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Board elects officers, hears task forces updates

Originally published in ThisWeekNews 

Wednesday January 21, 2015 7:10 PM

At the first Dublin Board of Education meeting of 2015, the Board President and Vice-President were re-elected and online school board meeting agendas were debuted.

The district will no longer distribute hard copies of agendas. Instead, community members are invited to go online to view the agendas, minutes, schedules and more.

Digitizing the agendas will increase productivity and save thousands of dollars annually, according to a district press release.

The school board meeting started an hour earlier, because of the OSU championship game.

Lynn May was re-elected as Board President and Stuart Harris as Board Vice President. Both ran unopposed and were first elected to the Board in 2005.

The facility task force reported that the engineering architectural firm of Garmann and Miller will attend the Feb. 9 school board meeting to answer questions. They will present their findings to the board on Jan. 26. The task force will recommend an architectural firm in Feb. and a construction management team in March. The task force assured community members that the Riverside Elementary traffic problems will be addressed.

The gifted education task force has been sharing the draft service model with colleagues, parent groups, and the community.  Additional input will be requested from middle school math teachers and administrators regarding advanced/accelerated math. The task force hopes to present their final draft to the board in February. They have scheduled three additional community meetings to share revisions and gather feedback. Future community  meetings will be held at 7p.m. Jan. 21 at Coffman, Jan. 22  at Jerome, and Jan. 28  at Scioto.

The middle school schedule task force held several parent forums last week to address questions. They are still on track to make a recommendation to the board by mid-February. They are closely reviewing middle schools in Illinois and Minnesota that appeared on the “Top 10 Best Education Suburban Districts” list.

For the staffing task force, Richard Bailey explained that a more robust and detailed online screener would be put in place to help narrow the candidate pool to only the best possible. This week, the new screening tool will take effect for all new and current applicants.

Treasurer Steve Osborne discussed the Fiscal Year 2014 Audit Opinion and Audit Reports from Plattenburg Certified Public Accountants.  There were no citations or findings for recovery. Osborne said it was a very good report and he thanked his staff.

Dr. Hoadley reminded community members of the State of the Schools at the Dublin Recreation Center on Feb. 10 at 7 p.m. and the next Superintendent Community Coffee on Jan. 27 at 10:30 a.m. at Sunny Street Cafe.

The meeting ended with Rick Weininger moving that the district make a statement of support for the Buckeyes as they met the Oregon Ducks in the National Championship game.

The Board meets on the second and fourth Mondays of each month at 7 p.m.

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Elementary size findings to be unveiled Jan. 12

See original story here 

Wednesday December 17, 2014 4:18 PM

Bob Scott recognizes Heidi Wess and Scott Nimmo
at the board meeting for Exemplary Service in a Medical Emergency
(from Dublin City Schools Twitter)

On Mon. Dec. 8, the Dublin School Board met for the last time this year. The Gifted Education task force created a service model draft and the Middle School Schedule task force is gathering parent feedback.

Rick Weininger, board member and chair of the Facility task force, told the board that the engineering architectural firm of Garmann/Miller will formally present their findings at the Jan. 12 board meeting. The firm has been reviewing the elementary schools to determine which ones would be most effective to add onto. A design team for the project will be recommended by the board at the Jan. 26 meeting.

The Gifted Education Task force reviewed research about best practices in serving gifted students. They also completed an analysis of the current Dublin student population to see how many gifted students there are currently. Secondary staff reviewed the data and a draft model for the Gifted Service Delivery was created. The draft was presented to community members for feedback on Dec. 9, 10 and 15. The draft will be revised in January and a final draft will be reached in March.

The Middle School Schedule Task Force reviewed their results from the survey they gave to middles school teachers. Dr. Dustin Miller, Director of Secondary Education and chair of the task force, said that the teachers expressed a need to have a schedule that gives students an opportunity in related arts, easy access to multiple grade level courses and where courses are not primarily pitted against one another. The teachers also suggested offering more purposeful meeting times between students and teachers outside of class. The task force will be releasing a survey to middle school parents to hear their feedback. They will also be scheduling community nights at each middle school in January.

