By Gary Budzak
A typical Olentangy Local Schools Board of Education business session includes presentations and policy discussions, and last week’s meeting was no exception.
The board heard a presentation from Olentangy Middle School student Morgan Gibbs, who won the Kid’s Choice Award at the recent Invention Convention Regional Competition at Columbus State Community College. Gibbs’ invention is called Over Armor, and is a bulletproof poncho made of ballistic nylon. She said the poncho, which is available in three sizes, is meant to protect school children from armed intruders.
The board praised Gibbs for her invention and her public speaking, and member Adam White tried on the prototype.
Later in the June 26 meeting, the board heard Tom Ash of the Buckeye Association of School Administrators discuss how Ohio’s recently passed House Bill 487 affects the district.
Ash said beginning in the 2015-16 school year, College Credit Plus (CCP) will replace dual enrollment and post-secondary enrollment options. CCP will still allow high school students to earn college credits, but there are changes to the program.
Another significant change is that the Ohio Graduation Test will be replaced for students entering the ninth grade later this year with the College and Work Ready Assessment System (CWRAS).The CWRAS consist of seven end-of-course exams for freshmen in algebra, American government, American history, English, geometry and science; and a nationally standardized assessment for all juniors (either the ACT or SAT). Students earning high school credits prior to July will be exempt from the end-of-course exam.
“There are three paths to a high school diploma,” Ash said. In addition to completing the course requirements, students must score at a remediation-free level in English, math and reading on the national assessment; or earn a minimum cumulative score on the end-of-course exams; or earn a passing score on a job skills assessment and a credential/license for a vocation.
Also at the meeting, the board approved policy updates by a 3-1 vote, with White voting against the updates.
The board also mentioned the district will hold its 2014-2015 graduations on a Sunday – May 17, 2015 – instead of a Saturday, as it has in the past. Board members said the change might prevent student conflicts such as a sports tournament game scheduled at the same time as graduation. The board also said graduation times for the three high schools could be condensed to avoid travel problems for families.
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0904 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.