Initiative encourages students to be good learners

By Angela Shepherd - For The Times-Gazette



Alisa Barrett (left), Greenfield schools director of instruction, is pictured at Monday’s school board meeting as she talks to board members about district data released by the state.

Alisa Barrett (left), Greenfield schools director of instruction, is pictured at Monday’s school board meeting as she talks to board members about district data released by the state.


Photo by Angela Shepherd

The state’s school report cards look different this year with no grades displayed as state testing was not done in the spring because of school closures due to COVID-19. However, the state has released data for the familiar markers and the Greenfield Exempted Village School District shows progress.

Greenfield Director of Instruction Alisa Barrett gave board members an overview of the report cards at Monday’s school board meeting held at Rainsboro Elementary.

She explained that the “NR” shown in place of letter grades on all components stood for “Not Reported.” While no information was released for the Achievement, Progress, or Gap Closing components, the state did release data in three of the components: Graduation Rate, Improving At-Risk K-3 Readers, and Prepared for Success.

The district’s four-year graduation rate is 91.8 percent which, according to Barrett, was one student away from what would be considered an A grade. The district received a B last year. The five-year graduation rate is 93.4 percent.

Improving at-risk readers in kindergarten through third grade shows that in the fall of 2018, K-2 students on-track were, respectively, at percentages of 33.3, 17.6, and 42.3. By the fall of 2019, there were marked improvements in with students in grades K-3 showing, respectively, 80.3, 81.1, 73.5, and 66.4 percent.

In the Prepared for Success component, which measures how well students are prepared for the future beyond school, state data shows the school 28 percent. That is something Barrett said has been a struggle across the state. However, she said last year that even though the number doesn’t look good, when they dig into the data, there is improvement. Additionally, she spoke about continuing efforts to improve students’ readiness for the future, including offering a broad range of credentials students are able to earn and having incoming freshman craft a graduation plan they will revisit during each school year through graduation.

The following link will take you to the district’s page on the Ohio Department of Education website: https://reportcard.education.ohio.gov/district/overview/045401.

Rainsboro Principal Maggie Lyons talked to the board about a newly-implemented initiative across the district to help students not only understand what a good learner is, but to be one. It is a “journey to change the educational culture,” she said.

The visible learning plan is meant to help students use learning dispositions (embracing challenges, perseverance, taking ownership, continually growing, and being engaged in learning), learning intentions, and evaluate their learning by success criteria so that learning is visible to the learners as well as to staff, administrators and the learners’ families.

“Here at Rainsboro, we make a big deal about it,” said Lyons, adding that students get a sticker stating the accomplished learning disposition that encourages others to ask the student how they accomplished it and to talk about it.

The goal is for students to be able to explain their learning progress and understand how to use learning strategies and feedback and to apply their knowledge to new situations.

The initiative is based on the worldwide, years-long research of professor John Hattie, Barrett said. It is being applied at all grade levels across the district.

Superintendent Quincey Gray said the initiative is exciting and has been a great way to focus everyone, especially with everything that has went on this year.

In her report, Gray said everything continues to go well with the school restart under pandemic-related restrictions.

She said Oct. 10 will be Opening Night. There will be two performances that day with each participating student allowed to have a limited number of tickets to give to family/friends, the same way that the district has handled fall sports attendance.

While the future of all facets of athletics and other school programs is being figured out, she said it was nice to be able to get back to some sort of normalcy.

On another matter, last year students at Rainsboro Elementary brought in all kinds of plastic lids as part of a project to honor teacher Dixie Overstake. Hundreds of pounds of plastic lids were formed into a picnic table, which has been placed near the playground. The tribute will be dedicated on Oct. 16 at 1 p.m. on-site. Those attending are asked to wear purple and gold, as “Mrs. Overstake had the most school spirit,” says a flier announcing the ceremony. Additionally, social distancing and masks will be required by those in attendance.

Items approved on the consent agenda included the approval of bus routes for the school year, and accepting the resignation of monitor Cindy McNeal for the purpose of retirement in December.

Employment recommendations approved by the board were: Caleb McLanahan Schluep, certified substitute; Vicki Holt, substitute nurse; Jessica Hales, substitute van driver; Leann Thieman, junior high track; John Wilson, honor guard; Nate Fabin, dramatics assistant; and Joshua Kidder, baseball assistant.

Angela Shepherd is a correspondent for the village of Greenfield.

Alisa Barrett (left), Greenfield schools director of instruction, is pictured at Monday’s school board meeting as she talks to board members about district data released by the state.
https://www.timesgazette.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/33/2020/09/web1_Greenfield-schools.jpgAlisa Barrett (left), Greenfield schools director of instruction, is pictured at Monday’s school board meeting as she talks to board members about district data released by the state. Photo by Angela Shepherd
Initiative encourages students to be good learners

By Angela Shepherd

For The Times-Gazette