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Tigers and Buckeyes

Remembering a Friend for Life It is with great sorrow that the Pickerington Local School District recognizes the passing of Violet Township Fire Department Assistant Fire Chief Douglas R. Barr. A veteran of service for more than 32 years, Barr served our community for over two decades. His commitment to the department and the District will be greatly missed. Douglas R. Barr - 1959-2011.

Serving Pickerington Since 1964

The School Bell

Winter 2011 Issue 2

A Pickerington Local School District Publication

Harmon Speaks pg. 4

Superintendent pg. 2


Student reporters at Harmon Middle School give the 411 about using technology to facilitate classroom collaboration.

One More Goal More Than A Game pg. 6


Across the country, education is facing some of its most challenging times and Pickerington Local Schools has the opportunity to determine its own destiny. Together, we will journey toward global learning and witness the evolution of Pickerington Schools.

Online Chat

The Pickerington High School Central Girls Junior Varsity Soccer Team gets a lesson in sisterhood and setting goals.

The Pickerington High School Central Tiger went head-toclaw in a full-court, four-on-four charity mascot basketball game to benefit the Special Olympics on Feb. 12th. Together, the Tiger, Brutus Buckeye and 11 professional and high school mascots raised over $900.

n 2009, the Pickerington Local School District (PLSD) sought experts and conducted research to understand the types of skills required for the 21st century (global) job market. The importance of this research is to ensure that the District is poised to offer students a quality education that meets community expectations and provides the tools students need to compete in a global world.

Four District Students Named as Finalists in Scholarship Program The National Merit Scholarship Program has determined which of the 16,000 semifinalists named in September of 2010 have met all of the requirements to advance to finalists standing in the competition. Pickerington’s 2011 NMSP Finalists are Christina Ciccone, PHSN; Anne Curie, PHSC; Noah Taylor, PHSC and Joshua Wiseman, PHSC.

The Evolution of Education T

he concept of global learning is simple—the world that PLSD students will participate in will be drastically different from the past. Technology is changing the qualifications of the jobs; the economy is demanding more efficient use of the world’s resources and clients served will be oceans apart. The students of tomorrow must be problem solvers, but even more so, predictors of change. They will need to understand the nature of alternative energy sources, impact of the new economy and social change. The District must be prepared to help the students of today, face their tomorrow.

What is Global Learning? Education in the global environment is based on the essential skills that children need to succeed as citizens and workers in the 21st century. The key elements of global learning are: Multi-Faceted Literacy Basic, Scientific, Economic and Technological Literacies; Visual and Information Literacies; Multicultural Literacy and Global Awareness. Inventive Thinking Adaptability, Managing Complexity and Self-Direction;

Curiosity, Creativity, Intuitive and Risk Taking; Higher-Order Thinking and Sound Reasoning. Communication Teaming, Collaboration and Interpersonal Skills; Personal, Social and Civic Responsibility; Interactive Communication; Cultural Awareness. High Productivity Prioritizing, Planning and Managing for Results; Effective Use of Real-World Tools; Ability to Invent and Produce Relevant High-Quality Products.

The finalists will be considered for National Merit Scholarships to be offered in 2011. The students have an opportunity to continue in the competition for 8,400 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $36 million.

Special Ed Balances Needs, Demands and District Resources The District’s mission is to provide all children with an efficient and nurturing, educational environment which creates lifelong learners who are socially responsible citizens. This commitment transcends economic trends and conditions. Like every department in the District, special education will also

Evolution continued on pg. 2


Using education to impact the local, national and global community!

Special continued on pg. 11

Excellence During the Tough Times

Karen Mantia, Ed.D. Superintendent of PLSD


ir Winston Churchill once said, “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”

Education is facing some of its most challenging times. The difficulties are numerous, created by rapidly changing technologies, shifting economies, declining revenues and global competition — just to name a few! Pickerington Schools has the opportunity to determine its own destiny. We choose to turn our difficult times into opportunities. However in doing so, we have to face some realities. Money is in short supply, school funding is broken and efficient and effective organizations are well laid plans, not speeches. Preparing students for the 21st century is an obligation, not an option. Global learning is about giving students the tools to compete in a digital and constantly evolving workforce. It is about developing highly productive, innovative thinkers that know how to respond to rapid change, who can effectively communicate and reengineer their own skills. Recently, a group of highly skilled business leaders in the community advised school Mantia continued on pg. 10

Photo by Lauren Shiman

“We will continue to support our talented educators who are the champions for students. Being an optimist for education is the opportunity that every child deserves.

