Ohio Appalachian Collaborative Blog

It takes teamwork to make the dream work

OAC Weekly Snapshot, November 18-22

by | Nov 22, 2013
It's hard to believe next week is Thanksgiving! We're excited next week to kick-off a Thanksgiving campaign, celebrating our successes and what we're thankful for within the OAC. Look for blog posts and conversations on Twitter using the hashtag #WeAreOAC. You can also add comments about what you are thankful for below.

Next Friday we'll be eating leftover turkey and enjoying Black Friday shopping, so there will be no weekly snapshot on Nov. 29. Look for the next edition on Dec. 6!

Here's some highlights from this week.


  • Straight A and Race to the Top-District Grants Update We're thrilled that the OAC has moved ahead in both the Straight A and Race to the Top-District (RTT-D) grant competitions!

    Last Friday, we learned that the OAC was one of 359 Straight A applications that passed the fiscal review to move forward to the programmatic review. As you recall, the OAC Personalized Learning Network, made up of 27 districts, submitted a $15 million Straight A proposal to increase student access to advanced learning and blended learning opportunities. More information about Straight A applicants is available on ODE's website. Final award announcements for the Straight A Fund should be made in mid-December.

    Also this week, the U.S. Department of Education announced that the OAC is one of just 31 finalists out of more than 200 applicants for the RTT-D competition. Our RTT-D application seeks $25 million to help 22 districts focus on personalized learning supports to help more students be successful in postsecondary education. Here is a link to the USDOE press release announcing the RTT-D finalists. We are the only finalist from Ohio, and we anticipate final award announcements to be made in early December.

  • Leading and Learning Collaborative (LLC) Workshop – It was great seeing so many OAC educators at the LLC Workshop on Tuesday at Cherry Valley Lodge in Newark. District teams had the opportunity to attend learning sessions on a variety of topics, such as Common Core, highly effective strategies, college and career readiness, strategic measures, and effective communications. There were also a number of collaborative sessions offered for Personalized Learning Network elementary connectors, TIF Coordinators, OAC superintendents, and district teams. Materials and presentations from the LLC workshop will be posted to the SOAR fileroom on the Ohio Student Progress Portal. Check your e-mails for a link to a survey about the workshop; once you complete the survey you will receive a certificate of attendance. Save the date: the next LLC workshop will be Jan. 14, 2014.

  • Personalized Learning Network – PLN elementary connectors participated in a productive, collaborative session Tuesday morning during the LLC Workshop. Connector roles, expectations, and opportunities were discussed, and there was plenty of group collaboration time focused on topics suggested by the connectors themselves. Big thanks to our elementary connectors for their hard work and willingness to connect and share! We’ll be following up with all connectors shortly to share more information and next steps. In the meantime, we encourage you to visit the collaboration space (use your Ohio Portal username and password to login). There are several active discussions and new resources. Can’t find something you’re looking for? Start a discussion or submit your own resource!
  • Sign Up to Receive Blog Posts Via E-mail – You can now sign up to have OAC blog posts delivered to your e-mail inbox. All you have to do is visit the OAC blog and click the "Follow blog via e-mail" button. You'll then be prompted to enter your name and e-mail address. Please note, all superintendents and CLPs have already been signed up to receive blog posts via e-mail. 

New Resources

Check out the following NEW resources that have been added this week to the Resource Library in the Collaboration Space! Don't forget, you can sort the Resource Library by "Newest first" to see the most recently added resources.

  • Social Studies Playlists – Thanks to Alea Barker for adding this collection of resources from Mentor Mob, which is a curation website. This resource adds to the discussion started for OAC Social Studies teachers in the Discussion Forum. Encourage your social studies teachers to log-in and participate!

  • Third Grade Math Sample Placemat – This sample math multiplication/division unit organizer from third grade teachers in Rolling Hills shows how they have used the new BFK Common Core unit organizer placemants in grade level team collaboration time.

  • Core Teacher Apps – Looking for a list of best apps for teachers? This list provides information about apps to help teachers with classroom management, communications with parents and students, and lesson enrichment. As a bonus, it includes the price of the apps, and many are FREE! 

  • Inquiry Learning with iPads – This list provides a variety of apps for iPads that teachers can use with the inquiry process of tuning in, collecting/curating, and synthesizing. 

  • Quality Student Work in Project-Based Learning – This blog post from the 21st Century Fluency Project (the Committed Sardine blog) provides practical advice for getting high-quality work from students in project-based learning environments. 

What's Next?

  • OAC/TIF Superintendent Webinar, December 2 – This ongoing webinar series provides a platform for superintendents to share and discuss information about OAC activities and initiatives with the goal of building capacity, connectivity, and influence throughout our districts. The next webinar is on December 2 from 12–12:30 p.m. Login information will be emailed to superintendents. 

  • OAC Principals Webinar Series, December 2 or 3 – The next webinar will provide school teams with instruments to evaluate existing structures and practices for success on PARCC Next Generation Assessments. Please have a school team join you for this webinar scheduled Decmeber 2 from 2:45 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. or December 3 from 3:45 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. Participants should select on date to attend. View the webinar series flyer. A link to join the webinar will be emailed to principals. 

  • ODE Third Grade Reading Guarantee Webcast, Dec. 5 Elementary leaders and educators might be interested in a Third Grade Reading Guarantee Webcast from ODE on Dec. 5 from 10:30-11:30 a.m. Look for details and registration information in the Nov. 25 edition of ODE's EdConnection newsletter.
Have questions or comments? Add them below.

Have a great weekend and a wonderful Thanksgiving!