Summit Educational Service Center (ESC) welcomed State Superintendent Paolo DeMaria for a roundtable discussion with area superintendents on February 9.
Forty superintendents from Medina, Portage, Summit and Stark counties attended the event.
Prior to the discussion, DeMaria visited Summit ESC’s Newberry preschool site in Cuyahoga Falls.
“All twelve of our preschool program sites recently received a five-star Step Up to Quality rating from the Ohio Department of Education, so it was an honor to have Superintendent DeMaria visit one of our sites,” said N’ecole Ast, Summit ESC’s director of professional development. “Our team was pleased to welcome him and showcase the great work we are doing in the early childhood setting.”
DeMaria observed students participating in the Sit Together and Read (STAR) program provided through a Straight A Grant. Last fall, Summit ESC applied for and received the Straight A grant from the Ohio Department of Education for its reading program through a partnership with The Ohio State University’s research team.
“Paolo expressed genuine interest in the early literacy initiative that our preschool program is participating in,” said Kristin Fazio, Summit ESC’s director of student services. “It was nice to engage him in discussions about the STAR program and how it has helped our students with reading acquisition.”
During the roundtable discussion, DeMaria provided a state update regarding recent and upcoming changes related to the Ohio school district report cards and the state’s preliminary plans to implement the requirements of the federal Every Child Succeeds Act (ESSA). He also listened to local presentations from some of the superintendents in attendance.
“This was a great opportunity for superintendents from across the area to engage and discuss important topics,” said Superintendent Joe Iacano. “I would like to thank Superintendent DeMaria for making the trip to the ESC. We truly appreciate the update and discussion that he led. Our area superintendents were able to take a lot of valuable information back to their districts.”
Additionally, DeMaria engaged the group in a discussion about assessment practice, asking the group to consider current practice and expected outcomes. DeMaria had the opportunity to observe and interact with early learners who are acquiring the foundational skills for their kindergarten through grade 12 experience. There was also discussion regarding ESSA which will be fully implemented in the coming year. DeMaria also mentioned the twenty-five contributing task force members from around the state that will deliver their graduation requirements report by the end of April 2017.
“If there are any questions during this time of transition I encourage educators and community members to contact me directly,” said DeMaria. “The feedback from the field is invaluable to my work at the state level.”