In regards to the Staffing Plan Task Force, board member Chris Valentine, explained that they have been working with the Gifted Education, Facilities and Middle School Schedule task forces to discuss possible future staffing needs. They also discussed staffing for the Review of Educational Service Center for Central Ohio.

Page A12 of the Dec. 18 issue

Additionally, the Chapman Elementary School PTO donated $9,375.00 for 25 iPads
for Chapman.

The Board presented Golden Shamrock awards to Jamie Riley, a librarian at Pinney Elementary and to Cathy Rodenheffer, an Intervention Specialist at Davis Middle School.

Those who nominated Riley described her as “positively impacting every K-5 student” and “being a fun and motivational colleague.”

Parents said that Riley “reinvented the library” and that now “students enjoy the library.”

When she accepted the award, she thanked those who nominated her and said “as teachers we often don’t get to hear how people feel about us and it is very nice to be so appreciated.”

When Davis’ assistant principal, Ali Moore, introduced Rodenheffer, he read that one person wrote in their nomination, “I’m a better teacher and person because I know her.”

Parents said that she has “angelic patience” and is “a perfect example of what a teacher should be.”

The board also recognized Heidi Wess, school nurse, and Officer Brian Nimmo, School Resource Officer, at Scioto High School. They were recognized for “exemplary service in a medical emergency.”

Scioto’s principal, Bob Scott, described how on Nov. 25, the head custodian suffered a “massive heart attack and went down.”

Wess and Nimmo “flew in,” ushered students out of the cafeteria, began chest compressions and used the AED machine twice.

“Their calmness was exemplary. It was a miracle that these two stepped in at the right moment. We can’t thank them enough,” Scott said. They received a standing ovation from the audience.

The Dublin Coffman Girls Soccer Team was recognized for being State Runner-ups.

This will be the last board meeting with paper agendas. Next year, the board will use BoardDocs to offer digital agendas.

There were about 100 people in attendance at the start of the meeting. Scott Melody, board member, and Stu Harris, Board Vice President, were not able to attend.

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Task forces supply updates board of education



Wednesday December 3, 2014 9:36 AM

Written for The DublinVillager weekly newspaper and ThisWeekNews
Original article can be found by clicking here

At the Dublin Board of Education Meeting Nov. 13, several task forces provided board members with updates. The district is working toward meeting its goals for the year by getting updates from the respected task forces.

Task forces proving updates included:


Brion Deitsch spoke about how the engineering architectural firm of Garmann/Miller Architects is reviewing the elementary schools.

In January, the task force will formally report findings and make a recommendation.

The district hopes to have the elementary school additions completed by the summer of 2016.

Gifted Education

The Gifted Education Task Force is working on identifying types of services the district could offer to students with high cognitive ability and/ or high academic achievement.

The task force shared ideas with peers and PTOs for feedback.

There will be continued discussions concerning the area of advanced math.

Middle School Schedule

Another important issue of the district that is being addressed is the middle school schedule. Dustin Miller, Grizzell Middle School principal, is heading the project.

From the Dec. 4 ThisWeek News

The task force learned through researching current trends that middle school students need a schedule where they can be engaged, connected, safe, artistic and learn in short bursts.

The task force is currently examining current middle school trends and created a short open-ended survey for teachers.

Community nights will be scheduled at each middle school in order to listen to parent feedback.

They also plan on visiting two of the “Top 10 Best Suburbs for Education” to observe and discuss middle schools.

Staffing Plan

Chris Valentine reported to the board that the task force is discussing future staffing needs and improving the staffing plan.

