Application Area E

In Application Area E, ODE is focusing on improving student achievement in the 79 persistently low-achieving schools in Ohio. View updates for this application area below.


Technical Assistance
In January and February 2014, Transformation Specialists provided regional technical assistance to both SIG funded and Non-SIG funded priority schools.  The information was developed and provided based on a survey conducted of the principal’s needs.

State Support Teams and members of the Urban eight are meeting with the assigned Transformation Specialists to align the work and develop common understandings for quarter 3 monitoring and evidence to be posted.

International Education
The International Studies School is adapting to teacher tasks and has had good results.  These tasks are aligned to a rubric created by Asia Society and schools are expected to do or meet certain expectations over time-units, subject area planning or trips to international spots or conferences. They are changing the culture of the school to be oriented towards interdisciplinary/international perspectives.  A good example of deep implementation of the International Studies task work is present at Oakhill School in Cincinnati, Ohio.

The turnaround leader program is now complete.  The Ohio Department of Education and the Transformation Specialists are still supporting leadership program initiatives. They are focusing on the Transformation Specialists coaching with the Ohio Improvement Process (OIP) with the districts.  Aligning the initiatives with ODE and making sure everyone is on the same page.

We have now achieved community school support within the Turnaround Schools.  We are working in partnership with several organizations that are providing support.

Miami University, Parents for Public Schools and the Ohio State University are all participants.  OSU and Parents for Public Schools are conducting the trainings and surveys for parents.  Miami University takes the survey results and training and does the evaluations.

 Transformation Specialists
Districts can use carry over funds to support the school’s transformation model work for up to five years.  All non-SIG funded schools will have the support as long as they are on the list.  If a priority school is non-SIG funded they received $70,000.00 in Title funds.  These funds are to support the reform model the school selected.  All focus schools get $55,000.00 a year from funding.  Those schools are served by the state support team in their region.

Urban and Linkage Coordinators
Urban and Linkage Coordinators are assigned to schools to work with at risk students to help them graduate.  Kent State University is currently doing a follow up of this and evaluating the program.

Closing the Achievement Gap (CTAG)
The Annual Student Conferences included in CTAG was extended to students attending career-technical education programs in largely rural areas on September 17, 2013.

Ohio’s rural and Appalachian districts experience many of the same challenges related to closing achievement gaps as Ohio’s urban districts.

Science, Technology, Engineering, Math (STEM)
The sub-criteria to Application E will be extending the STEM school support.

The  achievement data on the 21 persistently lowest achieving schools that were engaging in STEM methodology showed significant and positive scores coming back from this work.  There will be another round of the STEM leadership academy. The first round produced a great turnout and it is evident that many schools are interested in doing STEM.

As a result of this interest, a second STEM cohort will be held.

Professional Development and advice is provided for transitioning into school culture for STEM sites.  There has been much growth in this area.

Steering Committee
The Steering Committee is tasked to oversee and give recommendations to Application E and application areas.

Scott Hoshor-Johnson wants to review who will be in attendance and make this an effective meeting.  The meeting will be scheduled for March 2014 and will include a reporting out from all application areas.


Ohio Innovation Zone Leadership Summit
The Ohio Network for Education Transformation (ONET) hosted its spring Innovation Zone Leadership Summit on May 2.  Thirty-five representatives from RttT innovative grant recipient schools participated in seminars and work sessions designed to inform and impel sustainability planning for innovative projects after RTTT funding ends. Sessions included an overview of essential sustainability concepts as well as tools and resources to guide sustainability planning at the building and district level.  As a result of summit activities and interaction with other grant recipients participants gained an enhanced understanding of the importance of sustainability planning and identified action steps for:

    1. Building and executing an effective communication plan
    2. Seeking and securing potential new funding sources and strategies for redistributing existing resources
    3. Communicating a compelling vision for their innovative project

RttT Innovative Grant Recipient Earns National Recognition  
STEM Innovative Grant recipient Kenston High School was recently named a 2013 National Green  Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education. The high school was honored for its exemplary efforts to reduce environmental impact and utility costs, promote better health, and ensure effective environmental education, including green STEM career pathways. Kenston is one of only 64 schools in the country to receive this award and the only school in Ohio.

