By KATHRYNE RUBRIGHT
Findlay City Schools will host “Discovery! A Student Centered Conference” in August, the school board was told Monday night.
The conference will “feature students in key roles, not just as a subject of discussion,” said technology aide Chris Gott, who spoke to the board along with Tonya Thorbahn, intervention specialist at Bigelow Hill Intermediate School.
That means students will be presenting and sharing experiences alongside educators.
The conference will also focus heavily on technology, Thorbahn said.
Organizers are hoping to attract 250 attendees, with 50 being from Findlay City Schools.
Some University of Findlay students are developing an app for the conference, which attendees can use to view announcements, schedules and other conference details.
The Aug. 13 conference will be followed by a free evening event for students and their families so they can “see what things are possible for students” as the district starts implementing the 1:1 Chromebook-to-student ratio, Gott said.
Separately, the board heard from Hiroaki Kawamura, associate professor of Japanese and chair of the Language and Culture Department at the University of Findlay, on his pursuit of a “friendship cities” designation for Findlay and Kawaguchi in Japan’s Saitama Prefecture.
Ohio and Saitama have a sister-state relationship.
The difference between friendship cities and sister cities?
“No difference whatsoever,” Kawamura said. “It is all up to the cities.”
A new high school is opening in Kawaguchi this year. In 2019, Findlay High School will host two Japanese students.
This June, a delegation from Findlay City Schools will visit Japan. They’ll welcome Japanese visitors in August.
Separately, Meagan McBride Klein, director of prevention and early intervention at Family Resource Center, addressed the board about summer programming.
Students recommended by principals or teachers can attend a program that combines activities to prevent the academic and social “slide” that can happen over the summer when students are out of school.
“If you look at students that are economically disadvantaged, the regression that they have over the summer break time really sets them back coming into school starting up the next year,” Superintendent Ed Kurt said.
Activities will be focused on curriculum and skills Monday through Thursday. Fridays will be devoted to field trips.
Separately, Kurt shared data from Findlay Digital Academy, the dropout recovery school sponsored by Findlay City Schools.
According to the most recent data, 82 percent of students behind on earning credits are getting caught up.