Schools go to one testing window


Excessive and unproductive testing of public school students has been in the news during the past year. School administrators and boards of education members statewide have been objecting to state mandated PARCC and AIR assessments that take time and resources away from classroom instruction without providing useful information about student’s strengths and weaknesses until after the school year has ended.

PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers) assessments were adopted by Ohio for 2014-15 English Language and Math evaluations; AIR (American Institute for Research) for 2014-15 Science and Social Studies evaluations. That became a time and resource consuming problem — two test vendors with different test windows.

During last Thursday evening’s Big Walnut Local School District Board of Education meeting, District Superintendent Angie Pollock said the State of Ohio has listened to frustrated educators and dumped PARCC — sort of.

“Air got the 2015-16 contract; we’re very happy to have AIR testing on all four platforms now,” Pollock said. “They’re moving testing to later in the spring, but it’s still a bit confusing because a AIR is one of PARCC’s vendors.”

Pollock said the Ohio Department of Education spent $26 million last year on PARCC testing.

“We didn’t pay that, but we do spend a lot of money on human resources during testing,” Pollock said. “We’re excited that testing is at least down to one window.”

Board member Brad Schneider asked how PARCC data from the 2014-15 school year would be used because it would not be disbursed until November of this year through January 2016.

“We have other assessment measures we use locally,” Pollock said. “High school students will still have end-of-course exams, just from a different vendor. It’s like switching from Wal-Mart to Target, but just one testing window.”

Pollack said district school administrators would have to work on getting everybody prepared for new testing schedules.

Pollock also noted district progress on the state mandated Third Grade Reading Guarantee. Students who do not read at a specific level by the end of third grade are to held back one year, but students can be tutored over the summer and retake the test.

“We had only one student that did not read at the third-grade level,” Pollock said. “That student has retaken the test and we’ll continue to work with that student through the summer.”

During her report to the board, District Treasurer Terri Day said finances are where they were expected to be through May and that the 2015 Fiscal Year that ended June 30 has been closed out.

“Nothing is out of line,” Day said. “May income is actually less than anticipated, but that’s a timing issue. Revenue is what we expected at the end of May with a difference of about one-half percent; and year to date expenses at the end of May were $153,000 over our estimate, less than one-half percent.”

Board member Brad Schneider, who serves as the liaison between the School Board and the Village of Sunbury and sits as a non-voting member of Sunbury’s Zoning Commission, said members of Commission and Sunbury’s Village Council are including the interests of Big Walnut schools as they review and approve zoning applications.

“It’s good to have a partner in the Village that’s willing to collaborate with us,” Schneider said. “They’re keeping the best interests of the schools out front.”

Board member Allison Fagan noted the number of Big Walnut High School students that visited Spain, Germany and France over the summer.

“We had a lot of kids travel abroad this summer, and they represented us well,” Fagan said. “I’m proud of everybody involved.”

In other business, board members approved the following Big Walnut Local Schools fees for the

2015-16 school year: Preschool tuition $165 per month for nine months (September-May); Kindergarten full-day tuition $275 per month for 9 months (September-May).

Board members approved a one-year contract, effective the 2015-16 school year, for the following certified staff: Noah Heath, Social Studies Teacher, Big Walnut High School, BA+30 step 2; Shannon Stinnette, Third Grade Teacher, Big Walnut Elementary School, MA step 5; Abbey Okoneski, Kindergarten Teacher, Harrison Street Elementary & Big Walnut Elementary, MA step 5; Kristin Kovak, English Teacher, Big Walnut High School, BA+30 step 0; Meghan Vituccio, Guidance Counselor, Big Walnut High School, MA step 7 plus 20 extended days; Rachael Heller, Intervention Specialist, Big Walnut Middle School, MA step 0.

Board members approved the following co-curricular supplementals for the 2015-16 school year:

Big Walnut High School

Lisa Huston, Asst. Band, group 2, step 11; Craig Porter, Band, group 1, step 11; Daisy Duhl, Color Guard, group 4, step 5; Erin Gibbons, Drama, group 4, step 5; Charlie Smith, Eagles First Flight, group 5, step 0; Angie Stooksbury, .5 English Dept. Chair, group 4, step 0; Stacey O’Reilly, .5 English Dept. Chair, group 4, step 0; Georgia Craig, Foreign Language Dept. Chair, group 4, step 9; Denise Duncan, French Club, group 7, step 11; Georgia Craig, German Club, group 7, step 11; Dora Riggs, LEO Club, group 7, step 0; Carol Burchett, LPDC Chair, group 6, step 3; Melissa Hay, Math Dept. Chair, group 4, step 0; Deb Dunkerley, Mock Trial, group 6, step 0; Lisa Huston, Musical Asst. Drama, group 6, step 11; Stacey O’Reilly, National Honor Society, group 6, step 9; Chris May, Percussion, group 4, step 11; Lisa Huston, Performing Arts Dept. Chair, group 4, step 11; Nadine Adams, Science Dept. Chair, group 4, step 6; Matt Wallschlaeger, Science Fair, group 6, step 11; Linda Martin, Science Fair, group 6, step 11; Christina McDonough, .5 Senior Class Advisor, group 5, step 3; Lisa Huston, Show Choir, group 4, step 11; Scott Elliott, Social Studies Dept. Chair, group 4, step 5; Carol Burchett, Spanish Club, group 7, step 11; Jennifer Ranalli, .5 Special Ed. Dept. Chair, group 4, step 1; Ashley Dicken, .5 Special Ed. Dept. Chair, group 4, step 1; Alan Frank, Stage Manager, group 5, step 4; Angie Stooksbury, Student Council, group 3, step 11; Mary Mitton, Yearbook, group 3, step 5.

