State superintendent to visit Springfield schools Tuesday

Jadie Welliford, a fourth grader, plays with the electric motor she made as Dr. Amanda King helps another student during one of the breakout sessions at the Springfield City Schools’ STEM program for girls Monday evening. Bill Lackey/Staff

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Jadie Welliford, a fourth grader, plays with the electric motor she made as Dr. Amanda King helps another student during one of the breakout sessions at the Springfield City Schools’ STEM program for girls Monday evening. Bill Lackey/Staff

The Ohio state superintendent will visit Springfield City Schools today to learn more about what the district offers at The Dome and Springfield High School.

Superintendent Paolo DeMaria will get a tour of the Dome’s Career ConnectED center and some of the high school starting at 9:30 a.m. DeMaria heads the Ohio Department of Education and is hired by the state board of education.

He is expected to visit both places until about 11 a.m.

“At the Career ConnectED we want him to see a lot of the programs that we have going on,” Springfield schools spokesman Scott Marshall said. “A lot of it is hands on and those programs help students a lot.”

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The Dome has undergone several renovations in the past two years and now offers students many different learning opportunities. The Career ConnectED is a space at The Dome where Springfield students can be mentored in various career and educational fields, including computer programming, electronics, digital music production, woodworking, welding, industrial design, bike repair, fashion design and more.

Many of the opportunities for Springfield students are made possible by district money and money from Straight A grants from the Ohio Department of Education, Marshall said. DeMaria will get to talk with some of the mentors and directors at Career ConnectED to learn more about how the district is using these tools to promote education.

“We also want to show him how we are helping kids learn how to learn,” Marshall said. “Soft-skills that will help a student in a career or in college.”

DeMaria is coming to Springfield because of a meeting Springfield Superintendent Bob Hill attended in Columbus, district spokeswoman Kim Fish said.

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“(Dr. Hill spoke with) the State Board of Education President, Tess Elshoff, who was aware of many of the great things happening in SCSD, and the fact that the state report cards only focus on test scores and thus don’t fully represent what our students and community experiences,” Fish said. “She suggested this visit so we could highlight some of what isn’t visible on the report cards.”

After DeMaria finishes at The Dome, he will move onto the high school, where he is expected to learn more about the process the Springfield administration is using to explore changing the educational structure at the high school, Marshall said.

Currently, the high school is divided into academies, but the district is looking into doing away with those to help counselors meet the needs of their students. Teachers have met in groups over the past month to discuss how the structure of the high school can best serve students. A final decision from the administration is set to come in early May.

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DeMaria may give some input into the ongoing conversations, Marshall said.

“We will also talk a lot about the various course offerings at the high school,” he said.

Marshall said DeMaria will meet with high school teachers and School Board President Ed Leventhal to talk about some challenges educators face and what can be done at the state level to help.

The state superintendent coming to Springfield is special occurrence, Marshall said, and it doesn’t happen often. He said the district is excited to show DeMaria how it is working to improve local education.


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