Ohio Innovative Learning Environments Conference
The 4th annual Ohio Innovative Learning Environments Conference presented by the Ohio Network for Education Transformation, Ohio Department of Education, Ohio STEM Learning Network, the ESC of Central Ohio, and Hilliard City Schools is scheduled for July 29-August 2 at Bradley High School in Hilliard, Ohio.  In addition to multiple breakout sessions highlighting innovative instruction and assessment practices, featured keynote speakers for each day include:

Monday, July 29, 2013           Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach

Tuesday, July 30, 2013           Richard Cash, Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach

Wednesday, July 31, 2013     Sue Brookhart, Julie Mathiesen

Thursday, August 1, 2013      Nancy Frey, Rick Wormeli

Friday, August 2, 2013           Ben Williams

For more information or to register, go to


Early Warning

  • Early warning schools that are now Non-SIG Funded Priority schools continue to participate in training to select a turnaround model according to ESEA Flexibility Intervention Plans.
  • Schools that are in Focus or School Improvement categories continue to receive different interventions and are supported by the State System of Support team staff.
  • Cohort 1 SIG schools:  These schools had their follow-up Diagnostic Review this year and received data-only scores.  With the support of Transformation Specialists, State System of Support Staff and school/district-level commitment to improvement, the data demonstrated a growth of implementation for best practices in adult behaviors with little over one year of implementation.  Progress!!

Cultural Competency

My Voice

  • The work in the (6) Demonstration Sites, including the one-year RttT funded Youngstown City Schools, is on target and progressing well.  On April 9th, through a SKYPE call, the Student Aspiration Teams in the (6) Demonstration Sites met and shared ideas, accomplishments and barriers in their respective schools.  The building and district administrative teams in the Demonstration Sites are showing a commitment to this work.
  • RttT Mini Grant site visits and monitoring are also being conducted.  During one site visit, the staff and student Aspiration teams (middle and high) in Marion City Schools met together on April 19th to review the student survey data to determine next steps and plan activities for improvement based on student feedback.  In the same week, the entire central office and building administrative team in Springfield City Schools met to review staff survey results to determine areas of improvement.

Culturally Relevant Pedagogy/Diversity

  • Several of the cultural competency-strand presenters at the November 2012 Annual Education Conference have been invited by various LEAs to provide local professional development.    While some of the LEAs are using RttT mini grant funds to support this work, others have used local LEAs funds to demonstrate a commitment in this area. Site visits are schedule for the rest of this year and planned for August LEA retreats.
  • Collaborative work continues with the Office of Exceptional Children to address cultural competency at the Annual Special Education Leadership Conference; we are in the process of securing the keynote presenter for the October conference.
  • For greater sustainability and collaboration, the RttT cultural competency work is being connected to the State Board approved Diversity Strategies for Successful Schools Policy.  Collaborative brainstorming has occurred with Sue Zake and Sasheen Phillips to maximize professional development activities.  Web resources are also being considered so this work will continue beyond RttT funding.
  • Continued collaboration with the RttT Office is anticipated for the next annual conference to include a cultural competency strand.


  • The Linkage Coordinators and program directors in the CTAG LEAs have expressed appreciation for the new and improved management of the “CTAG” work.  They indicate the changes have allowed greater discretion, with accountability, to design and implement programs and services in response to the needs of their students and staff.
  • Feedback from site visits to the CTAG LEAs has informed professional development and training needs to support the Linkage Coordinators in the areas of interventions, strategic partnerships and data collection to support effective program implementation.  Sessions are planned for the spring and summer to continue our goal of building local capacity, program “ownership” and sustainability for the CTAG programs.
  • The next meeting is Tuesday, April 30th at the Central Ohio ESC.  Data collection and evaluation are key topics on the agenda and will include a presentation by an evaluator from Kent State University which works closely with the CTAG program in Akron Public Schools.  The Linkage Coordinators serve as our “taskforce” to help identify effective strategies in closing gaps; accordingly, several CTAG sites will present their work at this meeting.  Finally, we will spend time discussing sustainability by focusing on the connections of the CTAG-work with current school improvement work and planning using the School Improvement Diagnostic Review (SIDR).
  • The provider for the annual student conference in each CTAG LEA has been selected, R.E.A.C.H. Communications, a local minority owned business.  Topics will cover 21 century skills/social skills; student participants will develop personal action plans for academic and pro social success.  The provider also offers professional development for the staff serving students so the student action plans presented at the conference are sustained and implemented.  We will work with the provider to ensure this professional development is available to the Linkage Coordinators.
  • Staff in the CTGA programs have presented at RttT events to share their work and progress.  Regular email updates are sent to the CTAG LEAs, including those that are implementing programs not funded/included in their RttT LEA SOW.  These LEAs are also invited to participate and present at meetings.


