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Aurora school officials enthused about new programs

by MIKE LESKO | REPORTER Published: August 10, 2016 1:00 AM
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by Mike lesko | reporter

Aurora -- Superintendent Pat Ciccantelli said there are a few small changes in new districtwide programs as the school year gets ready to begin Aug. 17.

"We are using a software program called AESOP to track our employee leaves and secure substitutes for our staff," he said.

"The state has added a new assessment for high school juniors. Each one will take the ACT this spring. It is free for students. The cost of the test is paid for by the Ohio Department of Education.

"We are continuing to use the one-to-one initiative of Chromebooks for every student in grades 6-12," he added. "This has had a significant impact on learning and will continue to be a great tool and resource for our students."

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Aurora High Principal Paul Milcetich said advanced placement human geography, an upper class elective, is being brought back this year, while advanced placement world history, the high school's first advanced placement offering for freshmen, is being added.

"We always look for course offerings that will help stretch our students in an effort to make sure they are college and career ready as they graduate," he said. "Also, we are searching for opportunities to refine our existing curriculum with the same mission."

He pointed out the high school is in the second year of its technology effort with all students having Chromebooks.

"We'll strive to increase our integration efforts, especially in the area of challenging students to use the technology in conjunction with higher level thinking, to problem solve, create, produce and innovate in a collaborative fashion," he explained.

Milcetich said another goal is to increase student and teacher leadership.

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He said one example is the newly created Student Senate, in which elected class and Student Council officers, along with their teacher advisers, will meet with Assistant Principal Brian Brookhart and Milcetich on a monthly basis to discuss improvement ideas.

AT HARMON School, Principal Mark Abramovich said Nancy Tyrrell is coming back to work with tech coach Stephanie McMichael on teachers' workflow.

"In the media center, [there will be] a Maker Space lab and a reading lab," he said.

At Leighton, Principal Paul Goodwin said the school is moving toward "a more full inclusion model for our special education students, and one of the°academic°focuses in grades 3 and 4°is the reading workshop model."

At Craddock and Miller, Principal Julie Troman said staffers are "always working on ways to improve our instruction for students.

"One thing that we have specifically been working on with our teacher teams this summer is refining our literacy program in order to provide opportunities for students to see, and experience, the integration of reading and writing," she explained.

"Studies show that students that are strong readers, strong writers and vice versa."

Troman said the school hopes to "encourage students to use their strengths and interests to develop the literacy and communication skills they need to be successful future leaders in our community.

"We want them to appreciate the connections between what they read and what they write in a variety of genres, both fiction and non-fiction," she added.

Troman said one change planned at Miller is to update and improve the playground.

"We've been working with a team of teachers to develop a design for a comprehensive play area that includes play structures, team sports fields and imaginative play areas," she said.

"We're very pleased to have the support of our Parent Teacher Organization, our district administration, and local philanthropic groups, such as the Aurora Schools Foundation, to support us in this endeavor."

Email: mlesko@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9400 ext. 4187

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