Cover Story

The Evolution of Education How Has Pickerington Schools Prepared For This Day? Pickerington Schools is a progressive school district. Results are high, and the need to prepare students to meet their world is a critical objective. Increased dialog, planning and the re-tooling of academic initiatives are the things that Pickerington does best. Input from top business leaders, universities and staff will be vital to ensure that plans are designed for sustained growth and success. What is the Global Arts Infusion Model? The courses of art, music, physical education, media and technology, will be offered to all students in the classroom in 1st-6th grades.

The School Bell

March 2011 | The School Bell |


Global Integration Teams (art, music, physical education, media and technology teachers) will collaborate, plan, deliver and facilitate learning with classroom teachers. Media centers, gymnasiums, music and art rooms, will be transformed to Global Learning Hub work spaces in which students create, produce and demonstrate outcomes of their work relevant to their learning in the classroom. For example, students will be able to convey their artwork as it relates to math, or a music lesson matched to historical periods. These are just a few of the main examples of connective learning. This new model is styled to support direct classroom instruction by creating more dynamic and interactive lesson plans.

Changes in the School Day Beginning with the 2011-2012 school year, the school day will consist of 6 hours of classroom instruction at the elementary/middle school level and 6 hours and 20 minutes at the junior high/high school level. This new school day is a direct result of the integration of art, music, physical education, media and technology into the daily classroom curriculum for 1st-6th grades. Additionally, the junior highs will add a science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) program and begin Spanish instruction at 7th and 8th grades. As a result, the 2011-2012 student day will have longer blocks of instructional time. The Pickerington Local School District must be agile enough to provide students with the tools and resources to be prepared for tomorrow.

The School Bell is a community newszine dedicated to providing in-depth coverage of the Pickerington Local School District. Its staff is comprised of District staff and students.

Copy Editors: Vicki Baptist, Diana Myers, Mindy Trout

It is published four times a year. For more information about the School Bell, contact: The Communications Department, Pickerington Local Schools, 90 East Street, Pickerington, Ohio, 43147 Phone: 614-833-2110; Fax: 614-833-2143

Contributing Writers: Adelaide Appiah, Bob Blackburn, Lee Cole, Michaela G., Dan Griscom, Rachel H., Karen Mantia, Sandy Miegel, Markisa P., Lisa Reade, Holly S., Jason Swartz and Jordan Tolford

2010-2011 School Bell Staff Editor: Lee Cole

Production Team: Lee Cole Photographers: Lee Cole, Lauren Shiman

PLSD Board of Education: Lisa Reade, president; Clay Lopez, vice-president; Lee Gray, Cathy Olshefski, Lori Sanders, members Superintendent: Karen Mantia, Ed.D. Treasurer: Dan Griscom

Preparing Our Students for Their Future

New 2011-2012 School Start/Dismissal Times New Schedule Eliminates Delayed-Start Days All staff members will work the same number of hours as in the previous school day schedule. Rather than having fragmented planning schedules, teachers will be able to work as a team to develop and refine lesson plans, analyze student achievement data and obtain in-house professional development. The new schedule gives students greater time with their teachers because face-to-face class time is extended. The schedule change helps teachers evaluate the learning progression of students, find new ways to integrate critical objectives and develop lesson plans that continue progressive teaching and learning objectives.

2011-2012 Student and Teacher Schedule Building



High School (HS)

7:20 am - 1 :40 pm

7:10 am - 2 :40 pm

Junior High School (JHS)

8 am - 2:20 pm

7 am - 2:30 pm

Middle School (MS)

9 am - 3 pm

7:45 am - 3:15 pm

Elementary School (ES)

9:40 am - 3:40 pm

8:25 am - 3:55 pm

Kindergarten (AM)

9:40 am - 12:10 pm

Kindergarten (PM)

1:10 pm - 3:40 pm

Elementary and Middle School Summary The Global Learning Hub in the K-6 buildings will replace the individual art, music and physical education classes with a fully integrated arts program embedded in classroom instruction. This action will create dynamic, interactive learning experiences for all students. Gifted Education The “Model for Global Readiness” also expands the gifted program to all middle school grades.

