Aligning the city schools plan with state standards


By Amanda Tonoli

atonoli@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

Youngstown City Schools CEO Krish Mohip is tightening his strategic plan to align with state standards for instruction.

The district’s Academic Distress Commission performed a detailed review of Mohip’s strategic plan Friday to see where the district stands currently in the plan.

New goals of the strategic plan are to “describe and apply components of [state] standard-based planning” and to support teachers so they can do so, and to design “standards-based lessons.”

In June, an Ohio Department of Education review of Youngstown City Schools revealed instruction may not be in line with state standards.

“I really agree that we have to get the standards curriculum instruction and assessment right,” said John Richard, Youngstown Academic Distress Commission interim chairman, at the June meeting. “It’s not being dealt with at the classroom level.”

The review listed the following challenge: the selection of “instructional resources not aligned to Ohio’s Learning Standards” and support systems not fully implemented.

“This is a key component of what we will be doing moving forward because I think that was the piece that was essentially missing from what we had been doing in the past,” said Roxanne Lawson, deputy chief of transformation at Harding and McGuffey elementaries, at the Friday morning work session.

Mohip continued that the importance of grade-level release days – days of early release for students in certain grade levels – is to get the teachers the professional development necessary to do this.

“You’re bringing all of your kindergarten teachers, all of your eighth-grade teachers together at one time to make sure that they know these standards. Then you go in and create common understandings,” he said. “That also allows teachers to come together and do some collaborative scoring.”

“It sounds like you’re taking a thorough and thoughtful approach to this,” Richard said at the Friday meeting.

Richard added he would like to have teachers give updates at future YADC meetings as to how this is working in real time.

On the student side, students are tracked on a monthly basis through iStation, said Tim Filipovich, district chief of accountability and assessment.

“We are ensuring students become self-regulated learners we want them to be,” Lawson said.

Overall, Richard said he is encouraged by what he’s seeing of Mohip and the district.

“I applaud you for where you’re at,” he said. “You seem to have a thoughtful approach.”

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