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District receives recognition

Each year the Ohio Leadership Advisory Council (OLAC) recognizes a school district for its accomplishments and support through the use of OLAC’s resources and the implementation of the Ohio Improvement Process (OIP).

This year OLAC recognized Ironton City Schools as its 2014 District of the Year on Dec. 2.

“Through the use of OLAC, OIP and the collaborative structures Ironton has reduced its identification rate of students with disabilities by 30 percent,” Don Washburn, OLAC director, said. “Ironton truly exemplifies what it means to implement OIP and use OLAC resources.”

Several of the district’s accomplishments that led to the recognition were being an original State Personnel Development Grant (SPDG) school and, from that, learning to embrace OLAC and OIP; creating a schedule in all buildings that allow Teacher-Based Teams (TBTs) to meet regularly during the day using the five-step process; improving its State Local Report Card by having collaborative structures in place; and being recognized as a National Blue Ribbon School.

“OLAC’s mission is to provide educators with the structures and resources necessary to develop and support effective leadership at every level,” according to its website. “The centerpiece of OLAC’s work is the Ohio Leadership Development Framework.”

The framework promotes the use of collaborative structures to lead schools and share the responsibility for improving student achievement.

“I’m very proud of our staff and what they’ve been doing to improve and utilize best practices to drive instruction,” Dean Nance, Ironton superintendent, said. “This wouldn’t have happened without the staff completely buying-in.”

Other district accomplishments considered by OLAC are the School of Promise recognition for its reduction of the achievement gap for economic disadvantaged students and students with disabilities; its Local Professional Development Committee (LPDC) are trained OLAC facilitators and all teachers have created OLAC accounts; and staff using OLAC resources and receiving credit to use for licensure renewal.

“We started implementing the OLAC development framework before it was mandated by the state of Ohio,” Nance said. “It’s no coincidence that at the same time we have received the School of Promise recognition two years in a row and been named a blue ribbon school. It all goes hand-in-hand.”

The work of OLAC is directed and facilitated by the Buckeye Association of School Administrators in cooperation with the Ohio Department of Education.