Superintendent's Blog: The M-P Conversation
Tim Dettwiller's Blog Page
In our continuous effort to improve our connections to students, parents and the community we are seeking feedback on what you like or what can be improved in our communications. Give us your 2 cents. Happy blogging!
Levy Survey
Posted 1/12/2018 at 11:53:41 AM by Tim Dettwiller [staff member]
Hi folks,
The Board of Eduction is seeking your feedback on what type of levy to place on the May 2018 ballot.  This survey allows you to provide your opinion directly to the board.
The Survey will close 11:45pm on January 17, 2018
Thank you for taking the time to complete this brief survey.
Addressing the Deficit
Posted 11/27/2017 at 8:15:16 AM by Tim Dettwiller [staff member]
The Madison-Plains General fund is expected to go in the red at the end of next school year (2018-2019). How do you think the Board and admininstration should address this pending fiscal emergency? We appreciate your thoughts and ideas.
Election brings big day
Posted 11/6/2017 at 10:24:20 AM by Michelle Vroom [System User]

Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 7, is less than a week away, and it is an important one for the district.

Voters will consider Board of Education candidates and renewing a no-new-tax Permanent Improvement issue, which is set to expire Dec. 31, 2018.

The 2.5 mill PI renewal will pay for the maintenance of the district's buildings and grounds, and the purchase and repair of any equipment with a life-span of more than five years. It does not pay for daily operating expenses such as salaries, benefits or utilities.

Support at the polls from voters will not cost taxpayers additional money. Annually, per $100,000 of property valuation, the PI draws about $31.

The PI was first approved in 1993 and has been renewed every five years since, with about 60 percent support the last time it was renewed. The issue is now being collected at .89 mills, due to Ohio's rollback plan that prevents increased cost to property owners as values rise.

PI dollars are critical for providing resources to our students, teachers and staff. Since the last renewal, the district has:

• Purchased six buses and two vans
• Outfitted 16 classrooms with new student and teacher furniture and cabinetry
• Purchased resources and technology for several new curriculum adoptions
• Replaced windows in the Intermediate building
• Expanded district parking lots
• Installed an observation tower for the band program
• Renovated the fieldhouse
• Placed identifying and directional signage throughout campus
• Installed air conditioning in the Intermediate gymnasium

The PI also pays for on-going expenses, such as:
• Roof repairs
• Walkway upkeep
• Sewage plant maintenance and repairs
• Campus lighting
• Kitchen equipment maintenance/replacement
• Bus lot improvements
• Building door replacements
• Fire suppression system maintenance and improvements
• HVAC repairs and maintenance
• Fencing and entryway security systems placement

Renewed PI funds would enable the district to provide a safe environment and protect the tax base's investment in the school system. Renewing the PI request now allows the district to budget and plan accordingly, avoiding a financial emergency.

Emergency Operating Levy Q&A
Posted 7/12/2017 at 5:24:11 AM by Tim Dettwiller [staff member]
Emergency Operating Levy Q&A
Voters will see a 5.953-mill emergency operating levy on the Aug. 8 ballot. When passed, it will generate $2,050,000 for the district per year. The additional funds will be used to continue our current academic programming. The cost will be $200 for $100,000 of residential property valuation. The new revenue will fund school operations for five years.

Why is $2,050,000 needed? Since 2013 the district has operated under a 10 year financial plan. The plan predicted in 2013 that our General fund would be in the red in school year 2017. We took immediate steps to reduce projected spending to push the deficit out as far as possible. Those budget reductions successfully pushed the projected deficit out to school year 2019. When the emergency levy is passed in August, collections will begin in 2018. This allows for revenues to be received before cuts to programs would be needed for the 2019 school year.

Treasurer Todd Mustain has prepared several graphs comparing our tax rates and certain costs - such as the average teacher’s pay - to other districts. This information can be found here. I encourage you to look at this information. You will see how prudent the district is with your tax dollars.

What questions do you have? Post below and I will reply within one business day.

Child Care in MP
Posted 9/6/2016 at 11:45:22 AM by Tim Dettwiller [staff member]
Child Care in MP
Is there a lack of childcare providers within the MP school district area? 

MP has formed a Childcare committee to study and determine if parents of school age children in our district have easy access to before and after school care.

Please let us know your thoughts and /or experiences by Friday September 9th.

Thank you,

Reply Posts
Posted 9/7/2016 at 12:54:52 PM by [anonymous visitor]
Childcare would be of help to many I'm sure, but the details of how it would work needs to be explained and the cost of such, in order to really be able to give a straight forward answer
Posted 9/7/2016 at 12:54:33 PM by [anonymous visitor]
Most people will not drive the distance to the school and then have to pay for after school care on top of the care cost. This is why the current scheduled school times work for everyone but the administrators.
Posted 9/6/2016 at 7:35:39 AM by [anonymous visitor]
I have been a childcare provider for over 26 years ! I do before and after school childcare as well as full time :) I am in Mp school district but very close to London :) Pkease feel free to call or text me if you need someone close to London ! Jenny 7405060493
Posted 9/6/2016 at 7:35:27 AM by [anonymous visitor]
I think the district does lack childcare services. However, most of us know that when you live in a rural area, you have to drive further to get most services. Even if you added latch key, no one is going to want to pay for it. A lot of people are against a bussing change. It's time to talk about a levy and educating the community on why it's needed. We need to put the kids first!
New Two Tier Bussing Schedule
Posted 7/7/2016 at 7:28:29 PM by Tim Dettwiller [staff member]
Reply Posts
Posted 9/8/2016 at 4:08:20 PM by [anonymous visitor]
When you have children in both schools and the older children are babysitting the younger siblings this leaves the young ones without childcare. Some families cannot afford childcare/latchkey.
Two tier bussing
Posted 9/7/2016 at 4:08:43 PM by [anonymous visitor]
This seemed to always work out good several years ago. But I am concerned of the cost on the school district for a two tier system, at this time. The cost of fuel would it be more, to run a two tier system, or would it equal out. There is no doubt that the busses is overcrowded with a one tier system. This as well the safety of overcrowded busses is not good, the cost is my concern, 2 tier yes
making things harder
Posted 7/13/2016 at 11:19:37 AM by [anonymous visitor]
I saw where you said it takes 30 minutes to prepare children for school and they would have to wake up around 6:05. I'm sorry but it doesn't work that way here. Last year I had to start waking mine up at 5:30am. If school starts earlier that means getting prepared before 5:30 not after 6!Which means bedtime would be earlier then 8pm. That's too early for these young children. Period.
2 tier
Posted 7/12/2016 at 11:19:13 AM by [anonymous visitor]
It needs to go back to the original plan elementary kids should have at least 10 hours of sleep so your making us put kids to bed way to early. It should be the older kids getting up sooner! No one wants to put six and seven year olds in bed at 7pm. Please rethink this through!
Changes the times
Posted 7/10/2016 at 9:09:28 AM by [anonymous visitor]
I think high school should be early like u had it before . that way kids that do sports can get there on time and not late and there won't be on trouble in getting them there either
Just a way to do what you want
Posted 7/9/2016 at 7:16:59 AM by [anonymous visitor]
Flipping the times is just a way for you to get what you want this year instead of waiting and setting up latch key properly. Our administration has got to stop making poor rash decisions to get what they want! Think of the students that is why you are there. Elementary children should not be going to school that early. Do your research, make an educated decision.
Still not a fan
Posted 7/8/2016 at 7:23:34 AM by [anonymous visitor]
I am still not a fan. There has been 1-tiered busing for more than 12 yrs at MP, rural districts all over this country have 1 tiered busing. The reason, because there are not enough hrs in a day to drive students living 25 mi away to/from school in less than an hour while picking up a bus load of students along the way. It doesn't matter what you do, my kids & others will be on the bus over an hr.
New Problems for families
Posted 7/8/2016 at 7:23:01 AM by [anonymous visitor]
The new purposed times just causes new problems for families. ES/IS students will be home approximately at 3:20, many with no supervision. Latchkey 20+ miles away from many homes is NOT an option. I do not believe ANY age group should be starting school before 7:45 in this district. Read the multiple studies about sleep deprivation and learning. I do appreciate a later time for our studentdrivers
new schedule
Posted 7/8/2016 at 7:22:28 AM by [anonymous visitor]
We need to stop trying to implement such drastic changes so late and right before the new school year starts. Pretty convenient that this is being done over the summer when everyone is not able to chime in on this. The farthest out families will still have their kids on the bus the some amount of time as before. It already takes by car 25-30 minutes to get there, now add stops for kids. 1hr. now.
School time changes
Posted 7/8/2016 at 7:21:55 AM by [anonymous visitor]
I do not understand how you think that changing the younger kids time to an earlier time is going to benefit them in their learning. This will make our kids have to get up even earlier to get on the bus. The time they are on the bus will not be less since we live on the farthest edge of the district. I think that you need to do a little more thinking on this. BAD IDEA for all
In favor!
Posted 7/8/2016 at 7:21:30 AM by [anonymous visitor]
My reasons why are too long to post but I like NEW the flipped tiers idea! If we are going to flip this is how we should do it. Thank you for listening!
start times
Posted 7/8/2016 at 7:21:10 AM by [anonymous visitor]
So if elementary starts at 7:20 then our children will have to be in bed and asleep by 7pm to get the recommended sleep for their age! Older kids need less sleep not the other way around. Look at the other schools. None of them start elementary that early. Why? Because younger kids need more sleep.
Two tier bussing at MP, thoughts?
Posted 6/16/2016 at 11:13:02 AM by Tim Dettwiller [staff member]
Two tier bussing at MP, thoughts?
Madison-Plains students have been bussed for the past several years in one run, or as it is typically called: one tier.  All students are picked up in one run in the morning and delivered home in one run in the afternoon. All buildings have the same start and stop times.

The proposal being considered now is to move to two tiers (runs) in the morning and two tiers in the afternoon. I have attached a pro and con list for your consideration.

I am seeking feedback from the community as to thoughts, concerns or ideas we may not have thought of in making our decision.

Your input is very important to us and will be considered in making our final determination as to how we will safely transport our students each day. 

