Impact and News

2016–2017 OAC Straight A Annual Report: Focus on Ownership and Empowerment OAC_Annual_Report_2017_cover
The 2016–2017 OAC Straight A Annual Report concisely provides a high-level overview of impactful accomplishments from the 2016–2017 school year around dual enrollment, teacher credentialing, personalized career pathways, career advising, professional learning, blended learning, performance management, student feedback, communications, lessons learned, policy, and thought leadership.  
Slide2Austin's Journey: A Path to Rural Transformation in Ohio 
Austin’s Journey captures a personal example of one student’s journey through the OAC by focusing on his exposure to career pathways and dual enrollment and how the OAC Straight A project saved Austin and his family from the burden of college debt, and provided Austin the opportunity to get a jump-start on his college education and earn a degree that will help him break the cycle of poverty.

REC_WhitePaper_thumbnailBattelle for Kids partnered with Education Northwest to study 17 of the most promising rural education collaboratives across the country to learn how they are advancing equity, economic growth, and educational change for rural students and communities. This research and lessons learned are detailed in the white paper, Generating Opportunity and Prosperity: The Promise of Rural Education Collaboratives. In addition, they developed in-depth case studies, including one on the OAC.
Slide1From The First Forty-Eight Through The 21st Century: Building Prosperity Pathways in the Ohio Appalachian Collaborative 
Explore an in-depth look at how the 27 OAC school districts are building pathways for rural students to help them succeed in the 21st century. The OAC, through the Straight A Fund grant from the State of Ohio, has built four model pathways to enable student success and continued prosperity for their lives after high school.
Slide12014–2015 OAC Straight A Annual Report: Focus on Infrastructure and Development 

The 27 OAC school districts are working together to accelerate college and career readiness for its students. This work, made possible by a $14.9 million grant from the Ohio Straight A Fund, expands access to college credit through dual enrollment courses; provides personalized/career pathways, increases the technology infrastructure to support learning; and shares instructional resources across districts.

What We learned by Standing on the Shoulders of the Giants of Gulfport (MS) School District
As the nation’s school districts spend more and more of the school year focused on testing, Gulfport is going in the opposite direction. Instead, they’re questioning how testing prepares students for college and the job market, and choosing to focus on real-world prep. And, it’s working.
Early Returns on Straight A Investment
In the initial months of planning and implementation of the Straight A grant work, the OAC has seen considerable return on early investments. Read about these successes as well as some lessons learned on the collaborative process.
The OAC: Paving a New Path for Rural Education
A story about the OAC’s motivation for joining together, the benefits of collaboration, lessons learned from working together, and the impact the OAC has had on districts, educators, and students. Read the Executive Summary.
About the Ohio Appalachian Collaborative
An overview of the OAC and its focus on strengthening and leveraging educator effectiveness to accelerate college and career readiness for rural students.
2010-2011 Leading and Learning Together
Highlights of the work and accomplishments of OAC districts in the first year of working together.
Ohio Appalachian Collaborative goes to Washington
How does a small rural district get invited to meet with senior officials at the U.S. Department of Education? Key lessons about how the OAC has impacted the Maysville Local School District, as shared during a meeting with USDOE.
Finding the right focus for district communications efforts
Key lessons learned about focusing communications efforts to successfully implement education reforms.
OAC: Enhancing Leadership Quality
A focus of the OAC is supporting district and school leaders. Learn more about the OAC’s Leadership System of Support.

AT&T Gives $10,000 to Benefit Area Schools
George Hiotis, WHIZ News, Zanesville

Zanesville, Ohio (Oct. 12, 2016) - AT&T's contribution will support the Pathways to Careers program and the Ohio Appalachian Collaborative.

Northern Local shares Straight A grant
Scott Rawdon, Buckeye Lake Beacon

Thornville, Ohio (Jan. 11, 2014)— Northern Local School District will be working with surrounding school districts and universities to offer its students an opportunity to graduate high school with a college associate’s degree as well.

Grant Money for Appalachian Schools
WHIZ TV, Zanesville

Dec. 20, 2013—The Ohio Appalachian Collaborative Personalized Learning Network was awarded $15 million from the "Straight A Fund" through the Ohio Department of Education.