Deb’s Details:
Originally, this article was part of my School Board Meeting article but my editor suggested that the task force update would be a separate article.
If I could do it over again, I would try and interview one or two of the task force leaders. I wanted to make the article longer and get more details and information. It felt like a pretty vague article to me but I did the best with what I had at the time.

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Elementary School Additions

Work progressing on preparing recommendations

By DEBBIE GILLUMTuesday November 25, 2014 8:50 AM
Written for ThisWeekNews Dublin Villager newspaper

At the Dublin Board of Education meeting, discussions continued about elementary school additions.
Throughout the month of November, representatives from the engineering architectural firm of Garmann/Miller Architects are scheduled to visit all 12 elementary schools with the goal of making a recommendation as to where four or five school additions will be constructed. As of Nov. 13, five buildings have been assessed.
Garmann/Miller will present a report of their findings at the first meeting in January. The company has previously collaborated with school districts in Findlay, Cedarville, Mansfield, and Lima.
 Also in January, a Request for Qualifications for architect services will be examined to select a design firm. The design will take six to eight months, the bidding and award decision will take six to eight weeks and construction would be nine to eleven months.
These additions are part of the district’s effort to address enrollment growth issues.
“Our goal is to have the first additions open for students in the fall of 2016, with the remainder opening in the fall of 2017,” said Superintendent Dr. Todd Hoadley. “As we’ve stated throughout this process, we will keep our community informed on the progress of the projects.”
In other building improvement news, the board discussed that Davis Middle School needs a new gym floor and bleachers. No definite plans have been set yet.
Plans are also being discussed to expand Jerome’s science labs, due to overcrowding.
With more students and teachers, the district’s computer network was starting to run low on free space so the Board of Education approved the purchase of 45 terabytes of increased storage capacity and 45 terabytes in backup capacity.  The two storage devices cost $78,287.28.
The meeting started with Riverside elementary’s new principal, Staci Lutz, leading ten students from the Student Leadership Team in the Pledge of Allegiance. Lutz has been serving as the interim principal at Riverside since February, when Connie Stitzlein was charged with assault after a domestic dispute.  
There were about 100 community members in attendance at the meeting.
The meeting took place at the 1919 Building at 144 West Bridge St. at 7 p.m. and the next meeting will be Dec. 8 at the same location and same time.
Other News
In other school board news, 16 National Merit Semifinalists were honored by Dr. Dustin Miller, Director of Secondary Education for their academic accomplishment.
Students took the PSAT exam in order to qualify to be a National Merit Semifinalist. The city of Dublin had the most SemiFinalists of any Ohio school district.
Also, two Dublin City School teachers were honored with the Golden Shamrock Award for their dedication to education.
Secretary Pat Ford and teacher Gardner Watkins, both from Scioto, were honored with the lifetime achievement award.
Bob Scott, principal of Scioto, said that Gardner Watkins, a science teacher, exhibits enthusiasm for all facets of education.
“Kids learn tremendously [from Mr. Watkins] and don’t even know they are learning,” Scott read from one nomination.
When Scott introduced Ford, Scioto’s receptionist, he called her the “face of Scioto.”
“She takes a special interest in every staff and student and is a kind person to work with,” read Scott from a nomination.
In her acceptance speech, Ford said that she enjoys all the parents that come in.

Deb’s Details:

Man, did I struggle with this article. It was my very first assignment and was supposed to go in last week’s issue. I thought it would be an easy assignment and maybe I just got cocky and didn’t pay attention hard enough. I turned off my voice recorder and didn’t take very detailed notes because I thought a video of the meeting would be posted online. Looking back, I think that was a stupid move. The video was not posted and I could not easily get a hold of an audio recording. To make things worse, I didn’t fully understand the meeting lingo and what was news and what was not. I reached out to my parents, my editor and the PR person for Dublin City Schools and they all helped me immensely.

Next time, I’m going to pay close attention to the whole meeting, record it, take notes and do a better job. Now, I know what I’m looking for and what to expect at the school board meetings.