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PoaG Student Feature Graphic-Empathetic

Last Fall, Mrs. Cosgrove formed the Teen Eco Summit group. The group attended the Teen Eco Summit hosted by the Columbus Zoo in November, and were prompted to propose a project that would have a positive impact on Their school or community... see more about their project in the video here.

PoaG Student Feature Graphic-Empathetic

 

  • Empathetic
  • Portrait of a Graduate
NBRS 2023 Logo

Granville Middle School (GMS), part of the Granville Exempted Village School District, has been designated as an Exemplary High Performing National Blue Ribbon School for the year 2023 by the United States Department of Education.

This prestigious award, presented annually, celebrates the outstanding achievements of schools across the nation. Being named a National Blue Ribbon School is a testament to the dedication, hard work, and unwavering commitment of our students, staff, parents, and the entire Granville community. GMS is one of 353 schools in the United States and one of 20 schools in Ohio to be recognized in 2023.

NBRS 2023 Logo

“The Granville community takes great pride in its public schools and realizes the importance of maintaining a high-achieving educational system,” said Superintendent Jeff Brown. “Our current district, and exemplified by GMS, is a focus on student autonomy and well-being supported by our Portrait of a Graduate – composite of our Values, combined with what mindsets, skills and dispositions we want our students to possess after their tenure within our district. Our selection as an Exemplary High-Performing National Blue Ribbon School is a reflection of our ongoing pursuit of academic excellence and the success of our students in the classroom and beyond.”

Added GMS Principal Lisa Sealover-Ormond, “We are grateful for this honor, and we extend our heartfelt appreciation to all students, staff, and Granville Schools’ families for their hard work and commitment to educational excellence.”

The U.S. Department of Education instituted the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program in 1982. Since then, it has already granted over 10,000 awards to more than 9,700 schools. Yearly, there are up to 420 nominees for the program. Nominations come from the top education officials in all states, the District of Columbia, U.S. territories, the Department of Defense Education Activity, and the Bureau of Indian Education upon the invitation of the U.S. Department of Education. Private schools on the other hand are nominated by the Council for American Private Education.

The district will celebrate this achievement with students, staff, parents, and community members in the coming weeks. The Department of Education has planned to recognize the school’s success during the awards ceremony on Thursday, November 16, and Friday, November 17, 2023, in Washington, D.C.

  • Achievement
  • GMS
  • Granville Middle School
PoaG Student Feature Graphic-Critical Thinkers

As we wrap up our focus on the Portrait of a Graduate trait Critical Thinkers, we are excited to share another student feature from Granville High School. The new SDL (student-directed-learning) English class at GHS has been using critical thinking skills to approach education differently this year. Students have been reading classic and modern literature, writing creative and analytical essays, and researching, but they have had a choice regarding the content, process, monitoring, and final demonstration of their learning. Each day, the juniors and seniors enrolled take control of how they interact with the curriculum.

The capstone of the class is the 20Time project. Students created a project that merged their interests with purpose and have spent 20 percent of their class time this year planning, developing, monitoring, adapting, and implementing something that embraces the English Language Arts standards and positively impacts others.

PoaG Student Feature Graphic-Critical Thinkers

 

PoaG Phase III - Critical Thinkers Student Feature Video

“SDL has pushed me out of my comfort zone and challenged the way I think in the classroom. Through our 20Time project we were given an open- ended assignment that each and everyone of us could interpret differently. For my project I decided to create pop-up coffee shops throughout the year for my classmates. My goal was to share my love of coffee as well as bring the students in at Granville High school closer together, to make more memories together. I was able to create and form this however I wanted, and it challenged me to fix problems on my own and reach out to others for help and insight on what they might want at these pop-up coffee shops. This project has helped me to grow as a human without just completing a sheet of homework.” -Lucy Walters, Senior

“SDL is a course that encourages critical thinking, but also curiosity. These days, a lot of classes seem to focus on standards and test scores, because of this our generation has lost some of the love for learning that we had when we were younger. My 20-time project is, I think, a really good example of how SDL allows students to develop their desire to learn. I have been relearning myself, and introducing to the rest of the class, American Sign Language. The amount of engagement and enthusiasm I’ve received has proved that students do want to learn, even if it will have no impact on their grade. SDL is the class that has taught me how to learn for the sake of learning, not to memorize for the sake of succeeding.” -Lani Casto, Junior

Thank you, Blue Aces, for being such a first-rate example of Critical Thinkers by pushing and challenging yourselves to learn something new! You truly embraced Granville’s mission of Learning for Life!

(Please note: photos are courtesy of Lyndy VanHorn and GHS Blue Ace Media.)

  • Critical Thinkers
  • Portrait of a Graduate
PoaG Student Feature Graphic-Resilient

“Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.”- Steve Jobs
 
Nothing can keep our Blue Aces from reaching their goals! In Mr. Reinke's Design Thinking class at Granville Middle School, seventh- and eighth-grade students embraced Steve Jobs' wisdom as they delved into schematic drawings to deepen their grasp of aerodynamic principles. The video presented herein vividly illustrates the significance of resilience in the design process. Tasked with crafting vehicles leveraging aerodynamics, students sought to determine whose design could traverse the greatest distance. Through numerous iterations, the outcomes were truly remarkable! We invite you to view the video by visiting https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PbjhPbU0iGs and witness firsthand the tenacity with which these students refined their designs.

