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South Side Education News & Notes

3/20/2014 - South Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

PLCC Board OKs extended contract for superintendent

GREEN — The Portage Lakes Career Center (PLCC) Board of Education approved a new contract for the superintendent and a new administrative and exempt salary schedule during a special meeting March 8.

According to Superintendent Benjamin Moore, the board agreed to give him a five-year contract, effective Aug. 1, 2015, through July 31, 2020.

Moore, who was hired in August 2012, has a three-year contract that expires with the 2014-15 school year.

The administrative and exempt salary schedule approved by the board applies to Moore, as well as the associate principal, principal, community relations coordinator, treasurer, assistant treasurer and administrative assistants to the superintendent, according to Moore.

Moore said in the last contract, they all received a 3 percent annual signing bonus. That brought his salary to $101,000 for this year and $102,940 for the 2014-15 school year. Starting August 2015, he will get a one-time 4.9 percent pay increase, bringing his salary to $108,000, and his salary will be frozen until July 31, 2020, he said.

The others in the administrative and exempt salary group will receive a 3 percent annual signing bonus, according to Moore.

The board met yesterday, March 20, after press time. At that meeting, the board was expected to approve contract extensions for Community Relations Coordinator Krista Haubert and Associate Principal Veronica Baca-Bernel, both from July 1 through June 30, 2017, and Principal Michael Kaschak, from July 1, 2015, through June 30, 2018.

The board next will meet April 17 at 6 p.m. at the PLCC, located at 4401 Shriver Road.


UA co-op, intern programs get $800,000 funding boost from state

DOWNTOWN AKRON — The University of Akron’s (UA) co-op and internship programs have received a $799,286 grant from the Ohio Board of Regents as part of the Ohio Means Internships and Co-ops (OMIC) program.

The award to UA is the third largest of 25 granted statewide, according to UA officials. It will be matched with funds from key industries and other donations to create new or to expand existing applied-experience opportunities for students.

At UA, the grant will be used to provide additional funding to employers offering new co-op positions and to enable small and startup businesses to provide students with co-ops at competitive salaries.

“Co-op experience is key to our students’ success after graduation,” said Deanna Dunn, director of cooperative education and placement, who added that 60 percent of engineering students receive job offers from their co-op employers.

Working hand-in-hand with the UA College of Engineering’s 100-year-old co-op program, which placed more than 900 students in positions in 2013, UA’s Career Center is implementing a placement model that underscores co-op experience for students.

“We’ve had significant movement in job placement, with students taking advantage of relevant learning opportunities,” said Christina Ross, director of UA’s Career Advantage Network, noting that her department has seen a marked influx in student job placement over the past year. “Programs that have been able to implement a formal co-op program within their curriculum will see even more students graduate with jobs.”

The new grant also will allow UA to build interview/Skype/presentation rooms and to hire additional career and co-op staff members. The “infrastructure” enhancement will better help students prepare for and secure co-op and internship positions, according to UA officials.

“We are offering workshops for students, helping them negotiate job offers, giving them insight into what the job market looks like and, most importantly, facilitating opportunities for experience outside of the classroom,” said Ross.

The new funding follows a $932,571 grant UA received in 2012 for expansion of internship and co-op programs.


Summit County tests new poverty curriculum

DOWNTOWN AKRON — The Akron area was the first to complete field testing of new curriculum for the Bridges Out of Poverty program, according to United Way of Summit County (UWSC) officials.

Summit County was the first community asked by creator Ruby Payne to field test the new curriculum, “How Much of Yourself Do You Own?,” making it one of only two communities in the country involved in the test, and the only community to test across multiple sites.

The pilot builds on the established Bridges “Getting Ahead” curriculum that provides opportunities for motivated people living in poverty to develop plans for their futures. The new material helps participants learn how to build emotional resources as part of their pathway out of poverty, according to UWSC officials.

“Summit County is a community where creativity, collaboration and innovation are plentiful and made us a perfect community to field test the new curriculum,” said Nichole Booker, UWSC’s senior director of collective impact. “This new emotional piece is a critical addition to the existing foundation of Getting Ahead. Addressing the complex issues of moving out of poverty is required to provide a more holistic avenue for participants to create positive future stories for themselves and their children.”

More than 550 individuals in Summit County have graduated from “Getting Ahead” to date. Of these graduates, 22 have completed the “How Much of Yourself Do You Own?” curriculum through five classes at four field testing sites: Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority, Harvest Home, the Ohio Means Jobs Center in Summit County and OPEN M.

The new material received positive feedback from participants and facilitators, according to UWSC officials. The Summit County field-testing team highly recommended “How Much of Yourself Do You Own?” to Payne, with some minor adjustments, as an appropriate and critical next step following the “Getting Ahead” work sessions.

To read the report and executive summary, go to uwsummit.org.


Kathleen Folkerth, Stephanie Kist and Maria Lindsay contributed to these reports.

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