Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Ohio’s 2016 Local Report Cards:
The Impact of ‘Apples to Oranges to Lemons
on Bloom-Carroll’s LRC

The recent release of the 2016 Local Report Cards (LRCs) has created quite a buzz across the state.   Districts that typically received A’s and B’s on past report cards were suddenly looking at D’s and F’s for the first time.  What happened?  Did teachers suddenly stop teaching?  Did students suddenly stop learning?  What do all of these letter grades really mean and how did Bloom-Carroll Local Schools actually perform compared to other districts across the state?

To answer these questions in a brief write-up is a daunting task.  Many educators across Ohio are struggling to provide simple answers to a very complex accountability system.

On the surface, one may conclude that we did not do so well.  One A, one B, two C’s, and two F’s is not something the Bloom-Carroll community is used to seeing nor would ever expect and/or accept on our local report card.

 However, when you break down each of the six complex components of the report card and begin comparing the results to other districts across the state, Bloom-Carroll actually held strong on many of the components on the 2016 Local Report Card.  We received an A on the Graduation Rate Component, a B on the Progress Component (Value-Added), and a C on two components:  Achievement and Prepared for Success.   We received an F in the areas of K-3 Literacy and Gap Closing.    One must look beyond the surface to understand what these grades truly imply.   For example, we received an F in Gap Closing, but so did 526 districts out of the 608 districts throughout the state.   

Why the significant change in letter grades state-wide?  There are several reasons.  One main reason is the inconsistencies in state assessments that have been administered over the past three years.   We have transitioned from OAAs (2013-2014) to PARCC (2014-2015) to the AIR assessments (2015-2016), making it understandably challenging for teachers and students to adjust each year to the different expectations and assessment styles. 

 The impact of this transition is best explained in a recent article released by the Cleveland Plain Dealer on September 22nd entitled "How Ohio reached report card chaos - and one way to cut through the confusion."   The author explains the reason behind the sudden shift in letter grades state-wide.   The pie chart (left) is from the article and is a great visual illustrating how these continuous changes have impacted the Performance Index of all districts throughout the state over the past three years. 
It is important for our families, community, and even staff members to realize that the grades issued on the state report cards today are not apples to apples.  But rather, apples to oranges to lemons. The Lancaster Eagle Gazette published an article entitled "State school report cards show changing standards"  the day following the release of the 2016 LRCs.    In the article, area superintendents shared their thoughts on this year’s outcomes.   Dr. Landis stated that it is “very difficult to draw reasonable conclusions from the state report cards issued today.  School districts are struggling state-wide to hit targets that are constantly moving.”  And how true that is! The Lancaster Eagle Gazette followed up with an article on Tuesday, September 25th "State gets an "F" on report card system."   This article addresses the complexity and challenges of Ohio’s new report card system and compares it to the struggle of Charlie Brown trying to kick the infamous football held by Lucy.  For the past three years, districts have lined up to kick the ball, only to have it moved mid-stream.  

What can we expect this school year when the testing window rolls around in the spring of 2017?  For Bloom-Carroll, the ball will once again move as we transition for the first time to state-mandated online AIR assessments, instead of the paper-pencil versions we have issued in the past.  We are taking steps district-wide to prepare our students for this next wave of change mandated by the state.  
To our teachers…...I say, keep teaching and do not lose your passion!  To our students….I say, keep learning and discover your passion!  And to our families…I say, keep supporting and encouraging your children each day and feel confident that the staff of Bloom-Carroll Local Schools is dedicated to their mission ~ to create a compassionate and rigorous environment that prepares students for success.  By keeping our mission in the forefront, we will work hard to be a source of pride, inspiration, and confidence, not only for our students, but for our staff, parents, and community.   Outcomes such as this cannot be measured by a letter grade on any report card.  