From g







Art, music, physical education, media and technology

Global Learning Hub

Reduced 39 positions

Regain 20 positions for art, music physical education, media and technology staff - Global Integration Teams

Impact: This action will increase dynamic learning for students and teachers. Teachers will have a common planning time in which work can be accomplished as a team reviewing test scores, tailoring class lessons, and working for each student’s needs.

Expanded focus on Mathplus - gifted program

From g






French and German courses

To Option to take French and German at the HS during first period of the day Expanded Spanish course offerings Biomedical science course Comprehensive integrated JHS/HS science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) track that continues in HS

Impact: These actions will increase rigor and support 21st century skills. By incorporating high school courses at the junior high school level, teachers will have the opportunity to introduce diverse subject matter including the STEM program to students at an earlier age.

Increased opportunities to take HS level classes in the 7th or 8th grade

High School Summary Beginning in the 2011-2012 school year, students will have the more opportunities to take advanced placement courses and graduate early. The rigor of a PLSD experience will be dictated by the student. These options are the foundation of 21st century learning. Students can progress at their own pace. Impact: These actions will maximize learning time, increase rigor and continue to strengthen self-motivation and organizational skills. Students will also have more opportunities to graduate early, enter college or join the workforce.


he Pickerington Local School District is redesigning how educational services are delivered. As we move into the 21st century, we need to make sure our District is versatile and agile so that our students are ready to enter their college or workplace of choice. We want our students to be leaders in their chosen fields. Our children will be the next generation of game changers by knowing the basics, which now includes innovative thinking, lifelong learning and the ability to adapt. Our school district needs to provide a creative and flexible learning environment while keeping a relentless eye on cost.

Junior High School Summary There are exciting changes at the junior high school level. Science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) will be offered for 7th and 8th grade students. Students can take a biomedical survey course as a foundation component to a science track that will continue at the high school level. Spanish will be offered in both 7th and 8th grades.

Lisa Reade, President PLSD BOE

From g







Work and Family Life courses

Opportunities to take similar courses at Eastland Career Center

42 minute class time

50 minute class time

1.5 period science courses

1 period, year-long science courses Maximize student participation in Honors courses Increased opportunities for early graduation

Does that mean change? Change must occur to stay on top of a competitive global world. Currently, Pickerington Schools has a cost per student lower than the state and national average – but is that low enough to meet the demand of evolving fiscal expectations? We need to find the right financial balance that maximizes student learning and the return on investment that our taxpayers contribute toward financing a Pickerington education. To make sure our tax dollars go further, we have to examine, be flexible and open to restructuring our educational process so that it matches the world that our children will face. We will achieve this goal with a highly collaborative effort Reade continued on pg. 8

3 March 2011 | The School Bell |

Welcome to Pickerington Local Schools “Model for Global Learning”

March 2011 | The School Bell |


Remember the Past? It Was Yesterday

Adelaide Appiah president, PHSC


o you remember when house phones were our primary telephone numbers? How about when all you could do on a cell phone was call someone?

“...I feel the greatest way in which we are preparing ourselves for tomorrow is through our innovative technology and diversified methods of communication.”

Remember when most households only had one desktop computer or when laptops had keyboards? Well, I do, and I feel the greatest way in which we are preparing ourselves for tomorrow is through innovative technology and diversified methods of communication. The fact that I can type a full-page paper on my phone and send it to my teacher is a great example of how far technology has come. These new methods of communication can only strengthen our education. More and more, students find it easier to take notes on laptops as opposed to pen and paper. In my honors physics class, we submit our homework online. It has been said that in the future, everything will revolve around technology, and I believe increasing our knowledge of technology and the different ways it helps us communicate is greatly preparing us for tomorrow.

Advances in Technology Lead to Creative Learning Opportunities at Harmon MS By Holly S. and Marisa P. HMS student reporters Middle school students across the country moan and groan when it’s time to discuss books in class. This is no longer an issue for Team Spirit kids at Harmon Middle School. Thanks to advancing technology, Team Spirit students are able to discuss books with others on a fun, safe, educational social networking site called Edmodo.

