Message From The Superintendent
Fairport Harbor Exempted Village School District Quality Profile
Please download our Fairport Harbor Schools Quality Profile (2018-2019)
Please download our Fairport Harbor Schools Quality Profile (2017-2018).
Please download our Quality Profile (2016-2017)
What is a Quality Profile? The purpose of the Quality Profile is to provide “the rest of the story,” giving the Fairport Harbor community a report on how our schools are performing in the areas that matter most. The Fairport Harbor community believes schools should provide opportunities for students to pursue excellence in many forms. The education we provide goes far beyond what is measured by the Ohio Department of Education standardized tests. The best way to prepare our students for success in college, career, and life is to create opportunities for personalized learning tailored to individual student talents and interests. That is why Fairport students are learning today and leading tomorrow.
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Updates from the Superintendent
In Fairport Harbor Exempted Village Schools, our people are our greatest asset. Daily time for teacher collaboration is the engine that drives our academic programs. With an opportunity to meet daily with their colleagues, Fairport Harbor teachers can dig deeply into the learning needs of all of their students and learn from one another. It is this job-embedded professional development that allows our teachers to share strengths with one another and continue to improve the quality of the education we can offer to each of our students. By eliminating the isolation that can stagnate so many careers, collaboration has allowed our teachers to embrace change and improve the quality of instruction in a fashion that has been unmatched by any other school district in Ohio.
Through the years, we have developed a formula for success that emanates from the idea that "education is not a zero sum game." Over ten years ago, we wagered that placing more of our resources into early learning would allow us to spend less time and money on remediation. This concept was strengthened when we discovered that by eliminating all fees and simultaneously increasing academic offerings we could increase enrollment and thereby improve revenue. With the approach of the next school year, the district has received International Baccalaureate accreditation at the elementary school, and has had an expansion of The Hooked on Education Program at the high school. Fairport students are earning more college credit or career credentials than ever before, and our future is looking brighter every day.
By: Steve Gratz
A few months ago, Dan Keenan, executive director, Martha Holden Jennings Foundation, called and asked if he could send my contact information to Fairport Harbor School District superintendent, Domenic Paolo. I agreed and had a wonderful phone conversation with Dr. Paolo about the schools’ Hooked on Education project. Domenic invited me to Fairport Harbor to witness the project and visit with teachers and students.
Click the fishing lure to read more.
Captain Dave, owner of Top Flight Sport Fishing, entertained a portion of the Hooked on Education team out on Lake Erie. Here he is giving the 6:00 a.m. safety lesson. The students have been looking forward to doing some field testing. Some lures worked very well while others just did not get the job done.
Thanks to grant funding from the Jennings Foundation, our high school students were able to learn and apply skills in a fashion that makes learning deeper and more meaningful.
Rocket launching for Ms. Tenon's freshman English and Mr. Messer's physics students was a project that embodied many of the things that we are striving to work towards as a district and it was a lot of fun, too. The transdisciplinary approach to education that is endemic to International Baccalaureate is not only successful in our elementary, but also at our high school. As ESSA replaces NCLB, education in Ohio is going to change dramatically over the next decade. As teachers become increasingly collaborative and lessons become more project and inquiry based, our students will find their learning to become more personalized and they will be the ones being launched into a bright future.
Over the last one hundred and fifty years, the world has dramatically changed; however American schools have not kept pace. We now live in a global society, more technologically advanced and diverse than our forefathers could have ever imagined. Our schools are changing very gradually, and improving as they change. The greatest difficulty lies in the fact that the rate of change in schools is inconsistent with the rate of change in the workplace and in developing nations. The low skilled factory jobs our schools were designed to fill, occupy an increasingly less significant proportion of the available employment. Thusly, our schools are in the awkward position of getting simultaneously better but further behind our emerging global competitors (Daggett 2008).
The mission of our nation's schools was once to merely produce a rank-order of students. Grades formed the basis of this sorting and selecting function. The need for elevated levels of academic competence has created a demand for schools driven by the expectation of high achievement for all. Education should provide students with the strategies to reach their goals and a road map for how their preferred dreams can be attained (Stiggins 2010). Through job-embedded teacher collaboration, schools can provide the sustainable positive change that will transform the obsolete schools of today into the 21st century learning environments our nation needs.
