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Chesapeake schools asked to give input to leadership council

The Chesapeake Union Exempted Village School District was one of eight districts selected across the state to provide feedback and advice on the next phase of work for the Ohio Leadership Advisory Council.

The council was initiated in 2007 as a joint venture between the Ohio Department of Education and the Buckeye Association of School Administrators.

Operated by BASA under the direction of OLAC Director Don Washburn, the 50-plus member council works to support district-wide improvement in leadership and instructional practice for all Ohio districts and their schools.

As one of the districts selected to provide feedback, Chesapeake participated in a structured interview conducted by the University of Dayton Grant Center on the effective use of resources and the Ohio Improvement Process.

Superintendent Scott Howard, director of special education Julie Mayo, treasurer Sandee Benson, technology director Larry Miller, Principal Jamie Shields, and second-grade teacher Vickie Hamlin participated in the interview.

The interview addressed the district’s use of data to make instructional decisions, its capacity to focus core work around teaching and learning, its use of practices and processes that support the collective use of high-quality instructional practices across the district, the intentional use of resources to address district needs, the major improvements made by the district, and more.

The Chesapeake team reported that because of the district’s use of the OIP and OLAC resources, structures are now in place to help sustain a district-wide focus on improving student learning.

“Establishing goals and giving support brings about the focus,” Howard said. “Superintendents have to create the conditions for focus to occur and that means not letting staff be everywhere and nowhere at the same time.”

Under Ohio’s approved differentiated accountability plan with the USDoE, districts in improvement status, or that have schools in improvement status, are required to use OIP as their intervention.

However, Chesapeake, like an increasing number of districts across the state, has taken the initiative to use the OIP and OLAC resources to make and sustain needed improvements.

“Self-selecting to use the OLAC resources and the OIP is a prime example of quality district leadership practices,” Washburn said. “The use of these resources and practices is an ongoing process and part of becoming a learning organization that continuously monitors and makes improvements to its work on behalf of all students,” he said.

Similarly, OLAC regularly evaluates and makes adjustments and improvements to the tools and resources it makes available at no cost to all districts and schools in Ohio. Feedback from Chesapeake, along with information gathered from seven other districts around the state will be aggregated and a summary document produced for OLAC to use in considering its next phase of work.

For more information about OLAC, go to www.ohioleadership.org.