“Edmodo is a fun way to do school from home. It allows teachers and students to have the extra class time not available during the school day,” - Megan, Harmon Middle School student.

to each other by typing. We can also find answers to questions from other students in our class.” Edmodo is great in other ways, too. It’s guaranteed to be safe because students have secure passwords and only the students’ teachers and classmates can see what they blog.

Edmodo is a social learning network that provides free classroom communication for teachers, students and administrators on a secure social network.

To avoid any inappropriate use of this site, Mrs. Flaherty and Mrs. Deyo monitor their students’ posts. Students are encouraged to log on often and two sixth-grade girls, Libby and Megan, meet these standards.

Harmon Middle School Technology Coach Mrs. Heidi Deyo introduced this site,, to sixth-grade Team Spirit Language Arts Teacher Mrs. Flaherty. She then introduced this enjoyable site to her students, and they love it!

“Edmodo helps kids discuss educational topics by either asking, answering, or just discussing [topics]. It brings more class time to teachers and kids who use it,” said Libby.

Team Spirit student Luke has much to say about it. “Edmodo is the extra class time we never had to discuss books. It’s also a ton of fun for those of us, such as myself, who love to read and discuss books,” said Luke.

Megan agrees, and voices her opinion on this entertaining site. “Edmodo is a fun way to do school from home. It allows teachers and students to have the extra class time not available during the school day,” said Megan.

He’s not the only one who’s having a great time on Edmodo. Many students log on every night, such as Team Spirit Edmodo enthusiast, Alex, to see what others have posted. “Edmodo is after school time on the computer,” said Alex. “We can talk

Both the teachers and students agree that this is an effective way to extend learning beyond the classroom walls. We at Harmon Middle School hope this site can be used in the future, allowing kids to continue using technology to fuel their learning.

Jordan Tolford president, PHSN


hat are we doing to prepare ourselves for tomorrow? As the year goes on, more and more people ask, where are we going? What are we doing to prepare ourselves for tomorrow? Well, I can’t answer that question, seeing as though I’m not some palm-reading psychic that tells the future.

Photo by Lee Cole

Educating Beyond the Classroom at Ridgeview Junior High Photo by Lee Cole

By Jason Swartz PLSD Educator Red flares glowed in the haze of the Pickerington Ridgeview Junior High School (PRJHS) parking lot. It was the remnants of an accident scene – shock, awe and mathematics – a staged car crash. Students in Jason Swartz’s math, Janeen Kuhl’s science and Cheryl Knox’s art classes welcomed Lancaster Highway Patrol Troopers Butch Wilson and Tom Dittoe to Ridgeview Junior High School as they set up a mock crash site and walked the students through a typical vehicle crash investigation. This activity gave the math students a real world application of how algebraic equations are used. Science students used this activity as an extension of their exploration on uniform acceleration. The art students used the activities to explore perspective, space and distance. The accident scenario involved a vehicle that ran a stop sign and was “t-boned,” or hit in the side, by another vehicle. The students had to perform an official investigation and produce a report using official paperwork, called an OH2.

The art classes sketched the accident scene from various perspectives. The math and science classes split into two groups with one group using a wheel tape and measured the skids for the second vehicle involved in the accident. The students performed two measurements for the vehicle. The first measurement was for the right front skid and the second was for the left front skid. The second group required students to use a skid sled to determine the amount of friction on four different surfaces. A skid sled is a 45-pound block of metal with a rubber tire tread attached to the bottom. The students attached a spring scale to the sled and pulled it three times on each surface to determine friction on various surfaces.

Law enforcement agencies use these forms when writing their official investigation reports.

The students performed the measurements on asphalt, concrete, grass and dirt.

The class periods began with a brief introduction by the troopers and an explanation of the accident scene to the students in the classroom. The students then proceeded out to the accident scene.

These measurements were then used in an equation to determine the minimum speed the second vehicle had to be going at the time of impact with the vehicle that ran the stop sign.

“It’s about what we do today that truly tells us what to expect tomorrow.”

I can’t tell you what we are doing to prepare ourselves for tomorrow, because by the time we stop worrying about tomorrow, it’s today, and all those worries just carry over and continue. It’s about what we do today that truly tells us what to expect tomorrow. Nothing is set in stone, nothing is set to fate - everything that will happen in the future is a result of how we handle today. So we are preparing ourselves as much as possible for tomorrow, but in all honesty, we can’t fully prepare ourselves for tomorrow. All we can do is try our best to pave a path in the right direction and continue to do so. We are taking problems on head first and trying to create a better world, not for ourselves but for everyone around us and everyone that follows us. We are preparing ourselves for tomorrow by helping one another and always keeping the image of “tomorrow” in mind. So we aren’t as much preparing for tomorrow, as we are handling today.

