Lima school board continues options for state testing

By Sam Shriver -

LIMA — The Lima school board Monday night gave third-grade students options when it comes to how they take the state proficiency tests.

The board approved a measure to continue to allow the test to be taken with pen or pencil and paper for another year.

It’s something they tried already this year, thanks to the Ohio Legislature passing Senate Bill 216.

“This would be our first year that we have been able to hop back to the paper-pencil option. We don’t have those final scores yet for the reading and the writing to see the impact, but we really did feel that kids at that third-grade level are not necessarily that technologically advanced, that they could compose an essay on a computer. We feel that they probably can do it better with pencil and paper,” said Jill Ackerman, Lima schools superintendent. “I think we’re going to need a couple of years of results to see if that really is impacting and making a difference.”

Ackerman also informed board members about a news conference set for 11 a.m. Wednesday at the Allen County Educational Service Center to discuss the pending controversy over the expansion of the state’s EdChoice program.

Ackerman and other superintendents are expected to address the perceived inequities in what the expansion would create.

She says that Lima schools would lose around $150,000 a year if EdChoice is expanded as proposed but also indicated that Delphos schools could lose around a million dollars.

“So the expansion isn’t that financially impactful for us. It’s just the point though, that if that’s what’s going to happen, then everybody should just have the same rules and regulations that they have to abide by — to make it fair,” Ackerman said.

The school board also approved an Affiliation Agreement between Lima schools and Bowling Green State University’s College of Health and Human Services, Department of Public and Allied Health.

“Lots of times, our nurses are asked to have students from the college in the nursing program to come in for some field placements, and we’re happy to have those college kids in any capacity, but we have to have affiliation agreements with those universities,” Ackerman said. “So we get not only student teachers or teacher field placements for the college kids, we’ve had kids placed with social workers. We actually have a kid that’s going to be placed with a psychologist, and then the nurses have college students that come in and will do internships with them as well.”

The school board also approved a similar Memorandum of Understanding with Indiana Wesleyan University for the placement of student teaching candidates in Lima schools.

That memorandum of understanding is for a five year period but either party may terminate the agreement by giving a 90-day written notice.

By Sam Shriver

Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.

Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.

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