PoaG Student Feature Graphic-Resilient

 

  • Portrait of a Graduate
  • Resilient
  • news
PoaG Student Feature Graphic-Adaptable

Third-Grade Student Displays Portrait of a Graduate Trait Adaptable in Writing Project  


Blue Aces are Adaptable! Students in Ms. Depue's third-grade class at Granville Elementary began a nonfiction writing project at the start of December on a topic of their choice. Once the students selected their topics, they built upon their knowledge of both the topic and nonfiction writing by studying mentor texts and improving their nonfiction writing techniques. To begin the project, which took six weeks to complete, students wrote their first and second drafts on paper. They then collaborated with other students for editing purposes and participated in individual writing conferences with Ms. Depue to revise and write their final drafts. Finally, students had to turn their writing into a nonfiction chapter book complete with nonfiction text features and illustrations.

One student, Dima Lukecha, demonstrated great adaptability throughout this project. Dima and his family moved to Granville this past summer from Ukraine, so Dima and his younger sister started the school year as English Language Learners. When deciding what topic to write about for the nonfiction project, he was supported through teacher-directed questions. Dima chose to write his book about the things that he loves – soccer, cats, and his family and friends – and was excited to write his book in both English and Ukrainian. His book includes a table of contents, nonfiction text features, text, and illustrations just like those of his peers. While drafting his nonfiction chapter book, Dima and Ms. Depue used online tools and applications to help with translating when needed. He also had the help of an aide when needed. He hoped to teach other students with his Ukrainian writing, and beamed with pride when his project was finished.

PoaG Student Feature Graphic-Adaptable

Dima has overcome many obstacles moving to America and has adjusted to his new situation well, displaying a positive attitude each and every day. He enters with a smile and leaves with a smile no matter what is asked of him.  See a short video here.

Thank you, Dima, for being a true example of Adaptable!

  • Adaptable
  • Portrait of a Graduate
PoaG Student Feature Graphic-Collaborative

GHS Student Displays Portrait of a Graduate Trait Collaborative with Planet Trail Project
 

Blue Aces are Collaborative! Granville High School (GHS) Senior Sadie Landry has been working to make an out-of-this-world project idea into a reality! Sadie is in her third term as president of the Astronomy Club, and during that time, she has encouraged more than 70 students to join and organized and hosted multiple nighttime sky observations, including many meteor shower observations, the viewing of sunspots, and the observations of a lunar eclipse. In addition, she has collaborated with Denison University to host a tour of the University’s observatory, led by Dr. Homan, and has worked with Mr. Bait to host several observations at Dawes Arboretum for astronomy-enthusiast community members.

The project she is most proud of though, is the Planet Trail. The catalyst for this project was an idea proposed by a former student, Carly Mayer, who was co-president of the astronomy club with Sadie during the 2021-2022 school year. The idea was to create a fun and educational “learning journey” of our solar system and how vast it is along the bike path from The Station restaurant (Main Street & TJ Evan Trail) to Bicentennial Park (Moots Run Road). Display pedestals will be positioned along the trail to explain more about the Sun and each planet, as well as their scale by comparison.

PoaG Student Feature Graphic-Collaborative

After Carly graduated, Sadie ran with the idea and is determined to make it reality. In doing so, she has started collaborating with dozens of people within Granville Schools, the Granville community, as well as the Licking Parks District. Her first stop was communicating with Granville Recreation District Director Andrew Wildman, who directed her to the Licking Park District. After presenting the idea to a panel of directors at Licking Park District, the project was approved. Her next step was to collaborate with art teacher Mrs. Tinnel at GHS to design nine plaques for the display pedestals using Adobe software. Students in her AP Physics class helped re-imagine and edit the designs for the plaques. Sadie moved the process forward with additional communication with Kyle Lund, another director at Licking Parks District, and Jennifer Roberts from the TJ Evans Foundation to present the renderings and receive approval for their installation.

After receiving approval of the designs and authoring a memorandum of understanding (MOU), Sadie connected with Granville Schools Superintendent Jeff Brown, GHS principal Scott Hinton, and the Granville Village Council to involve the school board and the village in the project for approval and awareness. She is working to procure cost estimates from Nutron OSM to produce the plaques for the trail. Financially, she has begun securing funding and reached out to the community’s Kiwanis and Rotary organizations for additional donations. We are excited to share that this project is estimated to be finished and installed by spring of 2024!

Sadie has really covered A LOT of ground with this Portrait of a Graduate trait, showing that being collaborative extends far beyond the classroom. She has demonstrated a strong ability to work with diverse teams and communicate with others in a variety of ways. 

Thank you, Sadie, for your tenacity and being a true example of Collaborative!

  • Collaborative
  • Portrait of a Graduate
PoaG Student Feature Graphic-Responsible

Blue Aces Display Portrait of a Graduate Trait Responsible by Supporting U.S. Navy Sailors Overseas  

Blue Aces are Responsible! Students in Ms. Browning's third-grade class at Granville Elementary began a project at the start of the school year to collect items for holiday care packages to the U.S. Navy Sailors aboard the USS Bataan. 

