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Toledo City Schools: Giving students a voice
On May 7, I visited a special meeting of the Toledo City Schools Board of Education. It was an important event for the district, featuring a panel of high school students who had an opportunity to speak about their life experiences and what they and their fellow classmates are most concerned about.

Nine students sat on the panel related to the district’s March For Our Lives Platform, and each gave a short statement pertaining to one of three main topics: mental health, violence in the school and community and graduation rates.
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Teen outreach program is helping Northwest Ohio teens develop into student leaders
As the Toledo City Schools (TPS) Board of Education embarks on a bold new student voice initiative, an important partner in that work is the Northwest Ohio YWCA Wyman Teen Outreach Program (TOP).

Through the efforts of the YWCA’s youth development director, Penny Tullis, area at-risk teens are given an opportunity to connect with their peers and community in a positive way. Through TOP, a student-led March for Our Lives Platform served as the impetuous for a student panel that addressed a May 7 Toledo City board meeting, which made public the plans to move forward with a districtwide student voice initiative.
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Statehouse hot topics: Bullying and suspension
The Ohio General Assembly delivered to Gov. John Kasich a proposal that requires a study of academic distress commissions. Contained in Senate Bill (SB) 216, the provision requires the superintendent of public instruction to review all policies and procedures of the commissions and to prepare a report of the findings by May 1, 2019.
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Capital Conference Sessions
Urban Schools Learning Track

Monday, Nov. 12

  • Common and difficult FERPA issues answered — B 131, 9 a.m.
  • Get 2 School student attendance campaign — A 223-225, 9 a.m.
  • Expanding ECE options in urban districts — B 130, 4 p.m.

Tuesday, Nov. 13

  • Systems for success in student services — A 114-115, 8 a.m. 
  • OSBA Urban Solution Room — mental health in schools — B 233-235, 8:30 a.m.
  • Conflict resolution for board members — A 123-125, 11 a.m.
  • Mid-sized urban district collaborative — A 213-215, 1 p.m.
  • School/health collaboration — the future — B 130, 1 p.m.
  • Pros and cons of school bus tracking apps — B 131, 2:30 p.m.

USDAN summer meeting

Mark your calendars for 10 a.m. to 2 pm., Wednesday, July 18. We will meet in the OSBA Board Room at 8050 North High St., Columbus, for learning and sharing. The meeting’s focus is teen voice and engagement in your schools. 

Will Schwartz
, OSBA lobbyist will provide a midyear update on legislative activity. This is always a good time for Q&A and discussion.

Penny Tullis, Northwest Ohio YWCA youth development director, and Chelsea Varnum, Columbus Public Health’s Teen Outreach Program coordinator, will share insight into the national Wyman Teen Outreach Program and how they are using it to connect with at-risk teens in Lucas and Franklin counties. This is a well-defined curriculum designed to be replicated throughout the country.

Chris Varwig and Stephanie Eichenberg, board members, Toledo City, will outline their current and future plans for a dynamic student voice program throughout their high schools. 

As always, the meeting will feature a great opportunity to network and learn with fellow board members and administrators from our urban districts. We also will feed you while you are with us. If you plan on attending, please RSVP with Judy Morgan at jmorgan@ohioschoolboards.org

OSBA Urban Solution Room — mental health in schools

Student mental health and support is a critical issue for our urban school districts. The OSBA Urban Network and National Alliance on Mental Illness will sponsor a 2018 OSBA Capital Conference Spotlight Session at 8:30 a.m., Tuesday, Nov. 13. It will give district leaders the opportunity to engage in a discussion with mental health experts, parents and individuals diagnosed with mental illness about the issues facing our schools and strategies for expanding mental health support. Learn more about the Capital Conference and Trade Show at conference.ohioschoolboards.org


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