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CCS To Expand Reading Apps; May Sell Building For Tesla Training Program

Alison Holm

As the Columbus City Schools prepare for the return of students Thursday, the district plans to expand use of online apps to boost reading scores, and is considering a possible new life for an old building. 

Alison Holm has more.  

Acting Superintendent John Stanford calls the I-Ready and Achieve 3000 programs “a personal trainer for reading” and says the district will expand their use for middle- and high- schoolers on laptops and tablets. He says the apps help both students and teachers by tailoring lessons and gathering data.

“These virtual tools use online stories and exercises to gauge a student’s strengths and weaknesses in literacy skills. Once the virtual tutor identifies where a student needs help, the software creates a series of activities and stories to help those needed skills. Better yet, the system also notifies the teacher on ways to change classroom curriculum to further help more students with their overall proficiency.”

Stanford says the latest report from the Ohio Department of Education shows that of last years third graders, 12% are still not reading on grade level, which they need to demonstrate in order to move on to the next grade.

The school board also heard Tuesday about negotiations with Columbus State Community College to buy a downtown district building to create a program with Tesla and other auto makers to teach electric car repair. The Trades and Industry property at 278 East Spring Street is currently rented to the Child Development Council of Franklin County, but the district had it declared surplus property and planned to auction it. But Stanford told the board they could pull it off the auction block while Columbus State lines up financing for the property, valued at $2.3 million.

“Columbus State is in conversation with Tesla, Honda, Ford, the Central Ohio Automotive Dealer Association, JobsOhio and Smart Columbus, to establish a modern automotive training center of excellence through a public private partnership.”

Stanford says the district is also discussing possible opportunities for students from the districts nearby automotive technology program at the Fort Hayes Career Center. Columbus State has no timetable for the process, but noted that Tesla would like to begin work on the program in January of 2019.   

A native of Chicago, naturalized citizen of Cincinnati and resident of Columbus, Alison attended Earlham College and the Ohio State University. She has equal passion for Midwest history, hockey and Slavic poetry.
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