Reply Posts
Planning to Leave
Posted 7/11/2016 at 9:09:38 AM by [anonymous visitor]
I have heard of multiple families planning on leaving the district when the two tiered bussing does take effect. MP already has many families that open enroll into other districts. What are your thoughts on the enrollment numbers decreasing even more?
Still a lot of questions
Posted 7/8/2016 at 7:20:42 AM by [anonymous visitor]
So the new proposed schedule eliminates the morning childcare issue but doesn't address the afternoon childcare issue. Would you be adding childcare centers in London to the elementary/intermediate bus route? How does this impact JH/HS kids in sports? How much school would they miss to get to away events? How many teachers would have to leave early for events (which impacts all students)?
Flip the tiers
Posted 7/7/2016 at 7:26:06 PM by Tim Dettwiller [staff member]
Over the past several weeks we have received many emails, blog posts and community input through MPAC meetings, Board meetings, staff meetings and Administrative meetings. Taking these comments and ideas into consideration the attached two tier bus schedule and school days schedules are now being considered. The revised start and end times eliminate the need for childcare in the morning. We understand this will require younger students to get prepared for school earlier. We also see a benefit to our student drivers driving during daylight hours. Please review and provide feedback. Thank you!
Mid summer with no latchkey
Posted 7/7/2016 at 7:13:33 PM by [anonymous visitor]
Understand alot of factors influence the district's decision for 2tier bussing, but I really wish the district would not wait until midsummer 2 make the decision. It is frustrating for the single, working parent 2 implement another last minute change of time for students (w/in 2 years). No latchkey currently in place creates a problem that could be avoided w/timely planning.
Posted 7/5/2016 at 7:13:03 PM by [anonymous visitor]
If the two tier system is put into motion for the 2016-2017 school year how will you do proper bus routes on the first day of school? Transportation forms were collected the last week of school however those were for current school times. If the two tier begins I do not understand how you know who needs picked up on day 1 of school? Seems to be you are not prepared to begin.
Not ready yet
Posted 7/5/2016 at 10:11:55 AM by [anonymous visitor]
I do not feel we are ready to implement this plan in 2016-2017. If you are just now looking into latch key and it is July you are not prepared to start the two tier in August 2016. Lets take the year to plan and set things up right. We as a district need to stop rushing into plans and wonder why we have so many problems. Do the right thing and do your work preparing properly.
Start times and end times
Posted 7/4/2016 at 10:11:27 AM by [anonymous visitor]
I think that the start times for the high school is too early and that the kids will not be able to focus on there school work that early in the morning and the end time for the elementary school is too late and with my family living 30 min away and stillin the district they won't get home until almost 5 with the bus ride.
Two tier busing
Posted 6/30/2016 at 12:45:52 PM by [anonymous visitor]
4pm is too late for young children to be getting out of school. They have very little time after school. If anything I would prefer the times be flip flopped. I am sure that is not an option as it will get in the way of sports. I remember when those in sports got out earlier for games. Also, back in the day, it was one tier in the am and two tier in the pm.
School Start/End times under 2 tier
Posted 6/30/2016 at 11:09:29 AM by Tim Dettwiller [staff member]
The actual times are still being considered. Under the scenario presented to the MPAC group the HS/JH would start at 7:25 and end at 2:30. The K-6 would start at 9:10 and end at 4:00.
Would Help Elementary Students
Posted 6/29/2016 at 1:47:29 PM by [anonymous visitor]
As a parent of elementary students, I don't like the extended time on the bus and riding with older students. We have to wait longer while the bus has to pick up all the other HS and MS students. Then my children have to ride longer while HS and MS students get dropped off.
Great Idea
Posted 6/29/2016 at 1:47:20 PM by [anonymous visitor]
Opportunity cost is real, saving resources with busses allows for resources to be diverted elsewhere. Many parents do not like elementary and high school students riding together. This fixes that. The alleviation of traffic on Linson would also be beneficial.
Posted 6/29/2016 at 11:06:43 AM by [anonymous visitor]
What will be the start and stop times for schools on the two tier bussing?
Not a big enough change on time or amount of kids on busses
Posted 6/29/2016 at 11:06:38 AM by [anonymous visitor]
Where would latchkey be held? I feel like this will put a strain on parents of children in varying age groups. Their older students can not child sit or take their younger sibling to school with this plan. This will also make a very long afternoon for younger kids to sit in the classroom, will teachers have students take breaks in the afternoon?
yes to 2 tier busses
Posted 6/23/2016 at 1:47:08 PM by [anonymous visitor]
I like the idea of 2tier bussing. I never understood why the younger kids rode the bus with older kids especially with over crowded busses. All the other elementary schools in the county open later as well. I think younger children are able to learn better when they don't have to get up at 5:30 or 6:00 am.
Too many unanswered questions
Posted 6/22/2016 at 2:51:34 PM by [anonymous visitor]
Has anyone talked with the childcare center in Mount Sterling to see if they can handle a huge influx of elementary school age students? Are you going to start busing to any of the daycare centers in London? What about district-wide meetings for teachers/staff? What time would those start? What about Jr high/HS sports that practice in the elem school gym? Just too many unknowns to start so soon.
Why wait until now?
Posted 6/22/2016 at 2:51:12 PM by [anonymous visitor]
The only childcare center that MP currently transports to/from is in Mount Sterling. Will that change w/this plan? Will MP be subsidizing the cost of AM childcare? Offering AM/PM latchkey? Why was this change proposed AFTER school got out, when families are on vacation & cannot attend meetings? Seems like you knew that this would not be well-received and intentionally waited to propose this.
2 tiers great idea
Posted 6/22/2016 at 2:50:44 PM by [anonymous visitor]
I think 2 tiered bussing would be a great change. My daughter struggled every single day to get up early for kindergarten, I think their learning capabilities would be much improved with a later start time. I understand it doesn't work for all families but believe they would be better able to learn.
2 Tier busing
Posted 6/22/2016 at 2:50:37 PM by [anonymous visitor]
I and along with many families rely on our older children to take care of their younger siblings after school and or possibly before school if needed. This is a bad idea and would put a burden on many families within the district. Unless I see all of the numbers, I do not see how this will save money with the extra fuel and extra wear and tear on the buses which will need to be replaced sooner.
Making things complicated
Posted 6/22/2016 at 2:50:22 PM by [anonymous visitor]
One issue I see that has not been brought up in the past is the issues with children getting out at 4pm. If their older sibling is in any extracurricular activities that normally start at 5pm, parents will most likely be late or unable to attend at all waiting on their younger child to finish school. Whitehall, Columbus Academy etc. are to far away to wait until the younger child is home
Posted 6/22/2016 at 10:49:03 AM by Tim Dettwiller [staff member]
The timing of our follow-up to last summers discussion on two tier bussing was driven by the completion of our modeling of two tier bussing based on our 2016 riders and our potential 2017 riders. Our intent has been and always will be to be completely transparent in our decision making and to include the concerns of all our stakeholders.
Posted 6/22/2016 at 10:48:51 AM by Tim Dettwiller [staff member]
We are in discussions with the Ohio Department of Education about the creation of a Latchkey program sponsored by MP. The program would offer both private and publicly funded before and after school care services.
Unanswered questions
Posted 6/22/2016 at 9:25:04 AM by [anonymous visitor]
This was purposed 6/2015 so why wait to have further discussion until now? Why does MP make these very important decisions during the summer? What would the start and end times be for the schools? IF MPE & MPI starts later and ends earlier, supervision will be an issue for many. Latchkey at MP not helpful for those living in eastern portion of district. What is MP intended outcome?
Keep the current times!
Posted 6/20/2016 at 8:05:41 AM by [anonymous visitor]
This two tiered schedule makes a very long day for families with kids in the different buildings. The school day prep and return to home could span from 6:45-4:45 depending on bus pick up/drop off times. Supervision of children may be an issue for families who rely on older siblings to help with younger children. It seems like it could cause a lot of conflicts for families.
2 tier bussing
Posted 6/20/2016 at 8:05:25 AM by jamie maynard [public user]
I would like to say I completely support this plan. I couldn't be happier than to see my young child getting the much needed extra sleep time in the morning. It would help in more ways than one. I would also like to add that I would definitely like the shorter bus rides. These kids spend too much wasted time getting to and from school. This would make me want to stay in the district 110% more! Thx
Posted 6/20/2016 at 8:05:04 AM by [anonymous visitor]
Are we basing the two tier bus schedule on everyone in the district or just the kids who currently ride the buses? Who was put into the the new bus program?
Good for parents not the students
Posted 6/20/2016 at 8:04:50 AM by [anonymous visitor]
I think the young kids bused with the older kids has never been a good idea. These kids get bullied, hear and see things someone their age shouldn't be exposed to. I think the the combination also shows failing with the lack of control these drivers have over the students. you can't be in control if you're screaming and looking back in the mirror the entire trip.
MPAC meeting
Posted 6/16/2016 at 11:11:16 AM by Tim Dettwiller [staff member]
If you would like to speak directly to the Superintendent and a Board member representative about two tier bussing please plan to attend the Madison plains Advisory Council(MPAC) meeting to be held on June 22, 2016 at 6:00pm in the District meeting room, located in the Elementary building.
Should MP Incorporate "+" and "-"' to our Grading System?
Posted 9/16/2015 at 10:10:53 AM by Michelle Vroom [System User]
Should MP Incorporate "+" and "-"' to our Grading System?

The Board of Education is considering my recommendation to modify the current grading policy as provided in the following document.  Please review and give your feedback to the Board and Administration. The Board will vote on the recommendation on October 13.

