Friday, November 14, 2008

One Year on the Board; OSBA Conference in Columbus; Collecting Debts from Community Schools; Foreign Language Camp Coming!

It has been one year since I was elected to this board.
I had no idea I would learn so much and develop such a passion for the people and the work with which I have been involved during these past ten monthes.
I look forward to the days ahead, and to working alongside each of you!

I am dividing the remainder of this blog post into three parts, so you can skip to the section of interest to you personally:

First, the Ohio School Board Association held the annual Capital Conference in Columbus from Nov. 9-12. The event included numerous learning tracks, and this year there were a special series of presentation specifically for ESCs. Did you know that there are 58 ESCS in the state of Ohio? Approximately 23% of ESC budgets come from the state, and the rest is from local revenue sources (school districts who contract with the ESCs) or grants. It was pointed out that traditional school boards often are unaware of the work of the ESCs, these silent partners who work behind the scenes to enhance the educational experience in the communities they serve. The OSBA plans to work more closely with the OESCA to reach out and communicate more clearly with traditional school boards.

Last night was our monthly meeting at the ALCC, and again we had the privilege of honoring outstanding students from Anthony Wayne, Sylvania Southview and Northview, Ottawa Hills, Rossford, Perrysburg, Whitmer, and Springfield. We also honored a family of the month and a wonderful "Out of School" department within the LCESC which works to help students who have dropped out of school to earn their GEDs. Our business included updates from the treasurer and superintendent on the work they are doing to meet the board-assigned "focus areas" for the year. The next paragraph will highlight one of these focus areas, the foreign language institute.
Importantly, the board took action to authorize the Lucas County Prosecuting Attorney to initiate litigation against two charter schools with whom we are no longer involved: they owe the LCESC over $25,000, combined. Action will be taken against the Toledo Academy of Learning and Greater Heights Academy in Cleveland to collect on these debts as we continue to closely monitor charter schools and hold them accountable to the highest standards in an effort to protect our children and provide them with the best possible educational opportunities.

Speaking of educational opportunities, do you have an elementary-school child who might like to learn Chinese, French or Spanish? The LCESC is actively pursuing a foreign language institute, with plans to have foreign language daycamps next summer and Saturday schools in the works as well. I know two kids who will be at the camp: Seth and Chelsea, my children. One of the many, many blessings of serving on the board has been the opportunity for me and my family to witness firsthand the wide array of programs that the LCESC offers and to avail ourselves of them. I encourage everyone to visit the LCESC website and see what is offered - there is something for everyone, of all ages and ability levels.