The class started by writing letters to Lt. Melissa Kerr, a 2014 Granville graduate. Lt. Kerr attended The Ohio State University College of Dentistry thanks to a scholarship through the U.S. Navy. She was later commissioned an Active Duty Lieutenant and currently serves on the USS Bataan. She has written replies to each student in Ms. Browning's class and they are anxiously waiting for her mail to arrive from across the world! Since the end of October, all GES students from across all classes and grade levels have gathered non-perishable items to be sent as part of a holiday care package, resulting in six large boxes of donations to send. Ms. Browning's class is working with the local VFW to cover the shipping costs. 

Our Portrait of a Graduate trait of Responsible covers a lot of ground, from personal to social to civic responsibility. Ms. Browning's class is putting this trait into action by displaying a sense for others' well-being and then acting on that sense with their outreach and donations for the brave men and women serving and protecting our country. This experience will help them grow to be contributing members of society when they eventually graduate from Granville Schools and go out into the world.

Thank you, Blue Aces, for your generosity and for being true examples of Responsible!

PoaG Student Feature Graphic-Responsible

 

  • Portrait of a Graduate
  • Responsible
A Message from the Superintendent on Our Portrait of a Graduate Competencies

As you know, Granville Schools places a big emphasis on our Portrait of a Graduate competencies and making sure that we are supporting the growth of all students. We go beyond just academics to educate and support the whole student to ensure they acquire the necessary mindsets, skills, and dispositions to complement their strong academic performance in their journey toward Learning for Life.

Our Portrait of a Graduate continues to be the North Star that guides Granville Exempted Village School District. To kick off how we will be sharing our Portrait of a Graduate traits in action this year, we invite you to click the video message from Superintendent Dr. Brown below. Stay tuned for more as we highlight our amazing Blue Aces! #PortraitofaGraduate

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tkgJHiF5Gro

GEVSD Portrait of a Graduate Graphic

 

  • Portrait of a Graduate
GEVSD ODE Report Card 22-23

Dear Blue Ace Families,

On September 14, the Ohio Department of Education released its Report Card for 2022-2023 school year. We are proud to say that Granville Schools earned a 5-star overall rating (5 stars in Achievement, Gap Closing, Early Literacy, and Graduation; 4 stars in Progress). Our Performance Indicator score – a summary of the star ratings – means Granville Schools are #1 in not only Licking County, but in Central Ohio, and in the top 20 in the state!

While this rating is in alignment with our expectations of our own performance based on internal data, it does not have much impact on how we view student performance. For the past several years, we have been prioritizing going beyond the local report card – an emphasis on our Portrait of a Graduate competencies and making sure that we are supporting the growth of all students. We go beyond just academics to educate and support the whole child – our students acquire the necessary mindsets, skills, and dispositions to complement their strong academic performance in their journey toward Learning for Life.  

For background, the State of Ohio created a new system of accountability for Local School Districts called the State Report Card in 2021. According to the Ohio Department of Education website, “Report Cards are designed to give parents, communities, educators, and policymakers information about the performance of districts and schools — to celebrate achievement and success and identify areas for improvement. The information provides clear and easily available reporting on student performance, drives local conversations on school improvement and identifies schools to receive support or getting better. The goal is to ensure all students receive an excellent education that can lead to success in life, careers, and future learning.”

GEVSD ODE Report Card 22-23

The Report Card has five metrics related to student academic performance: Achievement, Progress, Gap Closing, Early Literacy, Graduation, and Readiness (college, career, workforce, military). These areas are ranked on a 1-5-star measure, with 1 being the lowest and 5 the highest. If you are interested in learning more about the State Report Card, I encourage you to visit the ODE’s webpage.

This rating is just further evidence of the great things our students and staff are doing each and every day. To witness a more complete picture, please talk to your children, other students, educators, and families about what is happening in our buildings each day. Please visit our District website, subscribe to our newsletters, and follow our social media channels. We are Learning for Life!

Your partner in education,

Jeff Brown

Superintendent, Granville Schools

  • Achievement
  • ODE Report Card
  • State Report Card
Message from the Superintendent: Welcome Back!

Dear Blue Ace Families,

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday weekend! I wanted to take this opportunity to say welcome back for the 2023-2024 school year! I trust that our families had a relaxing and rejuvenating summer break, and our students are ready to get back to learning. 

I love the anticipation of a new school year…new supplies, new clothes, new friends, new experiences, new learning. All of the start-of-the-year activities build excitement for the school year to come. We are off to a great start in Granville Schools. We have been preparing all summer long with building and renovation projects, curriculum planning, and hiring. When the students arrived, we started developing relationships that will support learning all year long, and our staggered start was a huge help in meeting that goal. 

This year, specifically, we have been sharing research and information about the mental well-being of our students and how we can help foster agency and autonomy. Examining what are unhealthy stressors for our students will help shape educational decisions in the future. We hosted a community forum involving two leading experts in the field of student well-being. The event was insightful and inspiring as it empowers Granville Schools to think differently about the path forward. Our partnership with parents is essential to the conversation. I sign off every communication with “your partner in education,” and while it may seem cheesy, it is true. We must partner together in this process to give students the mindsets, skills, and dispositions necessary for life beyond Granville Schools. Student agency and autonomy are pathways to better mental well-being and independence. 

