Pickaway-Ross Pride: A district blog
Open house revamped for safety amid COVID-19
Posted 10/15/2020 at 8:00:57 AM by Erika Konowalow [staff member]
The COVID pandemic has changed much about the way schools operate, among them Pickaway-Ross’ annual recruitment process that involves visits to our partner schools, sophomore tours and an open house.
The career center’s recruitment team received permission to visit schools to talk with sophomores, who complete interest forms to indicate the three career labs they would like to visit during sophomore tours.
This year, tours will extend over five days in November. The tour schedule was designed to limit visits to one school in the morning and one in the afternoon, eliminating students from different schools coming in contact with each other.
Tours will take place Nov. 9, 10, 12, 13 and 16.
The open house for main campus programs will take place Nov. 17 with students from different schools assigned a time to visit.
Magnet programs will also have an open house at their respective labs Nov. 17.
Detailed information about the open houses will be posted at www.pickawayross.com.
Logan Elm's Industrial Arts satellite classes seek to recycle scrap metal
Posted 10/8/2020 at 12:08:18 PM by Britany Freeman [staff member]
Some scrap already has been collected for the fundraiser.
Gary Mitchel's classes in the Industrial Arts Department of Logan Elm High School are collecting scrap metal to be recycled.
Proceeds from the sale of the materials are used to fund a scholarship for a graduating senior each year.
Mitchel’s Industrial Arts are satellite classes of Pickaway-Ross.
Donations of scrap metal may be left beside the recycling bin located in front of the Ag/Metals building near the athletic stadium.
For more information, e-mail Mitchel at [email protected].
Adult Education partners with online provider to offer more courses
Posted 10/1/2020 at 7:55:43 AM by Erika Konowalow [staff member]
If necessity is the mother of invention then a pandemic may be the father of online education.
Pickaway-Ross Adult Education is using this time to help people learn from home by partnering with ed2go, an online continuing education provider. The company offers more than 400 programs and courses over a variety of subjects.
Rhonda Lawless, Business and Career Services coordinator, said working with ed2go is timely.
“The need for online training and a virtual format during the pandemic prompted us to take a look at it again.”
While the site (www.pickawayross.com/onlinecoursecenter.aspx) only went live a week ago, Rhonda said she has fielded some calls from potential students.
Students can choose from short-term, personal-enrichment courses, and professional development offerings in which students can get vouchers for industry credentials.
I really think the manufacturing courses — Manufacturing Fundamentals and Manufacturing Applications — will benefit local employers looking for job-ready workers.”
She also said she thinks the computer courses offered will be well received.
For more information, contact Rhonda at [email protected] or (740) 642-1365.
Students practice engineering skills by building rockets
Posted 9/24/2020 at 8:46:40 AM by Erika Konowalow [staff member]
Aviation students at Zane Trace High School put their newly acquired engineering practice skills to the test recently by building heavy balloon rockets. Paired in teams, the students were tasked to see which group could make their rocket carry the most cargo (paper clips) to space with limited supplies available.
The winning team was sophomores Daniel Barnhart, Hayden Brannigan and Colby Forcum, whose rocket carried 18 paper clips. The second-place team was another group of sophomores: Garrett Ramsey, Isaac Thornton and Henry Zitzelberger, whose rocket carried 12 paper clips. Third place went to seniors Logan McDowell, Dillon Vollmar and Spencer Wycinski with a rocket that carried eight paper clips.
Before this activity, the students learned about the Apollo 13 mission that ended quickly when the crew experienced an explosion on board that left one oxygen tank destroyed and the other damaged. With the help of engineering practices, NASA was able to help the crew complete a repair with only the supplies on board and get the crew home safely.
The aviation class is taught by Sara Thornton, a satellite instructor for Pickaway-Ross.
Zane Trace FFA member named delegate for food science work
Posted 9/17/2020 at 8:43:24 AM by Erika Konowalow [staff member]
Zane Trace sophomore Grace Jenkins is in 4-H, is an FFA member, plays soccer and is a cheerleader.
In her spare time, she’s researching ways to help combat Zimbabwe’s water scarcity.
Her work has resulted in her being one of six Ohio high school students named a Global Youth Institute delegate.
Through her research Grace proposed solutions that would alleviate water insecurity and improve public health.
