Succeed and Prosper through Education: Ashland, Richland, Crawford (SPARC) works with all school districts and early childhood providers in the tri-county area with a focus on transitions – transition from early childhood years into the environment of K12 schooling; transition from elementary school; transition from middle school to high school; and transition from high school to post-secondary opportunities. The overarching goal of the SPARC initiatives is to raise the educational attainment level of all graduates and individuals of the region. SPARC aims to accomplish this work on the short term through work with high school transition to higher education; but also on the long term by working at the early learner stage, creating more synergy for parent of early learners around their role as a child’s first teacher. Visit full SPARC website by clicking here.
Specific projects provided and funded by SPARC are as follows:
- Providing the EXPLORE (8th) and PLAN (10th) assessments to all students in the tri-county region. These assessments are a product of the ACT organization and align with the ACT and college readiness standards.
- Providing access to all high school students in 29 high schools for the ACT On-line Prep Class to help them prepare for the ACT test.
- Providing College Access Advisors in partnership with 13 high schools who help students and parents plan and develop post-secondary opportunities.
- Providing graduate follow-up data to 29 high schools tracking the post-secondary attendance, persistence, and completion rate for six years of graduating classes.
- Implementing specific projects dedicated to elimination of remedial coursework for students as they enter the post-secondary world.
- Facilitating a high school to higher education grant designed to put instructors at both levels together to narrow the gaps in curriculum experienced by some students for their post-diploma years.
Number of Participating School Districts
All public school districts in Ashland, Crawford, and Richland counties plus schools in Morrow County (except Mount Gilead) as well as some of the private/parochial schools in those counties.
Number of School Age Youth Receiving Service
For more than 4 years of their existence, SPARC has provided the ACT assessments for almost 20,000 students in the region.
Number of Staff Served
SPARC has provided professional development for all administrative personnel in the region, specific sessions for some school districts, more direct service to specific grade level teachers in some schools, and awareness sessions to boards of education and regional community groups.
Mark Stock, Executive Director; Lisa Cook, Early Childhood Consultant
Support Staff Personnel
One part-time person
Funds to operate SPARC have come from commitments from the Richland County Foundation, the Ashland County Community Foundation, the Bucyrus Area Community Foundation, The Hire Family Foundation, Ohio State University Mansfield, Ashland University, North Central State College, area businesses, grants from the Great Lakes Foundation, the Ohio Board of Regents, and personal and individual donors.
Anticipated Revenues and Expenditures
Mid-Ohio ESC Fee for Support Services
Approximately 3 percent of the salary costs contained in the budget