Reply Posts
two tier busing
Posted 7/2/2016 at 7:17:20 AM by [anonymous visitor]
I think this is a brilliant idea.
Student and Parent Handbook Conflicts
Posted 10/6/2015 at 9:44:30 AM by [anonymous visitor]
On page 22 of the student parent handbook, which we all of signed, it says grades will not be give a plus or minus notation. We have already signed an agreement of what the grading scale is suppose to be for this year. If this rule is changed everyone will have to sign a new student parent handbook or the one for this year becomes invaild and we shall not have an agreement on any rules.
Posted 9/23/2015 at 11:40:40 AM by [anonymous visitor]
This new scale would cause a conflict in our school's current valedictorian requirements. Those of us in advanced and AP courses would not be at the top of our class if this had been enlisted our freshman year, primarily because we have to work for the "low A". If the change was made, I know that many of us would not be as high in rank or even in consideration for valedictorian if this were fact
Bad Change
Posted 9/23/2015 at 11:40:13 AM by [anonymous visitor]
This change will only encourage students to take easier courses to maintain their GPA, especially if it starts in the middle of their high school education. The change will not push students to study harder, or always do their homework, or any of the claimed "positives". As a student, I know that my classmates and peers would be more inclined to take courses where a A in within reach.
Other Changes Need To Be Made First
Posted 9/23/2015 at 11:39:54 AM by [anonymous visitor]
Why is a change not necessary being addressed prior to those the student body has brought up as problems for multiple years? I have witnessed too many students go unnoticed for their grades in advanced classes, only because those in basic classes have the ability to maintain a higher GPA by just sliding by.
Grading Scale
Posted 9/23/2015 at 11:39:33 AM by [anonymous visitor]
In the most logical sense, shouldn't changes like this be made at the beginning of a school year rather than a fourth of the way through? And even further, shouldn't a change as this be made for incoming grades rather than changing the scale for students in the midst of their high school education?
Posted 9/22/2015 at 11:41:11 AM by [anonymous visitor]
Evidently my suspicions have been confirmed. If the proposed grading scale change is being considered in order to elevate our failing students that is an attempt to make our overall district grade card look better to the OBE to which elevates our funding from the state
Posted 9/22/2015 at 11:39:17 AM by [anonymous visitor]
Instead of re-inventing the grading scale how about we consider taking a closer look at the kids who are failing and identify a common denominator and truly fix the problem instead of covering it up to make their failing grades LOOK better instead of failing to fix the real problem.
Penalized for getting an "-"
Posted 9/22/2015 at 11:38:48 AM by [anonymous visitor]
Why do kids get pentalized for having "-"? Some students work as hard as they can to get an A or B but sometimes they barely meet the criteria. Adding this new grading scale would discourage kids from trying as hard. I feel a comprise by removing the "-" portion would make kids work harder. Negativity causes depression. Depression causes lack of effort. Lack of effort causes failure. Domino-Effect
Dress Code for staff
Posted 9/21/2015 at 1:32:39 PM by [anonymous visitor]
The newly proposed staff dress code is way out of context and has gone too far. What my teacher wheres to school does not impact my learning skills or cause me to treat him or her any differently. They have a right to wear what they want and what makes them feel comfortable within reason of course. My opinion and respect level does not change based on my teacher's appearance. -Anthony Tesi
Posted 9/21/2015 at 11:09:47 AM by Tim Dettwiller [staff member]
The Special Board meeting scheduled for October 13th is to discuss the 5 year forecast, the 10 year financial plan and the proposed change to the grading policy. The meeting is open to the public, as are all Board of education meetings.
Posted 9/21/2015 at 11:07:24 AM by Tim Dettwiller [staff member]
If a change in grading policy is to be made it must be made prior to the end of the first nine weeks. If not done by then, it will be recommended for the next school year.
Posted 9/21/2015 at 11:04:42 AM by Tim Dettwiller [staff member]
There is no known financial gain from making the grading policy change.
Posted 9/21/2015 at 8:43:30 AM by Tim Dettwiller [staff member]
The number one reason for proposing the change to the current grading policy is to improve the chances for a failing student to recover their grades. This recommendation is not self serving for the district but for the beneift of our failing students.
Not a win for students
Posted 9/20/2015 at 8:36:03 AM by [anonymous visitor]
Some quick online reseat will lead you to articles stating that this change likely will improve the overall GPA of the school however they agree the studies do not take the individual students into consideration. This is a self-serving move by the school district.
Not 10 point scale - con't
Posted 9/17/2015 at 1:25:22 PM by [anonymous visitor]
Without putting more emphasis on advanced courses, students may not challenge themselves. We should be trying to help all students, not one fraction of them. The policy as written will not help students become eligible quicker, it will just eliminate staff manually figuring up GPA to determine eligibility. Make immediate changes to the inflated weight of exams this year and study 4 pt scale more
This is not a 10 point scale
Posted 9/17/2015 at 1:24:50 PM by [anonymous visitor]
At Board meeting, it was stated that we are absolutely sticking with a 10 point scale, but this is obviously not. Policy should only be changed if honors classes are weighted, grades over a 90% count at least 4 points, 80% count at least 3 points, etc. Your idea is to help our lower performing students, but it hurts the advanced students by encouraging them to take easier courses to maintain GPA
Posted 9/17/2015 at 1:24:26 PM by [anonymous visitor]
I am not understanding most of the Cons. One is that is may help with eligibility, so I thought hey let's just see. Here is an example, say a student has a 73,65,70,75 and 60. On the current grading scale they have a 1.6 on the new grading scale they have a 1.398 which would be ineligible. Let's try the higher end grades. 98,92,95,89 and 87. Current scale 3.6 new scale 3.598. Still no benefit!
Posted 9/17/2015 at 1:23:54 PM by [anonymous visitor]
With this new grading scale we are requiring our kids to receive a 93 or above to have a 4.0 however I truly do not want my children to have 97-100's in each class. I do not feel they are being pushed if they recieve these grades. I like to see the 91-95 range. It means they worked for that A, however if they do not get the 4.0 for that A then I think you will find students taking the eaiser class
Weighted scale
Posted 9/17/2015 at 1:23:33 PM by [anonymous visitor]
If anything needs changed with the grading system, it is a weighted scale. Those kids taking AP classes deserve a weighted scale. As these students are filling out college applications and can only put a 4.0 while most schools have weighted scales is a disservice to them. Why this scale was ever changed is beyond me now you would like to further knock them down by making an A- a 3.66. I am against
I think this system would be unfair
Posted 9/17/2015 at 1:23:11 PM by [anonymous visitor]
My issue would be for those who take AP classes. They are already being penalized by not having a weighted system in place, with this new points system they would be further penalized. A student who receives a 91 in AP would have a 3.66. Where a student who takes a non AP class and receives a 93 would have a 4.0 when clearly the student in the AP class deserves the 4.0 and worked hard for it.
Posted 9/17/2015 at 1:22:56 PM by [anonymous visitor]
This does not make one bit of scene, why would you want to wait till you are 1/4 the way into the year to change something. As the old saying goes "If it's not broke don't fix it." Simple as that.
Posted 9/17/2015 at 1:22:43 PM by [anonymous visitor]
I would support this change if it were not at the end of the nine weeks and a surprise to all students and teachers alike. If the special board meeting, behind close doors, is October 13, the nine weeks will end just three days later. There is no time for the students to prepare or adjust to the change. Start this next year if the vote goes through to approve.
Posted 9/17/2015 at 1:22:26 PM by [anonymous visitor]
I think we shouldn't do it at all school year because the old saying goes if it isn't broke don't fix it and the grading scale isn't broke so we don't need to fix it. We should just keep it at the same. It has been the same for a while and nobody has complain about it, so why are we changing it now??!!
Let's see what the teachers and students say
Posted 9/17/2015 at 1:22:09 PM by [anonymous visitor]
The school board, superintendent and secretary are making the decision on this for the entire system. Before they do so, why not pull the teachers and make a presentation to them and explain the pro's and con's and listen to their thoughts. At the same time have a meeting with the real stake holders-the students and get their feedback also.
Grading scale
Posted 9/17/2015 at 7:41:45 AM by [anonymous visitor]
NOOOO. I think that changing the grading scale halfway through the year is a bad decision. It´s going to make it so kids arent getting a 4.0 because it´s very hard to keep your grades up. It will not benefit anyone in any way.awful idea.
Posted 9/16/2015 at 2:34:50 PM by [anonymous visitor]
Why do we not reward the kids with an A+ at all, every other grade has a - a standard and a +, can we get an additional scale with an A+, or could we consider weighted classes for the kids taking honors whom dont get rewarded for all of their hard work and extra hours as is
Posted 9/16/2015 at 2:34:34 PM by [anonymous visitor]
I am highly disappointed that we would be trying to implement a new system to a school year that has already begun. This is something that should have lengthy discussion and will affect our kids greatly as to getting into college. It is becoming very competitive. The sophomores juniors and seniors are already started cummulative grades. Seniors should NOT be affected by this at all
No this year
Posted 9/16/2015 at 2:34:09 PM by [anonymous visitor]
Im sure that there may be a few pros for this system, but currently having a senior i am NOT in favor of putting this in place for the senior group that has already started this will affect them greatly. We already get punished in comparison to other schools by not weighting our honors classes and the A+ students get no recognition at all
Grading Scale
Posted 9/16/2015 at 2:33:40 PM by [anonymous visitor]
This would not help student's grades. Kids that work really hard and only get a 90 would now get a 3.6 GPA instead of a 4.0 even though they are trying their hardest. This will just lower everyone's grades and make the school look even worse.
Grading Scale
Posted 9/16/2015 at 2:33:26 PM by [anonymous visitor]
Would be most fair to implement such a change at the start of the year. The change would probably be more consistent with the systems used by neighboring districts. I always thought the current scale gave the district an advantage by falsely inflating students' academic scores in order to keep Plains out from under fire from the State's educational watchdogs.
Grading System
Posted 9/16/2015 at 2:32:53 PM by [anonymous visitor]
You should not put this grading system into place in the middle of the year, it should be put in place at the beginning of next year or just start this system with the incoming freshman next year. It is not fair for the students who have worked their butts off this year to get a 4.0 and just be knocked down in the middle of the year.
Grading Policy
Posted 9/16/2015 at 2:32:35 PM by [anonymous visitor]
The school I graduated from went to the MP's current grading scale from the proposed change. I fear you may find the opposite effect of what you're intending. We had more students able to attain a 4.0 on the current grading scale. It was actually more difficult for struggling students as they had to have a 63% in order to not be considered as failing.
Grade scale
Posted 9/16/2015 at 2:29:57 PM by [anonymous visitor]
What's the point of doing this? I saw the list of pros & cons. The pros don't make a lot of sense to me. Is it that difficult to figure out a student's GPA under the current system? And I don't understand how it's easier to recover from an F, when the points for an F are the same. It would seem that the current scale offers a better chance to recover from an F.
Grade scale change
Posted 9/16/2015 at 11:15:19 AM by [anonymous visitor]
This issue should be put in into play at the beginning of the year or the start of next year. It's crazy to start it when the year has already started.
starting it now???
Posted 9/16/2015 at 11:15:09 AM by [anonymous visitor]
Starting it when the school year has already started is insane!
Grading Policy
Posted 9/16/2015 at 11:15:03 AM by [anonymous visitor]
I think this is a great idea! I am all for it!
Grading scale
Posted 9/16/2015 at 11:14:57 AM by [anonymous visitor]
I say if it's not broke don't fix it. The current grading scale doesn't seem to be really much of a difference besides jumping to a 4.0 scale.
Does not help the students...
Posted 9/16/2015 at 11:14:46 AM by [anonymous visitor]
The proposal does not extend to include an A+ = 4.33 that many other Ohio districts use. If a student receives a D- currently it is a passing grade, however under the new system a D- will not be a passing grade. The student will fail and/or have to retake the course. The impact analysis that a +/- system has on GPA is applied at the overall school level not the individual student level.
Grading scale
Posted 9/16/2015 at 11:14:22 AM by [anonymous visitor]
If the school goes to the new grading scale then the people that have to work at getting the 90 will be punished But not getting the 4.0 GPA. Also the school wants to push the students to get the 93 instead of the 90, but if people that can't get the 93, then they will soon give up on the "A" altogether and you will have more people failing instead of getting the 4.0.
Grading scale
Posted 9/16/2015 at 9:06:40 AM by [anonymous visitor]
I feel that the grading scale is fine the way it is. I feel that this will only discourage the kids that work so hard to get that 90 and to keep it. I feel that now Is not a time to make these sort of changes after we have already started this school year.
Bad idea
Posted 9/16/2015 at 9:06:25 AM by [anonymous visitor]
We already hold the kids to a low standard anyway. By letting this pass we are not teaching them to work hard. We are teaching them to slack.
Posted 9/16/2015 at 9:06:12 AM by [anonymous visitor]
What is the motivation for this change? Typically a policy change of this nature is motivated by compliance with the OBE. Obviously this is not a compliance issue so are we making a knee-jerk decision in order to receive financial gain? This seems unethical
MP Employee Dress Code - Good Idea or Bad Idea?
Posted 9/16/2015 at 10:07:05 AM by Michelle Vroom [System User]
MP Employee Dress Code - Good Idea or Bad Idea?
The MP Board of Education approved the First reading of the Superintendent recommended dress code for all MP employees. Currently no formal policy exists. What are your thoughts on the districts consideration of a dress code and what should it include?
Reply Posts
Dress Code
Posted 9/30/2015 at 11:40:04 AM by [anonymous visitor]
Every corporation/business has a dress code. At my business, it is more lenient, it is "business casual". Jeans that are clean & pressed are acceptable. Sandals that aren't "Flip-flops" but may be between the toes are acceptable. Most on your list is common. There definitely needs to be a dress code for the different jobs. Anyone dressed unacceptable should be personally addressed and accountable
dress code
Posted 9/20/2015 at 8:35:29 AM by [anonymous visitor]
Regarding the dress code, I would hope each department is reviewed individually, deeming what is appropriate for their duties. As a bus driver we are exposed to extreme temperatures. On a 90° day temps inside the bus would be at least 10° warmer. Wearing tennis shoes seems like an obvious choice, as they have traction while driving or cleaning our buses.
Fridays = No new instruction
Posted 9/19/2015 at 8:34:57 AM by [anonymous visitor]
Teachers should be trusted to behave and dress appropriately since they are trusted with the community's children and their welfare. In over 5 years, I have seen very little evidence of need for a specific, delineated staff dress code. Furthermore, since high school teachers were just told NOT to teach any new content on Fridays, they might as well wear jeans. Or sweatpants and have field days.
Dress Code - 3
Posted 9/19/2015 at 8:34:33 AM by [anonymous visitor]
I'll reiterate that the campus looks incredible which I am sure has been one of your focus'. But being on the outside there has been a ton of turnover and my child lost two of their favorite teachers (as well as one of mine!) Can we try to focus more on retaining talented and caring teachers (as well as attracting new ones) instead of enacting policy after policy and driving them away?
Dress Code - 2
Posted 9/19/2015 at 8:34:11 AM by [anonymous visitor]
I fully understand what is trying to be accomplished. And I must say that the campus looks immaculate. But creating a blanket rule and then choosing which parts apply to specific people seems to just create more effort. Additionally - what about seasonal wear? Winter - what is acceptable? Summer - The ground crew works all Summer. I would not expect them to dress in dress slacks and collars.
Dress Code - 1
Posted 9/19/2015 at 8:33:46 AM by [anonymous visitor]
Wouldn't it be more appropriate to just create individual dress codes for specific departments? One for teachers, one for grounds, one for kitchen, etc. I understand the need for a dress code but you've even mentioned that the need for the dress code is to prevent confusion between administrations.
kitchen cont..
Posted 9/18/2015 at 3:03:52 PM by [anonymous visitor]
Because of the type of work we do, the same attire that teachers wear is not acceptable for us. Although we now have air, the ovens going and extra bodies makes it very uncomfortable. Our salary is not generous enough to allow us to be able to afford a new wardrobe. Please take all of these requests into consideration. Thank you for your time Sherri Allen/Asst Dst. Head Cook
kitchen cont..
Posted 9/18/2015 at 3:03:31 PM by [anonymous visitor]
Every Tuesday, we are putting a 3-4 thousand dollar order away which requires heavy lifting. Every day, we lift these cases to prepare food. The aids are on their feet and opening food for the children and cleaning constantly. Did I mention we use bleach as a disinfectant? And have ruined many clothes because of it.
Posted 9/18/2015 at 3:03:14 PM by [anonymous visitor]
On behalf of the elementary/intermediate cafeteria cooks and aids, we have concerns about the pending dress code. I would like to take this opportunity to invite you to come into our kitchen and shadow us for a day. WE WORK!! We are on our feet and active for 6.5 hours a day.Standing on hard,slick concrete floors requires us to wear comfortable shoes that grip. Cont...
Spirit day
Posted 9/18/2015 at 12:25:41 PM by [anonymous visitor]
Every day should be Spirit day. Why limit the kids and staff to certain days for supporting their school. Should I quit wearing my school gear when I go out to Walmart, Krogers or a restaurant just because it is not a designated "Spirit Day"?
Dress Code
Posted 9/18/2015 at 12:25:22 PM by [anonymous visitor]
As someone that has sat in a bus for one hour before the first student even loads on, then sits for 20-30 more minutes loading students, then drives for one hour in the extremely hot bus taking students home, I feel shorts are not unreasonable. Permit shorts and enforce a length rule. Don't kill your drivers in hot buses that sometimes exceed 100 degrees.
Posted 9/18/2015 at 12:22:57 PM by Tim Dettwiller [staff member]
The Superintendent is responsible for enforcing all board policies. By their nature policies are to be clear as possible but when there is uncertainty the Superintendent is responsible for interpretation of said policies.
Posted 9/18/2015 at 12:21:11 PM by Tim Dettwiller [staff member]
The image, perception and standards established at MP are the focus of the leadership. From the grading policy (which is the other live blog available for you to respond to) to the expectations and standards in the classroom to how our campus looks and how we interact with our public. All are critical to the success of our students.
Posted 9/18/2015 at 12:20:43 PM by Tim Dettwiller [staff member]
The intent of the dress code policy is to provide clarity for the staff as to what is not acceptable work attire. Currently that descretion is entirely with the adminstration and may change from one administrator to the next.
