LaBrae Local Schools welcomes you to the 2013-2014 school year. We begin each year with a sense of hope and renewed excitement, this year is no different.
While education in Ohio has undergone a tremendous amount of change in the last two years, one thing remains constant, our commitment to student achievement. We approach this year as we do every year, working and preparing to be the best we can be for the students of our community. Our teachers work diligently honing their classroom skills and strategies as they pursue implementing the best instructional practices into their lessons. Our staff is focused on using student achievement data to assess student learning and to guide their lesson planning, with the goal of ensuring that each student experiences growth in their learning for the year.
Our Ohio Report Card for the 2011-2012 school year, in which we were rated "Excellent", was the best report card designation LaBrae has ever earned in the era of accountability, until this year. Our Ohio Report Card for the 2012-2013 school year is even better. If public schools were graded on the previous Ohio "grade scale" for schools, LaBrae would be rated "Excellent with Distinction" on the current report card. However, Ohio has implemented a new grading system with higher grading standards for schools. I'm pleased to report that even under the new elevated standards, LaBrae is rated as an A or a B on many component categories. Currently, Ohio is not implementing overall grades for school buildings and districts. Overall grades will be issued in 2015. Furthermore, our team of educators is committed to refining our skills and improving areas of our educational program that foster greater student achievement. To date, the achievement of our students is an accomplishment of which our staff and community should be extremely proud. I congratulate our students, staff and families on another great year of academic achievement!
This school year, LaBrae is expanding the new reading series into the sixth grade in an effort to continue to move students to higher levels of reading achievement, which promotes higher levels of learning across all disciplines. Additionally, the new Third Grade Reading Guarantee is being implemented this school year. All schools in Ohio have to monitor student reading, and intervene where necessary, in an effort to get all students reading at grade level. Our goal is to ensure all third grade students are proficient on the OAA third grade reading assessment, which is administered in the fall and spring. If a student isn't proficient, the student will be retained in the third grade.
2013 ushers in a new era of evaluations in Ohio. Our teachers are piloting the new Ohio Teacher Evaluation System during this school year with full implementation in 2014. Moreover, our building principals will be evaluated under the new Ohio Principal Evaluation System. Both new systems have criteria that teachers and principals are evaluated upon. These standards are tied to research-based best-practices that promote student achievement. Coupled with the criteria is an Ohio requirement that student achievement scores be calculated into the evaluation as 50% of the evaluation. LaBrae educators are working diligently to become acclimated to the new system.
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.
At LaBrae, we are here to serve. We 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