And it wouldn’t be a start of the year message without us revisiting our Vision, Mission, and Portrait of a graduate. First, we are Learning for Life. Second, “Graduates of the Granville Exempted Village School District are well-prepared and empowered to be thoughtful, productive, and contributing members of their communities, and are equipped with the critical thinking skills and self-sufficiency necessary for success in our ever-changing world.” And lastly, our Portrait of a Graduate (PoaG) is a composite of our Values combined with what mindsets, skills, and dispositions we want our students to possess after their tenure within our district. Those traits are: empathy, resilience, collaboration, critical-thinking, adaptability. These tenets and characteristics, as always, will continue to be the North Star that guides Granville Exempted Village School District.   

Thank you for your continued support!

Your partner in education,

Jeff Brown

Superintendent, Granville Schools

GEVS Website Graphics - Treasurer

In Ohio, property values are reappraised every six years and updated every three years. Licking County is due for a full reappraisal in tax year 2023 (collected in 2024). It is anticipated that residential values will increase on average 30% in the Granville School District with the 2023 reappraisal.

One of the biggest concerns with increasing property values is the impact on property taxes. Due to House Bill 920 (an Ohio law that was passed in 1976), property owners are protected against unvoted increases in tax. HB 920 requires a calculation to reduce the effective tax rate that is applied to property owners so that as their property value increases over time (due to reappraisal/update), the amount of taxes owed remains approximately the same.

HB 920 is the reason why the effective tax rate is significantly less than the original voted rate. Please see the attachment for the change in the tax rates from the time they were originally voted to their actual effective rate today, as well as examples of property tax calculations and the district’s historical and forecasted general fund property tax revenue by fiscal year.  

The district’s intent in sharing this information is to ease concerns leading into the reappraisal process. As taxpayers begin to receive information from the County Auditor’s office regarding their estimated values for 2023, the concepts previously described will be helpful in understanding how tax bills will be impacted by increasing values.

Property Tax and the Impact of Reappraisal

GMS-GIS-GED APs Portrait of a Graduate Administrator Quote

As we enter the last month of the school year, we find ourselves preparing for new seasons of life. Josh will be sending his oldest child off to kindergarten in the fall. Tracy will be sending her youngest child off to college.

These seasons of life stir up mixed feelings: excitement, relief, anxiety, and sadness. As we discussed these transitions for our families, we both shared the same goal of sending our children out into the world as independent young adults. And the big question we asked ourselves: how did we get here? The answer is Resilience.

Both of our families’ lives have been filled with unforeseen circumstances linked to change, challenges, and adversity. From late-night feedings to late-night teenage conversations. From trying a recreational sport to trying out for a high school sport. From singing the ABCs to deciding who gets to play aux while driving the car. From scheduling well-check appointments at the pediatrician to appointments linked to serious medical surgery. From the death of a hamster to the death of a loved one. Resilience operates within both of our daily lives. Optimism, purpose, problem-solving, and effective coping skills are traits of resiliency that we can see through our journeys. When these resilient traits combine into the lives of our children, Resilience builds.  

We have both focused on modeling these traits for our children through our roles as Assistant Principals in Granville Schools. Throughout our roles, we see resiliency building. Through the management of small challenges, such as coordinating two building schedules, while prioritizing students, staff, and families at the heart of each of those schedules. We adjust to the different grade level spans of student, staff, and family needs varying from building to building. Most importantly, we focus on maintaining momentum toward each building’s goal of creating spaces for human development.

According to Vivian Komori, “Life is not how fast you run or how high you climb, but how well you bounce.” As the school year comes to an end, both of our families are holding on tight for the next round of bouncing. And while we bounce into the excitement of planning for the 2023-2024 school year, we will all hold on to the truth that we are Resilient

GMS-GIS-GED APs Portrait of a Graduate Administrator Quote

 

 

  • Portrait of a Graduate
  • Resilient
  • news
GHS AP Portrait of a Graduate Administrator Quote

When we think of being responsible, we’re typically thinking about things for which we are responsible – jobs, family, paying bills, etc. But being responsible, or having response-ability, is the ability to choose your response in any given situation. 

As adults, we have the ability to choose our response and we have the duty to send our students out into the world as Responsible citizens, choosing to care for each other. We model responsibility daily at school, in our homes for our children, and in the community. We all have everyday tasks that we are responsible for, but what defines us as being responsible is the choice to make decisions that benefit, and are in the best interest of, our community.

As the assistant principal of Granville High School, I am responsible for everyday tasks that keep the high school operating. In many of these, I do not have a choice or option in carrying out these tasks, as they are an expectation of my position. One of the responsibilities I have that is different – where I have the ability to choose my response or action – is the implementation of PBIS. PBIS stands for Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports, which aims to develop a growth mindset and a positive action that can assist in developing our school climate. We have aligned grades K-12 with the district’s Portrait of a Graduate – a composite of competencies, combined with what mindsets, skills, and dispositions we want our students to possess while they are with us (and beyond). Responsible is one of our six Portrait of a Graduate competencies.