5 March 2011 | The School Bell |

Preparing Ourselves for Tomorrow

March 2011 | The School Bell |


“Some people come into our lives and quickly go. But some stay for a while and leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never the same.� - Flavia Weedn

More Than a Game... By Michaela G. and Rachel H. PHSC students


ur footprints belong to East High School (EHS) in the Columbus City Schools District. Last fall, the Pickerington High School Central Girls Junior Varsity Soccer team played EHS. The game was full of unexpected, life-changing surprises. It was a home game like any other until EHS arrived late. We were all getting nervous and anxious to start. When they arrived, our nerves increased because they looked like an intimidating rivalry. Little did we know, many of the girls had never stepped foot on a soccer field before. Once the whistle blew, they came at us strong. They all had a great passion for the game. They challenged us for every fifty-fifty ball. Whenever someone would make a mistake, another teammate would run past trying to cheer her up! They were full of positive energy and never put their teammates down. continued on next page


We noticed that not all of the players were properly equipped. They lacked matching jerseys, shin guards and even cleats. We had an instant drive to help. Our first idea came to us from our coach, Jillian Ross. She suggested that we write them positive notes. As we waited on the bench, we were each assigned a player. As the game progressed, we were substituted on and off the field. We used the time to write a pick-up note to our “soccer sister.” The notes were as simple as, “keep your head up!” Others commented on their positive energy and continuous drive for success. Once the game was over, we wanted to deliver our notes in person. We walked across the field and personally handed them our notes. Their eyes lit up! They were all shocked and excited for someone to compliment their skills. In addition, it was a player’s birthday that night, so they invited us to sing

“Happy Birthday” as one big happy soccer team! Afterwards, we all felt like we had made the smallest impact. We could tell we did something right that night, just by their faces. We wanted this feeling to continue, so we needed to do more. We took new ideas to our school! We asked peers and teachers to donate money toward our fund for East High School. Other teachers and administrators heard about our cause and wanted to help. We collected used or new cleats and shin guards. Raising money was a huge success! In all, we raised over $1,500 in donations from students, teachers and parents at Pickerington High School Central, Pickerington High School North and Ridgeview Junior High. The money went towards purchasing new jerseys for the entire team, including ones for the graduating seniors. We all loved making a difference. No matter who you are, you can impact someone else. So, go out there, and PAY IT FORWARD!

The 2010-2011 Pickerington High School Central Girls Junior Varsity Soccer Team.

March 2011 | The School Bell |

Surprisingly, they even helped us up if we fell down. No matter the score, as the time passed, they never gave up. They came onto the field with heart.

March 2011 | The School Bell |


School Funding: It’s Complicated!

Dan Griscom Treasurer of PLSD


chool funding in Ohio is complicated and confusing, even to those of us who work with it every day. As with most complicated things, it is easier to tackle when you break it into smaller parts. Today I will write about the smallest part, which is a “mill.”

“It would take a 10-mill levy in Pickerington to produce the same amount of money as a 5.2-mill levy in Gahanna. How fair is that to taxpayers and to the students?”

I say “unfortunately” because taxes are not popular, no matter what kind of tax we are talking about. But the way property taxes work is especially unfortunate for Pickerington Local Schools. We tend to get the short end of the stick. How so? Because it takes a higher levy in Pickerington to raise a certain dollar amount per pupil than it does in most other school districts. That’s because our property valuation per pupil is low compared to most districts. (We are mostly residential, with not as much business and industry.) And the state funding formula does not make up for the shortage. The current funding system does not work well for a “bedroom community” such as ours. Griscom continued on pg. 11

Photo by Lauren Shiman

A mill is a term associated with property tax levies. Property taxes are an important part of school funding, unfortunately.

