Education

BG Schools to return with building levy on May ballot

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Bowling Green City Schools will be asking voters in May to reconsider the same issue they rejected in November. The board voted 4 to 1 this morning to return to the ballot in May with a bond issue for 37 years for a consolidated elementary school, plus renovations and an addition to the high school. “The longer we wait, the costs go up,” board member Ginny Stewart said during the special meeting. “We continue to put good money into inferior buildings.” The only difference to appear on the ballot may be a reduction in the millage due to the growth in the assessed valuation. That may drop the millage from 6 mills in November to 5.7 mills in May. That in turn would reduce the amount it would cost the owner of a $100,000 home from $210 a year to $199 a year. Board President Jill Carr reminded the board that their decisions included exactly what issue will go on the ballot, when it will go before voters, and whether the issue should remain as one or be split into two. The lone vote against returning with the same ballot request came…

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BG School District ends year with academic successes

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   After losing its first attempt to pass a bond issue for school buildings earlier this fall, the Bowling Green Board of Education ended the year on a positive – even award-winning – note. During Tuesday evening’s meeting, the school board recognized recent three district successes. The district and middle school received “momentum awards” from the state. The Bowling Green Preschool program at Crim Elementary earned the top five-star rating from the Ohio Department of Education. And the district drastically improved its third grade reading scores. “It’s a lot of good news tonight,” Superintendent Francis Scruci said. “It’s a great way to end the year,” said School Board President Ellen Scholl. It was just earlier in the afternoon that the district got word that its most recent “third grade reading guarantee” passage rate had jumped up to 72 percent this fall, compared to 48 percent the year before. “We have done an amazing job,” Scruci said, giving credit to the curriculum and teaching staffs. Scruci acknowledged the district’s disappointing grades on the state report cards in the past. But he also repeated his complaint that “it’s a flawed system.” However, the district is…


‘Little Free Library’ makes books available 24/7

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   A new library opened in Bowling Green on Tuesday. No library cards are necessary. And there is no closing time. A “Little Free Library” was christened at Kenwood Elementary School by students reading their personal odes to books. The tiny library sits on the front porch of the elementary, and is open round the clock to children or neighbors of all ages. “It’s open 24/7. They can come up anytime and take a book. It’s free,” said Shannon Lentz, a first grade teacher at Kenwood Elementary. “Maybe kids who don’t have access to books all the time can use them.” Lentz hopes to add a journal to the library, so readers can record their feelings about the borrowed book when they return it.   The library “building” was donated by Bowling Green State University students in the Service Learning program. Similar libraries were donated to each of the Bowling Green elementary schools. “The goal is to inspire reading,” Lentz said. “It’s not just for our students. It’s for the neighborhood as well.” The library operation is simple, she said. “If you take a book, you leave a book,” Lentz said. The “Little…


BGSU Hosting Around the World Creativity Fair

Submitted by BGSU College of Education and Human Development BGSU’s Creative Learning Environments class will be presenting the Around the World Creativity Fair on Saturday, December 9 at First Presbyterian Church, 126 S. Church Street, from 1:00 – 4:00 pm for children ages 4 to 12. Upon arrival, children will receive a mock passport which they will get stamped at each location they visit. Stations representing sites from around the globe will feature hands-on educational activities based on cultural celebrations and customs, demonstrated and supervised by students from the College of Education and Human Development. Stations include decorating sugar skulls (Mexico); designing paper henna tattoos (India); building cardboard box pyramids (Egypt); stringing beaded necklaces (Nigeria); fashioning felt hats (Germany); making Carnivale masks (Brazil); and decorating (and eating!) traditional star cookies (Italy). Crafts, activities, games and snacks will allow your child’s creativity to flourish while they learn about cultures around the world in a warm, educational environment. Sponsored by HDFS 2300, Family and Consumer Sciences, and the College of Education and Human Development.


Conjecturing adds up to better learning, BGSU prof Gabriel Matney tells STEM teachers

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News One may have assumed a talk entitled “The Power and Promise of Developing a Conjecturing Modality” would be a bit on the dry side. The speaker, Gabriel Matney, an associate professor of math education at Bowling Green State University, would advise that rather than assume one should make a conjecture that the talk could instead be engaging and enlightening for the 300 or so teachers and students of mathematics in attendance at his keynote address for the Northwest Ohio Center for Excellence Symposium on STEM Teaching two weeks ago. “Rather than assuming that we know and acting on it,” he said. It’s better to engage in “conjecturing and testing those conjectures and see if they hold or not.” Could this talk be inspiring? Yes. Matney explained how he made a conjecture as a teenager in love. He was dating this girl, and he conjectured that even though he could barely afford a car for himself, he could one day get her the car of her dreams. So he asked her to describe her dream car. She detailed a purple, tricked-out Dodge Stealth. So 19 years later that girlfriend, now his wife, got that car….


BG Middle School earns state ‘Momentum Award’

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Bowling Green City School District has taken some heat for low scores on the state’s testing. But the State Board of Education has notified the Bowling Green Middle School that it will be receiving an award for student growth in reading and math. Now in its third year, the “Momentum Award” is the state board’s effort to recognize districts that have received “A”s on each Value-Added measure included on Ohio’s school report cards. That means the middle school’s report card for the 2016-2017 school year showed students made greater than expected growth in reading and math. That’s a big deal, according to Principal Eric Radabaugh. “It really is meaningful for our school,” Radabaugh said Wednesday afternoon. The “A” grade means that Bowling Green Middle School students made more progress over the year than most other students in Ohio. “To me the most important measure of a school is the growth from one year to the next,” the principal said. “We are honored to receive the award.” Radabaugh praised teachers for making the difference. “I credit our dedicated staff,” he said. The teachers use a team approach. “We have a learning environment where…


BG school board to revisit levy options next month

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Bowling Green Board of Education is giving itself one month to heal from the school bond issue defeat – then it’s back to the drawing board. At Tuesday’s school board meeting, Superintendent Francis Scruci said defeat of the 6-mill levy was “disappointing.” But on the morning after the election, the focus had to shift – there were still 3,100 students to educate, he said. Scruci suggested the school board take a break from levy discussions, then reconvene in December to consider the district’s next steps. He also asked that newly elected board member Norm Geer be present during those discussions. Though the loss of the levy by 550 votes was discouraging, Scruci said he was most dismayed by the discourse from the levy opposition. “The most disappointing part was how divisive it became and how personal attacks occurred,” he said. The levy would have paid for the construction of a centralized elementary building north of the middle school, and an addition and renovations to the existing high school building. Scruci has stated that the district will not come back with a watered-down version – since that won’t meet students’ needs. But next…