimal opportunities to succeed in our district and be well prepared for college and careers.

    If you choose to leave a comment, please include a valid e-mail address and full name.  You then can indicate you prefer the blog posting be anonymous.  

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  • Bond versus Levy: Understanding the Difference

    Posted by John P. Kronour, Ph.D. at 4/29/2014 12:00:00 PM

    There is a significant difference between a bond issue and a levy such as the Permanent Improvement Renewal Levy on the May 6th ballot.  PI money pays for property, assets or improvements with a life or usefulness of five years or more such as building maintenance, curriculum resources and transportation purchases. This money cannot be used for salaries and benefits. 

    The Board of Education is not asking for money to build new facilities on May 6th.   If that were the case, the district would have a bond issue on the ballot.  Revenue raised from a bond issue can be used only for capital costs such as new school construction and/or certain building renovations.   

    The district remains in its planning stage with its facilities project.  The BOE faces new decisions since the state recently notified the district that it is not likely to receive state funding this year as expected.  We are at the bottom of the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission’s priority list. 

    Please don’t blur the lines of a bond issue and a levy.  Each is unique with specific funding expenditures permitted.  This PI Renewal Levy provides critical funding for maintenance and upkeep that protects our investments. 

    Please contact me at jpkronour@tippcity.k12.oh.us or call me directly at 667-1357 with comments or questions.  If you choose to leave a comment on this blog, you must submit a VALID email address; name is optional.

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