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Feb. 2013

 Special Education Policy…… ….. 2


 Royalview Upgrade………..……..3


New State Budget Released As you are no doubt aware, Gov. John Kasich unveiled his plans for changing Ohio’s education and school-funding system in a meeting yesterday with school superintendents (I attended the meeting). The plan is called “Achievement Everywhere: Common Sense for Ohio’s Classrooms,” the governor and his staff reviewed the proposed new funding system’s concepts. After reviewing the initial release of information, I am cautiously encouraged to see the following concepts:   

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5.9% and 3.2% increases in base funding for fiscal years (FY) 2014 and 2015, respectively. Funds targeted to lower-wealth districts, which includes us to some extent. No change from existing levels in the Tangible Personal Property (TPP) and Utility Tangible Personal Property (UTPP) tax replacement payments. No districts would receive less money than they do in FY 2013. Funds targeted for special needs students and for equal access to early childhood education.

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Grant funds available to help districts investigate innovative programs to maximize resources. $8 million for school safety grants. Proposed relief from certain mandates.

I am however concerned about the proposal’s expansion of “choice” options and what impact that might have on us down the road. It is still unclear exactly what is included and what the long-term effects on will be. I do not have enough details to fully evaluate the plan at this time. The governor’s staff indicated that district-by-district spreadsheets should be available as early next week that will detail the impacts of the proposal for our district. I expect to learn more as the budget process continues. The governor will present his budget proposal to the legislature on Monday with his “blue book,” which will outline the administration’s priorities for the biennium. I am told to expect the legislative language for the budget bill itself to be released sometime later this month.

Upcoming Staff Meetings I will conduct voluntary staff meetings after school in the coming weeks. I hope to update you all regarding building plans and important legislative changes. Hope to see you!

1-30 NHS @ 2:30 pm / 2-5 Edison @ 3:15 pm / 2-6 Tech @ 2:20 2-13 Longfellow @ 3:15 pm / 2-20 Kennedy @ 2:20 pm / 2-25 SHS @ 2:30 pm 2-27 Jefferson @ 2:55 pm / 2-28 WWMS @ 3:15 pm / 3-4 WMS @ 3:45 pm 3-5 Royalview @ 2:45 pm / 3-6 EMS @ 3:20 pm / 3-11 Washington @ 3:30 pm 1

The Impacts of Changing Special Education Policy Special Education Policy Changes On Friday, January 25, 2013, the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) issued a new formal guidance (in the form of a “Dear Colleague” letter) for public elementary and secondary schools and colleges and universities regarding their obligation to provide athletic opportunities for students with disabilities. Many are calling this a “landmark directive” and are suggesting that the Department’s guidance will have as significant an impact on athletic opportunities for students with disabilities as Title IX created for female athletes. The January 25th letter clarifies schools’ existing legal obligations under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 to provide students with disabilities an equal opportunity to participate in extracurricular activities. This means making reasonable modifications to the school’s extracurricular programs and activities and providing necessary aids and services, unless the school can show that doing so would result in a fundamental alteration of its programs or put student safety at risk. Within the letter, OCR provides concrete examples of the types of reasonable modifications that schools may be required to make in order to ensure that students with disabilities have an equal opportunity to participate in extracurricular athletics. For example: 

Using a visual cue along with a starter pistol for a student with hearing impairment who is on the track team, or Providing after school nursing assistance (such as glucose testing and monitoring) to enable a student with diabetes to participate in an after school athletic program.

The letter also cautions schools that they cannot limit athletic opportunities due to generalizations and stereotypes about students with disabilities and encourages them to “work with their communities and athletic associations to develop broad opportunities to include students with disabilities in all extracurricular athletic programs.”

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OTES Training will take place on February 19th on our professional development day. I hope you find the day helpful as we all learn more about the teacher evaluation system.

Our RENEWAL Levy will be on the ballot May 7, 2013. I will recommend to the Board in the March timeframe to place our Bond Issue on the ballot in as a Special Election to be held in August, 2013.

iPad Carts are on the way to several buildings across the district. I believe that with effective training, iPads can help IMPROVE STUDENT ACHEIVEMENT.

Pictured above is Ms. Ray’s and Ms. Lieberg’s class holding the generous gift of $4,000 from Lowe’s.

Royalview Elementary Courtyard Update Ms. Ray and Ms. Lieberg’s class at Royalview was recently awarded $4000.00 from Lowe’s to rework and renew the school’s courtyard. It is through individual efforts like this that makes our school district so strong. We are very proud and thankful that Ms. Ray and Ms. Lieberg for their continued commitment to their students and the district!

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