Posted 9/18/2015 at 12:20:12 PM by Tim Dettwiller [staff member]
The comment that different jobs require different work wear is absolutely correct and will be considered as the final draft is completed.
Posted 9/18/2015 at 12:19:44 PM by Tim Dettwiller [staff member]
Fridays are an instructional day first and foremost. Spirit days will not be restricted to one day per week. The school offers many perks to our employees, dressing down is not considered one of them. Spirit days may include a relaxed dress code if agreed upon by the Principals and Superintendent.
Posted 9/18/2015 at 12:19:03 PM by Tim Dettwiller [staff member]
Tennis shoes are comfortable but are not designed typically for support for standing on hard floors all day. They are also not considered professional footwear.
dress codes
Posted 9/18/2015 at 11:11:51 AM by [anonymous visitor]
for beginners you can not impliment 1 dress code for all shouldn't have cooks with dress shoes sounds like a slipping hazard. also there should be some discresion to teachers wearing dress shoes they are on there feet all day.also it is kinda stupid for the bus drivers to wear dress shoes when they have to pre trip there , check and add fluids and clean there buses.
dress code STUDENTS
Posted 9/18/2015 at 8:33:31 AM by [anonymous visitor]
If a dress code is needed you need to look at student dress code.There are students in the jr high and high school buildings that need addressed. Many low cut tops,tank tops,short shorts just for beginners.There are a lot more students dressed inapproately than staff members.
Dress Code not needed
Posted 9/17/2015 at 1:50:36 PM by [anonymous visitor]
A dress code is not necessary. This policy is micromanaging. Jeans should be worn on Fridays as Spirit Day, if it happens that something is going on a different day to encourage spirit, that should also be spirit day. If you want a dress code, it should have been done during contract negotiations, not now. I'm tired of focusing so much on curb appeal, let's focus on education, it's more important
tennis shoes
Posted 9/17/2015 at 1:21:48 PM by [anonymous visitor]
I teach standing up most of the day. The flooring is very hard and causes my feet to hurt. Wearing tennis shoes may not be the most professional looking but my feet do not hurt as much at the end of the day.
Invite the public
Posted 9/17/2015 at 1:21:10 PM by [anonymous visitor]
Hey community members: Please stop by and check out the teachers in YOUR schools to see if anyone is not professionally dressed. After a tour, let the principals, school board and superintendent know what you saw.
Dress Code
Posted 9/17/2015 at 1:20:50 PM by [anonymous visitor]
Children are impressionable, but if properly nurtured they are accepting of diversity. I agree that any vulgar/offensive tattoos should be covered. I don't think that tattoos or the color of someone's hair color is distracting. I think every Friday should be spirit day. It's a great way to promote the school and a great perk for the teachers/staff! It's wonderful to see Green & Gold every Friday.
Whose dress code is this?
Posted 9/17/2015 at 1:20:26 PM by [anonymous visitor]
Copied from the dress code document: The approval of departmental dress requirements will ultimately be made by the Superintendent. The approval of school spirit days and the defined appropriate dress for those days will ultimately be made by the Superintendent. Sounds to me like whatever the dress code states can change at the whim of the superintendent.
A bit excessive
Posted 9/17/2015 at 9:05:49 AM by [anonymous visitor]
The dress code isn't too strict but there are some parts that concern me. It generally seems the teachers and staff are capable of making good decisions about what to wear without a dress code in place. Staff are on their feet all day for instance, why force them to wear dress shoes for prolonged lengths of time? Staff comfort will help the learning environment better - not a strict dress code.
Let's be honest
Posted 9/17/2015 at 7:41:36 AM by [anonymous visitor]
Teachers are expected to handle classes of students day in and day out. If I can trust the teacher to teach my son then I'm pretty sure I can trust them to dress appropriately. If you can't trust them to dress appropriately then why should I trust them with my student? Ease up on the staff, they do excellent at a very difficult job. At most publish a list of suggestions or recommendations.
No dress code needed
Posted 9/17/2015 at 7:41:16 AM by [anonymous visitor]
Is there some reason a dress code now needs to be enforced? If there's a problem with someone's appearance then that should be dealt with on an individual basis. Complicating the lives of your staff seems unnecessary and I'd say insulting to them. You trust these professionals to educate our children, trust them to pick appropriate clothing! Jeans and MP shirts on Fridays show school spirit!
Take it one step further
Posted 9/17/2015 at 7:40:50 AM by [anonymous visitor]
Your e-mail states "what is appropriate attire for their job" and there are many jobs. An aide working with disabled children may need tennis shoes so they don't slip, cooks may need shorts to keep cool in the kitchen and tennis shoes to keep from slipping, bus drivers wear jeans because their job is to climb into the engine compartment to check and refill fluids. Different jobs, different attire.
dress code
Posted 9/17/2015 at 7:40:28 AM by [anonymous visitor]
We need to make sure stuff have the stuff to do their jobs. Teach our kids . Not what they wear jeans shorts and t shirt . Shouldn't matter what they wear as long as they long clean and nice that's what matters .
dress code
Posted 9/17/2015 at 7:40:11 AM by [anonymous visitor]
If you feel that you can't trust your staff to dress appropriately without a detailed dress code, perhaps you need to take a look at the quality of staff that you are hiring. A simple statement that "staff should dress appropriately for their position" seems adequate. Address problems individually if they arise.
Dress Code
Posted 9/17/2015 at 7:39:55 AM by [anonymous visitor]
Stop wasting valuable time and energy on an non issue. Leadership needs to focus on the primary purpose of education and not the concerns of a few.
Dress code
Posted 9/16/2015 at 2:32:26 PM by [anonymous visitor]
I do believe the teachers should wear appropriate dress clothes. Fridays could be Jean day. And for the students the dress code needs enforced. I've seen some shorts and dresses that were way too short, you also need to be prepared to enforce it too.
Dress Code
Posted 9/16/2015 at 2:32:09 PM by [anonymous visitor]
Fridays should always be "Spirit Day" for the students and the staff. Wearing green and gold inspires pride in our school and it's important that the kids see that in our staff. If inappropriate jeans are worn, an administrator should address it with that specific employee. Also, the privilege of wearing spirit wear and jeans on Fridays is a free benefit for the staff that keeps them very happy!
Where is common sense here?
Posted 9/16/2015 at 2:31:44 PM by [anonymous visitor]
This is a bit absurd. If you look in the mirror and wonder if you should wear it to school/work - then you shouldn't wear it - plain and simple. If you cannot trust people to use common sense, just get it over with already and mandate uniforms for staff and children - done.
Qualit of education not appearance
Posted 9/16/2015 at 2:31:32 PM by [anonymous visitor]
If the teachers and staff are providing a qualit education to our students it should not matter what they wear. As adults, they should have the ability to know what is appropriate for their classroom. It seems sometimes like there is a need to micromanage everyone when that isn't necessary. Our son is in 4th grade, we have never had a concern about what the staff was wearing.
Should be the same as the student dress code
Posted 9/16/2015 at 2:31:20 PM by [anonymous visitor]
I think the staff should have the same dress code as the students. I don't see the point in not allowing staff to wear jeans, tennis shoes or t-shirts. As long as clothing is reasonably modest, clean and is not distracting then that is enough.
Dress code
Posted 9/16/2015 at 2:31:07 PM by [anonymous visitor]
Necessary, because not all people have a sense of what is appropriate/acceptable. Gentlemen should wear dress slacks/khakis, collared shirts and dress shoes. Tie not necessary. Ladies should wear dress slacks, skirts and blouses. Neither should wear jeans, tanks, t-shirts, tennis shoes or shorts, except for special events that may require casual attire.
Dress Code
Posted 9/16/2015 at 2:29:41 PM by [anonymous visitor]
I think a dress code for teachers is absolutely acceptable. It's only logical that people in a professional capacity look professional. MP teachers are charged with setting an example for our young people who will soon be entering the workforce. Dressing appropriately is just one component of taking the job seriously.
Dress code
Posted 9/16/2015 at 11:44:06 AM by [anonymous visitor]
Issues should be addressed with the person who has a problem looking decent, rather than making a blanket rule.Following the dress code doesn't guarantee that one will look professional. Does a wrinkled pair of khakis & stained polo shirt look better than a clean pair of jeans & wrinkle-free MP t-shirt? Most teachers are on their feet all day--they absolutely should be able to wear tennis shoes.
Dress Code
Posted 9/16/2015 at 11:14:12 AM by [anonymous visitor]
The teacher's should follow the same dress code the kids are supposed to follow. I read the draft policy and it seems too harsh. Let's focus on education!
Common sense versus excessive
Posted 9/16/2015 at 11:14:02 AM by [anonymous visitor]
Sleeveless shirts and blouses? Your obsession with arms both student and staff is baffling. I agree flip flops are not proper footwear for other than the beach. Jeans with shirt or blouse would be fine, appropriately fashioned and accessorized. These rules are much more strict for the females, and feel this is common sense. If you wouldn't go see your grandma wearing it, don't wear it to scho
Dress code
Posted 9/16/2015 at 11:13:36 AM by [anonymous visitor]
I think it's fine the way that it is. The staff should be dressing professionally and setting good examples for our children. Keep up the good work!
Dress Code
Posted 9/16/2015 at 11:12:19 AM by [anonymous visitor]
I most certainly think that "professionals" need to dress the part. Business casual should be required. Nice pants or skirt, nice shirt. If you dress like you are successful, then you will have the mindset that you want to be successful and I think that teaches our children how to act and dress when they are in the real world business setting. Sloppy dressing promotes a sloppy attitude.
Dress code
Posted 9/16/2015 at 11:11:52 AM by [anonymous visitor]
I don't really care what me teacher wears. It doesn't make me lose any respect for my teachers.
Dress code
Posted 9/16/2015 at 9:04:41 AM by [anonymous visitor]
Dress codes are fine for staff that works inside the buildings. But a lot of your Classified Staff such as Cooks, Bus Drivers & Bus Mechanics work in the heat & cold. Decent jeans, shorts & t-shirts or sweatshirts are appropriate for their line of work. Some people have to wear tennis shoes because of foot problems. I think the difference between jobs should be considered.
Dress Code
Posted 9/16/2015 at 9:04:20 AM by [anonymous visitor]
As a parent, this is disheartening. Our teachers go above and beyond for the students and this is insulting. There's a MUCH better way this can be said. Give the teachers some credit. Professional wear M-Th. Spirit wear with jeans on Fri. Admin. should address concerns individually as needed. Is being this specific increasing my student's learning in the classrooms? That's most important to me.
Better standards
Posted 9/16/2015 at 9:03:52 AM by [anonymous visitor]
We need better standards. Over the years Madison Plains standards, morals and ethics have drastically fallen. Holding the teachers to a more strict standard could potentially influence the students to have higher standards. Lead by example.
Dress code
Posted 9/16/2015 at 9:03:36 AM by [anonymous visitor]
I have no problem with teachers wearing jeans and t shirts everyday. Gym teachers should not be in anything other than tennis shoes and gym clothes. If u r going to make a dress code for teachers and staff does that mean everyone has to follow it. Because I know for a fact that the dress code that is enforced for the students doesn't apply to every student.
Dress code
Posted 9/16/2015 at 9:03:14 AM by [anonymous visitor]
I think you should trust your teachers to dress appropriately. They are adults. If they need to be micromanaged in terms of what clothes they wear, then maybe you shouldn't have hired them. I agree with the previous visitor that dress codes seem to be biased and much more strict on females. Please be kind and respectful of other's right to self expression.
dress code
Posted 9/16/2015 at 9:03:03 AM by [anonymous visitor]
If you have to outline every single item that could be inappropriate for staff to wear, you might need to rethink the quality of the staff you are hiring. I think it's within reason to expect teachers to dress appropriately. If a teacher can't figure out what is "appropriate", do we really want them being the example that our children should look up to?
Studying traffic flow on our campus
Posted 6/24/2015 at 10:09:05 AM by Michelle Vroom [System User]
Studying traffic flow on our campus
Even though our classroom doors are closed for the summer, there's lots of work happening throughout the district. The break also gives us time to make changes and implement improvements to benefit our daily operation. We are currently studying the traffic flow at the Intermediate school and would like your input as we work to improve the situation and make it safer for students and drivers. What are your thoughts on the matter?
Reply Posts
Posted 9/16/2015 at 8:38:53 AM by [anonymous visitor]
Whose job is it going to become to police the hundred+ drivers when assigned parking becomes the next new policy? How is assigned parking going to improve any process at the school? I would hope the administration has far bigger issues that already need resolved. Why create more controversy?
Posted 9/16/2015 at 8:38:32 AM by [anonymous visitor]
Let's talk about facility improvement spending. Instead of paving the parking lots, purchasing parking deviders let's focus on the sub-standard restroom conditions in the high school with doors that don't shut and/or lock, water faucets that do not function, and soap despencers that are non existing. Why don't we start with providing the basics of hygiene and sanitation first.
New Issues to talk about
Posted 8/31/2015 at 8:25:33 AM by [anonymous visitor]
I believe we have talked about this issue long enough, how about moving on with some other topics. Let's start with how the buildings look this year. I think they look GREAT! Thanks for all the hard work that was put in during the summer. How can we get a new gym on the campus? We sure could use the space for all indoor activities coming up.
Investment in our kids future
Posted 7/13/2015 at 8:25:47 AM by [anonymous visitor]
I think it's time the district took another look at new facilities and educate the public on the need. I know a lot of people don't want to pay more, but we need to face reality and put our children first. We should all be will willing to make sacrifices to improve the safety and conditions.
Posted 7/9/2015 at 2:21:27 PM by Tim Dettwiller [staff member]
The decision to close the outlying elementaries by the district was a financial one. Closing the small outlying elementaries allowed the district to reduce staff and maintenance costs dramatically. These decisions were necessary in order to keep the schools books in the black. It is true the common spaces such as parking, the gymnasium and cafeteria are strained by the consolidation. Had we not consolidated though we would have been forced to ask for additional operating revenues. The district has not passed a levy for NEW revenues since 2005. One of the bloggers was correct, the answer to all of our school facility problems would be a new school. That answer however, comes with a pricetag that the community has not yet supported.
Traffic Flow
Posted 7/1/2015 at 9:24:57 AM by Carrington Nye [public user]
I have been perplexed since moving to Ohio why there is no Safety Patrol in most intermediate schools. I believe that with a Safety Patrol in place, there will be more student involvement, ownership, and pride for everything that they will accomplish through the program. They will ensure that traffic flow is much more organized and timely, creating a very real precise regimen.
Traffic Flow
Posted 7/1/2015 at 9:24:41 AM by [anonymous visitor]
I know that no one wants to hear this, but we need to get realistic about the problem. The problem exists because the administration closed the K-5 buildings and put everyone on Linson Rd. That area is not designed to handle the amount of traffic. We need a new school! Until then, the parking lots should be paved with lines, incoming and outgoing lanes and a left hand turn lane.
Traffic flow at schools
Posted 6/28/2015 at 8:02:10 AM by [anonymous visitor]
The optimal solution would to create another entrance to the schools from 38, possibly across from Watson Rd or to petition the county to install a traffic signal at the intersection of Linson and 38. Another option could be to create a road that connects the intermediate lot to the high school back parking lot, and have the buses use this route to relieve congestion on Linson Rd.
Traffic control
Posted 6/28/2015 at 8:01:52 AM by [anonymous visitor]
Whatever you do, do not make it a right turn only out of the intermediate school parking lot. Having to go to Newport and come back is ridiculous!!!!
School traffic
Posted 6/28/2015 at 8:01:42 AM by [anonymous visitor]
I did read in an article that the school was looking into only having a right hand turn out of the intermediate lot. I feel this would be a bad idea for the high schoolers, longer distance equals greater chance of an accident. If the traffic and accident rate is so high have a police officer direct traffic during the high traffic times. This would be safer for everyone.
Trafffic Pattern
Posted 6/28/2015 at 8:01:23 AM by [anonymous visitor]
Buses arrive and drop off students along central office side of the building. Students enter the building by the cafeteria entrance and intermediate hallway by media center. At dismissal buses line up double deep, dismissed at one time. No personal cars are allowed to enter or exit during the time buses are loading by central office. Cars drop off & pick up at elem courtyard or front door MPISD.
Traffice Flow
Posted 6/28/2015 at 8:00:59 AM by [anonymous visitor]
Several times this school year I've experienced near hits with parents, students entering and exiting the intermediate and central office parking lots. Post speed and mark crosswalks.I recommend no parking along the field house building. Instead require staff and after school sports participants to park in spaces in front of the intermediate school or in spaces closer towards the ball fields.
Newport turn-around
Posted 6/26/2015 at 2:59:45 PM by Tim Dettwiller [staff member]
We are studying all options for a safe loading zone for students. A right turn exiting from the Intermediate parking lot would only be for parents dropping students off at the Intermediate and Elementary. All ideas and suggestions are appreciated and will be considered. It is not our intent to require folks to go to Newport to turn around. Thank you for the several good ideas we have already received!
Change direction
Posted 6/26/2015 at 2:55:36 PM by [anonymous visitor]
Have parents enter parking lot from close to 38, where people exit currently, and drop off in front of main doors. Have buses follow same direction as parent pick-up/drop-off last year. Once they exit cars and buses will exit where parents exited in the past, as a 3-way stop with parking lot and Linson. Do not have people go to Newport. Waste of time, bad for environment, and too expensive!!!
Posted 6/26/2015 at 8:00:31 AM by [anonymous visitor]
Another road behind the schools off 38 for the high school traffic only or also for drop off for intermediate. Buses use Linson road. Or drop off for intermediate come in to front of school but leave off a new rd onto 38.
traffic flow at Intermediate Building
Posted 6/25/2015 at 6:27:03 PM by [anonymous visitor]
Have the parents pull into the front of the building like the buses did last year. Then have the buses go down toward the ball fields & turnaround, come back & line up on side of building by the kitchen. Bused students could load & unload at these doors.
Pick up line getting long, additional entrance/exit to 38
Posted 6/24/2015 at 6:25:51 PM by [anonymous visitor]
It was said before there might be a need for an additonal entrance/exit to the elementary/intermediate parking lot to run past the baseball fields and out to 38. We had one instance this year where the pick up line was backed up out to Linson Road. A better pick up plan that would include allowing parents to line up curbside and enter/exit to 38 would benefit everyone.
Posted 4/13/2015 at 2:33:14 PM by Tim Dettwiller [staff member]