More choices for students through Straight A Fund
Evan Bevins, The Marietta Times

Marietta, Ohio (Dec. 20, 2013)—Now that a $15 million grant to increase students' access to college credit in high school and other personalized learning has received final approval, several local school districts are planning how to make the most of the opportunities.

Ohio Collaborative Wins $15M to Advance Personalized Learning
Diette Courrégé Casey, Education Week

Dec. 18, 2013—An Ohio collaborative of rural school districts has won $15 million in a statewide innovation-grant competition to develop a personalized learning network.

Indian Valley Local grant will boost tech, fund college credits
Jon Baker, New Philadelphia Times Recorder

Gnadenhutten, Ohio (Dec. 17, 2013)—Indian Valley Local Schools will be receiving a Straight A Fund grant that will allow its high school students to earn college credits at no cost and will bring new technology to the middle school.

Ohio's Straight A Fund includes educational programs in drilling
Bob Downing, Associated Press, Akron Beacon Journal

Dec. 15, 2013—If approved on Monday, Ohio's first round of education innovation grants will go to foster careers in manufacturing and the drilling industry and early college and specialty programs tailored to Appalachia, Amish Country and the Great Lakes.

East Muskingum, other local schools, win "Straight A" grants
John Lowe, The Daily Jeffersonian

New Concord, Ohio (Dec. 10, 2013)—East Muskingum Local School District, in partnership with the Ohio Appalachian Collaborative Personalized Learning Network (OACPLN), received one of 24 state grants from the Ohio Department of Education Straight A Fund competition....

Local school districts receive Straight A funds
Bill Rockwell, The Perry Tribune

New Lexington, Ohio (Dec. 10, 2013)—The first round of education grants from the state’s new Straight A fund is complete with schools within the Ohio Collaborative the big winners with nearly $15 million in grant money.

School districts up for $15M shared grant
Wolf Creek discusses partnership with schools/students through Straight A Fund
Evan Bevins, The Marietta Times

Waterford, Ohio (Dec. 10, 2013)—Wolf Creek Local and more than two dozen other area school districts have been recommended to share in a $15 million grant to expand college credit opportunities and personalize learning.

Ohio Grant Funds Local Education Project
WHIZ-TV, Zanesville

Zanesville, Ohio (Dec. 9, 2013)—27 rural ohio school districts will receive funding from an Ohio grant aimed to further education and Northern Local School District is one of them.

Education Grant Winners Selected
Coshocton, River View part of group recommended for funding
Benjamin Lanka, Coshocton Tribune

Coshocton, Ohio (Dec. 10, 2013)—The state last week recommended awarding $88.6 million to 24 school projects as part of Gov. John Kasich's Straight A Fund Grant program intended to reward innovation in education.

East Muskingum Local Awarded State Funds to Personalize Education
East Muskingum Press Release

New Concord, Ohio (Dec. 9, 2013)—East Muskingum Local, in partnership with the OACPLN, received one of 24 state grants from the Ohio Department of Education Straight A Fund competition to support personalized learning and help more students be successful in technical, two- and/or four-year postsecondary education.

Georgetown Awarded State Funds to Personalize Education
Georgetown EVSD Press Release

Georgetown, Ohio (Dec. 9, 2013)—Georgetown Exempted Village Schools, in partnership with the Ohio Appalachian Collaborative Personalized Learning Network (OACPLN), received on of 24 state grants from the Ohio Department of Education Straight A Fund competition to support personalized learning and help more students be successful in technical, two- and/or four-year postsecondary education.

State awards $89 million in education grants
Catherine Candisky, The Columbus Dispatch

Columbus, Ohio (Dec. 7, 2013)—The Groveport Madison School District and a group of central Ohio school districts were among 24 schools and consortiums awarded $88.7 million yesterday in the first round of education grants from Ohio’s new Straight A Fund.

Switzerland of Ohio Local School District Hopes to Secure Grant to Bring $650,000 to the District for the Purpose of Distance Learning
Staff report, Monroe County Beacon

Dec. 4, 2013—Through the Ohio Appalachian Collaborative (OAC) Personalized Learning Network, a consortium of 27 districts has submitted a proposal for Ohio’s Straight A Fund to accelerate student achievement and increase student access to advanced learning, including blended learning and dual enrollment opportunities.