Economy Impacts Pickerington Schools For the past four years, the Pickerington Board of Education, administrative team and staff have been proactive in reducing expenditures to address the District’s budget challenges. Since 2007, the District has cut over $7 million from the operating budget. In order to remain solvent through the 2012 school year, the District needs to make at least $13 million in additional reductions.

funding,” said District Treasurer Dan Griscom. “In our District, we’ve been talking about this for quite some time. However, the amount of the cut is anyone’s guess. With over half of our operating revenue coming from the state, any reduction in state aid has a huge impact on the Pickerington Local Schools,” he continued.

increases, student transportation costs, maintenance costs and other inflationary pressures continue to change. Unfortunately, all of the District’s major revenue categories have been affected by the weakened economy. The reduction in funding from the state, losses in tax revenues and

The Governor is scheduled to release the state budget in March 2011.

investment income has made balancing the

Although the District has been vigilant in controlling expenditures, the cuts from the state and declining revenues are compounding faster than the District can reduce.

“We know that our parents, students and

On the expenditure side, budgetary pressures caused by fuel prices, insurance premium

while keeping a close eye on all expenditures,”

between our community, parents, students and

Change can be good – it gives you pause to

Our expectations are high, and we know


rethink strategies that will move the District

as parents, your expectations are equally

into its next phase. We will watch carefully and

as demanding. The excellence we all want

Most of the reductions will occur at the beginning of the 2011-2012 school year. “With the state facing a potential $8 billion shortfall and public education being a large portion of the state budget, school officials have been told to brace for big cuts in state

budget a daunting task.

busiess community expect an excellent school district, at a reasonable cost. We will continue to work hard to deliver that level of quality Griscom said.

READE from pg. 3

It is a mission that is squarely focused on what our students need to survive in this rapidly changing marketplace. The reality is simple — things can’t stay the same; the world is

make course corrections. We will introduce our students to new

for our children should be replicated in the educational system. It is that partnership of clear and concise

not the same. The times our children live in

concepts and strategies. Individualized

call for innovation, problem solving and

teaching and learning infused with technology

Change is our journey. The joy of preparing

creative thinking.

will be the mantra.

our students for their future is the reward.

educational outcomes that are high priorities.

School funding was declared unconstitutional by the Ohio Supreme Court in 1997. Why? The overreliance on local property taxes is inequitable, yet the State of Ohio continues to use local property taxes as a major source of funding for schools. Below is an example of why school funding was declared unconstitutional.

We Are Pickerington, and We are NOT Alone School Funding is not an Expense Issue. It is a Funding Issue that is Affecting Districts Across the State. More and more schools are experiencing the same phenomenon. The overreliance on local property taxes combined with declining revenues is pushing more of Ohio’s schools towards the tipping point. District Fiscal Status FY2010 Projected

District Fiscal Status FY2011 Projected

District Fiscal Status FY2012 Projected

Projected Deficit - Projected general fund balance as percent of operating revenue is negative.

Fiscal Oversight - Fiscal Caution, Watch or Emergency

Low Fund Balance - Projected general fund balance as percent of operating revenue is less than 2%.

All Other Districts Source: ODE Office of School Options and Finance, Five Year Forecast FY2010

March 2011 | The School Bell |

How Millage Varies in Local Communities


March 2011 | The School Bell |


Eighty District Students Earn Advanced Placement Honors from College Board Eighty students at Pickerington High School Central

David Nguyen, Matthew Oostenburg, Radhika Tampi,

and university faculty and AP teachers, ensuring that AP

and Pickerington High School North earned Advanced

Austin Way and Joshua Yen (PHSN).

exams are aligned with the same high standards expected

Placement (AP) Scholar Awards in recognition of their exceptional achievement on AP Exams.

Sixteen students qualified for the AP Scholar with Honor Award by earning an average score of at

The College Board’s Advanced Placement Program®

least 3.25 on all AP Exams taken, and scores of 3 or higher

provides willing and academically prepared students with

on four or more of these exams.

the opportunity to take rigorous college-level courses while still in high school, and to earn college credit, advanced placement, or both for successful performance on the AP Exams. About 18 percent of the more than 1.8 million students worldwide who took AP Exams performed at a sufficiently high level to also earn an AP Scholar Award. The College Board recognizes several levels of achievement based on students’ performance on AP Exams. Four students qualified for the National AP Scholar Award by earning an average score of 4 or higher on a five-point scale on all AP Exams taken, and scores of 4 or higher on eight or more of these exams. These students are Jennifer Hewitt and Harika Kantamneni

by college faculty at some of the nation’s leading liberal arts and research institutions. More than 3,800 colleges and universities annually receive AP scores. Most four-year colleges in the United States