Turning Around the Lowest Achieving Schools – With schools in Cohort 1 of the School Improvement Grant it is the third and final year of implementation of the chosen reform model. Schools in Cohort 2 continue to implement and monitor student achievement progress with the weekly assistance of the Transformation Specialist assigned to the school. The Office of School Turnaround provided technical assistance on November 1, 2012 at Ohio’s Annual Statewide Education Conference.  All SIG principals and school leadership team members attended sessions to discuss best practices, explain successes to date and review second quarter monitoring topics for the December visits.  The Office of Family and Community Support, along with their RttT partners, presented the learning supports resources available to all SIG principals and leadership teams. Teams received an overview of the parent leadership training through Parents for Public Schools and community supports coaching resources available through The Ohio State University.

The ONET Advisory Board met on October 11, 2012 to review ONET goals and accomplishments from the 2011- 2012 school year.  All innovative grants were discussed in relation to rubric scores related to the fidelity of implementation of the innovation model and areas of growth and improvement during the 2012-2013 school year.

Cohort 4 of the Executive Principals Leadership Academy began in November 2012 with 50 principals and assistant principals attending the 2-day sessions at The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business. Topics discussed included: School Turnaround Leadership research, strategies, and implementation, leadership and ensuring effective instruction, ongoing monitoring of student learning, school branding and climate changes, and developing and sustaining trust with all. A Theory of Action was completed by the leadership team for the evaluation of the Executive Principals leadership Academy Program by the University of SUNY at Albany.


RttT Extending Community Supports Timelines

Nonacademic Barriers to Learning: Professional Development and Coaching (Download PDF)

Pathways to Parent Leadership Training (Download PDF)


SIG Renewal Process

Cohort 1 and Cohort 2 schools are in the process of submitting either an amendment application or a continuation application for SIG funding for the 2012-13 school year. Applications are due in the CCIP by 5 PM on May 11, 2012.

Amended Applications will be submitted by schools indicating a need to make a significant change in the current SIG intervention model. The amended applications will be read and scored by peer reviewers and scored using a six-point scaled rubric.  (May 22, 2012 Grant read)

Continuation applications will be submitted by all schools seeking to be funded for year 3 (cohort 1) and year 2 (cohort 2). The continuation applications will be reviewed using quality indicators as identified for all schools.

In addition, a comprehensive review process will be conducted to answer the following essential questions.

  1. Did the building spend the SIG funds as indicted in the narrative summary or was a revision sought and approved prior to spending the funds?
  2. Did the building meet or increase the student achievement goals identified in Reading and Math?
  3. Was each component of the selected intervention model implemented with fidelity?
  4. Degree of progress made on each of the leading indicators (SIG guidance H 27).

In order to answer each of the four essential questions a comprehensive review of the following will be completed for each SIG school:

  1. Fiscal review of payroll/personnel, purchased services and capital outlay (May 1-4)
  2. Review of documentation of implementation of the components of the selected intervention model (May 15-18)
  3. Review of progress made on each of the leading indicators (May 24 and 25)
  4. Review of Achievement Goals Reading and Math ( August 2012)

June 11, 2012 – Best Practices for School  Turnaround Conference

The conference is required for SIG Building principals and selected Building Leadership Team members as well as Principals of Early Warning Schools.

Executive Principals Leadership Academy

Cohort 3 – Last session on June 26 and 27

Cohort 4- This session if for all new SIG principals and assistant principals who have not yet completed the academy as well as any Principals of early warning schools who have not yet completed the academy.

October 10 & 11, 2012 – The Blackwell

November 12 – 16(TBD), 2012–(TBD)

December 6 & 7, 2012– The Blackwell

January 8 & 9, 2013– The Blackwell



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