“I was reading that they’re building dams but there’s not a lot of research and money to do that so I came up with the idea to build wells and boreholes,” Grace said, creating ways to collect rainwater during Zimbabwe’s rainy season, which occurs from October to March.
In a non-pandemic year, Grace would go to Iowa and present her paper to a panel of scientists and answer questions. This year, that process will be conducted virtually.
In some cases, students have been able to go to their area of interest to study.
“I would love to go to Zimbabwe,” Grace said. “It would be a little nerve-wracking but a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”
Zane Trace FFA is a satellite program of Pickaway-Ross. In 2015, Zane Trace FFA member Mariah Cox was selected as a delegate and went on to be awarded an internship to study in India that summer.
Donation to fund driver's training for students
Posted 9/10/2020 at 10:11:30 AM by Erika Konowalow [staff member]
Pickaway County students at the career center will benefit from a $10,000 donation made to the school recently.
The donation from Circleville Community United Methodist Church was made possible by a bequest to the church.
Tad Grover, pastor at the church for six years, said the church investigated how to spend it and wanted to earmark it for outreach purposes.
“Once the pandemic hit, we thought we could help with some expenses that groups might not have ordinarily.”
Pickaway-Ross’ priority for the money is to fund driver’s training for Pickaway County students who need it. Remaining funds will assist students with tool kits, work boots and other program-related expenses, said Jason Vesey, director of Secondary Education.
In addition to Pickaway-Ross, the four school districts in Pickaway County received $10,000.
“We just saw this as an opportunity to help out,” Grover said.
The church did not put any stipulations on how the school districts spend the money.
“We left that to the discretion of the school district,” Grover said, “but we will touch base to see how (the donation) has been helpful.”
Ross County students were able to take driver’s training through a grant the high school received in 2019.
Register now for Adult Education Pharmacy Technician program
Posted 9/3/2020 at 9:42:03 AM by Erika Konowalow [staff member]
In 2019, there were 422,300 jobs in the nation for pharmacy technicians. On average, the outlook for this profession is expected to grow 4 percent between 2019 and 2029 (www.bls.gov/ ooh/healthcare/pharmacy-technicians.htm).
Pickaway-Ross Adult Education helps to fill the in-demand profession through its Pharmacy Technician program, which was recently ranked within Ohio’s top three pharmacy technician training programs by PharmacyTechnicianGuide.com.
For the third year in a row, it has ranked ahead of major names in the health-care field including Cleveland Clinic. Only Cuyahoga Community College and Ross Medical education ranked higher than Pickaway-Ross Adult Education out of 31 schools.
The rankings are based on a methodology that evaluates cost, education quality, student-faculty ratio, graduation rate and a school’s student-friendly services.
Nikki Johnson, lead Pharmacy Tech instructor, has worked hard to develop this program and secure accreditations that give students better employment opportunities.
The fall program begins Sept. 29. For information or to register, go to https://prctc.axstudent.com/pathway/353.
More students to benefit from online platform
Posted 8/27/2020 at 8:17:27 AM by Erika Konowalow [staff member]
A new online course system will help more students this year.
In the past, students used the system for credit recovery and to take courses that weren’t offered on campus, such as a foreign language. However, that system allowed only 25 students online at any one time.
“We could give unlimited credits but only 25 kids could physically be logged in at one time, Principal Josh Younge said.
“It was kind of like a parking lot with 25 spaces. Nobody else can park in that lot until somebody leaves.”
This year, students will use ACE Digital Academy, which allows access for an unlimited number of students.
The change in platforms accommodates a slight increase from students who need to learn digitally part or all of the school day.
Four teachers serve as monitors, reviewing students’ progress, Younge said.
“Changing to ACE made sense practically and financially,” he said.
Pickaway-Ross senior continues learning at Adult Education
Posted 8/20/2020 at 8:16:40 AM by Erika Konowalow [staff member]
Drew Boullion, who completed Pickaway-Ross' Engineering program in the spring, will get a boost with his post-secondary education at Pickaway-Ross Adult Education.
Drew was awarded the Raymond J. Pack scholarship, presented by the Peter J. Blosser scholarship trust to two students in Ross County. Pack was a Peter J. Blosser trustee and local educator.
While in high school Drew was a member of SkillsUSA, a career-tech student organization, the MADE drug-free club and the National Technical Honor Society.
