LaBrae Local Schools welcomes you to the 2015-2016 school year. We begin each year with a sense of hope and renewed excitement and this year is no different. Our wish is that the initial weeks of the new school year has been a personal success and is an indication on how the rest of your year will unfold.
Ohio continues to implement a lot of changes in education and those changes are evident at LaBrae Local Schools. The most significant changes for students is the change in testing. Ohio legislators listened to parents and educators last year by responding with legislation that significantly reduced the amount of time our children spend taking State mandated standardized tests. For example, on the language arts and math tests last school year, students had to sit for two test administrations in each subject, once in February and the final test in April. In 2015-2016, the testing administrations for language arts and math have been reduced to one test administration in April. Additionally, the Ohio General Assembly passed legislation that ended Ohio's partnership with PARCC. PARCC will no longer create the language arts and math tests administered to Ohio students. The company that developed the science and social studies tests, AIR, or American Institutes for Research, has been selected by the Department of Education to develop the language arts and math tests for this school year.
Furthermore, we are assessing kindergarten students with Ohio's new Kindergarten Readiness Assessment, which is a tool to determine a child's readiness to learn. Our elementary students in grades K through the fifth grade will continue to enhance their reading skills with Journeys reading series, Leveled Literacy Intervention and iReady, a reading assessment and intervention program purchased with federal funds. Moreover, LaBrae purchased a new math series for grades K through sixth grade. The Go Math series by Houghton Mifflin is well aligned to the math learning standards, and it provides many technology based tools for teachers to enhance instruction in an effort to reach the varied learning styles of all of our students.
From a financial perspective, the Board of Education is consistently focused on managing our resources at an efficient and optimal level to ensure that your tax dollars are spent in a prudent fashion. Academic, employee and facility expenditures are planned for through a budgetary process that is thoughtful and purposely orchestrated. We value the trust that our community has given through its continued financial support, and believe that appreciation for that support is best demonstrated through sound management of the budgetary resources provided to us.
Nonetheless, we are excited to begin the new school year providing a strong educational foundation for the youth of our community. Accompanying our educational program, is a myriad of co-curricular and extra-curricular activities that supplement the learning in the classroom and provide enriching opportunities for our students. We believe that our programs provide authentic and rewarding learning opportunities for LaBrae youth. It is our mission to pursue excellence in all that we do. Our first priority is being student-centered as we work to ensure that we are providing students a challenging educational environment that helps develop the mastery of knowledge, enhances critical thinking skills and assists students in appropriate social-emotional growth.
A successful education experience is built upon a strong partnership between families and schools. As educators, we work to reinforce important family values within our schools, and families work to support the work that educators are engaged in with their children. I hope 2015-2016 allows us to strengthen that bond as we work to be the best we can for our children.
We are here to serve and encourage you to contact us with your questions or input that you might offer. LaBrae Local Schools wishes all of our families a wonderful and fulfilling school year!
Anthony J. Calderone