I would like to welcome back our students, their families and our staff to the 2014-2015 school year! We look forward to another outstanding year as we continue to grow as a district.
The new middle school construction continues and we expect the building to be fully enclosed by the end of November. The school will be completed by May 22, 2015 and will open in August of 2015. At that point, pre-school and kindergarten will move to the current middle school and it will be renamed the Avon Early Learning Center. Heritage North and South will become Heritage Elementary School and will house grades 3-5. This transition is something we began to plan for last school year and we will continue to work through that planning in 2014-2015.
We remain focused on the learning and development of our students. Preliminary test results have come in and we again look to have had a great year in 2013-2014. When final results arrive, we will share the results with the community.
Test scores are important, but so are many other aspects of what we do to help grow and develop our students. We are expecting another outstanding year from our fine arts programs, clubs and athletic teams. Our students are extremely talented in all three areas and we look forward to their continued successes.
As you are probably aware, this is the first year that all districts in Ohio will participate in the Partnership for Assessments of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) testing. These tests are based on the Common Core and will replace the Ohio Achievement Assessments. As a district, we have been preparing for this transition over the past few years. It is a significant change in what we teach and how our students are assessed, but we are confident our students and staff are prepared for this change.
I would like to take a moment to say thank you to our community, parents, PTA and booster organizations for all of their support. Creating such a great environment for our students is truly a team effort and we appreciate the partnership we have with each of these groups.
Avon is a special place. I want to wish everyone a safe and successful 2014-2015.
With Eagle Pride,
Avon Local Schools
NOTICE: DRO, ODE Advise Parents of Impending Data Release in Court Case
The Ohio Department of Education (ODE) has been ordered to release student data in a federal class action lawsuit brought by Disability Rights Ohio (DRO), and the presiding federal court is requiring the agency to advise families of the data release and their opportunity to object to release of information on their students.
DRO is representing plaintiffs in Doe v. State of Ohio, a federal class action suit regarding special education funding. The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio agreed to DRO's request for release of data from ODE's Education Management Information System (EMIS).
While the U.S. District Court Judge Michael Watson's notice notes names, addresses and Social Security numbers are not in possession of ODE and thus won't be released, relevant information could include a student identifying number, various demographic information, test scores and attendance and disciplinary records. The data pertains to students enrolled in a traditional public or charter school in the 2013-2014 academic year.
"Once disclosed, the information is protected by an order of the court, and cannot be used for any purpose other than this litigation. No information will be disclosed beyond the participants in the litigation in a way that allows an individual student to be identified," Watson wrote.
The judge notes that the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), while allowing data disclosures in cases of a court order, requires notice and a chance to object prior to the release of information.
Parents who don't object to the data release aren't required to take any action. Those who do must write a letter to Watson -- the order specifically notes the court will not discuss the matter by phone -- describing their objections.
Objections are due no later than Sept. 12, and all received letters will be placed under seal.
Details of how to submit objection letters to the court are described in the notice, which is available at http://education.ohio.gov/Parents/Parents-News/Notice-to-Parents-from-Federal-Court-about-the-Rel and http://www.disabilityrightsohio.org/news/state-ohio-notifies-parents-guardians-its-planned-release-student-data-dro.