Good morning,

The Board of Education approved the new school day and the new calendar on March 17, 2015. The day now allows for JH and HS students to eat in the classroom once the school day begins. K-6 will eat in the classroom prior to the commencement of instruction. This change removed the need for the busses to start their routes 15 - 20 minutes earlier. The school calendar was changed to allow our teachers to have more academic time with our students prior to our testing cycles.

Thank you so much for participating!

Thank You!
Posted 3/5/2015 at 2:34:04 PM by Tim Dettwiller [staff member]

I  again want to thank all of you for your input into this process.  Making change is never easy and will always cause friction for some.  We had great attendance at our MPAC committee meeting last week and I received many great suggestions and ideas about the change to the school day. All of your suggestions will be considered when I make my recommendation to the Board on March 17.  Please look for the Board agenda on our website here: to see my recommendation on March 14.

Thank you!

Fiscal Responsibility
Posted 3/5/2015 at 2:33:33 PM by Tim Dettwiller [staff member]
I have laid out in a previous post the fiscal factors being considered.  I have also discussed how the cost of additional miles on busses is a wash against the benefits provided to drivers. As far as a fiscal argument you only need to look at all of our surrounding districts to see that they utilize two-tier busing.
Madison-Plains Proposed School Day Forum
Posted 2/19/2015 at 1:54:04 PM by Michelle Vroom [System User]
As part of our commitment to improving the experience of our students and the educational process in Madison-Plains, the Board of Education and district administrative team is studying the school day and assessing whether -- or not -- any changes should be made as we look toward the future. 

We need to take a critical and honest look at a number of questions before we make any changes. We are in the middle of the process and truly value the input we have -- and will -- receive from parents and community members.
So, what do we need to study? The following questions are just a part of the conversation:
  • How long is our school day? 
  • Are we using our time with students efficiently?
  • How long are students on the bus? 
  • Is our transportation system efficient and cost-effective?
In fact, we will discuss these thoughts and more at our next Madison-Plains Advisory Council meeting at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 25 in the Elementary Meeting Room.

MPAC meets regularly to discuss important school issues with the administration. The setting is informal so candid conversation can be held.

