|A Message from Michael Hanshaw, Superintendent
|The education world continues to change and evolve at a rapid pace. Trumbull County Educational Service Center approaches its activities like a pacesetter. As each and every new initiative or mandate emerges, TCESC researches, develops and implements
programming to assist districts. The 2013-2014 school year provided numerous opportunities for us to perform well and to lead the way for Trumbull County districts to do the same.
Testing and assessments came to the forefront of education. Ohio rolled out a more in-depth kindergarten-readiness test, requirements for end-of-course assessments, and Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Career assessments. These initiatives
required our curriculum and instruction staff to constantly educate themselves about the
latest developments. Then, our staff provided countless hours of professional development about these topics and others. In total, the C&I team prepared and facilitated 40 district-specific targeted professional development days and 34 early-release days in the 2013-2014 school year. TCESC also served 400 educators through Summer of Growth Workshops.
In addition to targeted professional development, TCESC constantly supported educators through regular meetings. We offered monthly principal meetings that provided updates on current issues as well as best practices regarding classroom instruction and assessment. Guidance counselors met monthly at TCESC and addressed issues related to cyber bullying, curriculum shifts, NCAA eligibility, community college options and ACT data reviews to name a few. Other administrative and teacher groups also depended upon TCESC to facilitate regular meetings to keep them current.
Ohio’s Third Grade Reading Guarantee was also a priority for educators last year. TCESC worked throughout the year to assist districts with implementation and resources. We secured a grant that purchased Leveled Literacy Kits for the districts to use, conducted a summer reading camp, and established our organization as an outside provider for districts.
Teachers themselves also became subject to new assessment and evaluation systems. New
teachers in a four-year resident educator program are now taking a resident educator summative assessment in order to receive a professional teaching license. All Ohio teachers are being impacted by a new evaluation system called the Ohio Teacher Evaluation System (OTES). Even principals are being held accountable through the Ohio Principal Evaluation System (OPES), which is similar to the teacher model. Throughout all last year, TCESC interpreted the legislative changes to these programs and kept our districts up-to-date. We worked with teachers and administrators to fully implement the resident educator program and the new evaluation systems.
Along with the many legislative changes, TCESC also faced challenges in the number of
students requiring our services and the severity of the needs of those students. Our classrooms
continued to fill with students at a rapid pace. We created an emotionally disturbed program for grades K-3 that was immediately filled with students. TCESC operated a pilot program in collaboration with SST 5 that was designed to support students in their neighborhood schools and to reduce the need for placements in the ED program.
Our organization provided more visually impaired services to meet student needs. In 2013-2014, TCESC employed two full-time visually-impaired teachers who worked itinerantly. We also worked with an instructor to provide these students with required
orientation and mobility services.
Our special education preschool program experienced a funding transition from unit funding to per pupil funding. Preschool also prepared for the Step-Up-to-Quality initiative that evaluates preschools using a five-star system.
TCESC continued to conduct student programs outside the realm of special education including Arts/EXCEL, Arts Explore, Fine Arts Program, Challenge 24, Civic Day, Equations, Prep Bowl, Spelling Bee, and Saturday Enrichment. We also offered more than $7,500 in scholarships to graduating seniors.
The pace of change in technology is unparalleled and presented additional demands for both TCESC and our districts. Last year, we continued to support district technology coordinators with resources, updates and support. We also provided technology trainings regarding SmartBoard and Google classrooms. We hosted an Appy Hour group that allowed teachers from multiple counties to share best practices for using iPads in the classroom.
Throughout all professional development and daily activities, TCESC supported the use of
technology appropriately and strategically in academic and real-world settings. TCESC also partnered with Youngstown State University and other regional ESCs to support a Summer YSU Tech Conference to replace our TCESC STEAM conference.
Also on the technology front, we experienced an increase in our Trumbull Virtual Learning
Academy (TVLA) program. Both school year and summer school enrollment increased. We also saw an increase in the number of students attending our TVLA lab nights.
There are always changes on the horizon. As we moved into 2014-2015, we evaluated current programs and made adjustments to meet the continually evolving needs of both our districts and our organization. TCESC will continue to lead for educational excellence by setting the pace for the future.