Jodi Ranegar

For more information about the Ohio’s 2016 LRC, visit the Ohio Department of Education’s Webpage at www.education.ohio.gov
Recommended Links:

·         Ohio’s Guide to 2016 Ohio School Report Cards

Friday, September 30, 2016

Fairfield County Teachers “Get Connected”
On Monday September 26th, over 550 teachers and administrators from across Fairfield County had the opportunity to “Get Connected” at the 2nd Annual County-Wide Professional Development day hosted by Bloom-Carroll Local Schools.   Staff members from Amanda-Cleercreek, Bloom-Carroll, Berne Union, Fairfield Union, and Liberty Union-Thurston were able to join together for a day of collaborative learning and sharing.  Over fifty sessions were offered throughout the course of the morning for teachers to select from and customize their day of professional learning.  Topics included a variety of technology integration sessions such as Google Classroom, Schoology, Using Social Media in the Classroom, Videography, MAC App Smashing, Windows Movie Maker, and more.  Other sessions focused on academic interventions, classroom management strategies, state assessments, leadership, project- based learning, academic standards, and gifted education. 
Several guest speakers also participated in the day’s event.  The Fairfield County Sherriffs office presented sessions on Drug Trends in Fairfield County, Bricker and Eckler Law firm from Columbus shared sessions on legal updates in the area of Special Education, and the Ohio Department of Education presented a session on the state assessments and the Ohio’s new accountability measures.     
Teachers had the opportunity during the event to spend time collaborating with other teachers in their grade-level and/or content area in the afternoon.  This was the portion in the day that was most desired by teachers and the initial purpose behind organizing such an event.  Research shows that teachers collaborating with other colleagues is one of the most useful and powerful activities with regards to professional development.   Feedback from the day shows that our teachers agree.  The collaboration time was overwhelmingly one of the most beneficial aspects of the day.
Although the day came to an end, the collaboration and partnerships we developed will continue to grow and flourish throughout the school year.   Teachers were already making plans on how to stay “connected” with their Fairfield County colleagues to keep the momentum going. 
Here are a few pics from the day!



Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Gearing Up to Host Our 2nd Annual County-Wide Professional Development Day

On Monday, September 26th, Bloom-Carroll Local Schools will be hosting its 2nd Annual County-Wide Professional Development Day.   Over 550 staff members from five local school districts in Fairfield County will be joining together for a day of collaboration and professional development at Bloom-Carroll Middle School.  Over fifty sessions have been planned for attendees to select from throughout the day to customize their day of professional learning.  The majority of sessions will be presented by teachers and staff members from the five participating districts, sharing their expertise, resources, and innovative teaching strategies.  Districts participating in this year’s event includes Amanda-Clearcreek, Berne Union, Bloom-Carroll, Fairfield Union, and Liberty Union-Thurston. 

Monday, August 8, 2016

Welcome Back!

August 8, 2016

Welcome to the new school year! I hope you and your family have had a relaxing and enjoyable summer break!
We are excited to begin the 2016-2017 school year. Administrators, teachers, and staff have been gearing up to make this school year our best year yet! Over the next two weeks, teachers will be returning to the district for various professional development opportunities to receive trainings on programs such as Schoology, Fountas and Pinnell’s Leveled-Literacy Program, Saxon-Spelling Program, i-Ready Diagnostic Assessments, Progressbook, and more. We are proud of our teachers and their commitment to provide the best educational experience for the students of Bloom-Carroll Local Schools.
In our efforts to provide top-quality education, we are constantly evaluating and improving our curriculum offerings at all grades levels. This year, we are excited to be adding a several new programs, many of which have a blended curriculum format (both printed and digital resources).
New programs being implemented for the 2016-2017 school year include the following:
·         Social Studies Grades 5-11 – Houghton Mifflin – (Printed and Digital Resources)
·         Social Studies Grades 4 – The Ohio Adventure – (Printed and Digital Resources)
·         Social Studies Grades 2-3 – National Geographic Supplemental Materials
·         Math –Grades K-8 – Pearson’s Envision Math 2.0 – (Printed and Digital Resources)
·         Science Grades 3-4 – National Geographic – (Printed and Digital Resources)
·         Saxon Spelling Program – Grades K-2
Teachers will be sending home information over the first few days of school on how to access the digital resources for each program.  Most programs with digital resources will require a username and password. Be watching for information from your teacher during the first weeks of school regarding these online programs.
I encourage you to visit our website on a regular basis to stay informed on updates, news, and events of the district.
Once again, welcome back! And let’s make this year the best one yet!
Jodi Ranegar
Curriculum Director

Friday, May 13, 2016

Tree Planting Day for Kindergarten Classes

Throughout this school year, kindergarteners have been studying about their environment and the physical world around them.  One area of focus this year has been observing, exploring, and studying living things such as trees and plants.  As a final project, kindergarten students took part in a tree-planting activity of a red maple tree located right beside their playground.   The students are very excited about “their tree” and plan to watch it grow and change throughout the upcoming seasons. ~ Thank you to BC’s Dave Goslin and Keller Farms for making the day possible!

