Parents and students can attend a 6-7 p.m. Parents Meeting in the elementary cafeteria to learn about work-based learning, career pathways, apprenticeships and job shadowing.
A 6:30-8 p.m. Jobs Fair in the elementary gym will allow students to connect with local employers, interview for jobs and talk to community college reps about opportunities.
Submitted by the West Liberty-Salem school district.
By Lucas Gonzalez, Springfield News-Sun Staff Writer
Graham Middle School has been recognized with a distinguished honor by a nonprofit organization that serves millions of PreK-12 students and teachers across the U.S.
Project Lead The Way (PLTW) helps students in all 50 states develop skills for an evolving world through pathways in computer science, engineering, and biomedical science, according to PLTW’S website.
“We have worked hard to provide intentional pre-pathway learning experiences for our students here at GMS. Not only is Project Lead The Way coursework an opportunity, but it is also an expectation for our students” said Middle School Assistant Principal Nick Guidera.
The nonprofit recognized Graham Middle School as a PLTW Distinguished School for “providing broad access to transformative learning opportunities through PLTW Gateway,” a press release says.
Graham Middle School is one of 148 middle schools across the country to receive this designation.
“We are thrilled at this honor, which represents the hard work and dedication of our students in the classroom, and the staff who help create and maintain a special culture here at Graham”, said superintendent Kirk Koennecke.
The PLTW Distinguished School recognition honors schools who have demonstrated a commitment to increasing student access, engagement, and achievement in their PLTW programs, according to the release.
To be eligible for the designation, Graham Middle School had to meet the following criteria for the 2017-18 school year, according to the release:
• Offer at least one PLTW Gateway unit at each grade level;
• Have at least 50 percent of the student body participating;
• Have 25 percent of students advancing to high school participate in two or more units during their middle school tenure.
Principle Chad Lensman said he is proud of Graham’s approach.
“To say that 100 percent of our students are taking PLTW coursework is something special. Very few schools nationwide can make that claim. We value the learning taking place in these programs and this coursework is a big piece of our STEM education here at Graham Middle School.”
The CEP continually updates content displayed on the 11 monitors – one at each of the five Champaign County high schools; one each at Urbana University, Ohio Hi-Point Career Center and in the CEP’s office window in the center of Urbana’s downtown business district; and one each in the windows of three downtown businesses in Mechanicsburg, North Lewisburg and St. Paris.
The project is being supported by Urbana University, Ohio Hi-Point, Dayton Power & Light, FASTLANE, Darby Dental Smiles, Urbana Dental Smiles, Berry Digital Solutions and Weidmann Electrical Technology, Inc.
CEP Director Marcia Bailey said the monitors help inform students, county residents and visitors about local economic and community development growth, job opportunities, and education and workforce training. The monitors, she added, complement CEP’s partnership with local schools and manufacturers to prepare students for local career opportunities. Job openings advertised on the monitors come from the CEP’s local job posting website, Community Job Connect.
“I’m a strong believer in the education-workforce ecosystem. And the CEP is leading the way to organizing education and employers, preparing talent to meet the needs of our employers,” Christopher Washington, Executive Vice President and CEO of Urbana University, a branch campus of Franklin University, said.
The monitors are the ideal way to deliver the information, he adds. “Kids today are digitally wired and pay attention to what’s on the screen.”
Kelsey Webb, Ohio Hi-Point Director of Communications and Marketing, said, “We’re participating because this is completely in our wheelhouse to prepare students for career or college. We’re excited to help spread the message that there are great opportunities here for students.”
“It’s been a great start to the first day in our new school,” Superintendent of Urbana City Schools Charles Thiel said. “As I stood out front helping to direct traffic I realized the number of kids and families and adults are all a part of the programs of our schools. We were spread out throughout the city, but when you combined them into one building there is a lot of people that are using our resources and being part of the school program.”
Overall, the opening went well, he said.
The district pushed back the start date so the building could be finished before the start of school. The new building has a number of advancements that the old schools didn’t. For one, air conditioning.
“It has been wonderful for us and will continue to be wonderful to have the air movement and circulating so we have fresh air in the building,” Thiel said.
The school also has updated security features that force people wanting to enter the building to be cleared by staff before doing so.
“We have a whole series of video cameras in the building and outside the building to monitor what’s happening,” Thiel said. “There is a lot more security than we ever had at our old buildings. They just didn’t consider those things back in (the early 1900s.)”
READ: Urbana City Schools will start school late due to construction
Everyone being in one building is a good change, he said.
“It’s great to be able to say to a 3-year-old that’s going to preschool that you are going to stay in this building until you get to the eighth-grade,” he said. “You will become comfortable in this building.”
Ten monitors will be placed in public areas – one each at the five Champaign County high schools; in the villages of Mechanicsburg, North Lewisburg and St. Paris; Urbana University; and Ohio Hi-Point. The monitors will be installed beginning in late August. Content shown on the monitors will be generated by the CEP.
Urbana University and Ohio Hi-Point Career Center are providing funds to purchase the monitors and associated equipment, while DP&L and FASTLANE are assisting with funding for ongoing media service to broadcast content on the monitors.
CEP Director Marcia Bailey added that Berry Digital Solutions is helping the CEP manage the project and that Weidmann Electrical Technology Inc. funded the original monitor at the CEP.
The purpose, she said, is to inform students and other county residents about local career opportunities and education and training available to prepare students for the workforce “I’m a strong believer in the education-workforce ecosystem. And the CEP is leading the way to organizing education and employers, preparing talent to meet the needs of our employers,” said Christopher Washington, executive vice president and CEO of Urbana University, a branch campus of Franklin University.
The monitors are the ideal way to deliver the information, he adds.
“Kids today are digitally wired and pay attention to what’s on the screen.”
Kelsey Webb, Ohio Hi-Point director of communications and marketing, said, “We’re participating because this is completely in our wheelhouse to prepare students for career or college. We’re excited to help spread the message that there are great opportunities here for students.”
“Clark State is appreciative of the Ohio Department of Higher Education’s further review and analysis of our proposed program,” said Blondin. “The additional time strengthened our application to ODHE. I am grateful for the hard work and leadership of Aimee Belanger-Haas and Clark State faculty to bring this to fruition. Clark State continues to hear from our regional industry partners about their interest in this program and how they hope this program is available to train their workers.”
READ MORE about Clark State's new degree program from The Springfield News-Sun.