The implementation of PBIS and Portrait of a Graduate has provided an opportunity for the students to take responsibility for much of what happens at Granville High School. This year, they have developed a poetry jam, participated in an exchange program with other schools in the county, led various clubs, and implemented many student-led projects. This is only a small portion of the activities that have been initiated by students, and that have demonstrated their embracing of PBIS and the Portrait of a Graduate qualities, including being Responsible. This year, we also created Shout Outs to encourage staff and students to recognize others when exhibiting the Portrait of a Graduate qualities. 

I’m proud to work in Granville Schools, and be an example of Responsible for our students.

GHS AP Portrait of a Graduate Administrator Quote

 

  • Portrait of a Graduate
  • Responsible
  • news
GES Portrait of a Graduate Administrator Quote

I do not like change. Well…that’s not true, it is the idea of change that often causes me anxiety. When connected with true purpose and productivity, changes in ideas, policies, and procedures can bear great fruit. However, knowing that does not always make change easier…especially when change happens to us rather than because of us.

As I reflect on the significant changes in my own life – parents’ divorce, loss of loved ones, college, new career, change in career, family – I quickly realize that, while I did not always come out of it unscathed, the requirement to adapt to these new circumstances was part of a journey of growth. From my parents’ divorce, I learned forgiveness. From the untimely death of a dear friend, I truly learned how to grieve. My unexpected topsy-turvy college journey taught me the realities of adulting. Marriage and the birth of two beautiful daughters, arguably the most significant change in my life, brought the greatest shift in my personal routine and structure. In all of these events, my priorities and philosophies on so many topics and ideas took on new versions of their own. The growth that occurred, and the newly accepted lifestyles and ideas, was a direct result of adapting to the change. Divorce, death, career evolution…these are changes that happened to me and were outside my sphere of control. Had I chosen not to adapt, the changes – while inevitable – would have been even more anxiety-ridden and difficult. By adapting and adjusting to new ideas and routines, I was able to move forward and gain new insight on life.

GES is experiencing its own evolution of changes. Like change that occurs for individuals, some changes happen to us and some because we seek them. Without a doubt, the population of GES will continue to increase. Aside from the physical logistics of growth, we will need to adapt to growing diversity and larger numbers within the building. Meanwhile, we are at the behest of the state and federal leaders. who have their own ideas of what education must look like. Thus, we have to adapt. Whether we like the idea of growth or legislative requirements does not matter. What DOES matter is our responsibility to adjust to the changing priorities and roles in an ever-evolving world of ambiguity. The period around the recent pandemic certainly taught us this. The global pandemic required us to understand the diverse views and perspectives of the situation, and to experience both tremendous successes and failures, in order to be able to provide a quality educational product in a highly stressful and unique environment. Students’ learning needs, social development, and their life experiences are different in the post-COVID environment. We have to adapt our practices and approaches – perhaps even adapt our own pedagogies – so that we can appropriately support our young charges in laying their foundation for Learning for Life.  

GES Portrait of a Graduate Administrator Quote

 

  • Adaptable
  • Portrait of a Graduate
  • news
GIS Portrait of a Graduate Administrator Quote

In the spring of 2022, I had the opportunity to take the Gallup CliftonStrengths® Assessment to measure my natural patterns of thinking, feeling, and behaving. The areas that were identified as my top strengths included Empathy, Positivity, and  Individualization. As I reflected upon my profile, I considered my experiences, habits, beliefs, and most importantly, my personal and professional relationships and how they relate to my “strengths”. In particular, I examined closely the definition of “empathy” from the assessment:

Often you sense the moods of individuals without them having to say a word. As a result, you can ask questions and broach topics with people who are naturally reserved, timid, or shy. Driven by your talents, you encourage people to express their innermost thoughts and feelings, and you refrain from judging them. You like knowing that others depend on you to listen. Moreover, you have noticed that individuals come to you for advice. Your ability to find solutions contributes to your optimistic attitude. You often notice individuals who are defeated by life’s challenges. You want to help them better cope with their difficulties. When you can encourage people to take action, they are apt to feel much better about themselves and life in general.

Throughout my years as an educator, I have found that all children and young adults are the same in one essential way – they want to be listened to, understood, and supported. They all need someone who not only hears them but someone who can truly empathize with them. While I loved being a classroom teacher, I knew that I wanted to use my ability to empathize with students, colleagues, and families on a broader level.  When asked how I like being a principal (and yes, there are challenges and difficult moments), I am able to emphatically respond, “I love what I do!” No, it’s not because of academics that I am so passionate about my role; rather, it is simply because I spend my time with others and am able to provide the emotional support that we all need. Students will stop by the office to see if I am available or will find me in the hallway or cafeteria because they just need to be listened to and understood. This is what gives me meaning and purpose. This is my “why”.

One of my favorite quotes (as a former high school English teacher I do indeed have favorite quotes) is from Pablo Picasso who once said, “The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.” Every encounter, interaction, and experience I have with a child is my opportunity to share, or give away, my gift – the gift of empathy.

GIS Portrait of a Graduate Administrator Quote

 

  • Empathetic
  • Portrait of a Graduate
  • news
GMS Portrait of a Graduate Administrator Quote

In keeping with the effort to highlight our Portrait of a Graduate competencies – as Superintendent Brown mentioned in his message from January 24, and GHS Principal Scott Hinton wrote about on February 1 – I have the honor of spotlighting the next trait, Critical Thinkers. 