He also was a member of 4-H for 10 years, receiving many Outstanding Project awards and was selected multiple times to represent Ross County at the Ohio State Fair.
At Adult Education, Drew will be in the Electrical program. He wants to become an electrical contractor and wire houses and hopes to own his own electrical contracting business.
Board member Darrell Cottrill gave much to district, community
Posted 8/13/2020 at 12:12:37 PM by Erika Konowalow [staff member]
School districts are made up of a vast population: teachers, students, administrators, support, clerical and maintenance staff members. But no school can operate without community members who choose to serve on a district school board.Pickaway-Ross is very fortunate to have such a dedicated group who do just.
This summer, we said goodbye to longtime board member Darrell Cottrill, who died June 26.
He spent his adult life in a variety of educational posts as a teacher, principal and board member.
Darrell, of Chillicothe, started his board service in 1978 with a seat on the Union-Scioto Board of Education and served on the Ross-Pike Educational Service District Governing Board starting 1992. He joined Pickaway-Ross’ board in 1994.
In fact, just as Pickaway-Ross recognizes employees for their years of service, Darrell was recognized posthumously at the August board meeting for his service.
“Darrell was a loyal member of our board,” said Dennis Franks, Pickaway-Ross’ superintendent.
“When I was new to the superintendent position, he gave me some advice that has served me well throughout my career. Darrell was always steadfast in his beliefs concerning education. He will be missed.”
Administration, staff members ready to open doors for 2020-2021 school year
Posted 8/6/2020 at 7:38:41 AM by Erika Konowalow [staff member]
Since Pickaway-Ross joined central Ohio in closing school buildings in mid-March because of the Coronavirus, the public has gained a new respect for essential workers who continue to push forward despite the risks and challenges they now face going to work each day.
There are some industries and workplaces that simply cannot shut down indefinitely, said Jason Vesey, director of Secondary Education. Pickaway-Ross, which provides career training to high school students and adult learners, falls within this essential category.
"Pickaway-Ross programs give birth to new essential workers every year. Students train to become health-care professionals, auto technicians, IT specialists, restaurant employees, farmers, day-care workers and work in other industries that are critically important to keeping America running," Jason said.
"Because we recognize our vital role at Pickaway-Ross, our staff members also have found ways to continue the work before us during this extraordinary summer."
Staff members have added to their skills and aptitudes for learning and communicating remotely, Jason said. "From Zoom meetings and webinars to Google classroom and online trainings, staff members adapted and continue to grow to ensure that we are ready to make our return this fall a success."
In addition, this summer Custodial and Maintenance staff members have been installing plastic dividers in classrooms and adding hand sanitizer stations and signs that promote safe practices.
Although many things have changed, Jason said one thing remains the same for the new school year: "We are excited to see our students again. We know the road ahead will be challenging but we also know that it is essential."
Registration open for fall Adult Education programs
Posted 7/30/2020 at 1:27:47 PM by Erika Konowalow [staff member]
Adult Education's Fall programming schedule might look a little different compared with years past but staff members are adapting to ensure programs are available for students in the fall.
The pandemic caused some programs to be extended and others to have start dates pushed back, but most classes are on the schedule around their traditional start dates.
Getting back to a traditional Adult Education programming schedule is important to offer multiple chances for students to take advantage of classes throughout the year. It also provides students access to the best financial aid opportunities.
Some classes are undergoing curriculum changes to stay up-to-date with industry demands.
Scheduled start dates in Health Technologies are:
• Nurse Aide — Aug. 26
• Pharmacy Tech — Oct. 5
Scheduled start dates in Skilled Trades are:
• Powerline — Sept. 3
• Auto Mechanics, Maintenance and Welding — Sept. 8
Scheduled start dates in Public Safety are:
• Firefighter 1 Transition — Aug. 17
• EMT-Basic — Aug. 25
• Firefighter 1 — Aug. 26
• Firefighter 2 Transition - Nov. 2
To register, go to https://prctc.axstudent.com/.
MADE club membership leads to scholarship
Posted 7/23/2020 at 1:10:18 PM by Erika Konowalow [staff member]
Savannah Hite knows what she wants to do, now that high school is over.
Thanks to Pickaway-Ross and her personal drive, she will pursue becoming a teacher when she majors in Early Childhood Education this fall at Hocking College.
