MIAMI COUNTY — The Miami County Educational Service Center is a hub of educational resources for all public and non-public schools in the county.
The center assists Troy and Piqua City Schools, Tipp City, Covington, Bradford and Milton-Union Exempted Village Schools and Miami East, Bethel and Newton Local schools as well as St. Patrick Catholic School in Troy and Piqua Catholic.
Superintendent David Larson said the center provides a variety of services and support for both students and educators.
Larson said approximately 200 teachers and support staff have voluntarily attended First Aid Mental Health, which is a program provided by the Tri-County Board of Mental Health. The program focuses on how to detect warning signs in youth who are experiencing mental health crisis. The program is offered at the Miami County ESC center and is free of charge thanks to support from Free the Mind/Anchor the Soul, Premier Health, Miami County Foundation, Stouder Memorial Foundation, PNC Bank and the Tri-County Mental Health Levy.
The center also provides classes and resources for emotionally disturbed, developmentally handicapped and disabled students at its Opportunity School located at Riverside of Miami County in Troy.
The school is in its second year at its new location at 2000 W. Stanfield Road, Troy,, which has been a success for both students and instructors, Larson said.
The center also vets substitute teachers that are approved by the ESC board each month. Larson said the demand for qualified substitute teachers is high in the Miami County area. The center has planned a workshop on Monday, Feb. 17 to enlist those interested in becoming certified substitute teachers at the center.
The center also helps schools with changing state guidelines. Larson gave the example of the new “Permanent Graduation Requirements” that will be in place for the 2023 class. The guidelines require students to demonstrate competency in math and English by passing the state’s Algebra 1 and English 2 tests. Students who fail will be provided remedial support and can earn credit through College Credit Plus, demonstrate career readiness and technical skill through support options or enlist in the military upon graduation.
The state will also implement a diploma seal system for graduation requirements in 2023. Students must earn two diploma seals, one of which must be state defined, to demonstrate academic, technical and professional readiness for career, college, military of self-sustaining professions. State system diploma seals that have been defined to the state are: OhioMeansJobs Readiness, Honors Diploma, State Seal of Bi-literacy, technology, industry-recognized credential, citizenship, college-ready, fine and performing arts , military enlistment, student engagement, community service and a science seal.
The ESC also assists local schools with changing state and federal legislation and its impact on local education. The center hosts forums with elected officials to share their opinions regarding pending or enacted legislation.
The center also hosts curriculum updates as well as staff support for area principals as well as home school and alternative education resources as well as gifted and talented education opportunities.
The Miami County ESC employs approximately 300 people in various capacities. For more information about the ESC, visit www.miami.k12.oh.us.