The year has been off to a great start. We are thrilled that our local report card shows the Nordonia Schools with one of the highest ratings in all of Summit County. As we continue working to be even better, there are a few items of note I would like to share.

ISSUE 2: On Nov. 6 you will vote on Issue 2, a 6.98-mill operating levy for the Nordonia Schools. Issue 2 will raise nearly $7 million annually, beginning Jan. 1, 2019.

The cost is about $41 per month for the owner of a home valued at $200,000.

Funds raised by the levy will do three things:

• Improve safety and security for our students and staff.

• Repair and maintain our aging facilities.

• Maintain programming in academics, athletics and the arts, as well as a host of other mandated services including counseling, nursing, health screenings, drug intervention, career preparation, and so much more.

Please reach out to me directly at 330-908-6202 or if you have questions.

Board Open Forum: The Nordonia Hills City Schools Board of Education will host an open forum Oct. 10 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the NHS Google Lab. The evening will feature State of the Schools presentations by me and the building principals, with time allotted for the public to ask questions and give ideas to the board and administration. We hope to see you there.

Family Always First Night: Monday, Oct. 29 is PTA Council’s eighth annual Family Always First Night. On Family Always First Night, we encourage Nordonia families to spend time together doing something special. To accommodate that as a district, we pledge not to give homework that night or have any tests, projects or assignments due on Wednesday. Also, we expect there to be no other school activities scheduled, with the exception of practices for state competitions. Hopefully our staff can go home and enjoy their families as well.

Internet Safety at Lee Eaton: This year, all 606 Lee Eaton students will be partnering with Google and the University of New Hampshire on a study of youth Internet safety education. Students will learn about Internet safety through the use of Google’s free online curriculum Be Internet Awesome. Lee Eaton students will then help assess the effectiveness of the program by participating in an evaluation process. The study aims to improve the effectiveness of internet safety education and specifically to evaluate how well Google’s Be Internet Awesome curriculum helps children learn and use online safety strategies.

The Be Internet Awesome curriculum consists of modules that teach kids to be Internet Smart, Internet Alert, Internet Strong, Internet Kind and Internet Brave. To make the most of the Internet, kids need to be prepared to make smart decisions. Be Internet Awesome teaches kids the fundamentals of digital citizenship and safety so they can explore the online world with confidence. We are excited that our Lee Eaton students will not only be learning about these fundamental skills but also shaping the curriculum for other students who use the program.

Special Education Rating: Every year, our district receives a rating on the performance of our special education program, known as our Special Education Rating. The Ohio Department of Education uses final data our district submits through the Education Management Information System. These data result in one of four ratings — Meets Requirements, Needs Assistance, Needs Intervention or Needs Substantial Intervention.

Measures of procedural compliance are historically the basis of our rating. Starting this year, our special education rating also includes measures of results for students with disabilities. The student results measures in this year’s rating include the following:

Math proficiency rate for students with disabilities, across all grades;

Reading proficiency rate for students with disabilities, across all grades; and

Third grade reading proficiency rate for students with disabilities.

Nordonia Hills City School District’s 2018 Special Education Rating is Meets Requirements. The primary basis of this rating is the final special education program data our district submitted through EMIS for the 2016-17 school year.

NAEP: Northfield fourth-graders have been selected to take the NAEP in February in math and reading. The National Assessment of Educational Progress is the only assessment that measures what U.S. students know and can do in various subjects across the nation, states, and in some urban districts. Also known as The Nation’s Report Card, NAEP has provided important information about how students are performing academically since 1969.

NAEP is a congressionally mandated project administered by the National Center for Education Statistics within the U.S. Department of Education and the Institute of Education Sciences.

NAEP is given to a representative sample of students across the country. Results are reported for groups of students with similar characteristics (e.g., gender, race and ethnicity, school location), not individual students. National results are available for all subjects assessed by NAEP. State and selected urban district results are available for mathematics, reading, and (in some assessment years) science and writing.

As always, thanks for supporting the Nordonia Schools, have a great month, and remember to follow me on Twitter @DrJoeClark.