Welcome back everyone to what is shaping up to be one of the most exciting years at OHS in recent history. Last year our staff did a great deal of work in an effort to make OHS a better place for our students. Included in that was the structuring work to prepare for a transition from state assessments to the ACT as well the design for “Cyclone Connect.” This year we will actually see all of that work come to fruition as the implementation of these to programs see their first days.
Although we could sit back and watch our work take shape, we are not resting in our efforts to improve Ottawa High School while creating the best environment possible for our students. This year we will be one of five districts in the State chosen to work with TASN and the University of Kansas to develop and implement a behavior program through our Multi-Tiered Systems of Support. You may remember USD 290 utilizing the MTSS framework a few years ago to create a reading program that extends from elementary through high school targeting specific student needs in one of five different reading ares. This year OHS and its USD 290 counterparts will be working to develop a district wide behavior program and intervention system that targets specific behaviors that we would like to see of our students and how best to help them learn those behaviors. OHS will once again be breaking new ground in doing so as our reading program is still something that is sought after by most high schools and behavior programs such as what we will be developing are almost unheard of.
We are truly excited to begin this new adventure and continue to strive for greatness. This year will mark the beginnings of our visits with AdvancED toward district-wide accreditation. We will also continue working with the Kansas State Department of Education to provide the WorkKeys assessment as a way to mark improvement and ensure workforce readiness. April will provide a major change as we test every student with the ACT to ensure college readiness. And of course the most important addition to our school will be the implementation of “Cyclone Connect” in which every student will be provided a Toshiba Chromebook. This process has already started as we delivered over 500 chromebooks to students during enrollment last week. We look to a hand out about another 200 in the coming week.
As we draw closer to the first day of school for our students I wanted to remind you of a couple of dates that loom on the horizon. Our first day with freshman and new students will be on Thursday, August 14. We will meet with students until noon with lunch provided. Friday, August 15 will mark our first day for all students. Our annual Open House event will be on Thursday, August 28. This year that event will be at Forest Park from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. I will provide more information about this event in my next editorial. I hope to see you all there.
Dr. Ryan Cobbs