OPINION: Ohio must play lead role in rural education
Richard Murray, op-ed, The Cincinnati Enquirer

Dec. 2, 2013—“The narrative of rural education is being rewritten,” U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan declared last month to a group of more than 300 education leaders at the Rural Education National Forum in Columbus.

Group of Ohio schools closer to $30M grant
Evan Bevins, The Marietta Times

Waterford, Ohio (Nov. 20, 2013)—A group of Appalachian Ohio schools has moved one step closer to receiving a $30 million grant to support more personalized instruction in school districts including Wolf Creek, Warren and Noble Local.

Technology in schools
More students use iPads, tablets, laptops, smart phones
Evan Bevins, The Marietta Times

Beverly, Ohio (Sept. 24, 2013)—
Students in John Bostic's social studies classes at Fort Frye High School aren't just studying the past. With their new curriculum largely electronic, they're also getting a taste of what their teacher believes is the future of education.

Warren Local BOE pursues state grant
Evan Bevins, The Marietta Times

Vincent, Ohio (Sept. 18, 2013)—A grant the Warren Local school district is pursuing would open up more college-credit opportunities at the high school.

Wolf Creek to join college credit effort
Evan Bevins, The Marietta Times

Waterford, Ohio (Sept. 11, 2013)—The Wolf Creek Local school district is joining a group of more than 20 Appalachian districts seeking a grant from Ohio's newly created Straight A Fund to expand opportunities for students to earn college credit while still in high school.

TIF Spotlight: Communications and Stakeholder Engagement - Preparing for Payouts
Ohio Teacher Incentive Fund, Ohio Department of Education

August 2013—The August 2013 issue of the national TIF Talk newsletter, published by the U.S. Department of Education and Westat, featured the work of Ohio TIF and using effective communications to prepare for successful award payouts.

Course gives high school students a good look at career fields
Evan Bevins, The Marietta Times

Marietta, Ohio (Aug. 17, 2013)—A new career exploration class at Marietta High School aims to do more than ask students what they want to be when they grow up.

NB school receives 230 new iPads for students
Ryan Ottney, Portsmouth Daily Times

New Boston, Ohio (Aug. 19, 2013)—Several years ago New Boston School received more than 100 Apple iPads for students use in the classroom. This year, the district is getting more than 200 new iPad Mini's...

Area jobs available without a degree
Holly Richards, Zanesville Times Recorder

Zanesville, Ohio (July 20, 2013)—Within the next six months, there will be more than 1,500 jobs available in Muskingum County — none of which require a college degree.

How to measure a teacher's influence
Local school districts implement new state rating system to evaluate educators despite concerns
Russ Zimmer and Holly Richards, Zanesville Times Recorder

Zanesville, Ohio (July 21, 2013)—Some local school districts have begun implementing a new rating system for teacher performance, but there are still some concerns about the evaluation process and methodology.

Businesses, teachers come together
Evan Bevins, The Marietta Times

Marietta, Ohio (July 17, 2013)—Under the Building Bridges to Careers initiative, local businesses sent representatives to meet with educators Tuesday at the district office to brainstorm ways to link the curriculum with the working world.

CORAS educators examine bottom line, say plan is the worst for poor districts in decades
The Perry Tribune

Perry County (July 11, 2013)—The Coalition of Rural and Appalachian Schools (CORAS) have reviewed funding for public schools found in the state budget recently signed into law and are decrying the plan as the worst budget for poor districts in decades.

Districts being creative to meet state's reading mandate
Benjamin Lanka, Holly Richards, The Coshocton Tribune

Coshocton, Ohio (July 7, 2013)—More than 20,000 Ohio third-graders failed to earn a proficient score on their spring state reading test—showing how far the state has to go before its third-grade reading guarantee takes full effect next school year.

Women working: Education a growth career for women
Morgan schools' superintendent has seen changes, expects more ahead
Erin E. O'Neill, The Marietta Times

Marietta, Ohio (June 10, 2013)—The gender gap between male and female school superintendents is narrowing - albeit slowly - according to a 10-year study by the American Association of School Administrators. There are about four times as many females in these leadership roles as there were in 1992.

