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The Mid-Ohio ESC Board of Governors held their February regular meeting on Wednesday, February 16. Superintendent Kevin D. Kimmel provided the Mid-Ohio Board of Governors a plan to expand and enhance services by utilizing grant funds from the Governors Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Fund in order to provide extended learning opportunities to Mid-Ohio ESC client districts.
Mid-Ohio ESC was recently awarded over $1 million in funding that will support the creation of new positions and programming. One of these areas deals with the new dyslexia professional development and screening requirements for school districts. In response to these new requirements, Mid-Ohio ESC will be hiring a literacy and dyslexia specialist to serve as an educational consultant on the Teaching & Learning team.
Another area of growth for MOESC will be the addition of a Director of Leadership position to expand customized learning, mentorship, and coaching to district, building, and teacher-level leadership teams. This is an extension to the leadership supports that have been established by Dr. Mark Burke, Executive Director of Achievement & Leadership, during his first year at Mid-Ohio ESC.
Other items discussed by the Board and funded by GEER dollars will be the implementation of an after school learning opportunity that will include the creation of an esports program at MOESC. Similar to the popular Academic Challenge events that are hosted by Mid-Ohio ESC, the ESC will serve as a gaming site for practices and tournaments. Esports, or Electronic Sports (Gaming), is growing in popularity in Ohio and around the world. Mid-Ohio ESC conducted a survey with districts in the area to assess the interest level in bringing esports to Mid-Ohio. “As educators, we strive to provide our students with numerous educational and extra-curricular experiences during their educational careers. However, some of our students do not ‘fit in,’ or have an interest in traditional sports. Esports is a new and innovative way to connect with more of your students,” said Dr. Burke.
Additionally, esports could be an action step within a district strategic plan to serve the whole child, which would align to ODE’s Whole Child Framework. Esports has many entry points in which school districts can start a program. District may choose to host esports as an activity within already established programs, like 21st Century Community Learning Center programs. Districts could elect to add esports as a club, where an advisor meets periodically to coach and work with his/her team(s), and some districts may choose to create a varsity team, hire a coach, and run full competition seasons. Once esports teams are created, they can play games locally, enter tournaments, and/or join state-wide leagues. Again, there are numerous entry points for schools to get started.
For more information on any of these exciting initiatives, feel free to contact Mid-Ohio ESC Superintendent Kimmel at [email protected] or by calling (419) 774-2506. The next Mid-Ohio ESC Board of Governors meeting will take place on Wednesday, March 16, 2022 at noon.