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2007 – 2008





Oakwood math audit presentation June 26

During the 2007-2008 school year, Oakwood City School District contracted with the Center for Educational Policy Research (CEPR), out of the University of Oregon, to conduct an audit of our 9-12 college preparatory and honors math programming.  The audit determined the extent to which Oakwood math programming is aligned to the Knowledge and Skills for University Success (KSUS) standards—content knowledge and habits of mind that are valued by leading research universities in the US.

Audit results are currently being reviewed by both the Board and the Math Curriculum Review Team (MCRT), comprised of teachers, a student, parents, community members, administrators, and a content expert.  The MCRT is about to enter its second phase of the review process; the entire process should be concluded by June, 2009.  Residents are invited to a presentation of audit results on Thursday, June 26, 7 p.m. in Room 211 of Oakwood High School (enter through the junior or senior high main entrances and follow the signs).

Overall, the audit found that Oakwood excels beyond many schools at emphasizing KSUS standards involving problem-solving using multiple methods, solving multi-step problems, providing multiple representations of concepts, representing functions, patterns and relationships in different ways, and plotting graphs.

CEPR made five recommendations:  

1) Better align our college preparatory track with our honors track,
which itself is better aligned to the KSUS standards than is our college prep track.  

2) Determine whether we are adequately addressing the 3 KSUS standards related to statistics.  

3) Consider more heavily emphasizing 17 of the KSUS standards (e.g. know how to make and use estimations; use calculators for systematic trial-and-error problem solving, and know arithmetic and geometric progressions and series).  This recommendation lent support for the curriculum compacting begun a couple of years ago by our math department.  

4) Review our pre-calculus courses to ensure that all of the KSUS algebra standards are taught with sufficient rigor.  CEPR suggested that one way to do this is to move the Math I (college prep) content down to the eighth grade level, which would provide opportunity for students to take an advanced algebra class their senior year.  

5) Strategically develop math content across the sequence of our courses.  This is a recommendation that CEPR makes to all of its schools to emphasize the need for careful, intentional planning that focuses not only on the content of any one course but also how that content is linked to and developed across all courses of a high school sequence.

Dr. David Conley, who heads CEPR and authored College Knowledge:  What It Really Takes for Students to Succeed and What We Can Do to Get Them Ready, stated during a conference call with the Math Curriculum Review Team that Oakwood has a “good, strong foundation” for building an even stronger math program and that we should “not think at all” that we have a “serious problem” in our programming.  Further, he stated that students must be able to work with and without calculators, that versatility is important.  He explained that college math is primarily about solving problems independently and that standard practice sets used by many schools do not build problem-solving skills.

CEPR’s recommendations were made from an audit of 8 Oakwood High School math courses (4 for grades 9-12 of the college prep track and 4 for grades 8-11 of the honors track).  For each course, teachers selected 15-20 documents - including a detailed syllabus, exams, quizzes, etc. - that represented the content and rigor of the course.  These documents were rated by trained university faculty for evidence of alignment to the 83 math-related KSUS standards, including standards required of students who elect to major in a math-related field.

The complete CEPR report can be found on Oakwood’s website {CBC39E04-1C16-4D2B-B60D-9D17CAA95420} by clicking on “CEPR Alignment and Audit Challenge Report.”  

CEPR’s audit cost approximately $28,000, about 25 percent of which was funded by a grant from the Oakwood Schools Education Foundation and 75 percent of which through general revenue.  The district intends to conduct an audit for each content area of our curriculum as part of our 6-year curriculum review cycle, although audits will vary in design (and cost) by content area.

If you have questions concerning the audit, please contact me at  297-7801 or

3 OJHS students win Yeck writing awards

(L-R) Oakwood winners and teacher:  Rachel Griep, Teacher Ann Whitehair, John Baker, Matt Buford

John Baker, eighth grade student at Oakwood Jr. High, was chosen by an independent panel of judges to receive an “Award of Distinction” in the Dottie Yeck Good Life Award writing contest.  Baker’s entry placed in the top four of 302 entries received this year in the county-wide writing contest.  Students from 32 schools representing 17 public and private school districts participated.  This is the first time an Oakwood student has won one of the top four prizes in this annual contest.

The contest, which is open to Montgomery County students in grades 7-9, honors the late Dottie Yeck, who was a long-term Board Member of the Washington-Centerville Public Library and a life-long supporter of libraries, children, and the arts.  Mrs. Yeck believed that “Being Good + Doing Good = Having Fun + Being Happy,” and she spent her life encouraging young people to pursue their dreams and live a life that is fun, purposeful and happy.

(L-R) Award winners: Colleen Kochensparger, Stacy Chiou (not pictured: Shannon Fillingim)

Colleen Kochensparger, Centerville eighth grader at Centerville’s Watts Middle School, won the top prize of $3,000. The “Award of Distinction” went to John Baker, Oakwood eighth grader, Stacy Chiou, Watt’s seventh grader, and Shannon Fillingim, Magsig seventh grader. The judges also awarded 19 Honorable Mentions, including two to eighth grade Oakwood students Rachel Griep and Matt Buford. All of the winning entries can be read online at the Washington-Centerville Public Library

Oakwood Rotary student exchange program

Each year, the Oakwood Rotary hosts a high school exchange student for a full school year. The Rotary program differs  from othe foreign exchange youth programs since we try to find three different host families over the course of a school year. That means that each family hosts for about 3 1/2  months.

In mid-August, our new exchange sstudent will arrive. His name is Daniel Leon and he is from Ecuador. Daniel is the president of his class, takes many challenging courses in school and is a great fan of music. He plays four musical instruments: piano, bass, drums and guitar. He is also a sports enthusiast. Daniel is 16 years old and will turn 17 in December 2008.

Hosting a foreign exchange student is a very rewarding experience and affords your family the opportunity to explore other cultures while developing life-long friendships. If you are interested in learning more information about hosting this student, please contact Debbie Hershey at 294-5854 or Terri Rubins at

German exchange students need host homes

A group of 18 high school students from all over Germany will arrive in Dayton this July to get a “jump start” on their English language and American culture before spending their exchange program in an American high school. Volunteer host families are needed for these German high school exchange students who will participate in an enrichment program this summer that will better enable them to live in the United States for an academic year. The students will arrive July 24 to stay through Aug. 22 with host families in Oakwood and the surrounding area as part of the Culture and Current Events Program, an aspect of the ASSE International Student Exchange Programs.

“They’ve all had at least six years of English, but they just need a little extra help so they’ll have a better year,” said coordinator Leah Hunt. Among the students arriving in July will be Julia Keller from Bremen, Germany. She likes soccer, reading and music. “I want to learn something about different cultures. I want to get to know a new school system and totally new way of life,” Julia wrote in a high school exchange student application. Another exchange student, Nina Brose from Ostfildern, Germany, likes snowboarding, guitar and baking. “I’d like to find out more about the real American way of life in a family,” Nina commented in her application.

Host families may select their exchange student based on a complete profile that includes a photo collage by the student and a personal essay describing his or her interests, hobbies and personality. All ASSE students bring their own spending money are fully insured. Host families provide a separate bed and daily meals to your host daughter or son. You and members of your family are invited to participate in the group activities, parties, weekly excursions and much more!  

For more information on hosting a student, contact Leah at (937) 272-3104. For more information about ASSE International Student Exchange Programs is available at

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June 24, 2008
Volume 17, No. 26

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