Savannah completed the career center's Early Childhood Education program last spring. During her senior year, she began working as a teacher's assistant at Kids Clubhouse in Chillicothe.
"I've always wanted to be a teacher," Savannah said. "Going to Pickaway-Ross helped me focus on what grade I wanted to teach."
Savannah visited the Cosmetology, Early Childhood and Medical Career programs during her sophomore tour.
"I knew I wanted to go to Pickaway-Ross. I knew the opportunities there would lead me to something for my future."
In addition to giving her a head start on her career path, Savannah also got a financial boost when she was awarded the Joseph Landman Memorial MADE Scholarship.
The scholarship program was established by Kristy Landman, Pickaway-Ross' Security Guard. Kristy, who retired at the end of the 2019-2020 school year, created the scholarship in honor of her son, who died from a drug overdose in 2017.
Kristy was an advocate for MADE, Pickaway-Ross' drug-free club.
In previous years, MADE members would apply for the scholarship, submitting an essay as part of the process. But because students weren't on campus after March 16, Kristy sought nominations from teachers.
"During her time in the (Early Childhood) program she discovered her passion working with children as well as the ability to be a good leader," Savannah's lab instructor Missy Brown said on why she nominated her.
"Savannah not only excelled in the senior lab, she served as a teacher's assistant and provided support for the juniors in the preschool classroom."
Savannah is the eighth student to benefit from the scholarship since the program's inception and she is grateful for it.
"I'm so thankful to (Missy) for nominating me," Savannah said. "I'm excited to start college and to see what it brings."
Alum completes journey to Journeyman
Posted 7/16/2020 at 7:26:13 PM by Erika Konowalow [staff member]
Shelbie Cummings didn't realize that when she reported to work Monday, she had achieved a goal she set for herself as
a student in Pickaway-Ross' Electrical
Just four years after completing at Pickaway-Ross and graduating from Logan Elm High School, Shelbie learned she had fulfilled the requirements to advance from Apprentice in IBEW Local 683 to Journeyman Wireman.
Shelbie started working at Columbus-based Mid-City Electric the summer after her junior year and continued her education after high school through IBEW, the electricians union.
IBEW's Apprenticeship Program traditionally takes five years but she completed the coursework plus the required 8,000 hours on the job to get certified in four.
"I can't believe I did it," she said this week. "I've wanted to do this since I was 12. Getting the notice that I made
(Journeyman), I cried for 15 minutes."
In the trades, gaining the Journeyman ticket, as Shelbie calls it, increases her hourly salary, putting her on track to earn annually more than $71,000 before overtime, have multiple retirement accounts, and get free schooling.
"You cannot beat the trades," Shelbie said. "I have no debt and went to school while working."
One of her former teachers, Kirk Hewitt, said he is so proud of what Shelbie has accomplished.
"She has carved out a career for herself in a male-dominated field," Kirk said in sharing Shelbie's news on social media. "She is the first female student I've had in 12 years of teaching to achieve Journeyman status. She is just 22 years old."
Shelbie said that being a Journeyman also affords her the opportunity to take jobs in other cities that may pay more.
For now, she loves working at Mid-City. For the past year, her job site has been at a data center under construction in New Albany.
She plans to take a break from school but there are classes she can now take as a Journeyman. After five more years of working and learning, she likes the idea of becoming a foreman.
Going to Pickaway-Ross, Shelbie said, gave her an advantage that traditional high school students don't get.
"Pickaway-Ross changed my life."
PRCTC teachers, remote learning focus of magazine article
Posted 7/9/2020 at 10:38:44 AM by Erika Konowalow [staff member]
Pickaway-Ross is featured in the June issue of the Ohio School Board Journal.
The article focuses on how the career center's teachers adapted to remote learning when Gov. Mike DeWine issued that school buildings were to close March 12, just before the start of the final nine-week period of the 2019-2020 school year.
Read the full article at http://digital.watkinsprinting.com/publication/?m=21804&i=666375&p=36.
ZT FFA chapter awarded grant; free vegetables available starting July 7
Posted 7/2/2020 at 2:43:41 PM by Erika Konowalow [staff member]
Jennifer Johnston doesn't shy away from hard work. Neither do the members of her Zane Trace FFA chapter.
That hard work has paid off with the chapter being awarded an Ohio FFA Foundation's Agricultural & Rural Community Outreach Program grant for the seventh time.
