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Oakwood Manor 'Grand Dame'
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Schools commit to curriculum audits

Audit.  Does the word stir in you a queasy feeling and images of overly eager IRS agents?  Does it make you want to sprint for a safe hiding place?  In Oakwood, we have a long history of scheduling financial audits on an annual basis.

Beginning this year, we are incorporating curricular audits in our review cycle for each content area. This first audit will focus on our 9-12 math curricula, as part of our upcoming K-12 math curriculum review.

The mathematics Challenge and Alignment Audit is being conducted by the Center for Educational Policy Renewal (CEPR) at the University of Oregon.  CEPR conducts audits of high school curricula to determine how coherent the course sequence is and how well curricula are aligned to the College Standards for Success, a set of standards that comprise the knowledge and skills entering college freshmen should have mastered.  The College Standards for Success were “developed through an empirical process that involved over 400 college faculty members from 20 research universities and extended over a three-year period.  The standards outline content knowledge and cognitive skills that are associated with success in entry-level university courses.  The study was conducted under the sponsorship of the Association of American Universities. The standard have been adopted by the College Board as a foundational element in the development of the SAT, PSAT, and AP tests” (CEPR, 2007).

Oakwood is one of few districts in the nation that has committed to conducting the Challenge and Alignment Audit, and it is the only district currently undergoing this process in the state and region, perhaps because it requires significant human and financial resources.  Oakwood math teachers have dedicated innumerable hours to preparing detailed instructional calendars and syllabi and to collecting artifacts (assessments, assignments, course descriptions and standards, etc.) to be sent to CEPR for analysis.  The financial cost of the audit is a little over $28,000, with a quarter of the costs be underwritten by a generous grant from the Oakwood Schools Education Foundation.  District administration has received favorable feedback from several stakeholder groups about this financial investment.  The cost of the audit includes administration fees to CEPR which contracts with and trains faculty raters from Research I universities to evaluate our approximately 250 curricular documents for coherence and alignment to the College Standards for Success.  CEPR analysts will then compile data from faculty raters and—in May—report back to us results and recommendations for strengthening our 9-12 math programming.  These recommendations will be reviewed by the Math Curriculum Team as part of its process for revising and improving our high school math curricula.

The Math Curriculum Team, comprised of teachers, parents, students, community members, administrators, and content experts, will begin meeting in March; it is charged with reviewing pertinent data on Oakwood’s K-12 math programming, analyzing current research on best practices in math education, and making recommendations for curricular changes as well as helping to select new instructional materials for grades 7-12.  If you are interested in serving on the Math Curriculum Team, please contact Kim Kappler at 297-7801 or  

Oakwood is commitment to seeking out, analyzing, and using data to inform decisions made about programming.  As our district progresses through its six-year curriculum review cycle, each content area will be audited, although the depth and scope of each audit may vary.  Just as with our district’s financial audits, curricular audits operationalize our core values of excellence, trust, and accountability.  I look forward to reporting to you the results of our Challenge and Alignment Audit in several months.

Team places 7th in Science Olympiad

A team including seven Oakwood residents an two Kettering residents placed seventh out of 45 in an invitational Division B Science Olympiad competition Feb. 2 in Solon, Ohio. The team of 15, one of two teams from Holy Angels School in Dayton, competed in 23 separate events, placing in the top 10 in five events and the top half in 19 events. The events involved hands-on experiments and interactive testing in subjects like anatomy, oceanography, machine engineering, astronomy, and disease science.

A photo from the Solon Invitational. First row: Keely Ditto of Oakwood, Caroline Scheid of Oakwood, Clare Potyrala of Kettering, Jon Meyer of Dayton, Sean McDermot of Oakwood. Second row: Patrick Miles of Oakwood, John Chick of Oakwood, Cathy Wirrig of Dayton, Sam Wittman of Kettering, Will Bonner of Dayton. third row: John Manovich of Dayton, Mitchell Jones of dayton, Will McKelvey of Jefferson Twonship, Thomas Wittman of Oakwood; Not pictured: Rob Smith of Dayton.

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 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 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@

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).

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February 19, 2008
Volume 17, No. 8

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