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Kindergarten Travels to Alley Park

Kindergarten students visited Alley Park for their “Spring Sprouts” field trip program.   Students visited the Nature Center and had a picnic lunch while at the park.  During the visit, they learned about different types of seeds and edible plant parts.   Part of their day included taking a hike with one of Alley Park’s guides which pointed out native Ohio wildflowers and signs of the park’s inhabitants.  Students were even treated to a view of the newly hatched goslings and their parents at their nesting site in the park!   

BCMS Hosts its Annual Relay for Life Field Day

Bloom-Carroll Middle School hosted its annual Relay for Life event on Friday, May 6th, raising $3,969 for the American Cancer Society.   The day’s events began with a balloon launch ceremony honoring students and staff whose lives have been impacted by cancer.   

 A new event, organized by BCMS guidance counselor Jamie Johnson, allowed students an opportunity to purchase tickets to win a chance to cut the hair of one four teachers.  Through this event, students raised an additional $1,106 that was designated specifically for a seventh-grade student who has recently been diagnosed with leukemia.  At the end of the day, over $5,000 was raised by the students and staff of Bloom-Carroll Middle School.   ~ Thank you to all that made a contribution in the day and a special thank you to Jennifer Goins, Pam Engbert, Zac Neater, and Craig Brookover.  All of you at BC are making a difference in the fight against cancer!

Friday, May 6, 2016

All First Graders Received Free Bicycle Helmets from Nationwide Children’s Hospital and Kohl’s Care Program

Through funding from the Kohl’s Care Program, Nationwide Children's Hospital representatives visited our first grade classrooms last week and gave each student a free bicycle helmet.    Julia Painter, Program Coordinator with Nationwide Hospital, taught our students about bike helmet safety and gave each of the children safety related materials along with their free bike helmet! This program is funded through the sale of the $5 plush toys and books available at Kohl's Department stores.  

Wearing a helmet can reduce the risk of head injury by 85% if you are in a crash.  Helmets should be worn any time you are on wheels or outside doing winter sports, like sledding. For more safety information and activities, helmet fitting instructions, videos, a car seat chooser app, and a fun interactive safety game, please visit our website at http://www.nationwidechildrens.org/safety

Thank you Nationwide Children’s Hospital and Kohl’s for your efforts in keeping our children safe.


Thursday, May 5, 2016

BCHS Students Attend Career Exploration Field Trip

Students from Mrs. Dinsmore’s Career Exploration course had the opportunity to take a day and explore careers of their interest in the area of Medicine, Business, Engineering, Architecture, and Construction.  Over 45 students visited various businesses throughout our local area.   Students interested in medicine were able to tour the OSU James Medical Center; business students toured OSU’s Medical Administrative Offices; engineering, architecture, and construction students toured the job site of Messer Construction at OSU where they are constructing new dorms.  One student, interested in the area of business and finance, was able to spend an afternoon shadowing BC’s Treasurer Travis Bigam. 

Friday, April 29, 2016

2nd Grade Science Fair

On Friday, April 29th, the 2nd Grade Annual Science Fair event was held in the middle school gymnasium.  Family and friends filled the gymnasium to see all of the outstanding experiments and projects.  Great job 2nd graders!  

Thursday, April 28, 2016

AG Day 2016

Every year the Bloom-Carroll FFA Chapter holds an educational event called AG Day. On this day classes from grades K-4 come to the high school and learn about agriculture. This event is planned and put on by the members of the FFA Chapter. This year the planning spanned over three months during after school meetings for an hour once a week. Along with the animals, large equipment and agriculture stations a food drive was conducted in three Bloom-Carroll buildings. All the food collected went to the local food pantry in Carroll. On the day of the event there were also public hours to encourage the community to come out and learn about agriculture.  The chapter is very happy with the turnout of this year's 16th Annual AG Day and plan on it again next year.    Written by AG Day Chairman Sydney Malone