The teachers at McKinley Elementary have decided to pursue accreditation as an International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program. In so doing, the entire staff has made a commitment to providing a world class education to the students fortunate enough to walk the halls of their school. International Baccalaureate is a rigorous and structured trans-disciplinary approach to learning. With heightened requirements for professional development and teacher collaboration, the staff at McKinley Elementary are knowingly choosing to make student achievement a higher priority than their own comfort and convenience.
Implementation of the International Baccalaureate curriculum will help develop students with international-mindedness. This learner characteristic is prized because of the way it teaches students to see the value of diversity, in all its forms. While it helps students develop empathy for those who are different, it allows them to do so while retaining pride in their own identity.
Schools in the 21st century need to incorporate a project-based curriculum aimed at engaging students in addressing real-world problems, issues important to humanity, and questions that matter to them. We as a nation have not paid enough attention to students’ willingness and ability to learn and how we should teach to their learning styles. As our students strive for excellence, I hope they understand that the word “education” has evolved right along with the twenty-first century student in its pursuit. The factory-model education of the past must be discarded because schools in America need no longer prepare the overwhelming majority of our students for work in factories. If our schools are going to succeed, we will not be able to remain textbook-driven, teacher-centered, factories where the final product is a young adult who has memorized some percentage of a set of facts. “Fairport Harbor Schools strive to implant a will and a facility for learning; we hope to produce not learned but learning people.” A new way of designing and delivering the curriculum is required to ensure that every student is given the opportunity to attain the post-secondary credentials they will need in order to thrive in today’s world.
Fairport Harbor has chosen to undertake a course, which accelerates its students toward their future with sensitivity to each individual student’s talents. This initiative is designed to remove the financial, academic, and psychological hurdles that prevent our students from reaching their preferred college and career goals.
Time built into the school day for collaboration prepares teachers to transition from a dispenser of information to conduit for learning. Transforming the classroom and helping students turn information into knowledge, which can be applied to real world problems is the goal of our 21st century education. This will require the adoption of a “culture of inquiry”, moving far beyond mere information delivery.
Case studies of individual accelerated children who had skipped at least one grade reported that the children were happier socially and emotionally and reported greater self-confidence and fulfillment after their acceleration. In order for schools to keep pace with the rapid rate of change, teacher development will need to remain a top priority. Ongoing, job embedded, duty specific, professional development is only possible and practical in a school setting when there is collaboration between teaching professionals.
Research supports the notion that acceleration has a positive impact on student achievement. Our school is seeking to prove that collaboration is the catalyst by which all students may access an accelerated curriculum that challenges them to reach their fullest potential. This is achieved by placing them on an educational trajectory that closely attends to their personal interests and strengths beginning with preschool and extending throughout their time as students in our school district. This will be a tremendous step in helping every student reach their full potential.
Collaboration with Educational Researchers
Harvard professor Howard Gardner shares his vision for personalized learning in an age of education reform which grows out of his theory of multiple intelligences. Gardner believes the educational world of the future belongs to those educators and technologists who can create robust ways to present important but challenging concepts.
What is your vision for personalized learning?
My vision of personalized learning grows out of the theory of multiple intelligences, which I developed thirty years ago. Personalized learning involves Individuation and Pluralization. Individuation means that each student should be taught and assessed in ways that are appropriate and comfortable for that child. Pluralization means that anything worth teaching could and should be taught in several ways. By so doing, one reaches more students. Today, we live in a computer age. For the first time in human history, individuation and pluralization are potentially available to any young person. And so the ideas of non personalized, remote, or cookie-cutter style teaching and learning will soon become anachronistic.
What are the challenges being addressed and the opportunities being leveraged?
The major challenge is a system that has proceeded for centuries on the basis of ‘uniform’ schooling and uniform learning: teaching everyone the same thing in the same way. That tack has seemed fair, because all are being treated in the same way. But it is actually unfair, because school is being pitched to a certain kind of mind–in my terms, a mind that is strong in language and logic. Added to that is our system of standardized assessment, which focuses on particular bits of knowledge and which often simply presents a set of choices. Once we have more personalized education, we can provide far more realistic assessments and allow students leeway in how they approach the problems and puzzles that they are presented.
Dr. James Rickabaugh is the director of the Institute for Personalized Learning, an education innovation lab dedicated to transforming public education. The institute serves a growing number of member school districts engaged in personalized learning and is a part of the multi-state Innovation Lab Network coordinated by the Council of Chief State School Officers. Personalized learning transforms practices in a building affects everyone, including school leaders. Our roles become less focused on reactive ways to address concerns, whether academic or social-emotional. Instead, our efforts become more global and systemic – we are able to proactively support all students as they grow by investing our time and energies into systems that ensure they have the mindsets and behaviors to be successful in their current and future endeavors.
