November 16, 2017
Data Collection, Goal Setting, Snow Days And An Open Invitation Into Our Schools
BY DR. TODD CRAMER | Superintendent Maumee City Schools — I would like to begin by thanking the entire community for your support of “We Are Maumee” Week as declared by Mayor Carr during the last week of October. It was impressive to see so many signs in shop windows and yards as visitors came across the bridge into uptown Maumee. As you know, the bell returned home on October 27. It is repainted purple and gold, signed by the 2017 football team and on display for all to see. Thank you for showing your spirit and supporting our students! Data Collection & Goal Setting Each year around this time, we engage in a data collection designed to provide critical feedback as we move the district forward. In the coming month, we will distribute parent and student surveys, as well as administer assessments designed to provide us with important academic data. This survey and assessment data is reviewed and interpreted at both the district and building level. We use this information as we reflect upon our strategic plans and determine progress toward meeting established and measurable goals. I am proud of Maumee City Schools staff, students and the community for embracing the strategic planning process and look forward to our data review in early December. Is There School Today? While recently visiting in a classroom, a student asked me, “Are we going to have school tomorrow?” after which she informed me it would be cold and I should consider canceling classes. Since it appears winter has arrived, I want to take a minute to let you know the process the district uses to determine whether or not we will delay or cancel classes. The night before an expected storm, our director of transportation and I typically discuss a plan of action for the next morning. This includes what time we will start driving roads to monitor improving or worsening conditions. On a typical bad-weather morning, the process begins about 5:30 a.m. We drive primary roads first and then test secondary roads and side streets. While we strive to make a decision as early as possible, given that the district is only 9 square miles in size and the first bus typically leaves the bus compound at 6:35 a.m., we take the necessary time to ensure our road condition assessment is as accurate as possible before we make a final decision. If we decide to delay or cancel classes, we always post the information on Twitter and Facebook, and we send voice and text alerts to families and staff via our alert system. Simultaneously, we contact the news media with our decision. While we are often aware of other districts’ decisions, we always make our decision based on what we feel is best for Maumee schools. Open Invitation To Visit Our Schools: Become A “Panther For A Day” I want to extend an open invitation to visit our schools. I make this invitation to families considering Maumee as your future home and to those who have made another school choice for their children but wish to explore your public school option. I welcome you to come in and witness firsthand how we are providing a 21st-century learning experience for students and enhancing their lives with positive support systems, college and career experiences, clubs/activities, athletics and community service opportunities. We offer our “Panther for a Day” program that welcomes students of all ages to spend time with us and shadow a student and attend classes, meet other students, share a lunch and learn about all that we offer. I can assure parents that Maumee staff members are student-focused, caring, hardworking professionals dedicated to the success of all students. I make it a practice to visit every classroom in a school year and, having made more than 100 visits since August, I can assure you that incredible things are happening district-wide. For more information about Maumee’s “Panther for a Day” program, to schedule a student or parent visit, or to just ask questions, please reach out to me at (419) 893-3200 and I will connect you with the staff member who will assist with making arrangements for you and/or your child.