Join The M-P Conversation and let us know your thoughts! 
Reply Posts
school start date
Posted 4/13/2015 at 11:31:42 AM by [anonymous visitor]
I don't understand why the school start date has to be moved up. What was wrong with starting the last full week in August,getting out the last week in May. It worked fine 2 years ago. I don't understand why the high school students would be getting a breakfast for the first 20 minutes of school.So they are basically going earlier to eat? if my children eat at home they wouldn't need to be there.
Earlier time
Posted 3/9/2015 at 3:58:51 PM by [anonymous visitor]
My kids will not be getting up for an earlier start time than the current. I currently have 3 children that are in the Elem., the Intermediate and the HS. If times change to earlier, we might have to open enroll in another district. It would be a shame, since all of my children either are in sports or Band and enjoy their activities at MP. Savings on double bus routes means getting rid of drivers.
Posted 3/9/2015 at 11:14:46 AM by [anonymous visitor]
I have said it before and I will say it again, Thanks for all your doing! The school is doing an excellent job at handling the recent circumstances it has reached. The school has MY families support regardless of the outcome of the “proposed changes for 2015-2016 school year”. With that being said, I would like to voice my opinion. I don’t see a problem at all with increasing the school year with an earlier start DATE or later end DATE. However, I am opposed to separating the K-12 bussing/school schedule. I do understand that there are many differences in Kindergarteners and a Senior (or even junior high kids). Our bus doesn’t seem to have these issues, I think I owe this to having a great driver?! No nonsense kind of attitude, the kids know what’s right and wrong, the littles aren’t exposed to the drama. If the problem is over crowding on the bus, can we increase our fleet by 1-3 busses? Has this been considered? I am sure it has, I am curious to see what the numbers are on this option. Versus going from 2 bus routes a day to 4 routes a day. If the problem is drive time/start time, our kids thrive on schedules. If a child isn’t getting a good night sleep, or doesn’t have that parent enforcing a bedtime schedule, then a later start time probably isn’t going to benefit them anyways. (Of course I am more so talking about K-6) Ride time: My daughter (2nd) gets on the bus around 6:35am. Like I said before, it’s a schedule! She adapted to this schedule long before we began kindergarten at MP due to my husband and I working outside of the home. They adjust to their schedules. It’s a long bus ride, but is this REALLY a big deal? To be very honest, I don’t think a ‘long’ bus ride is that significate…. I attended Miami Trace growing up, I know my bus ride was at least that long. (I know, different times…) Just to add, if we change the start times, I am sure there are parents will have to obtain babysitters for the morning schedule. Adding another expense. Leaving the district, I don’t think the busing or start/end times are truly to blame for our numbers decreasing. I think the district score card, the staff turnover rate, and the recent uninvited junior high drama has more to do with that. Nonetheless, I think that the school board is doing a great job at giving the school a facelift. Making it more attractive to newcomers. There is a lot of positive things that are happening around Madison Plains due to the new school board and they are being seen! The news letters that go out are extremely informative, the PTO is doing amazing things for our kids, the athletic programs are keeping the kids involved; it’s a great place to be right now. There are always the negative parents, but if we can work together to shut down those attitudes/vibes, then it makes it a more enjoyable atmosphere for all. I will support the school regardless of the outcome of this proposed plan. But, I just wanted to share my opinion.
Posted 3/6/2015 at 11:13:12 AM by [anonymous visitor]
I am in favor of earlier start time for all ages, so 7:30 to 2:10 day for elementary students, 7:30 to 2:30 for high school students. This will prevent current traffic problems. Buses get to school by 7:30 now, 15 minutes early. Why don't you review logs to see exactly when they are arriving and make changes based on that? It may be possible that students could get picked up a few minutes later
Moved our family TO MPLSD (cont)
Posted 3/5/2015 at 8:11:54 AM by [anonymous visitor]
It seems to me that the cost of have the bus make two trips to my house in the morning, two trips in the afternoon would be an incredible waste of time and resources. I do have to say that if MPLSD would make the proposed changes, we would have to seriously consider pulling our three children out. To me, the proposed plan shows poor fiscal responsibility and decision making.
Moved our family TO MPLSD (cont)
Posted 3/5/2015 at 8:11:39 AM by [anonymous visitor]
We have children in 9th grade and two 3rd graders. We live in Lily Chapel, so our children are some in the district who have longer bus rides. While it's not ideal, my children do not mind. They have friends on the bus, they read, they talk, they are building relationships to and from school. I feel more comfortable knowing that my older son is on the bus able to keep an eye out on his sisters
We Deliberately Moved our family TO MPLSD.
Posted 3/5/2015 at 8:11:26 AM by [anonymous visitor]
Back in 2010, my husband and I were ready to move out of the machine known as Hilliard School District. We made a very deliberate choice to move to MPLSD because it reminded us of our small town school districts where we attended. Where the school has the feeling of community and the children start and stop at the same times. continued
Maximum characters
Posted 3/5/2015 at 8:08:52 AM by Tim Dettwiller [staff member]
Due to the length of some of the posts we have limited the number of characters to 400. Please feel free to post multiple posts. Thank you,
No to the proposal for staggered starts
Posted 2/27/2015 at 8:10:47 AM by [anonymous visitor]
If staggered starts are implemented, my children will have to be open-enrolled elsewhere. It isn't as simple as "adjust and deal with it"...good, professional jobs are hard enough to come by, and we work at the behest of our employers. By the way, according to my children, many of their former friends who have left this district have done so due to bullying, not long bus rides, nor academics.
Bus Rides
Posted 2/27/2015 at 8:10:21 AM by [anonymous visitor]
I think you should really focus on one thing at a time. The bus rides are a huge problem for us. The buses are overcrowded. The rides are too long. We need to think about the safety of our children. You should not be putting three kids in a seat. The district's first priority should be getting our children to school safely in a reasonable amount of time so the kids are ready to learn.
Bus times.
Posted 2/26/2015 at 8:10:04 AM by [anonymous visitor]
My sons are one of the ones who get on the bus at 6:20 am and get off the bus at 4:25 pm. That has always been unexceptionable as it is. Now we want it even earlier? They get up at 5:30 am to get ready for school. They have been doing this since the 5th grade and 8th grade. I cannot imagine getting up earlier.
WJ or MP
Posted 2/25/2015 at 2:49:23 PM by [anonymous visitor]
I am writing you in regards to the school hours. I want you to know I and my fiancee are lifelong residents of Madison County, he is a graduate of Madison Plains & I from West Jeff. We have a 3 1/2 year old son who will be starting Kindergarton in 2017. I want you to know I think the change in school hours would be great. We live in Lily Chapel & I know the elementary kids in in my neighborhood get picked up around 6:45 in the morning & don't get dropped off until almost 4 in the afternoon. This, in my opinion, is way too long for these little ones to be on the bus. My other concern is that you have highschool kids on the same busses as Kindergartoners. This is a huge issue to me because of many obvious reasons I don't feel need to be listed here. If things do not change, I will be one of those parents who send my children to West Jeff. Their elementary school is 10 mins from my house & the high school is about 5. It takes at least 30 minutes to get to Madison Plains' campus from my house, not to mention all the stops along the way for a bus ride make it longer. I understand concern for the parents who work & finding a place for their children early in the morning, but they shouldn't use the long bus ride as a " babysitter" so they can keep their hours. If you raise a responsible child, the older ones shouldn't have any problems being without supervision. I made sure I made it on the bus on time and if it was not a season where I was in sports, I made sure I stayed home until my mom got home from work, and remember, this was before cell phones where parents can get ahold of their child if needed. The length of the day is really no concern for me. It's not reduced by that much at all for highschoolers & I don't think the elementary school kids need to have that long of a day anyways. Adding the 4 days to the school year will make up those minutes parents are so concerned about. I would love for my child to go to school in the school district he lives in but I refuse to make my child ride a bus that long & start school that early. My decision, for the past year or so, was that my child will go to West Jeff, but if things change, he will be a student at Madison Plains. I really hope you all make the right choice for the kids. I do have another question in regards to the preschool on your campus. To my understanding, you don't offer preschool at all or won't bus the kids unless they have other special needs that require them to stay the whole school day for therapies. Why is this? My son should be starting preschool this year, but unfortuately, he has nowhere to go. West Jeff doesn't start open enrollment until kindergarton and when I looked into Madison Plains preschool, I was very disappointed in the info that I got.
Yes To Shortened Days
Posted 2/25/2015 at 2:47:29 PM by [anonymous visitor]
While we probably can't drastically shorten bus rides because of the rural area, we can do something about the length of the school day. Although we have had some wonderful, dedicated teachers throughout our years at MP, I have also felt often that my children's time is being wasted. I do not send my children to school to be babysat, or to watch movies (which they do quite often). I am all for a shortened school day while also holding the district more accountable for the use of time in the classroom. While it is tempting, I refuse to think of start and end times in terms of when I have to be at work. The start time is the start time, and we adjust and make it work. Is it better for our children? I believe a shorter school day is. I personally think an earlier start time for younger children would be more beneficial. Children seem to lose interest and attention later in the day. Thank you for taking my thoughts into consideration.
Marching Band Students
Posted 2/25/2015 at 2:46:50 PM by Audrey Briggs [public user]
As a parent of a marching band member, I'm not thrilled with the earlier start date. These kids don't have much of a summer as it is and now you want to start school right after band camp if I'm reading this correctly? These kids are some of the best and hardest working in the school. They sacrifice a lot as well as their parents. I think the start date should stay the same.
Superintendent Response
Posted 2/25/2015 at 11:28:09 AM by Tim Dettwiller [staff member]
Good Cold Tuesday to everyone! I first want to thank everyone who has taken the time to be a part of this vital conversation. I value your input and ideas and I am listening. My next few replies will respond to questions posed by the you.
A third time change?
Posted 2/25/2015 at 8:09:42 AM by [anonymous visitor]
I do not believe anyone who responded about how a change in the school day will affect working parents is using the school bus for a ‘babysitter’. I truly believe these parents have valid reasons as to why the school district should not change the start time. It is too early for students to board a school bus at 6:15 and too late for most parents to have students boarding a bus at 7:50, but for most families it seems the time students are getting on the bus with the current schedule is acceptable. We cannot lose empathy for the families who will be burdened by finding childcare for their school-aged children because of these possible changes. Nor should we forget we have chosen to live in a large rural district where a lengthy bus ride will be inevitable. The current start time and end time of school works. If anything, I would rather see a decrease in the school day by sending students home earlier and leaving the start time alone. I have had a child in the district for the past 10 years and will continue to have a child in the district for the next 14 years. If this proposal passes it will be the third change in the start and end times of school. I work in another school district and have for 17 years, there has never been a change in times of the school day. In the next 14 years how many more times will my family and others need to make changes to accommodate the fluidity of this district?
please advise
Posted 2/25/2015 at 8:07:26 AM by [anonymous visitor]
I noticed that I was unable to finish my reply due to a limitation of 400 characters (I just posted under anonymous before i realized i had a UN and PW)... yet other anonymous users had much longer replies than the character allotment i see here. Im just curious what i'm doing wrong and am asking how were they able to post longer messages to you? Thank you. Please advise.
Regarding 2-tier
Posted 2/25/2015 at 8:07:07 AM by [anonymous visitor]
The major costs have not divulged the maintain/repair costs of older busses—nor the projections for when new vehicles will need purchased. By double running the same busses, you will be in effect reducing the lifespan of the current vehicle fleet—by half. It makes more sense for the long haul to add equipment that will need less repairs, saving wear and tear on other vehicles. More to follow...
Bus Rides
Posted 2/25/2015 at 8:06:52 AM by [anonymous visitor]
I am all for shortening the day for little kids. However, I don't understand how the busing will work for the older kids. For example, my son currently gets picked up at 6:30 to get to school at 7:50. What time is the bus going to pick him up to get to school at 7:30? I would like school to be more transparent on how much time this change is really going to save on bus rides.
Change in school hours will result in financial burden for working parents
Posted 2/24/2015 at 2:46:30 PM by [anonymous visitor]
While I can appreciate the need for shorter busing hours for students, the current proposal will have a negative impact on my family and I'm sure many others who work. I do not know of an employer who will allow me to walk into the office after 9:00 (which would allow me to get my kids on the bus).Many working parents are required to report to their jobs by 7:00-8:00. Am I supposed to leave my 7 and 8 year old children alone in the mornings while waiting for their bus? Or perhaps I have to undertake the added financial burden of child care before school as well as after. Neither of these solutions is acceptable to me or anyone else I know. Please reconsider what this proposal will do to families financially.
Offer us options
Posted 2/24/2015 at 2:46:06 PM by [anonymous visitor]
If this passes, I would like to see an option offered to parents who have kids in both buildings. We need to be able to opt to send our kids on the first bus run with the older kids, and the district can pay a teacher some overtime to hold free (or at least very low cost) latchkey in the gym until the school day starts. We shouldn't have to pay for childcare we can't afford in order to accommodate a plan many of us don't agree with. We already pay crazy property taxes out here, not to mention fees for curriculum and equipment and trips and we support fundraisers that come out several times a quarter. We understand the school has a bottom line to meet. We in our individual homes do, also.
long days!
Posted 2/24/2015 at 2:45:32 PM by [anonymous visitor]
I can understand completely why mp has lost 150 students. When a child has to ride a bus for 11-12 hours a week on top of long school hours. I would say it's time for a change. Schools should not be a free 10 hour a day babysitter. 10 hours including the bus ride is too long of a day for all students! Especially a 5 or 6 yr old! I'm considering not even sending my children to mp either because of the long days. When you realize how much time can be saved by doing homeschooling vs. public schooling it's a no wonder mp is lossing so many.
Change the structure of the day, not the hours of the day.
Posted 2/24/2015 at 2:45:09 PM by [anonymous visitor]
How many children have bus rides that are more than an hour? Has a bus actually driven the longer routes, stopping at each stop, to see how much of a difference it would make to have 2 separate routes? Given the geographical size of the district, there are unfortunately some students that will have a lengthy trip to school no matter what. Has the district contacted the parents of the children who left the district, as other posters have mentioned, to find out exactly why they left? I would be very surprised if the length of the trip to school had a significant impact on their decision. Other parents have already mentioned many of my concerns, including the impact on working parents, challenges of having older and younger siblings on different schedules, lack of childcare availability and options, and late arrivals home for younger children. In regards to younger and older students riding together, I would far rather my young child ride on a bus with a sophomore than a sixth grader. Perhaps, to address some of the concerns mentioned, each high schooler on the bus could be "assigned" a younger child to be a mentor to. My 3rd grader spends a lot of time with high school students (her father teaches at the high school) and it has been our experience that the big kids are better behaved and more respectful once they get to know her as a person and not just as a "little kid". I agree that the school day is long, but I don't necessarily see that as a bad thing. I would like to see more breaks built into the day, particularly for elementary and intermediate students, and I think that having a longer school day could allow the district to make some positive changes. I think that younger students should have 2 recesses per day--one immediately prior to lunch and one in the early afternoon. Research has shown that children who have lunch prior to recess eat less, particularly less of the healthier foods, because they want to finish eating and get outside to play. When recess precedes lunch, this is less of a problem. Also, I find it difficult as an adult to sit at a desk all day with only one break. I can't imagine how stifling it must be for kids. Let's add an afternoon recess (maybe at 1 or 1:30) to give the kids an opportunity to get out some of that natural and normal kid energy. It would decrease inattentiveness at the end of the day, and also provide much-needed physical activity. My child is open enrolled at Plains as a student following a staff member. If the school day changed to what has been proposed, open enrollment would no longer work for my family. I know that there are other families in a similar situation. I understand that we are certainly not the majority by any means, and I don't expect the district to revolve around us, but I do feel like it's another factor to consider. I appreciate the district's concern about what is best for students. It's important to realize that, in most situations, what is best for the family is also going to be best for the student. The proposed plan isn't what is best for my family, nor, it appears, for many other families. I don't think that staggering start times is the best solution to keep students from leaving the district.
Too many problems
Posted 2/24/2015 at 2:43:54 PM by [anonymous visitor]
150 students leaving could be for a hundred different reasons. Without polling those who left, how do we even know that long hours were the problem?? I doubt any parent likes the fact that their elementary child has such a long day. But what choice do we have? All the elementary schools were closed. We have one school campus in the middle of no-where. This will ALWAYS bee a detrimental FLAW in the Madison Plains School district. Until this is fixed by adding new buildings, creating a MP North / South and attracting families to district communities, students and families will likely leave. This should have been fixed long ago.
For now
Posted 2/24/2015 at 11:57:10 AM by Tim Dettwiller [staff member]
I hope I have addressed some of your questions. Please remember this is just a proposal and will not be recommended by me to the board until the March 17 Board meeting. So please keep commenting and remember this is not a you against the school issue but a "how do we work together to make MP beter for everyone" issue. Thank you,
Open Enrollment
Posted 2/24/2015 at 11:54:48 AM by Tim Dettwiller [staff member]
We currently send about $750,000 to other districts to educate students who live within the Madison-Plains borders. We receive about $500,000 from other districts for students who have open enrolled to MP. The difference of $250K is a net loss for MP. My goal is to capture back as much of the $750K going out by bringing our students back and by tracking our young student residents into MP versus neighboring schools. Reducing ride times is an obvious reason why folks would choose not to send their children to MP. I fully understand that there are other reasons that play into making the educational decisions for your child. What kind of education will my child receive from MP should be the number 1 concern. We have improved dramatically in that area over the last two years. What kind of culture does MP foster? We are working hard to improve our school environment with many changes such as our positive behavior program which is now rolling out. How are the athletics and Arts programs? We now have a comprehensive athleitc plan to improve our programs and make them more competitive. Our marching band is one of the best in central Ohio. As you can see we are not just addressing bussing to entice our students to come back home to MP.
Why are we fixing what is not broken?
Posted 2/24/2015 at 11:45:41 AM by Tim Dettwiller [staff member]
Is our system broken or not, is in the eye of the beholder. If you are one of those unlucky enough to have an hour and 14 minute ride to and from school you may agree that we need to study our current transportation plan to see if there is a better way. Our school calendar change is a result of input from adminstration and teachers who wanted the calendar aligned to testing. It made no sense to have grading period testing then being stuck with several days after the test before the grading period was over. I do agree the current system is not broken, but it can be improved.
Bus route planning
Posted 2/24/2015 at 11:41:09 AM by Tim Dettwiller [staff member]
We currently use Transfinder, an automated routing system that finds the most efficent routes. Our transportation department works to insure that we are running our busses as efficeintly as possible. Busses not full are normally traveling to remote or unique destinations. This desire to be efficient and provide reasonable ride times is why we are having this discussion. Your responses are part of our research.
How can 2 tier bussing be cheaper?
Posted 2/24/2015 at 11:38:23 AM by Tim Dettwiller [staff member]
To understand the cost of running our fleet you must understand the major costs. 1) Bus purchase/maint and repair, 2) Driver compensation, 3) Driver benefits. A bus now costs about $95,000. The average driver makes $16.50 / hour, Family Plan benefits cost the district about $17,000/year per driver as well as retirement contribution requirements. If you go to two tier bussing you can reduce the number of routes thereby reducing the number of drivers and thereby reducing the benefits paid substantially. Increasing the number of hours for the remaining drivers and increased fuel and maintenance will not reach the savings generated by the reduction in benefits.
Time Change...
Posted 2/24/2015 at 11:09:15 AM by [anonymous visitor]
I am all for the 2015-2016 school year schedule. I am not a huge fan of the proposed start times. I think we should keep it the same as it currently is. I think that it would create more problems than what we already have. I also think that with the way teaching standards are changing, we need all the time we can get to teach the younger children. I know it is not a huge change but every little bit counts. Is the new bus schedule going to cost us more money in fuel and driver time?
Posted 2/24/2015 at 11:08:49 AM by [anonymous visitor]
No half day Kindergarten!
Yes for less hours!!!
Posted 2/23/2015 at 9:11:30 PM by [anonymous visitor]
I am all for shorter school hours. Especially for kindergartners. I actually would like to see half day for kindergarten but that's probably a long shot. I'm not for the younger students coming home so late though. I also think that there should be a better transportation management. If the routes were planned out a little better the bus times could probably be made shorter.
discipline problems
Posted 2/23/2015 at 9:11:04 PM by [anonymous visitor]
I feel that busing Elem. & Inter. children separate from Jr. High & High school kids would help with discipline problems on buses. Also it's hard to keep older children from saying or doing inappropriate things in front of younger children. Younger children would also not have to board a bus so early.
Posted 2/23/2015 at 9:10:39 PM by [anonymous visitor]
As a parent having an elementary school student I have to dislike the new proposed times !!!My oldest went to a SWCS in elementary kindergarten was half day every day . I can tell you my youngest learned more from being all day compared to the SWCS kindergarten ! Do I like the fact the may 7 year old is on the bus at 6:40 and home by 4:00 ? It does not bother me maybe an earlier release time would be better for some . After school activities we are in are in grove city which starts at 5 so a longer school day puts a damper on that . Not to mention my niece rides the bus with my daughter so if I'm running late I know she is there with my daughter at my house ! I don't understand why all the wanting to change things ! Things are working fine the way they are ! We need to worry more about the state testing crap ! What happened to learning the old way ! ? We are a small district and stop trying to compete the with bigger surrounding districts !!! Let's be honest double busses cost more money ! Before and after school care for some parents with the time changes will cost parents more money and less money for them to give to the schools ! We need to worry more about education then fixing what's not broken !
Voting np
Posted 2/23/2015 at 4:58:39 PM by [anonymous visitor]