I was invited to the University of Toledo and I had the opportunity to meet with Steve Wozniak. This same visionary who cofounded Apple and invented the first mass produced personal computer shared some of his insights into the future of technology and education. He shared with me that he had taught computer science to students in middle school and that he felt that it was less important what you teach students and more important that you motivate them.
Founder of the Khan Academy, Salman Khan began by offering videos mostly about mathematics. The academy expanded its faculty to offer courses about history, healthcare, medicine, finance, physics, chemistry, biology, astronomy, cosmology, American civics, art history, economics, music, computer programming and computer science. Supported by donations from the Gates Foundation, the Khan Academy offers video instruction free to anyone with internet access. teachers and students around the world us this tremendous resource.
Dr. DuFour proved that there were increased student performance in schools where there was a shared vision of leadership, where each member of the teaching-learning community contributed, and where teachers collectively planned activities and then reflect together upon completion. He describes these schools as Professional Learning Communities (PLC's). PLC's have collaborative teams, demonstrate collective inquiry, have an action orientation and willingness to experiment, desired continuous improvement, are results-oriented, and exhibit a shared mission, vision, and values, and refuse to let students fail. Dr. DuFour's work was at the foundation of Fairport Harbor's implementation of its own model of PLC.
Dr. Marzano has done educational research and theory on the topics of standards-based assessment, cognition, high-yield teaching strategies, and school leadership, including the development of practical programs and tools for teachers and administrators in K-12 schools. Marzano's High-yield Strategies have been distilled from research to isolate the instructional approaches that have the greatest positive effect on student achievement for all students, in all subject areas, at all grade levels, especially when strategically matched to the specific type of knowledge being sought.
Dr. Daggett is the author of numerous books about learning and education, textbooks and research studies, reports, and journal articles. Dr. Daggett was a teacher and administrator at the secondary and postsecondary levels and a director with the New York State Education Department, where he spearheaded restructuring initiatives to focus the state's education system on the skills and knowledge students need in a technological, information-based society. Dr. Daggett’s Rigor/Relevance Framework has become a cornerstone of many school reform efforts throughout the United States.
Dr. Daggett has spoken to hundreds of thousands of educators and education stakeholders in all 50 states. Quick to point out the great things about American education policy, Dr. Daggett encourages us to embrace what is best about our education system yet be courageous enough to make the changes necessary to meet the needs of all students in the 21st century.
One of the first to advocate for the concept of "assessment for learning," Dr. Stiggins encourages the use of assessments for something better than sorting students into winners and losers, assessment for learning can put all students on a winning streak. Historically, a major role of assessment has been to detect and highlight differences in student learning in order to rank students according to their achievement. Such assessment experiences have produced winners and losers. Some students succeed early and build on winning streaks to learn more as they grow; others fail early and often, falling further behind. Dr. Stiggins' work has helped us put Fairport Harbor students on a "winning streak." Today, our schools are less focused on merely sorting students and more focused on helping all students succeed in meeting high expectations. Our evolving mission compels us to embrace a new vision of assessment that can tap the wellspring of confidence, motivation, and learning potential that resides within every student.
Dr. Schmoker has written five books and dozens of articles for educational journals and newspapers, TIME magazine and was a regular columnist for Phi Delta Kappan. He is well known for his school reform initiatives. His work makes it far easier for students to self-evaluate and to peer-evaluate meaningfully and with confidence. He is an advocate for writing across the curriculum and insists that when students write—especially about what they have carefully and closely read—they enlarge their intellects and prepare themselves for college, careers and civic participation in a way that can't be surpassed.
A strong advocate of early learning, Dr. Petersen strives to develop active partnerships with parents and families. He is quick to point out that when parents are involved in their children’s education, children do better in school. We believe that families have the primary responsibility to ensure the education of their children and that open and sincere communication is critical to building mutual understanding and commitment. Innovations in primary education including whole language immersion for kindergarten have led to great recognition across the nation. Dr. Petersen was Superintendent of the year in both South Dakota(1985) and Minnesota (2010).
"Consequential and retained learning comes from applying knowledge to new situations or problems, research on questions and issues that students consider important, peer interaction, activities, and projects. Experiences, rather than short-term memorization, help students develop the skills and motivation that transforms lives."
"It’s quite striking that, almost without exception, the great contributors to civilization were educated as apprentices, not as note-takers."