Big Walnut Intermediate School

Barb George, LPDC, group 7, step 3; Mike Stone, PAC, group 7, step 1; Paula Sieradzki, PAC, group 7, step 3; Scott Von Almen, PAC, group 7, step 1.

Big Walnut Elementary School

Dawn Norris, LPDC, group 7, step 2; Andrea Clark, PAC, group 7, step 0; Dawn Norris, PAC, group 7, step 0; Jen Horman, PAC, group 7, step 0; Leslie Cannell, PAC, group 7, step 0; Rebecca Silva, PAC, group 7, step 0; Sarah Badger, PAC, group 7, step 2; Susan Monfort, PAC, group 7, step 2.

General Rosecrans Elementary School

Jennifer Restucci, LPDC, group 7, step 3; Amy Mix, PAC, group 7, step 0; Danielle Lasota, PAC, group 7, step 0; Erin Erjavec, PAC, group 7, step 1; Ginna Crawford, PAC, group 7, step 1; Jamie Roan, PAC, group 7, step 2; Jody Greiger, PAC, group 7, step 0; Lisa Shaw, PAC, group 7, step 3; Tisha Hilton, PAC, group 7, step 3.

Harrison Street Elementary School

Elizabeth Yousey, LPDC, group 7, step 1; Amy Keep, PAC, group 7, step 1; Barbara Dean, PAC, group 7, step 1; Karen Snyder, PAC, group 7, step 2; Kathy Blocher, PAC, group 7, step 0; Mark Adams, PAC, group 7, step 3; Mendi Priestas, PAC, group 7, step 1; Sarah Sandrock, PAC, group 7, step 1; Shannon Mignogno, PAC, group 7, step 1.

Hylen Souders Elementary School

Maria Tarney, LPDC, group 7, step 3; Dorothy Branham, PAC, group 7, step 1; Jenn Waszil, PAC, group 7, step 1; Justin Heck, PAC, group 7, step 1; Katie Grijak, PAC, group 7, step 1; Lisa Andrews, PAC, group 7, step 2; Maria Tarney, PAC, group 7, step 2; Matt Wilson, PAC, group 7, step 2; Pam Tribble, PAC, group 7, step 1.

Board members approved the following athletic supplements for the 2015-16 school year:

Football Mike Adams, Var. Assist., group 2, step 11; Luke Moore, Var. Assist., group 2, step 6; Ed Kitchen, Var. Assist., group 2, step 11; Scott Wetzel, Var. Assist., group 2, step 11; Charlie Rowley, Var. Assist., group 2, step 7; Todd Dawson, Assist., group 3, step 11; Ben Steele, Assist., group 3, step 1; Travis Church, MS Assist., group 3, step 11; Jason Crawford, MS Assist., group 3, step 5; Chip Klinedinst, MS Assist., group 3, step 7; Doug Eckelberger, MS Assist., group 3, step 11; Jack Daniels, Volunteer; Brian Mackey, Volunteer; Jeff Tutorow, Volunteer.

Boys Soccer

Eric Humphries, Assist., group 4, step 0.

Girls Soccer

Ben Goulet, Volunteer.

Boys Golf

Jim Rinella, Asst., group 4, step 10; Rich Smith, MS Asst., group 4, step 11.

Girls Tennis

Jennifer Zimmer, Volunteer; Paul Lieurance, Volunteer; Kim White, MS Asst., group 4, step 11.

Cross Country

Kelly Robinson, MS Asst., group 4, step 11; Gary Miller, Volunteer; Red Edwards, Volunteer; Melissa Pecci, Asst., group 4, step 3; Chelsea Carothers, Volunteer.

Volleyball

Nicole Stepsis, Asst., group 4, step 7; Matt Schoonover, Asst., group 4, step 4; Eleni Lourgos, MS Asst., group 4, step 3; Milea Sarap, MS Asst., group 4, step 2; Jazmine Reed, .5 Asst., group 4, step 3.

Cheerleading

Katherine Kiedaisch, Asst., group 4, step 2; Laura Roberto, .75 Freshman Asst., group 4, step 2; Laura Conley, MS Asst., group 4, step 1.

Facility Manager

Chris Holly, HS .67, group 3, step 7; Joe Weaver, HS .33, group 3, step 2; Rick Cavicchia, MS .5, group 3, step 2; Kim White, MS .5, group 3, step 2.

• Board members accepted the resignation of Sarah Kuhn, 3rd Grade Teacher, Big Walnut Elementary School, effective July 1.

• Board members accepted the following donations: $72.94 donated to Big Walnut Middle School Student Council, donated by Ryan Dunlap; $72.94 donated to Big Walnut High School, donated by Ryan Dunlap.

• Board of education members will hold a special work session at 4 p.m. on Monday, July 27, in the Big Walnut Intermediate School Administration Conference Room.

The next regularly scheduled Big Walnut Local School District Board of Education meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, August 13, in the Big Walnut High School Media Center.