When I think about thinking critically (critical thinking), I think about ongoing problem solving.  Critical thinking and problem solving is not “let me think about it and get back with you tomorrow.” It is having many conversations with key stakeholders over and over, it is brainstorming pros and cons, it is walking away and coming back to the issue with a fresh set of eyes, it is reaching out to others who have experience with the situation…all to solve an issue.

As many of you know, GHS and GMS share staff and students. However, we each operated on two very different bell schedules for years (GMS on a nine-period day, and GHS on an eight-period day). All of our administrators, staff, and teachers knew life would be easier for students and shared staff if we had one common bell schedule. Seems easy, doesn’t it?! On the contrary, not so easy after all, which is why it took so long to simply just do it.

In order for GMS to go to an eight-period day, we had really look at ELA (English/Language Arts) class because it was a double period. If we kept it as two periods, then we would impact ALL electives – our required classes took up six periods, so only two periods would be left for electives like music, global language, art, PE, tech, etc. After much critical thinking and discussion, we moved ELA class to one period a day so that grades 7-12 could operate on one common eight-period day schedule. The ELA staff spent a great deal of time to revamp every unit. Now that a couple of years have passed since we moved to a common bell schedule (7-12), we reflect on the decision, think critically by brainstorming new solutions, and talk with stakeholders to work toward continuous improvement. 

Critical thinking is applied nearly every minute of the day in Granville Schools. Whether it is a scheduling shift like what I’ve outlined above, or a student solving a problem in math class, thinking critically is the path to solutions. I’m proud to say Granville Schools are preparing our future graduates to make sound judgments and decisions, maximize their creative efforts, and reflect on learnings through critical thinking.

GMS Portrait of a Graduate Administrator Quote

 

  • Critical Thinkers
  • Portrait of a Graduate
  • news
GHS Portrait of a Graduate Administrator Quote

As Superintendent Brown mentioned in his message from January 24, we are continuing to highlight our Portrait of a Graduate competencies in the second half of this school year, and I have the honor of being the first staff member to provide and example of one of these traits from my personal experience.

Three years ago, I remember watching the press conference when Governor Mike DeWine announced that students would not be returning to school for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. Like every other high school principal across the state, my thoughts shifted to how we would honor the graduating class of 2020. As a leader, I have always possessed a very collaborative mindset.  I did not know just how much that mindset would be tested that spring.  

Every high school conducted their graduation that spring a little differently. For the class of 2020 at the high school where I was prior to coming to Granville, graduation consisted of coming into a gymnasium with seven members of their family, walking across the stage to pick up their diploma, having a short zoom session with their teachers (who were watching from home) before exiting back out of the building. The entire process was videotaped and was compiled into a video that was shown at the local drive-in theater to serve as their graduation. Prior to arriving at the theater, the students participated in a parade through the town so the community also could recognize their accomplishments.  

As I reflect upon this monumental event years later, all that we did to try and make things normal for the class of 2020 was only possible through outstanding teamwork and collaboration. Each part of the graduation activities had a different person leading that endeavor.  While it was extremely demanding and stressful, the difficulty of the process was reduced due to the collaborative culture that already existed in our school. I believe the only way to know how collaborative an organization is, is when adversity strikes. I am thankful that I worked with a team that believed in this model, because without collaboration, we would not have been able to do all we did for the class of 2020.  

Just like then, our staff at GHS works in collaboration each and every day to best serve our students. It truly is a team effort to make all the moving parts of our school work. Our staff and students are fantastic people who love to collaborate to make GHS the best possible place for everyone.

GHS Portrait of a Graduate Administrator Quote

 

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  • Portrait of a Graduate
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A Message from the Superintendent: Schools Are a Space for Human Development!

Dear Blue Ace Families,

As we have turned the page on a new calendar year, that means we also find ourselves in the second half of the school year. Time is flying!

At the beginning of the school year, I opened with a message about refocusing on our mission, vision, values and Portrait of a Graduate…I’d like to take this opportunity to revisit and reinforce those ideas now.

When you envision an excellent school, what do you picture? Do you see an institution of learning or a space for human development? You may say one or the other of these based on a few factors…your age, your own personal experience or the experience of your family and friends. Depending on your age you may respond differently based on your own personal experience. You may also say both…or neither, based on the factors above.

All of the above is probably accurate, but in Granville Schools our definition of success has evolved to include our Portrait of a Graduate competencies to complement our tradition of academic success. Our focus on developing well-rounded human beings helps us remember that schools aren’t just about test scores or academic attainment in isolation – the true value to our students is in the application of knowledge, skills and development of the appropriate mindsets that help increase success in our global community.

During this second half of the 2022-23 school year, we will again highlight each of our Portrait of a Graduate competencies – within our buildings and on our external communications channels – by not only emphasizing student achievements aligned with those traits, but also by sharing some of our staff’s experiences with these competencies in their own lives.  

Once again, our Portrait of a Graduate is the beacon leading us to fulfill our mission of Learning for Life.   

Thank you for your ongoing support!