I will also have 2 different children on these new proposed staggered start times. As of now, my high school student is able to drive my younger student to school. If the changes are implemented you will be picking up an additional student now in the morning and having an additional one added in the afternoon because of the change. I am understanding that our school days are long, but the elementary kids having a decent recess and lunch when they are able to talk and release some energy would probably help out the teachers greatly. Although this is a whole separate issue. After school sports are also in question with having some of the coaching staff on two different schedules. If the teacher of a 7-12 sport in the younger buildings if they stay after school they will be unsupervised for additional time now and I am aware of several incidents that happened last year as a result of short unsupervised time slots. I think working parents will have a hard time with a later drop off as well. I am not in favor of this time change
Children in both buildings...please reconsider this proposal
Posted 2/23/2015 at 4:58:10 PM by Mindy Isaacs [public user]
I, also, would like to submit my concerns about this schedule for those among us who have children attending in both buildings and must maintain a regular 8-hour daytime work schedule…and I’m sure I am not the only one in this situation who has no other alternatives for getting my kids both on AND off the bus, living out in the rural areas of the county. Living out where we are, it isn't feasible to hire a babysitter to come to my home 1)that early in the morning, nor 2) in inclement weather. Such a schedule will make it impossible for me to work a full day next year, and as a County employee, I am accountable for each minute I clock and receive compensation for. I obviously cannot leave my 8 year old daughter to get on the bus by herself, nor do I want my 13 year old child returning home to open up the house, solo, in the afternoons…a pattern which makes my home, AND my children, susceptible to burglary or worse, by anyone paying attention. And unfortunately, in this day and age, these things do happen in Madison County, particularly out in the rural areas. I am not trying to sound alarmist, but as a responsible parent, I do not choose to make my children latch-key kids (nor can I abandon our well being by forfeiting my vocation), and I would hope that the school district would consider the well being of the families it serves as a whole, keeping in mind that the majority of us work outside the home, and many of us have students who attend Madison Plains in both buildings, and do not have resources to merely ship our children off to alternate locations in the afternoons. (Indeed, I wonder if the Board is aware of the demographic of its many of us are in that same position, having children in both buildings, for years to come.) Given the recent article regarding funding cuts in the Plains district, I am also curious about the cost effectiveness of running two bus schedules, both morning and afternoon? It defies logic that it would be a savings, considering how much overlap in travel there would have to, inevitably, be.
150 Students Lost
Posted 2/23/2015 at 4:56:59 PM by [anonymous visitor]
I can't respond as to why the 150 students were lost, but I can tell you that living 10 minutes away from West Jeff and having to send my kids to Madison Plains is stupid. The district is not zoned properly now that the elementary schools have been closed. I have 4 kids that will potentially go to another school based on the outcome of this discussion.
Parent of a Kindergardner...
Posted 2/23/2015 at 2:01:29 PM by Allison Downing [public user]
I do not feel that separating the HS students from the EL/INT children is going to solve anything. I feel my child is safer with the older kids on the bus with them. If for instance, a situation comes such as the bus driver who was drinking on the bus, who is going to stand up and keep my child safe? ( Not saying its going to happen but you never know) My child sat in the back of the bus wit the HS kids from the beginning of the school year until recently, I didn't have any issues until my son was moved to the front of the bus to sit with kids his age. My son is now getting beat up and bitten. I do not agree with moving him. Also, the change of school times are going to hurt the working parents. My son currently gets on the bus at 7am and I have to be at work at 7:30am. This is perfect timing for me to get to work on time. Also, if gives my son some time to "nap" before school. So changing to a later start time will cause me to not only have a sitter for the AM but for the PM as well. I do agree with the shorter days but getting out of school at such a late time is going to hurt the kids. My son isn't getting home until 4PM and by the time he has a snack, homework completed and a bath, its time for bed. He isn't getting much "family time" the way it is and not getting out of school until nearly 4PM puts him home an hour later. I will never get to see my son! I am not sure why they can not continue with the same start time and end earlier, like when I was in school. We released at 2:30PM. Or maybe the bus routes just need to be revised. I am not sure why some busses are full and others are very empty. Also, why there are multiple busses going down the same roads. I know that the routes worked well in the past but I truly feel looking closer into them would fix a large part. I think I have covered my thoughts. Thank you for your time.
costs and start time
Posted 2/23/2015 at 1:58:19 PM by [anonymous visitor]
Everyone is at one campus, so how do you think that having the drivers go out twice as much to pick up kids is saving. Money is wasted on gas and wear and tear on the buses. As far as the long ride, we live just inside of Franklin county at the farthest point from school. No matter how you drive it, it will be close to an hour with stops. It takes 25-30 minutes without stops for kids. I do not think this has been thought through enough. Parents are going to have a hard time with different start times and end times for siblings that are in JH and HS. I would start the school day a little later than we currently do and end where we end currently end the day. This will eliminate problems for parents to get to their jobs. Do not waste more of our money on extra gas and the wear and tear on the buses. Put it where it is really needed like learning tools in the schools.
What goals are trying to be accomplished?
Posted 2/23/2015 at 1:57:46 PM by [anonymous visitor]
Are we trying to minimize costs? Are we trying to minimize the interaction with younger and older children? Are we trying to shorten the school day? It would help to understand what has brought up the conversation and why we are looking to change.
I prefer that busing stays the same for all buildings
Posted 2/23/2015 at 1:57:31 PM by [anonymous visitor]
I agree with the post that having children in multiple buildings, it's helpful that they are on the same bus and can rely on one another.
A Reply from Superintendent Dettwiller
Posted 2/23/2015 at 1:57:22 PM by Tim Dettwiller [staff member]
The administration is evaluating all programs and operations. Upon reviewing the school calendar for 2015/16 we noted that we have a very long day for our Elementary students and very long bus rides for many of our riders (75 minutes). It was decided that a conversation was needed to discuss options that may address these issues. A proposal was made at the 2/17 Board meeting to begin the conversation. Community input is welcome.
Length of school day
Posted 2/23/2015 at 1:57:20 PM by [anonymous visitor]
Although I would love for my kids to be on the bus together and have the same start and end times, I'm assuming it's recommended that younger students school days are shorter because of attention spans. I understand this and believe that this is probably the case, knowing my kids. If you look at the district comparisons, you'll see that all other schools have different start and end times by building and all of them have shorter school days for the younger kids. On average, the elementary school day is 363 minutes (not including us in calculation)and high school day is 399 minutes (not including us or Tolles in calculation). If you think of that, the average school day for elementary is 363 minutes and this year our kids are in school 410 minutes - - some elementary schools are an hour and half shorter, actually. So, I'm grateful that you're cutting the day for the elementary school. Honestly, I'd like it to be cut a bit more so they can get home earlier - - like Tusc has 400 minute school day for high school like your proposal for us but only 350 minutes for elementary school (ours is 385 minutes proposed). That way, elementary kids in outer part of district will still get home at 4:30 pm not closer to 5 pm with later dismissal. I understand that high school needs to be longer day (400 minutes) to fit in all periods of day but don't want elementary school to be that long just so they can ride together.
Proposed Plan
Posted 2/23/2015 at 1:56:40 PM by Jennifer Damron [public user]
I have a problem with basically this whole plan. 1) The elementary school start time is too late and will not allow me time for me to get to work. However, I could live with a slightly later time (like 8 am start time with 7:15am pick up) The later release time will not allow family/after school activities or time for homework. 2) Starting school Aug 17th and releasing May 19th? Really? My kids go to daycare in the summer. The daycare center aligns their program with London THAT means I would have to fill a 3 WEEK gap between May 19th and the start of the summer program?! I already have at least a week gap with the schedule the way it is! I thought the point was to align MP schedule more with neighboring districts? 3) As far as is doulbling up bus routes saving any money? Mr Dettwiller, you and the district have already worked so hard cutting costs and saving money...why would you go and do something like that! I really think all this change makes the district seem unstable. Just a few years ago we were told you needed MORE time for classroom instruction. I was just getting my confidence back watching all the improvments, cost cutting and seeing 10 year plans in the black. The district has really seemed like it is on the right track...even to the point that I would think about supporting a new elementary school building. I really think this plan is going to drive more people out of the district. It sure doesn't help my confidence.
150 kids that were suppossedly lost in the district
Posted 2/23/2015 at 1:55:18 PM by [anonymous visitor]
I think everyone would like to know how many of those 150 students that left the district left due to parents taking other jobs and had to move. Also if there were ones who left the district to go to another school close that had open enrollment, what was the reasoning for their leaving. I do not feel their leaving had anything to do with the length of school year and or the start and end times of the school day. Yes the long bus ride and early start times are hard on the kids and their ability to function properly during the school day, but do not spend more money from the budget for double the amount the buses drive.
Cost Effectiveness of changes
Posted 2/23/2015 at 11:56:18 AM by [anonymous visitor]
It seems like the proposed changes would drive costs up running the buses twice as far (more gas, wear and tear, etc.) and additional hours to pay the drivers I assume. I don't think there is anything wrong with the current system other than the kids don't go enough days and don't have to make up all the inclement weather days. I'm not sure why schools haven't gotten to going to a year around eduction schedule with a week or two off in between five 9-week sessions. If you are looking to spend more money that is where it should be spent I believe.
Posted 2/23/2015 at 11:56:04 AM by [anonymous visitor]
I don't agree with this change as far as two different start and dismissal times. I would have 2 children going at two different times. My youngest feels more secure and "safe" having his older sibling on the bus with him. The older kids look out for the younger ones. Are we considering those that play sports and the hardship this will be for parents who work to get to the school on time to get their children after practice ends? I don't believe that the reason kids have left the district is due to transportation or school hours (as per the Madison Press).
Multiple Concerns
Posted 2/23/2015 at 11:11:52 AM by [anonymous visitor]
I have several comments about the proposed plan. 1) Yes, many districts work on a staggered start time for different grade levels, but MPLSD has some unique issues. First, this district covers a lot of ground. Is staggering the start times going to alleviate student stress that occurs from early pick up times, long bus rides, and the length of time students are at school? I do not think this will be the case. I have experienced earlier start times within this district. Two or three years ago my sons had to be woken at 5:20 am to insure they were awake, feed and ready for school, their bus arrived at about 6:10 am. They would come home in the evening and fall asleep where they sat. I came home many days to find at least one of them asleep by 5:00, not waking up until the next morning. A question this provokes is how long is the projected bus ride going to be and when are students going to be picked up (both HS/JH & ES/IS)? Studies show that early start times harm student health and their academic performance, especially middle school and high school students. 2) Personally, my children never have complained about the amount of time they are at school. They enjoy going to school and learning, though more recess time maybe needed for the elementary/intermediate students to allow them an opportunity to release stored energy. If anything, my children complained about waking up when the start times of the school day were earlier. Mornings and evenings in my house have been less stressful since the district went to a later start time. There are some parents in the district, who have not experienced tired students because of unreasonable bus pick up times, but for many of us on the outer-edges of the district going back to an earlier start time would be counterproductive. 3) Staggered start times pose a problem for working parents due to the late start time of the earlier grades. The rural nature of our district does not help working parents, especially when younger students are boarding buses for school after many parents must leave. I am in a situation where this would not greatly affect my family, unless school runs on a two-hour delay or bus pick up times are later than I would anticipate (~7:30 of ES/IS). Parents do not have the option to drop their child off at a before school program within the district or many parents would need to drive many miles out of their way to leave children at a before school program within the district. This is assuming there is some place in Mount Sterling. 4) I am not greatly opposed to starting school earlier in August and ending earlier in May. Though I will need to find care for my younger children, I live close enough to Grove City, where childcare options are more readily available, to find temporary arrangements for them. I do wonder how this will affect the summer schedule of fall sports and marching band. Both the fall sports program and the marching band students give up a lot of their summer to prepare for the upcoming season. How will this earlier date affect the summer schedules? Will marching band students be required to start earlier? I know there are regulations from the state regarding sports, so there maybe no changes there. 5) I would like to know the cost breakdown of making four separate bus runs a day, two in the am and two in the pm. How much is this estimated to cost? What is the difference between the proposed bus runs verse the current bus runs? I applaud the district for allowing parents to communicate their thoughts and concerns about this matter and do hope that the district officials are listening.
Do what is best for our students
Posted 2/23/2015 at 11:10:11 AM by [anonymous visitor]
I'm sure you have done the research, but please share this information with the MP community: While there are 150 students attending school outside of the district, how many open enrolled students are currently attending MP? Before we disrupt our entire system in attempt to gain the students who are attending school outside of the district, I hope our Superintendent and/or Board members have had personal, face to face conversations with each of these families. Did they say the reason they don't send their student to MP is because of the long bus rides and if this problem is fixed they will send their student to MP? Did they say it is because the school day is too long and if the day is shortened they will send their student back to MP? I hope our leadership is not making assumptions about why parents send their students to other districts and attempting to solve a problem without having all of the facts and information. If a parent wants their child attending school in the district where they are employed, or wants their child to receive a Christian based education, or wants their child to attend a school that is 10 minutes away as opposed to a school that is 45 minutes away, changing our current transportation options or the length of the school day is not going to bring them back into the district. I hope the research and leg work has been done and a complete overhaul in our system is not being proposed in order to get a hand full of kids back into the district. All decisions need to be based on what is BEST for our students.
Bus Times
Posted 2/23/2015 at 10:21:09 AM by [anonymous visitor]
How would the amount of time spend on the bus change? I am all in favor of elementary students riding a different bus than the JH and High school students. The kids tell me things I do NOT want them to know about at such a young age and they learned it from the older kids on the bus. I also agree that the elementary kids go to school too many hours. For a student that is riding the bus for an hour now, are you expecting them to ride less than that with the new schedule?
Eyes on the Bus
Posted 2/23/2015 at 10:20:40 AM by [anonymous visitor]
In regards to the changes you are considering for the new school year. I think the hour changes is a bad idea, as someone who has and will have children in all buildings, it is a piece of mind as far as bus and home safety that my children remain with their siblings. The extra 'eyes' on the buses are a huge relief, since the drivers can't always watch all the children (speaking from multiple occurrences that have happened and not good ones) it is nice and VERY reassuring that my child(ren) are being watched over by their older siblings as well as older students. Since there are no aides on the buses to insure children arrive where they are supposed to be safely (again speaking from occurrences and not good ones), I cannot stress enough the relief I as a parent feel knowing my younger children are riding a bus with their older siblings, who WILL make sure their safety is a priority and followed through with getting them to the correct stop and home. Safety of MY children are MY concern, and as a Superintendent, I know safety of ALL children is yours; but as I stated, the current times are a wonderful way for all children to arrive home with the siblings, nobody arriving late/early, someone not being there (at the bus stop to pick up the child or home), the bus ride pick up and drop off stops are being watched carefully, and the bullying is not nearly as bad (which MP has a BIG problem with currently in school, out of school and on buses) when the students are together. I do give a lot of credit to our bus drivers for driving our children SAFELY to and from their destinations, but I cannot stress enough the amount of relief I feel as a Mother, knowing my children are together and will get to and from their schools as well as home together. I am able to work full time and KNOW my children are safe and TOGETHER. Please, take all of our options into consideration, we as parents only want our children safe, not dropped off at a wrong stop, left on a bus because a Kindergartener fell asleep and someone forgot to/didn’t want to check the bus for children prior to leaving it for the day, or bullying that the bus driver doesn’t hear/see or want to fool with. Having the older students with the younger students (siblings or not), is a wonderful way for the bus driver to have the extra EYES on the bus when they have to pay attention to the road in order to get our children to and from home/school safely. Believe it or not, it is a HUGE sigh of relief to know the ‘extra eyes/help’ are on the bus from older students because the bus driver cannot watch the road and the children at all times. I feel as though I am just repeating myself, however, these (few) concerns (which there are more) are important as a parent. I myself am sending this email because of my work schedule I’m unable to attend any meetings that are held in the evenings. Please Mr. Dettwiller, think of all of these issues and concerns that us as parents have prior to making a final decision that could have a huge impact on all of the families at Madison Plains who have students in Kindergarten through High school. Above are just some issues that are a relief as parent to know that the older children DO look out for the younger children and do play a positive roll with those children.
More Information Needed
Posted 2/23/2015 at 10:14:58 AM by [anonymous visitor]
I could be missing it, but I don't see any information on the actual start and end time of school. I hear they will be different. This will be a hardship for those of use with kids in multiple buildings. I agree the busing needs to be looked at. My boys get picked up at 6:30AM, which is too early. The district covers too large of an area. It wasn't a big deal until all the elementary schools were closed. I am not sure what the answer is, but I do think more information is needed on when the kids will start and end their day for each school. I will have a kid in every building.
Parent's concern
Posted 2/23/2015 at 10:14:30 AM by [anonymous visitor]
While I completely understand what you are trying to accomplish, my primary concern is school starting early enough for parents who drop kids off to still be able to make it to work in Columbus by 9am. I know there is additional costs but instead of changing start times maybe adding an additional buds routes specifically for elementary kids? Just trying to think of other alternatives. Thanks for listening!
working parents
Posted 2/23/2015 at 10:14:11 AM by [anonymous visitor]
I think that the proposed elementary school times would cause a big conflict with working parents. I agree that my kindergarteners day is way too long, so why not just release them earlier... like it used to be. I would have to get a babysitter all through elementary for two kids for an hr every morning. Plus parents who enjoy driving their kids to school on their way to work would have to bus them. And not getting home until 4:30pm at 6yrs old is just ridiculous.
proposed plan seems better
Posted 2/23/2015 at 10:13:49 AM by [anonymous visitor]
I can confidentially say the proposed plan seems better. I drive my son who is in 8th grade everyday from Bloomingburg. By having separate start and end times it would alleviate a lot of the traffic congestion, not to mention the buses not abiding traffic laws by pulling out in front of traffic or turning in front of traffic which opposes a risk to all parties. While those with children in different buildings may have to work around the change, it is also better for younger children. I have a five year old who attends Miami Trace and as pointed out they have very long days especially when busing is involved. I myself lived five minutes from my school but my bus ride was an hour long so I can personally relate to this issue from different points of view. The new proposed calendar seems to work much better for the children. I can respect the administration for trying to improve the quality of the students all around.
Like reduce length of school day, dislike later end of day
Posted 2/23/2015 at 10:13:35 AM by [anonymous visitor]
I'm happy to see that the length of the school day may be reduced for elementary school. It's surprising to see that it is currently 30 minutes to an hour and a half longer (per day) than schools in our area. Honestly, if academic content could be taught more efficiently, I would be okay with reducing it more than the 25 minutes proposed. I think the commute for some of the students needs to be taken into account. My children leave at 6:15 am and don't get home until 4:15 - 4:30 pm. Although I do like the school day being reduced, I do not like that my children might be getting home later than 4:30 pm - now possibly closer to 5 pm. That leaves such little time after school for homework, family, dinner, sports, bedtime routine before an 8 pm (ideal) bedtime. I would like to see the school day reduced, but that the schools all remain on the same schedule. Other strategies should be implemented to reduce bus time for those with long commutes (such as not filling those buses to capacity so get to school sooner and reversing order of dropoff/pickup so that first picked up isn't last dropped off).
Transportation Costs
Posted 2/23/2015 at 10:12:24 AM by [anonymous visitor]
On the "District Comparisons" you have "Reduces Transport Costs" as a Pro. How can the transportation costs be reduced when you will be making two pick up trips and two drop off trips by having two different start/end times? Compared to the current situation of one pick up trip and one drop off trip? It would seem to me that the extra trips would increase the transportation costs, not reduce them. This goes, not only for the district, but also for the families that drive their children to school that have children in the Elementary and High school. The different start/end times would increase their trips as well.
Multiple children
Posted 2/23/2015 at 10:09:56 AM by [anonymous visitor]
I am not a fan of staggered start times. I have children in the Elementary & Junior High buildings and by their start and end times being different would cause a huge hassle especially for working parents. My children attended another school district 5 years ago with staggered start times & I hated it and one of the many reasons we chose MP is because our kids could attend school on the exact schedule and ride the bus together. Delays due to weather & early releases would also pose a huge inconvienance to working parents. I am a graduate of MP and I love our small country school and have a lot of pride in it, please don't change if to be like all the other city schools. I love our quaint, tight knit school just the way it is.
Posted 2/23/2015 at 8:31:54 AM by [anonymous visitor]
Why is the school considering changing the school day next year. If its not broken why try to fix it?
Curriculum Q&A
Karen Grigsby's Blog Page
Why new tests?
Posted 3/8/2015 at 11:33:15 PM by Karen Grigsby [staff member]
Many times when I speak to parents, they are concerned about the new tests because they seem to be "harder" than the tests their children are used to taking. Some question why states across the country need to take the same tests or learn the same standards. The video at this link helps to explain why the need for new standards and new tests exists:
PARCC -- The Ins and Outs
Posted 3/2/2015 at 10:13:12 AM by Karen Grigsby [staff member]
PARCC -- The Ins and Outs

