Highlights from 8/20/15 school board meeting

Milford on strong financial path
Local control is key to success at every level
Visible Learning & Feedback: a new way to reach students
Mindset is a book well worth reading, at any age
Schools: state & local control, by George A. Lucas
District works with local businesspeople and community, by Debbie Marques
First day 2015-16!
Athletic Update

Below are other key points from the meeting:

  • The Business Advisory Council (BAC) has been discussing the possibility of turning the current Milford Public Library on Rt. 131 into a board office, and also best use for Milford South. They do not yet have a report and discussions are continuing. If you are interested in attending a meeting, please contact George Lucas for information on dates/times.
  • The board approved SMART Goals, which are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Results-focused, and Time-bound. This year’s SMART Goals focus on technology, student achievement, communication, and professional development. We will measure goal achievement in a variety of ways.
  • The board also approved revised Strategic Choices. These are designed to focus the direction of the district in a variety of categories: Professional Development; Communications; Staff Structure & Ratios; Funding; Technology; Curriculum; and Intervention. The goals were revised to be more specific to where the district is in each area.
  • Construction is coming along well, with everything currently on schedule. Jeff Wyler was generous enough to lend the district use of his drones to take pictures of the Seipelt & Boyd construction sites. Links to the videos are: https://youtu.be/kTHSsLRNAHA and https://youtu.be/0I3HoChEFv4.
  • The district approved adding three new clubs: at the high school, the Mock Trial and Debate Team; and at the elementaries, the Elementary Robotics Club. These clubs align with curriculum and developing 21st Century Skills in our students, and were also approved based on interest.

Local Control is key to success on every level

Earlier this month, 41 regional school districts announced formation of a “Local Control” advocacy group. Milford Superintendent Dr. Robert Farrell has been involved with the group since its inception last winter; he was also one of the superintendents who spoke at the press conference announcing the group. Read the media release here: Greater Cincinnati School Advocacy Network.

Over the decades, more and more regulations have been placed on public school districts (See a summary of the regulations here: Burden on Public Schools). Some of these are good for our students and should remain in place, no question; others may apply to some districts but not others, yet they cost all districts significantly in time and money.

The purpose of this group is to return control of our local schools to our local professionals – the school boards and the people they hire to deliver the educational services their unique community requires. This will allow school districts to use their resources – people and funds – in the most effective way possible, instead of having to jump through hoops created at the state level that may or may not relate to their specific needs.

We can’t do this without your help. As this group evolves, we will be asking you – our local families & residents – to get involved, by sending letters to legislators, by speaking out. When the time comes, PLEASE HELP US! We will be explaining our unique situations and needs, and showing you where your voice truly can make a difference.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me. Thank you in advance for your support as we work to change how public schools are managed by the state of Ohio.

Visible Learning & Feedback: a new way to reach students

Last year, a group of Milford administrators and teachers and began exploring a new approach to improve student achievement. At the August 2015 board meeting, high school English teacher Kirstie Rheinheimer and Mulberry second grade teacher Adam Samuels presented the key findings on a new approach called Feedback. Continue reading

Mindset is a book well worth reading, at any age

The Milford administrators are reading a wonderful book, and I was smart enough to follow their lead and decide to read it myself. Called Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, it’s an examination of how we achieve and handle life’s challenges. Continue reading

Schools: State and Local control

By George A. Lucas, Member, Milford School Board and candidate on the ballot this November

Every storm starts with a gentle wind then unexpectedly you’re in the middle of a tornado.

In reading H.B. 70 one would think the focus is on finance and management of schools. The reality is masked by layers of a bureaucratic thirst for control. The state education system has been tweaked and twisted by every governor for the past 50 years. Continue reading

District works with local businesspeople & community

By Debbie Marques, former Member, Milford School Board and candidate on the ballot this November

On Monday, August, 24, I attended the Business Advisory Council (BAC) meeting. The main agenda item was reviewing the extensive research around options for the Administration/Board of Education office. Continue reading