Greenfield Elementary Principal Bob Schumm and assistant principal Lindsay McNeal touched on the district’s Visible Learning Plan, which was implemented this year, and how that is working at the elementary school, at Monday’s Greenfield Board of Education meeting.
Schumm began with the Legacy of Leadership mission, which not only empowerd all to be leaders, but teaches students to be leaders not just in their learning, but for life. He spoke about how the district’s initiative of visible learning as a tool in the toolbox to help produce students who believe in themselves and who are confident in what they have learned.
The focus the Visible Learning Plan is on learner dispositions and clarity in teaching and learning, foundational blocks in building visible learners. The initiative is districtwide and across all grade levels.
Clarity is setting clearly defined steps, or the intentions, for learning something, and success criteria help students know that they have learned and are able to demonstrate that learning, and through the whole process by employing the learner dispositions: taking ownership, embracing challenges, persevering, continually growing, and being engaged.
There has been some struggle with students, and even staff, fully grasping the learning dispositions. So, McNeal said, they have started a Motivational Monday, where a video is shared throughout the school highlighting one of the learner dispositions that they will focus on through the week.
Overall, administrators said they are seeing more employment of the initiative and the positive outcome of teachers’ clearer communication of what is to be learned and the students taking those steps and not only learning, but understanding how learned.
The district’s special programs director, Heather Dratwa, presented information about one facet of what her office oversees, which is the National Network of Partnership School Grant. It focuses on parental involvement and fostering home/school relationships so there is a greater connection with school districts and families they serve.
Two schools were chosen — Rainsboro Elementary and McClain High School. The framework, containing six “keys” for family engagement in the district, and developed by Dr. Joyce Epstein of Johns Hopkins University, are parenting, communicating, volunteering, learning at home, decision-making, and collaborating with the community.
Dratwa said she crafted a district plan and each of the two schools made a more specific leadership plan. She said the schools had an advantage going into the plans as they already do a lot of what is suggested in Epstein’s books.
More information on the special programs office can be found on the district website at www.greenfield.k12.oh.us.
In other business, treasurer Joe Pat Smith noted that the twice-monthly foundation payments — state aid that is based on a max dollar amount per student — have been cut by about $50,000 per month. However, Smith said the district is hoping at least 25 percent of that is restored through a federal grant.
Anyone interested in learning more about the district budget and funding can contact Smith at 937-981-2152.
Superintendent Quincey Gray thanked the night’s presenters and the school board members for their dedication and service to the district, especially as this month is School Boards Recognition Month in Ohio.
Gray said the district is nearing the end of winter sports, and talk has already begun about the spring play and graduation.
As it has been a year chock-full of uncertainty it’s hard to believe those things are so close, she said, but “it’s exciting.”
Items approved on the consent agenda included accepting the resignation of elementary school counselor Desteny Allen, and approving a resolution to contract with McCarty and Associates for the development of a practice field.
Employment recommendations approved by the board were Kendal Muncie, middle school aide; Brandon Long, certified substitute; Shyanna Howard, cafeteria, clerical, aide/monitor; Eryka Schrader, cafeteria; Dianna Seitz, cafeteria, clerical, aide/monitor; and Travis O’Connor, boys seventh grade basketball.
Angela Shepherd is a correspondent for the Greenfield Exempted Village School District.