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Back to School Kickoff for MOESC Staff

On Monday, August 10th, Mid-Ohio Educational Service Center will hold their annual All-Staff Meeting to kick off the school year. Because of the ongoing concerns about COVID-19, the meeting will look a little different than in years past. Instead of the typical large gathering at the Mid-Ohio Conference Center, this year it will be held via Zoom conference. 

Superintendent Kevin D. Kimmel said he plans to open the general meeting by delivering some good news. “As part of my first year serving as superintendent, one of the goals I established with the Mid-Ohio ESC Board of Governors was to conduct an annual satisfaction survey with our client districts as it relates to the following purpose and role of our ESC and I will be sharing the early results of this feedback with the staff.” 

“Mid-Ohio ESC went through a major leadership change last year with my hiring and the hiring of new Directors for each department,” explained Kimmel. “Based on feedback from the districts received prior to my start, Mid-Ohio ESC focused our efforts on the following areas: development of relationships, improving trust, and timely responses.” He said the feedback from the current survey so far has been overwhelmingly positive with districts saying they are very satisfied in all three of those areas. 

“This would not have been possible without our dedicated staff that worked with our districts daily,” Kimmel said. However he said, even with the positive response, Mid-Ohio ESC is not content to maintain the status quo. “We still have areas to expand programs, services and supports to meet the ever changing needs of our schools.”

Kimmel said he is proud of what Mid-Ohio ESC has done this past year to increase their assistance to the districts. The Teaching & Learning team was established to provide customized supports for curriculum, instruction, assessment and school improvement efforts. Also, Behavioral Support Services were expanded to provide professional development opportunities and subsequent coaching support to build professional capacity to most effectively assess, address and improve student outcomes. 

After the opening session, the Student Services Department will convene to receive a special education legal update from Christina Henagan Peer, partner at Walter & Haverfield, a Cleveland-based law firm. Then following a lunch break, the different departments will have their team meetings to prepare for the year ahead.

Lynn Meister, Director of Teaching & Learning said she is encouraged for this upcoming year because last year’s unexpected changes showed the staff’s ability to adapt. “Despite the difficulties that we were presented with last spring, our staff seamlessly transitioned to virtual meetings, online professional development, and individual supports to meet the needs of our districts. Given the tremendous expertise and flexibility available at Mid-Ohio ESC, I know that we will meet the opportunities and challenges of the new year successfully as well.”

Jennifer Crum, Director of Student Services, echoed Meister’s sentiments. “In March of 2020, our staff regrouped and reimagined instruction and services to support students with disabilities. And, we experienced successes and failures with what worked and what may not have worked. We have witnessed some of the most resilient staff here in our very own service region! Our staff is doing what they feel passionate about – facilitating the growth of children, despite the odds. They are taking chances and working hard, and that is what successful people do. Nothing is worthwhile unless you take risks. We have and continue to embrace the current situation, which richly offers a climate of new ideas, to best meet the needs of our students academically, socially and emotionally.”