These students are Precious Amoako, Steven Copper,

provide credit and/or advanced placement for qualifying

Annette Fairchild, Courtney File, Marshall Levett, Michael-

exam scores. Research consistently shows that AP students

Bran Molloy and Nicholas Rush (PHSC) and Kathryn Gardocki, Issac Gephart, Zachary Justus, Christopher Lady, Anthony Macioce, Phillip Mobley, John Riddle, Jun Uzawa and Ryan Yusuf (PHSN).

who score a 3 or higher on AP Exams (based on a scale from 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest) typically experience greater academic success in college and have higher college graduation rates than students who do not participate in AP.

Thirty-six students qualified for the AP Scholar Award by completing three or more AP Exams with scores

The College Board is a not-for-profit membership

of 3 or higher.

association whose mission is to connect students to college

The AP Scholars are Patrick Beaver, Vera Chhith, Laura Harris-Schlotte, Erin Lashley, Kelsey Long, Caroline Miller, William Reed, Bailey Rose, Neal Shah, Justin Smith, Ethan Stahlman, Noah Taylor and Jackson Thomas (PHSC)

success and opportunity. Founded in 1900, the College Board is composed of more than 5,700 schools, colleges, universities and other educational organizations. Each year, the College Board

(PHSC) and Tadhika Tampi and Joshua Yen (PHSN).

and Bryce Althen, Brandon Booth, Kayla Byler, Christina Ciccone, Hilary Enos-Edu, Brian Ferguson, Tyler Gillum,

serves seven million students and their parents, 23,000 high

Twenty-four students qualified for the AP

Matthew Greene, Aaron Guy, David Harlan, Paul Huey,

schools, and 3,800 colleges through major programs and

Scholar with Distinction Award by earning an

Nicholas Justus, Samuel Lambert, Siyu Liu, Lindsey

services in college readiness, college admission, guidance,

average score of at least 3.5 on all AP Exams taken, and

Logsdon, Markus Mason, Kyle Newport, Victoria Nguyen,

scores of 3 or higher on five or more of these exams.

assessment, financial aid and enrollment.

Sean Oneill, Daniel Sakowski, Kevin Snider, Vongvilay

These students are Usama Awan, Davis Brewer, Jennifer

Soukkay and Martina Stojanovska (PHSN).

Among its widely recognized programs are the SAT®, the PSAT/NMSQT®, the Advanced Placement Program®

Hewitt, Harika Kantamneni, Zachary Kristoff, Haley

Through more than 30 different college-level courses and

Neiman, Christopher Partlow, Megan Sharrett and Joshua

exams, AP provides willing and academically prepared

Wiseman (PHSC) and Dirk Auman, Gregory Black, Sruti

students with the opportunity to earn college credit or

Board is committed to the principles of excellence and

Brahmandam, Brian Good, Caitlin Hughes, Justin Lumbard,

advanced placement and stand out in the college admission

equity, and that commitment is embodied in all of its

Melissa Motz, Michael Mulroy, Kelly Myers, Brian Neilon,

process. Each exam is developed by a committee of college

programs, services, activities and concerns.

leaders about the necessity of establishing high priority goals. They advised that bold steps are necessary in order to provide students with the skills they need for their world.

the classroom. Integrating these critical subjects will further reinforce student learning and enhance the relevance of these subjects to daily classroom objectives.

foreign languages and more.

Inside this publication, you will see evidence of turning these goals into action.

Re-tooling the courses at the junior high and high school level will translate in multiple opportunities for students. Next year, 7th-graders may begin taking Spanish. Also, the newly designed Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Program will begin for junior high students.

(AP®), SpringBoard® and ACCUPLACER®. The College


from pg. 2

For instance, a new school day schedule will be implemented next year. The new schedule gives students greater time with their teachers because class time is extended. Also, the schedule change helps teachers evaluate the learning progression of students, find new ways to integrate critical objectives and create lesson plans that continue progressive teaching and learning objectives. In addition, the re-engineering of the 1st-6th grade art, music, physical education, media and technology curriculum will directly support teachers and students in

The objective is to spark the interest of students in these areas and extend learning all the way through graduation. These areas are high areas for future job markets. Pickerington will stay on the leading edge of academic achievement and will continue to offer an array of subjects and rigorous courses such as advanced placement classes,

These are just a few of the new opportunities at Pickerington Schools, and these changes resulted in millions of dollars in savings for our District. Change is never easy. We have to embrace it, or we’ll shrivel. We have too much invested not to continue to move forward. As we move forward, we will do so knowing that a well-run system with high student achievement fosters community pride. We will continue to support our talented educators who are the champions for students, and we will plan for progressive and flexible learning environments. We are doing that because the reality of being an optimist is the opportunity that every child deserves.