Your partner in education,

Jeff Brown

Superintendent, Granville Schools

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Resilient Badge

Dear Blue Ace Families,

Before school started nearly three months ago, I opened the year with a refocus on our mission, vision, values and Portrait of a Graduate…last but not least of our traits to highlight is Resilient.

We define the Resilient competency as:

  • A Blue Ace views failure as an opportunity to learn.
  • A Blue Ace delays gratification, refocuses after distractions, and maintains momentum until goals are attained.
  • A Blue Ace develops positive attitudes and beliefs about themselves as lifelong learners.

We will highlight Blue Aces being Resilient on our social media channels this week and beyond. We will be sending a few more messages in the coming weeks to support our Portrait of a Graduate work, so please watch for those. We are Learning for Life!

Your partner in education,

Jeff Brown

Superintendent, Granville Schools

  • Portrait of a Graduate
  • Resilient
Responsible Badge

Dear Blue Ace Families,

The next trait of our Portrait of a Graduate I would like to highlight is Responsible

We define the Responsible competency as:

  • A Blue Ace displays personal integrity, honesty, and ethical behavior.
  • A Blue Ace explores and expands personal learning experiences and opportunities to gain expertise.
  • A Blue Ace understands the local, national, and global implications of civic decisions.

This trait covers a lot of ground, from personal responsibility to civic responsibility. We want our graduates to be Responsible for themselves but also feel a sense of responsibility for others through their experiences, as well as act on that sense for the greater good.

Coincidence, accident or happenstance…this trait comes as our country, states, cities and villages prepare for a mid-term election, where civic responsibility is paramount to the success of our democracy. We educate our students on civic responsibility so they endeavor to be contributing members of society while still in high school and when they graduate and go out into the world.

We will highlight Blue Aces being Responsible on our social media channels this week and beyond. Please watch for the next competency highlight in a couple of weeks. We are Learning for Life!

Your partner in education,

Jeff Brown

Superintendent, Granville Schools

  • Portrait of a Graduate
  • Responsible
Adaptable Badge

Dear Blue Ace Families,

As we continue to explore the traits that make up our Portrait of a Graduate, the next one – Adaptable – reminds me of this anonymous quote: “When something goes wrong in your life, just yell ‘plot twist’ and move on.” 

It does not always have to be something “going wrong” or negative for adaptability to be an important skill, especially in our growing and ever-evolving world. Being able to adapt in any situation is a sign of intellectual and emotional maturity that we want our graduates to strive toward.

We define the Adaptable competency as:

  • A Blue Ace adjusts to varied roles and responsibilities in a world of ambiguity and changing priorities.
  • A Blue Ace reacts productively to feedback, success, and failure.
  • A Blue Ace understands, balances, and navigates diverse views to reach workable solutions. 

We will highlight Blue Aces being Adaptable on our social media channels this week and beyond. Please watch for the next competency highlight in a couple of weeks. We are Learning for Life!

Your partner in education,

Jeff Brown

Superintendent, Granville Schools

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  • Portrait of a Graduate
A Message from the Superintendent: ODE State Report Card Rankings

Dear Blue Ace Families,

In 2021, the State of Ohio created a new system of accountability for Local School Districts called the State Report Card. According to Ohio Department of Education website, “Report Cards are designed to give parents, communities, educators and policymakers information about the performance of districts and schools — to celebrate achievement and success and identify areas for improvement. The information provides clear and easily available reporting on student performance, drives local conversations on school improvement and identifies schools to receive supports for getting better. The goal is to ensure all students receive an excellent education that can lead to success in life, careers and future learning.”

The Report Card has five metrics related to student academic performance: Achievement, Progress, Gap Closing, Early Literacy and Graduation. In the future, another metric College, Career, Workforce and Military Readiness will be added. These areas are ranked on a 1-5-star measure, with 1 being the lowest and 5 the highest. 

On September 16th, the State Report Card for 2021-2022 was released. We are proud to say that Granville Schools earned 5 stars in Achievement, Gap Closing, Early Literacy and Graduation. We earned 4 stars in Progress, which represents evidence of above-typical growth for our students. Our Performance Indicator score – a summary of the star ratings – means Granville Schools are #1 in not only Licking County, but in Central Ohio, and 13th in the state. 

The performance of our students demonstrates that they are returning to the superior levels of performance seen before the pandemic. These data are important for continuous improvement, but represent only part of the picture of our students’ achievements. Our 5-year graduation rate is 100%, which demonstrates our commitment to EVERY child. We go beyond just academics to educate and support the whole child – our students acquire the necessary mindsets, skills and dispositions articulated in our Portrait of a Graduate to complement their strong academic performance in their journey toward Learning for Life.  

To witness this more complete picture, please talk to your children, other students, educators and parents about what is happening in our buildings each day. Please visit our District website, subscribe to our newsletters and follow our social media channels.  Many great things are happening every day!

If you are interested in learning more about the State Report Card, I encourage you to visit the ODE’s webpage.

Your partner in education,

Jeff Brown

Superintendent, Granville Schools

  • ODE Report Card
  • State Report Card
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Empathetic Badge

Dear Blue Ace Families,

It is appropriate that the next Portrait of a Graduate competency we highlight is Empathetic

As a reminder, our Portrait of a Graduate is the sum of our Values combined with what mindsets, skills and dispositions we want our students to possess after their tenure within Granville Exempted Village School District.