Johnston, the chapter advisor, said applying for the grant requires a detailed plan of action for each of four specific goals for the grant funding with a timeline from July 2020 to February 2021.
The chapter's work will benefit the community when the ZT gardens will provide free vegetables this summer on a stand next to the Blessing Box in front of the school beginning July 7. Anyone in the community can pick up free vegetables throughout the summer and fall at the stand.
In addition, Zane Trace FFA members will work with first- and second-grade students to grow fruits and vegetables for the school cafeteria. They will also raise chickens in a portable chicken coop to donate meat and eggs to the Church Triumphant Food Pantry. Elementary students will participate in programs to learn about food production.
Johnston said she appreciates how the grant program benefits the FFA chapter members.
"The grant provides opportunity for their supervised agriculture experience (SAE) projects conducted outside of the classroom," Johnston said.
"The students can choose to participate in developing and teaching lessons over the gardens and poultry, coaching the after-school healthy habits club for elementary students or physically working in the gardens/poultry house for their experiences. Many of our students have challenges in developing their own SAE programs at home so the grant assists them by providing these opportunities at school.
"The grant work also contributes to classroom learning as students experience firsthand the processing of vegetables, chickens and fruit into new food products such as jelly, meat, eggs and juice.
"The sense of community service developed in students is also a benefit of the grant as they learn to mentor younger members of the Zane Trace community and provide produce and meat for food pantries in our area."
The Zane Trace FFA chapter is a satellite program of Pickaway-Ross.
Adult Education's Leadership Academy goes virtual
Posted 6/25/2020 at 6:41:36 PM by Joshua Fanning [System User]
Pickaway-Ross Adult Education' Leadership Academy is now being offered online and the response has been great.
Forty people took part in last week's Positive Workplace Culture, taught by Business & Industry Services instructor Angie Smith.
Smith, with coordinator Rhonda Lawless, transitioned the session to a virtual format, maintaining some of the interactive components of the in-person training.
Another change was the elimination of the fee for members of participating businesses to attend Leadership Academy sessions.
Additional sessions are Coaching and Mentoring on Sept. 16 and StrengthsFinder on Dec. 9. All courses take place from 9 – 11:30 a.m.
To register go to register.pickawayross. com and click on Professional Development or call Lawless at (740) 642-1365.
District to add credentialing program
Posted 6/17/2020 at 6:41:50 PM by Joshua Fanning [System User]
Adult Education and Secondary staff members are working together to implement the Lean Six Sigma credentialing program through a collaboration with Maximum Potential. Maximum Potential, a Dayton-area company, has worked with schools and businesses to develop the program on a local level.
The goals of the program are to increase problem solving, foster collaborative teamwork and improve critical thinking skills.
An initial three-day training will occur during the summer. Twenty participants will have the opportunity to earn a Yellow Belt. Of those 20, five will be selected for a second three-day training to earn their Green Belts. During this process, staff members will collaborate on a project to improve processes in the district.By earning Green Belts, staff members will have the opportunity to issue Yellow and Green Belts to students and to contract with local businesses to offer the training under the umbrella of Maximum Potential.
High school students will be able to earn these credentials to meet new graduation requirements. Adult education will work with local businesses to improve efficiency.
Allied Health teacher lauded for program
Posted 6/12/2020 at 3:58:16 PM by Joshua Fanning [System User]
The Cleveland Clinic has recognized Pickaway-Ross teacher Tammy Tipton for her work with its Worldwide Classroom program.
Tipton, who teaches Pickaway-Ross' Allied Health magnet program, was lauded for using the Cleveland Clinic's program with students in her Introduction to Health Tech class at Logan Elm High School.
"It's a designated time and a live feed so I'm only able to offer it right now at Logan Elm but I would love to offer it to my Allied Health students," Tipton said of what was dubbed Technology Tuesdays.
The program provides Tipton's students — with students from other Ohio schools — the opportunity to interact with health professionals such as a physician's assistant, physical therapist, nurse practitioner and a nutritionist to learn about different fields of study.
Tipton's Logan Elm class was among those in the program named a Cleveland Clinic Banner School, a distinction earned by fewer than 24 percent of the 264 schools in 10 states that participated in Cleveland Clinic's K–12 Education School Programs during the 2019-2020 school year.