GHS staffers share insight on accountability during statewide seminar


COLUMBUS — Ohio School Improvement Institute Conference (OSII) is held annually by the Ohio chapter of High Schools That Work organization. The 19th OSII conference was Nov. 15-16 at the Renaissance Columbus Downtown Hotel. The theme of this year’s conference was ‘Preparing Every Student for Success.’

Galion High School principal Ron Williams, french teacher Violeta Chinni and social studies teacher Michael Moore presented Student Accountability Through ICU. The presentation focused on Galion High School;s journey to increasing student accountability and improving assessment and grading. GHS designed a daily school schedule that included a designated period for extra help and extra time. GHS implemented a new system to track missing assignments and hold students accountable for their learning. This has created a complete shift in the way the teachers and administrators view education and student learning.

“Just like in the medical field, ICU stands for Intensive Care Unit for student achievement,” explained Chinni. “ICU is an online tool used by GHS teachers to help teachers and administrators communicate with each other as well as with the students and their parents.” Chinni said the idea came from a book by Danny Hill called Power of ICU – The end of student apathy…reviving engagement and responsibility. The idea for the system proposed by the book is that students learn quickly if they have one missing assignment, their grade is ‘sick’ and needs attention. Refusing to give zeros is the foundation of this process, and the ICU list is the first step in building a completely new system.

Williams said the process to put a student into the ICU system is simple. “Once a student fails to complete his/her assignment(s), each teacher enters the missing assignment(s) in the ICU tool. The moment an assignment is posted in ICU, a text message and an email are sent to student’s parents notifying them that their child has a missing assignment in a particular subject,” he explained. Once the student completes the missing assignment, the teacher removes the student from the ICU list. To make sure students complete their missing assignments, Academic Assistance teachers can access the ICU log and follow up with each student who is on the ICU list.

GHS has a common/unified Academic Assistance period. During this period students have an opportunity to seek additional help and get one-on-one support from individual teachers. The provided assistance ensures students comprehend content in each subject they are taking and can complete all of their school assignments.

After a 9-week pilot of ICU, Moore said the ICU system was a huge positive for the school. “We had over 1000 missing assignments turned in for our building over the first 9-week period. Parents are getting more involved with getting their child to submit at least some of their missing assignments.” He explained most teachers really like ICU and are seeing progress being made in their classroom, and they are able to get more feedback whether students are actually understanding the learning taking place and providing feedback or interventions for those students who need extra help.

For more information or questions regarding the presentation or the ICU system, please contact Ron Williams at 419-468-6500

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Staff report