CORAS educators continue fight for increased school funding
Logan Daily News

Columbus, Ohio (June 18, 2013)—This week, the Coalition of Rural and Appalachian Schools educators continued to fight for increased education funding. After making several appearances in both the Ohio House of Representatives and Senate in the past several months, the leaders sent a letter to the Budget Conference Committee in yet another effort to secure increased resources of rural school districts as final work begins on the two-year biennial state budget.

Maysville students benefit from early college courses

Holly Richards, Zanesville Times Recorder

Zanesville, Ohio (May 22, 2013)—Skylar Novaria might achieve his goal of becoming a business manager or CEO sooner than expected because of being a proactive teenager.

NLSD recognized for innovation/social impact in Appalachian region

Perry County Tribune

April 1, 2013—Northern Local School District, through its partnership with the Ohio Appalachian Collaborative (OAC), is proud to announce that the OAC has received the first Social Innovation Awards for its social impact in the Appalachian region.

OAC Awarded Social Innovation Award - Innovation Awards honor eight regional inventors, entrepreneurs

Ohio University Press Release

Athens, Ohio (March 13, 2013)—The Innovation Awards, a regional celebration of entrepreneurship and creative innovation, honored eight individuals last night for their advances in business and technology...The Ohio Appalachian Collaborative received the Social Innovation Award.

AT&T Foundation to help school program

Nichole Medaugh, WHIZ-TV

ZANESVILLE (Jan. 28, 2013)—More money is coming to a program that helps high school students gain college credit.

Grant furthers early college programs for high schoolers

Hannah Sparling, Zanesville Times Recorder

Zanesville, Ohio (Jan. 28, 2013)—Armed with a $40,000 check, Crooksville Exempted Village Schools Superintendent Kyle Newton is thrilled with the opportunity to spread the word about the Rural Ohio College High School program and put more Appalachian high school students on the path to college.

Franklin Local recognized for student gains

Ohio Department of Education Race to the Top News and Views

Dec. 7, 2012—The Franklin Local School District is featured in the December Race to the Top News and Views for their academic success in the 2011-2012 school year. Since being part of Race to the Top, Franklin Local has gone from red to green in value-added scores, improved the Performance Index six points, and was rated Excellent for the first time.

Bloom Vernon featured in "Moving Your Numbers" 

December 2012—Bloom Vernon Local School District is featured as a success story in "Moving Your Numbers," an initiative highlighting the journey of districts who have overcome challenges and redefined its focus to make and sustain improvement in the academic progress of all students.

Muskingum County schools group still in race for federal money

Kathie Dickerson, Zanesville Times Recorder

Zanesville, Ohio (Nov. 30, 2012)—Area public schools have been selected to move on as a finalist in a Race to the Top contest for a portion of about $400 million in federal money.

Kathie Dickerson, Coshocton Tribune

Coshocton, Ohio (Nov. 30, 2012)—Area public schools have been selected to move on as a finalist in a Race to the Top contest for a portion of about $400 million in federal dollars.

Teacher evaluation models redesigned

Carly Tamborski, Brown County News Democrat

November 2012—Statewide reorganization of educational evaluation systems was the topic of discussions at the recent Georgetown Exempted Village Schools Board of Education Meeting.

In Cincinnati, orchestrated academic supports boosts students from cradle to career

Maura Waiz, NBC News Education Nation

Sept. 23, 2012—Eight-month-old Calvin Boggs Jr., grinned when social worker Heidi Sullivan pulled a cardboard book emblazoned with the face of the character Thomas the Tank Engine out of her bag...

Holly Richards, Zanesville Times Recorder

Zanesville, Ohio (Aug. 20, 2012)—Every teacher has his or her own style that resonates with students...

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Check out the Student Pathways Guide, an interactive resource, geared toward counselors, students, and families to help understand and assess the career pathways available; and the skills and coursework needed for various industries and career fields. By using this resource, students will have an added personalized experience based on his/her interests and areas of strength.


Check out the OAC Straight A Fact Sheet for a quick overview on how 27 districts are continuing the work around transforming rural education through the Ohio Department of Education's Straight A Fund grant.

The OAC received a Straight A grant from the Ohio Department of Education.