11 March 2011 | The School Bell |

SPECIAL from pg. 1

need to make reductions to help balance the budget. “We have made reductions in staff, both certified and classified, which means that services will look a little different next year,” said Director of Special Education Bob Blackburn. “We will continue to provide quality services to all students as mandated by state and federal law and required specifically by each student’s IEP (Individualized Education Program),” he continued. In addition to teachers and assistants, the department will be eliminating the District’s social worker and behavior intervention specialist. “We will continue to offer a full continuum of services, but we will be asking our teachers to serve students in larger groups than we have in the past,” said Blackburn. “Even with larger numbers, we will continue to stay in compliance with student/teacher ratios as required by state operating standards,” he continued.

Parents may see their children served by different teachers and possibly a different setting, but their services as written in their IEPs will continue to meet their identified needs in the least restricted environment. The parents of children who are being directly affected by staff reductions are currently being notified of the projected change. Parents have been contacted by staff to discuss options and address specific program changes. The District will continue to monitor numbers throughout the year to determine if additional changes are needed. It is also important for the District to have a partnership with parents. This is necessary to get input on options for next year if a child’s teacher is being changed due to the downsizing.

GRISCOM from pg. 8

This is why school funding in Ohio is so inequitable. A school levy has to be about twice as big here as in the Gahanna-Jefferson school district (for example), to raise the same dollar amount per pupil. Is that fair? Let’s back up for a minute and see why it works this way. First let’s define the words “levy” and “mill.” The word levy is derived from the word lever. A lever is used to raise things -- in this case, to raise a tax on someone’s property. (Yes, I know this is an unpleasant topic.)

huge impact on the size of levy needed. It would take a 10-mill levy in Pickerington to produce the same amount of money as a 5.2-mill levy in Gahanna. How fair is that to taxpayers and to the students? This is one of the main reasons school funding in Ohio has been found unconstitutional. The funding system makes it difficult for all students to have similar opportunities. These differences in local wealth are supposed to be equalized through the state portion of school funding, but the formula

We are Pickerington!

Property tax levies are measured in mills. So what exactly is a mill? It comes from the Latin word millēsimus which is a thousandth.

has not worked that way. And with the state facing state aid.

“ Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man

It’s actually 1/1000 of a dollar or $.001 which is one-tenth of a cent. For every $1,000 of assessed property value, a one mill tax will produce one dollar of revenue for the school district.

So Pickerington unfortunately gets shortchanged on

to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”

If you take the assessed property value of our whole district, then divide by our number of students, you arrive at about $108,000 of valuation per student, compared with $208,000 in Gahanna. A one-mill tax will cost about $30.63 a year on a $100,000 home, no matter where you live in Ohio. But the amount it will generate for the schools differs greatly. One mill produces only $108 per student in Pickerington, compared to $208 in Gahanna. Therefore, district wealth (valuation per pupil) has a

an $8 billion shortfall, deep cuts are expected in our

- Lao Tzu

both ends of the revenue stick (state and local). With all due respect to our friends in Gahanna and at the

A Pickerington education doesn’t dictate the rules of

Statehouse, something is wrong with this school-

learning. It teaches students how to learn in order to

funding picture.

become the independent, self-sustaining leaders of tomorrow.

As the Board and administration carefully review levy options in 2011, and the size of the levy needed, please keep in mind these school-funding inequities are outside our control. Take a look at the measures we have taken to curtail

Pickerington Local Schools, using education to impact the local, national and global community.

expenditures. Also take a moment to express schoolfunding concerns to your legislators. We appreciate your support as we join together to navigate these stormy financial times for the Pickerington Local School District.

One of Ohio’s Premier School Districts

90 East Street, Pickerington, Ohio 43147



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2011 Winter School Bell  

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