Collaboration enhances achievement
Two weeks ago I explained why I had given an initial dollar gift to the Oakwood City Schools to create the Uphoff Collaboration Fund. This UCF is there to enhance the professional collaboration of our teachers as they find creative ways to work together on behalf of the overall success of our students. For some the fact that the UCF qualifies as a charitable tax deduction is important, but for me it is the enhancement of our students’ achievement that is the most important! (I will use the tax deduction, however)!
Another example of the types of collaboration I have learned about from other schools around the nation may help to clarify the types of actions which I value. I do not want our Oakwood teachers to be limited to these examples, rather I want to support their own creativity and imagination which will build stronger articulation between/among our subject areas, our grade levels, and our buildings.
America has recently been giving more attention to science and its importance in our lives and the success of our nation. Too many children have not found interest or success in science. One school district used collaboration to address this problem. High school students were challenged to create interesting mini-lessons on some of the major concepts/content they were studying in their own classes but to be presented by them to elementary pupils.
The high schoolers had to KNOW their own content very well before they could plan and then teach it in an age-appropriate way to upper elementary pupils—a real win for the senior high students. The younger children had the chance to work with and learn from “the big kids” who were often seen as role models. This was motivational for them (another win) and an ego boost for the teenagers (a third win). Finally, the teachers of science at both levels got to know more about their own subject field, about the learning at different grade levels, and about their own fellow professionals (Win, win, win). In other words this type of collaboration produced many WINNERS!
Any type of joint planning which enhances the learning of our students also builds stronger articulation of our curriculum and educational program. This has always been one of my major goals for education throughout my 49 years as an educator. From time-to-time I will share additional examples—some from my own experience. In the meantime, I invite others who see this as a positive effort to send their check to the Oakwood City Schools for the UCF. THANKS!
Staying in touch...
Luncheon with residents Feb. 29
Are you an Oakwood resident who does not have children in school? Would you like to talk about what’s happening in our schools? If you are, this is an opportunity for you to attend a luncheon with our Superintendent and district administrators to learn more about our successes, our challenges, and other important information.
The luncheon will take place on Friday, Feb. 29, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Edwin D. Smith Elementary School.
If you are interested in attending, please RSVP to Sandy at the Oakwood Board of Education Office at 297-5332, or firstname.lastname@example.org by February 20.
Staying in Touch offers dialogue with schools
The Oakwood School District’s Staying in Touch program is designed to provide community members with opportunities to talk with the Superintendent and representatives of the Board of Education about school matters in comfortable, informal settings. Residents are invited to host meetings in their homes and invite their neighbors.
Neighborhood Meetings are scheduled for Feb. 7, March 6, March 24, April 10, April 25, May 8, and June 27.
To volunteer to host a neighborhood meeting or to let us know you would like to attend a meeting, please contact Mrs. Sandy Maresh at the Board of Education Office: 297-5332, maresh. sandy@ oakwood.k12.oh.us.
Holy Angels pre-school Open House Feb. 10
Holy Angels School will open its preschool doors to interested families Sunday, Feb. 10, from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. The school offers a structured environment, small class sizes and foreign language instruction in cooperation with the University of Dayton.
This event is open to the public. Ample parking is available across Brown Street in the College Park Center. For more information, please call 229-5959 or visit our Web site at www.holyangels.cc.
Federal student aid applications available now
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a financial aid form that determines need-based grants and scholarships for college. Parents of seniors are encouraged to complete the FAFSA on the Internet (www.fafsa.ed.gov). Please visit the website early to set up PIN numbers prior to filing (one PIN for the parent and one PIN for the student).
By using FAFSA4caster, you and your family will receive an early estimate of eligibility for federal student aid. Check out www.holyangels.cc if you are interested in receiving that early estimate.
One of the most popular need-based scholarships, the Dayton-Montgomery County Scholarship (DMCS), requires a completed FAFSA as part of the application. The DMCS will be available in the guidance office during the month of January. It is imperative that applicants submit their FAFSA in January in order to be eligible for the DMCS.
College Goal Sunday offers the opportunity to have expert help completing and submitting your FAFSA. On Feb. 10, 2008, beginning promptly at 2 p.m., financial aid professionals from the University of Dayton are hosting this year’s event in Miriam Hall on their campus. More information will be forthcoming from the University of Dayton and will be included on the guidance page of the Oakwood Schools website.
PSEO meeting slated for March 3
Post Secondary Educational Option (PSEO) is an educational program available to all students in grades 9-12. Typically students access the program to enhance their high school curriculum by taking course work at Sinclair Community College, the University of Dayton and /or Wright State University.
A mandatory meeting will be held in the high school auditorium on March 3 at 7 p.m. for parents and their students who wish to participate during the 2008-2009 school year. PSEO applications MUST be submitted by March 31, 2008 in order to be eligible to participate in the 2008-2009 school year. For further information, please call the guidance office at the high school (297-5326).