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City school plan given to state

YOUNGSTOWN — The Youngstown City Schools Board of Education submitted the first draft of its Academic Improvement Plan to Paolo DeMaria, superintendent of public instruction, for review and possible approval on Thursday.

The AIP is the first step required by the three districts under state control that needs to be completed to move to local control. The state superintendent will review submitted plans, make suggestions of how to strengthen them and return them to the districts.

Districts under state control include East Cleveland, Lorain and Youngstown.

Final plans are required to be approved by the state superintendent by Sept. 30.

Youngstown School Board President Ronald Shadd said the board, working with Youngstown Schools CEO Justin Jennings’ administration, the Youngstown Education Association and other stakeholders have been working on the AIP since July.

“All of the stakeholders have had the opportunity to provide input in what we’ve submitted,” Shadd said. “We requested if the state wants any changes to be made in what we’ve submitted to get the information back to us as soon as possible.”

The state could accept the AIP as it has been submitted as the final plan and not send it back to Youngstown for revisions, suggested Shadd.

Basic framework of the AIP was based on the strategic plan developed by the administration and approved by the Academic Distress Commission.

The plan notes that effective teaching and learning is the foundation for improving academic growth and achievement. Its strategies include the evidence-based instructional frameworks used and appropriate teacher professional growth activities, including coaching.

The plan will have the district partnering with outside organizations to provide opportunities. It will work with existing programs focusing on academics established by United Way, Youngstown State University and others.

The district is adopting ambitious benchmarks that wilt challenge it to demonstrate academic improvement that tasks adult to improve behavior, systems, climate and cultures in school buildings.

While ambitious, the district’s academic plan is believed to be realistic, according to Shadd.

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