breaking news

Clark County continue massive clean up of new park, gorge

State: STEM students eligible for extracurriculars

Some Clark County schools had questions about sports and transportation.


Students who enroll in the new Global Impact STEM Academy can participate in extracurricular activities in their home districts, the state superintendent said, a decision that came after reports that some Clark County districts wouldn’t allow it.

Northwestern Local Schools Superintendent Tony Orr said he wasn’t opposed to extracurricular participation by his district’s students who attend the new agricultural bioscience school, but he wanted clarification before deciding how to proceed.

Districts got that clarification in the form of a letter from Ohio Superintendent of Public Instruction Richard A. Ross.

He cited state law in addressing the issue with Global Impact and county district officials, saying that it requires home districts to offer opportunities to participate in extracurricular activities such as sports.

“After an examination of that, and also just discussion with legal counsel, certainly we want to provide what the law allows,” Orr said. “Any students that decide to, if there’s something that is educationally-beneficial that attracts them to GISA, we’ll certainly allow them the opportunity to participate in our extracurriculars.”

But defining what those extracurricular activities are is more complicated, Orr said.

“For example, marching band is not an extracurricular. It is a curricular subject that gets a grade. But playing soccer is an extracurricular,” he said.

Some districts did not initially want to provide transportation for their students who planned to attend Global Impact, but officials said those issues have been worked out.

Ohio law requires public districts to transport high school students within a county to a STEM school if it provides transportation to its own high schools, according to John Charlton, spokesman for the Ohio Department of Education.

The clarification of law for STEM schools isn’t new, said Global Impact Director Josh Jennings.

“Dayton Regional (STEM School), they had to seek out clarification when they started STEM schools,” he said.

“To be fair, this is new for (Clark County districts), too. So they’re trying to figure out how it looks for them, and I can appreciate and respect that. I just want to have a dialogue together so we can do what’s best for kids,” Jennings said.

The governing board recently hired the final four members of its staff last week, according to Janice Welsheimer, chief operating officer of Wilt PR, the Springfield firm handling Global Impact’s public relations.

Those new staff members are, according to Jennings:

• Social studies instructor Jamie Lesesky, who comes from the Tri-Rivers Educational Computer Association, an Ohio-based education resources consortium.

• Language arts instructor Michael Payne, who is on his first teaching assignment and was recommended by Wright State University.

• Mathematics instructor Matt Ehlinger from Tecumseh Local Schools.

• Student services coordinator and intervention specialist Jamison Truebenbach from Southeastern Local Schools.

Its consultant, who started in May, is Jill Pfister, assistant dean of the College of Food, Ag and Environmental Science from The Ohio State University.

It previously hired science instructor Rachel Sanders from Springfield City Schools and Kathy Kohlbacher as its administrative assistant.

It also had received 34 applications from potential freshmen as of last Monday, Welsheimer said.

Officials now believe they will at least hit the 50-student enrollment mark by the time the school opens in August through planned recruitment events in Clark, Champaign and Greene counties.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Community News

4-year-old accidentally shoots, kills himself with gun, father charged
4-year-old accidentally shoots, kills himself with gun, father charged

A four-year-old boy is dead after accidentally shooting and killing himself Saturday at a residence in Memphis, Tenn. The child’s father is facing a number of charges, including reckless homicide. Police said the incident happened around 6:30 p.m. on the city’s southeast side. When police arrived, they found the child on a walkway, according...
Great American Eclipse: More clearing than clouds
Great American Eclipse: More clearing than clouds

Monday is the Great American Eclipse, and all eyes are on the forecast.  The good news, it looks like we'll have a pretty good chance to see the eclipse, according to Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Brett Collar. We'll see daytime clouds develop during the heating of the day. These clouds will pass overhead at times, but there will be gaps between...
Clark County continue massive clean up of new park, gorge
Clark County continue massive clean up of new park, gorge

A recently developed park and nature preserve will get a visit next month from an organization devoted to showing visitors how to enjoy nature while leaving the area in pristine condition. From Sept. 25 to Oct. 1, Leave No Trace will host activities at the Mad River Gorge and Nature Preserve. The Clark County Park District won a roughly $800,000 grant...
Solar eclipse 2017: If you can’t get glasses, here’s what to do to watch Monday’s eclipse
Solar eclipse 2017: If you can’t get glasses, here’s what to do to watch Monday’s eclipse

If you have not gotten a pair of glasses to view Monday’s solar eclipse, you are not alone.Retail stores and online outlets across the country have reported that supplies are low or nonexistent in the hours before the 2017 solar eclipse.If you haven’t secured a pair, there are a few things you can do to safely watch the eclipse.Here are...
Mar-a-Lago dumped, more event cancellations after Trump’s Charlottesville remarks
Mar-a-Lago dumped, more event cancellations after Trump’s Charlottesville remarks

The Preservation Foundation of Palm Beach and an ovarian cancer group are the latest nonprofits to cancel charity events at President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club. The Preservation Foundation, which celebrates and protects the architectural and cultural heritage of Palm Beach, planned to host a dance in March at the club, which has long...
More Stories