Last week, our district began a series of state-required assessments. Some Madison-Plains parents, for a variety of reasons, chose to opt their children out of the PARCC portion of the state assessments. Some students -- without consent of their parents who were likely being led by inaccurate statements on social media or from classmates-- refused the test because they did not understand its purpose or the implications of their decisions.

We are now receiving inquiries from both parents and students wanting to know if they can reconsider their decision as they learn more about the PARCC assessments. For this reason, I spoke to a representative from the Ohio Department of Education on Friday to see how we, at Madison-Plains, can help those families who are having second thoughts.

ODE is allowing us to administer make-up assessments to students who previously opted out through the remainder of our PARCC test administration window which ends Monday, March 9, 2015. If you would like for your son or daughter to take the PARCC assessment in Math or English-Language Arts, please contact me.

We support your right to make a decision you feel is in the best interest of your child. We also support your right to be informed with the facts so I have attached a Myth vs. Fact document to help. Please feel free to post a question here; I reply as soon as I am able.

Reply Posts
Testing Schedule
Posted 3/12/2015 at 10:57:00 PM by Karen Grigsby [staff member]
The MPLSD assessment schedule is aligned to the state testing schedule. The dates for each individual test at MP were set in October. The schedule has been available on the district website and in building communications. Throughout the winter, the test schedule was adjusted due to calamity days and those adjustments were also posted on the website. PARCC assessments have been publicized through local and national media. Madison-Plains complies with state testing as do all public school districts. At no time did MPLSD attempt to hide the fact that we were administering state-required assessments.
Reading Passages
Posted 3/12/2015 at 10:45:05 PM by Karen Grigsby [staff member]
PARCC is similar to all other state and national assessments. The test items, passages, and prompts cannot be viewed prior to test administration. This is to ensure validity of the results. You will find this to be the same for ACT, SAT, OGT, OAA, and even class and district assessments such as semester exams and unit tests. It is not about being secretive, it is about ensuring that the test results are accurate. You can view sample test items at
Posted 3/11/2015 at 10:48:47 PM by [anonymous visitor]
Information about PARCC was not posted in a timely manner to the Madison Plains website.Both a colleague of mine in education and myself searched for this information in board minutes and on the website in late January/early February and not one mention of it. Again, this speaks to Madison Plains not being open about what is going on in the schools.Why was the information delayed?
Posted 3/11/2015 at 10:39:49 PM by [anonymous visitor]
I am uncomfortable with my child taking a test that I will not be granted access to review the reading passages. The test seems very secretive. Why aren't parents granted permission to see the reading passages and be in charge of what our children are being exposed to? What one parent deems acceptable does not necessarily carry over to another's belief system.
Test Items
Posted 3/8/2015 at 11:08:13 PM by Karen Grigsby [staff member]
You are correct that test administrators are not permitted to read test items or passages. However, there is an exception to this rule. In some instances, test administrators are permitted to read to a student who has the Read Aloud accommodation listed in his or her IEP or 504 Plan. None of these test administrators or any student has reported seeing questions about students' personal or family lives. Many students reported that no such questions were present on the PARCC assessments.
Do teachers know what is on the tests?
Posted 3/4/2015 at 10:56:19 PM by [anonymous visitor]
As far as I know (read on social media & heard from my children after taking test #1) the teachers do not see the tests at all. How are you sure that these questions won't be asked of our children? Have you seen each test in its entirety?
Guns or other personal information
Posted 3/3/2015 at 5:48:17 PM by Karen Grigsby [staff member]
This is false. At no time are students asked to supply personal information about themselves, their families, or their homes. This is a popular rumor that has been spread through social media. Please be assured, there is no data being collected about our students’ family lives. In doing some research, we believe we found the source of this misunderstanding. A school district in another state gave an unrelated social issues survey to students after they completed the PARCC assessments. It appears there were many people who assumed this was part of the PARCC assessment. It is not. Thank you for asking this question. This is one of the most common misconceptions causing parents to request their children not take the PARCC assessments at Madison-Plains.
Posted 3/3/2015 at 8:19:57 AM by [anonymous visitor]
I heard this test asks the kids if they have guns in their home and if so where do they keep them. Is that true?
About The M-P Conversation
Welcome to The M-P Conversation!
We’ve created this forum to start conversations with you, to encourage critical thinking and to nurture the support you give to Madison-Plains Local Schools.

We believe an involved and well-informed community improves student achievement.

I will share thoughts and ideas about educational trends, children and families, and, of course, news and activities in the district. We want to ensure we are communicating as effectively and timely as possible so will discuss topics that will make a difference to you, our community.

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