We define the Empathetic competency as:

  • A Blue Ace demonstrates an understanding of the perspectives and needs of others.
  • A Blue Ace examines the impact of external influences on beliefs and behaviors during interactions with others.
  • A Blue Ace maintains an open-minded approach to new ideas or values.

Sometimes we need to be reminded to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes…to gain some wisdom or understanding from another’s perspective or experience. I hope that was the case last week and will continue to be for our students and families.

We will highlight Blue Aces being Empathetic on our social media channels this week and beyond. Please watch for the next competency highlight in a couple of weeks. We are Learning for Life!

Your partner in education,

Jeff Brown

Superintendent, Granville Schools

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  • Portrait of a Graduate
Critical Thinkers Badge

Dear Blue Ace Families,

Friday will mark one month since we returned to school, how time flies! I’m so proud of the work done by our students and faculty so far this school year.

As I wrote on the first of September, we are refocusing efforts to highlight Our Portrait of a Graduate – a composite of our Values combined with what mindsets, skills and dispositions we want our students to possess after their tenure within Granville Exempted Village School District.

The next competency I want to explore further is how we want Granville graduate to be Critical Thinkers. We define this as:

  • A Blue Ace collects, assesses, and analyzes information to make sound judgments and decisions.
  • A Blue Ace refines and evaluates ideas in order to innovate and maximize creative efforts.
  • A Blue Ace reflects on the learning process, feedback, and solutions.

We will highlight Blue Aces being Critical Thinkers on our social media channels this week and beyond. Please watch for the next competency highlight in a couple of weeks. We are Learning for Life!

Your partner in education,

Jeff Brown

Superintendent, Granville Schools

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  • Portrait of a Graduate
Collaborative Badge

Dear Blue Ace Families,

We finished our first full week of school last week, and I want to commend everyone on their energy, commitment and great attitudes as we entered a new year of learning!

Nearly two weeks ago, I sent a message kicking off the new school year and reintroducing everyone to our Portrait of a Graduate. To reiterate, Portrait of a Graduate is a composite of our Values combined with what mindsets, skills and dispositions we want our students to possess after their tenure within Granville Exempted Village School District. I would like to take the opportunity to delve into each of these competencies/characteristics as we embark on this new year.

The first competency I want to explore further is being Collaborative. We define this as:

  • A Blue Ace assumes shared responsibility and values individual contributions to achieve a common goal.
  • A Blue Ace demonstrates the ability to work together in diverse teams.
  • A Blue Ace articulates thoughts and ideas using oral, written, and nonverbal communication skills.

We will highlight Blue Aces being Collaborative on our social media channels this week. In the next few months, we will focus on highlighting one characteristic every other week. We hope this refocus and reflection will serve as a guiding force for this year and the future. We are Learning for Life!

Your partner in education,

Jeff Brown

Superintendent, Granville Schools

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  • Portrait of a Graduate
A Message from the Superintendent: Welcome Back to the 2022-2023 School Year!

Dear Blue Ace Families,

Welcome back for the 2022-2023 school year! We hope you all have had a relaxing and rejuvenating summer break, and are ready to get back to learning. We are excited to see all of our students’ faces in classrooms once again!

I want to open this school year with a refocus on our mission, vision, values and Portrait of a Graduate…

Granville Exempted Village Schools has a rich tradition of high academic standards and rigorous educational opportunities. Our students are at the center of our learning organization, and as a learning organization, our Mission statement professes we are Learning for Life. Our Vision states: “Graduates of the Granville Exempted Village School District are well-prepared and empowered to be thoughtful, productive, and contributing members of their communities, and are equipped with the critical thinking skills and self-sufficiency necessary for success in our ever-changing world.” At the heart of this theory of action is also a mentality of continuous improvement within the organization. We shift this theory into action by taking our mission and vision and applying strategies and practices to realize the true impact on students. Curiosity about how we educate, and commitment to continuous improvement, lead to changes in classroom practices that align with student needs. Granville Schools are spaces for true human development with students at the center of our work.

Several years ago, we engaged in an innovation process to determine how we could improve outcomes for students. The by-product of that process was the integration of Project Based Learning (PBL) into our students’ and teachers’ mindset. Shortly after the PBL work began, we engaged in a community process to identify our Portrait of a Graduate (PoaG) – a composite of our Values combined with what mindsets, skills and dispositions we want our students to possess after their tenure within our district. Two years into implementation, the pandemic hit. We saw firsthand the six competencies outlined in our PoaG – empathy, resilience, collaboration, critical-thinking, adaptability and responsibility – on full display with our students, staff and community. 

GEVSD Portrait of a Graduate Graphic

As we begin a new school year, we are engaging in the process to REFLECT, RETHINK, and RESET our learning organization with all of the lessons learned throughout the past 2 ½ years. We will take advantage of the ways we have improved our educational outcomes, and abandon those practices that are barriers to deep learning. Once again, our Portrait of a Graduate will be the North Star that leads us to fulfill our mission of Learning for Life. 

Thank you for your continued support!

Your partner in education,

Jeff Brown

Superintendent, Granville Schools

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