September 20, 2017
Maumee City Schools Making Continual Growth & Progress
BY DR. TODD CRAMER | Superintendent Maumee City Schools — Maumee City Schools continues to demonstrate tremendous growth and progress and we are very proud of our academic and extracurricular strides. As the state of Ohio continues to make accountability standards more and more rigorous for school districts across the state, Maumee continues to implement our strategic plan; putting students first, engaging in continuous improvement processes and emphasizing our focus on maximizing the potential of every student each and every day. Highlights of this work include: • 21 perfect scores on the most recent Ohio assessments. • MHS student accepted to West Point. • Average increase of over 6 percent in state assessment scores. • Increased collaboration and sharing of effective practices both within the district and with more than 100 guests last school year. • More than 200 students participated in our grant-funded interactive summer camp sessions. • Established partnerships with local businesses. • High school students earned more than 450 college semester hours through our College Credit Plus program. • Maumee Athletic Boosters have already hosted over 1,500 guests at various events. • Athletic teams are featured on BCSN this fall and into winter and spring. Communicating With the Community – Next Coffee Chat Is on Friday, September 29. I recently had the opportunity to talk with a group of Maumee High School students and facilitate a discussion that reminded me of the importance of continuing to find more and different ways to effectively communicate with our community, students and staff. If you are someone who prefers face-to-face communication, please know I am always open to meeting in our offices or at a location out in the community. I will continue to hold coffee chats throughout the school year and the next chat will be on Friday, September 29 from 7:00 to 8:30 a.m. at Biggby Coffee on Dussel Drive. Communicating With the Community – Digital Media Complements Direct Mailings. If you prefer digital communication, we just launched a school district app. It can be found in the Google Playstore or Apple App store by searching for “Maumee City Schools.” If you want your information from social media, we consistently update our website, Twitter and Facebook accounts and we will continue to direct-mail our district newsletters and Quality Profile to Maumee City Schools households. Communicating With the Community – Maumee’s New Quality Profile. Since it is one of our newer communication pieces, I hope you received and enjoyed our Quality Profile that arrived in the mail last week. The Quality Profile is designed to be a companion piece to Ohio’s local report card, highlighting accountability measures that define a high-quality education, but are not captured on the state report card. While having a state-issued report card has value, results from tests students take once in a school year hardly capture a full picture of the work a school district does, the programs it offers and the supports in place to help each student succeed, regardless of background, limitations, abilities and desires for their post-high school future. You can always find the Quality Profile on the school district website. Communicating With the Community – Ongoing Focus for the District. Our goal is to be able to provide the most effective methods of communication for every member of our community. This is why we have focused on this effort over the past 18 months and will continue to search for additional ways to effectively reach our stakeholders. We believe in the importance of open communication and value the input of those willing to take time to share their thoughts and ideas. This belief leads us on our current path to success and it is important that we are always listening to the input you offer. I would like to end this article by sharing that Maumee teachers and staff do amazing work. Our facilities are in exceptional shape thanks to the daily cleaning and maintenance by our hardworking staff, and students get safely to and from school thanks to our dedicated school bus drivers. Maumee students work hard and are achieving success both inside and outside the classroom and are supported by staff who go above and beyond to serve their students. And, the Maumee community has historically made, and continues to make, a financial investment in the school district’s future. We are so appreciative of your dedication to this community’s students. It is an exciting time to be a Panther!
Maumee Scores Well On State Report Card In Student Progress
BY NANCY GAGNET | MIRROR REPORTER — Maumee City Schools leaders are encouraged by the findings on the Ohio Department of Education district report card and are confident that the district is moving in the right direction, despite earning one low mark. The state released its annual report cards last week, which showed that the Maumee district is meeting or exceeding expectations in most key areas. For ensuring that students successfully graduate, Maumee earned an A, and for preparing students after graduation, it earned a C. For the achievement component of the report card, which represents the number of students who passed the state tests and how well they performed on them, the district earned a C. The district, however, received an F for not meeting indicators set by the state. To meet those indicators, 80 percent of students must score proficient or higher, which is a significant jump from previous years. Last year, for example, the state threshold to meet the indicator for third-grade reading was 68 percent. This year it is 80 percent. Maumee earned a 76.1 percent. “We’re not against raising the bar, but when the bar goes up at intervals such as that, it makes it difficult in one year for a district to seek that kind of improvement,” said Superintendent Dr. Todd Cramer. The district has focused on progress, which means stretching every student as much as possible. It earned an A for student overall growth and an A for growth among gifted students. The district earned a B for improvement made among students in the lower 20 percent, and a C was given for progress made among students with disabilities. “We believe if we continue that focus as it is reflected in our progress grades, the achievement will come, and that’s what we are seeing,” Cramer said. He acknowledged that there is concern among district leaders, including superintendents, in regard to the bar going up so much this year. He will join a statewide committee to advocate having a report card that is fair to districts throughout the state. He also said that with the amount of testing that has taken place over the past several years, it’s difficult to accurately compare data from year to year. Looking at the numbers this year, however, he and other district leaders and the teaching staff are pleased. “Overall, we are encouraged by the results from the report card, and we feel that if we continue with all of the same sequence and planning, we’re shifting in the right direction,” he said.