The February 7, 2023, meeting of the Board of Education included student and district presentations on the following topics:
Student update — LABS at Upper Arlington High School
Three students shared an update about a first-of-its-kind trans-disciplinary collaboration at Upper Arlington High School known as LABS. Students are enrolled in three International Baccalaureate courses — English Language & Literature HL, Cultural Anthropology HL and Theory of Knowledge — taught over two years. While the focus of this collaboration is on literature (and language) and anthropology, it also prioritizes belonging (and balance) and service learning (LABS). A product of the ongoing Research & Design innovation process, LABS emerged as a response to student need and will continue to evolve as students and teachers work together to create a global-minded, student-centered learning experience.
Interim Superintendent Kathy Jenney, Ed.D., shared an update on the visit by Dr. Robert Hunt, the district’s next superintendent, to Upper Arlington on January 30. During the month of February, the district celebrates Board of Education Appreciation Month, and each board member was presented with cards or posters from an elementary school.
Teaching & Learning Update
Associate Superintendent Andy Hatton, Ed.D., shared a celebration of early literacy work in the Upper Arlington Schools. The district administers an early literacy assessment to all kindergarten students. Following the implementation of all-day kindergarten, the Multi-Tiered System of Support and the Science of Reading, and by shifting the testing window to midyear, significantly fewer students are now being identified as needing any additional literacy support and intervention.
Director of Student Services Jaclyn Angle, Ed.D., shared an update on the district’s annual Special Education Profile from the Ohio Department of Education. This document reflects the previous school year’s data and shows whether the district is meeting its goals over time for students with disabilities. The most recent profile, reflecting the 2021-2022 school year, shows that the district missed all but one indicator, which was missed by less than 1%. Because of that, the district was cleared of any noncompliance and no further action is required.
Annual Enrollment Update
Last month, the Board of Education received a draft enrollment projection report, conducted by Cooperative Strategies. Overall, districtwide enrollment has increased over the past 10 years and is projected to continue to grow over the next several years. Going forward, the district will be monitoring new trends based on the implementation of all-day kindergarten and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Human Resources and Operations Updates
With federal COVID-19 funding, the district has hired one full-time Tier 3 math support at Upper Arlington High School (approved at the January Board of Education meeting). An additional full-time Tier 3 math support for Jones and Hastings middle schools was approved at the February meeting. Two Memorandums of Agreement, including one extending the agreement with the Upper Arlington Education Association for the Online Academy through the 2023-2024 school year, were also approved on the February consent agenda.
Dr. Jenney provided the semi-annual update on reports of bullying, harassment or intimidation. That information can be found on the district’s website. She also shared a reminder about the Stay Safe. Speak Up! Hotline for reporting any potential incidents of bullying, harassment or discrimination.
Listen Learn Lead Update
The Board of Education will receive a quarterly update on the implementation of the recommendations from the Listen Learn Lead process at their March regular meeting.
Well-Being and DEI Update
The district has formed a Well-Being Committee, made up of staff, parents, community members and students. The committee has identified a series of goals in the areas of student voice, vetting / evaluating programming, and communication.
The district proposed, and the Board of Education approved last night, the following changes to the the 2022-2023 school year calendar:
May 1, 2023, will now be a no school day for students and teaching staff (classified and exempt staff report per schedule)
May 2, 2023, the spring Election Day, will remain a no school day for students; staff will report per schedule for professional development on diversity, equity and inclusion and Board of Education policies.
The district will be opening a request for proposals (RFP) process to seek an independent partnership with an established research institution to review the current state of DEI in the district and the creation of clear deliverables for DEI work going forward. The district hopes to have the RFP process completed and an institution selected for involvement in the May 2 professional development day.
Treasurer/CFO Andrew Geisfteld shared monthly financial statements reflecting January 2023, as well as an update on change orders for the master plan construction projects. This summer, the district will proceed with turf replacement for Ted Wolford Field, which had not been replaced during the construction project because it had not yet reached the end of its useful life. The project will be funded through permanent improvement money.
You may visit our Upper Arlington Schools Board of Education page to access the February 7 meeting agenda and video recording. To view the meeting presentation, please click here. For meeting dates and more information about the Board of Education, please visit www.uaschools.org/board.