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West Side Education News & Notes

5/8/2014 - West Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

Case entering IB candidacy phase

WEST AKRON — Jen Victor, intervention specialist for Case Elementary School, said the school, located in the Akron Public Schools District (APS), has learned its application to enter the candidacy phase of the International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Programme (PYP) has been accepted.

At the April 28 APS Board of Education meeting, district officials said Case, along with Litchfield Middle School, had applied to be accepted into the IB program. The APS’ Firestone High School is the only Akron-area school with an IB program.

Victor said the candidacy phase is expected to last about two years, but students at Case will begin benefitting from the IB program Sept. 1, when the program will begin to be implemented. The IB organization will work with the school to see that implementation is carried out properly, said Victor.

The PYP is a curriculum framework designed for students ages 3 to 12, according to the IB organization’s website. It focuses on the development of the whole child as an inquirer, both in the classroom and in the world outside. It is defined by six transdisciplinary themes of global significance, explored using knowledge and skills derived from six subject areas, with an emphasis on inquiry-based learning.

The IB works in four areas: development of curriculum; assessment of students; training and professional development of teachers; and authorization and evaluation of schools, according to the IB organization’s website.

At the elementary level, the IB program is for all students at the school, not just for select students in the building, said Victor.

“That’s part of what’s so exciting is that it’s an opportunity to let every child in our community take part in the program,” she said.

Many teachers at Case have already participated in IB training, including 12 who have already completed a six-week class, she added.

More extensive training for school staff is forthcoming, and the amount of the support that is available through the IB organization is outstanding, said Victor.

According to the IB website, the primary program has been fully implemented in just nine other Ohio schools, with several others in the candidacy phase.


Highland district eliminating athletic director position

GRANGER — The Highland Local Schools Board of Education held a special meeting May 5 concerning various employment matters.

The board agreed to abolish the athletic director position effective July 31 in order to reorganize, consolidate and realign administrative functions to better meet the organizational needs and educational goals of the district, according to Dawn Marzano, director of communications for the district. She said the district’s intention is to create an assistant principal position at Highland High School who will assume both greater instructional responsibilities and athletic duties. The board hopes to post for the position soon, she said.

Marzano said current Athletic Director Curt Johansen will have an opportunity to apply for the newly created position if he so chooses.

Also during the meeting, the board hired an intervention specialist for the 2014-15 school year and three high school coaches for the 2013-2014 school year, as the coaches had their public activity certification approved.

The next school board meeting is set for May 19 at 7 p.m. in the Media Center at Highland High School, 4150 Ridge Road.


Awards presented in Holocaust Arts, Writing contest

DOWNTOWN AKRON — The city of Akron’s Holocaust Awards and Commemoration took place April 29 at the Akron-Summit County Main Library. Holocaust Arts and Writing Contest winners from West Side Leader area schools include:

  • Division I, Art Category, second place, Jerry Nusbaum, The Lippman School;
  • Division I, Art Category, third place, Tzvi Kogan, Lippman;
  • Division I, Art Category, fourth place, Holly Trommer, Lippman, and August Slawienski, Miller South School for the Visual and Performing Arts;
  • Division II, Art Category, second place, AnnMarie Costigan, St. Vincent-St. Mary High School;
  • Division II, Art Category, third place, Ellen Lauterjung, Archbishop Hoban High School;
  • Division II, Art Category, fourth place, Katherine Vanke, Hoban;
  • Division I, Multimedia Category, first place, Gabriel Sharrock, Lippman, and Seth Chestnut, Lippman;
  • Division I, Multimedia Category, second place, Ayaka Coffman, Miller South, and Meredith Gallagher, Miller South;
  • Division I, Multimedia Category, fourth place, Elia Meltzer, Lippman;
  • Division I, Writing Category, first place, Caleb Mitchell, Miller South;
  • Division I, Writing Category, fourth place, Oscar Laasko, Miller South; and
  • Division II, Writing category, second place, Sarah Weeks, Copley High School.


Project GRAD Akron seeking nominations for Buchtel Alumni Awards

WEST AKRON — Project GRAD Akron is seeking nominations for its Buchtel Alumni Awards, which will be presented at its Eighth Achieving Dreams Celebration Oct. 2 at St. George’s Fellowship Center in Copley.

At the event, the organization will honor selected alumni of Buchtel High School with the following awards: Young Alumni, Distinguished Service to Humanity, Lifetime Achievement and Buchtel Alumni Memorial. The purpose of the awards is to recognize graduates of Buchtel High School whose achievements, strength of character and citizenship serve as a model to inspire and challenge today’s youth, according to Project GRAD Akron officials.

The Young Alumni award is designed to recognize graduates who have:

  • shown substantial commitment to the service of others;
  • demonstrated the potential for leadership/distinction in the longterm; and
  • strived to establish themselves in their chosen field.

A young alumnus is defined as someone who is younger than 40 as of Oct. 1 of each year, according to Project GRAD Akron officials.

According to Project GRAD Akron officials, the Distinguished Service to Humanity award recognizes the graduate who is or has made a notable contribution to the betterment of humanity and is engaged in perpetuating or advancing knowledge. This person’s efforts should demonstrate positive influences in areas that promote volunteerism, community service, philanthropy, teaching, research, social service, ministry or world understanding. This award is given in recognition of one who is making a difference in the lives of a few or one who is tackling a problem that has far-reaching results for all humanity without regard to financial reward, according to Project GRAD Akron officials.

The Lifetime Achievement award is intended for the more mature graduate and honors an individual who has notable accomplishments in his or her professional field, has been of service to others and, in doing so, has brought recognition and honor to Buchtel High School, according to Project GRAD Akron officials. This well-accomplished graduate also should have a deep involvement in his or her community or charitable special interests. Candidates for this award should have graduated 30 or more years ago using the most recent graduate year as the starting point.

According to Project GRAD Akron officials, the Buchtel Alumni Memorial award is intended to recognize a deceased graduate who made a notable contribution to the betterment of humanity or whose accomplishments in his or her professional field has been of service to others, and, in doing so, has brought recognition and honor to Buchtel High School.

Nomination forms are available by contacting Project GRAD Akron at 330-761-3113 or info@projectgradakron.org. The nomination deadline is May 30.


Ariel Hakim, Stephanie Kist and Scott Kriska contributed to these reports.

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