LaBrae Local Schools welcomes you to the 2014-2015 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 first couple of 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 is implementing a lot of changes in education and those changes are evident at LaBrae Local Schools. The new teaching evaluation procedures are being implemented this year as well as Ohio's new learning standards, which include the Common Core standards for Language Arts and Math. Additionally, LaBrae students will be taking their Ohio achievement tests in a mixed format this year as the new online tests are implemented. Some tests will be taken via paper and pencil, while tests on the new learning standards will be administered online via LaBrae's mobile technology. Our systematic purchasing of Chromebooks, coupled with recently installed wireless technology, has the District well-positioned in the area of technology capacity to successfully administer the online testing to our students.
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 iReady, a reading assessment and intervention program purchased with federal funds. Lastly, LaBrae High School has unveiled the Viking Learning Center, which provides an award winning online curriculum and enhances our blended learning options, which is a mix of traditional learning and self-directed online learning. Indeed, a lot is happening that is fresh, innovative and exciting, and our staff is doing an excellent job of preparing and implementing these changes.
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 2014-2015 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