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 The Jefferson County Educational Service Center (JCESC) was one of 88 county school districts established in 1914 by the Ohio General Assembly.  County school districts were charged with responsibility for elevating the state’s system of education to a proper standard, and the work of county staff was primarily regulatory and compliance-driven.  Staff developed courses of study, provided teacher inservice training, and supervised classrooms.  In 1995, county school districts were renamed educational service centers, a title that appropriately describes a shift in focus from compliance to service and reflects the current work of ESCs. 

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ESC Grant Provides Instructional Coaching
STEUBENVILLE-Local educational service centers have teamed up to provide teachers another resource to improve upon students’ education.    The East Central Ohio ESC was awarded a $434,185 RemotEDx grant in September to provide virtual instructional coaching to school districts in conjunction with the Jefferson County ESC, Ohio Valley ESC, Muskingum Valley ESC and Gallia-Vinton ESC while Michele Carlisle of ECOESC serves as project manager. ECOESC partnered with the other groups and each are employing a coach while being reimbursed up to 75 percent of the costs through the one-year grant. In turn, the coaches work as a team to hold virtual one-on-one or small group sessions with teachers. According to the Ohio Department of Education website, RemotEDx is a state-level initiative that brings together a unique mix of remote, hybrid and blended learning partners from across the state to help schools and districts enhance, expand, and more effectively scale high-quality education delivery models. Consistent with the state’s strategic plan for education, RemotEDx places a premium on equity and seeks to support Ohio’s most underserved students.   Coaches provide a minimum of two days’ face-to-face instruction in addition to online and train educators on strategies to hone their skills and utilize resources. Additionally, YouTube content and a podcast will be produced as an extra resource. Brant Starkey, instructional coach through JCESC, said his work involves assisting teachers in assessing their classroom practice and identifying potential areas for improvement, which may include better and more strategic use of technological tools.    “It is driven by the desire to increase student impact through the use of technological tools that have been properly recommended and implemented,” he added. “The nice thing about this grant and this coaching system is that we are not exclusively bound to the ESC where we are based. If I am not sure how to handle a question that is brought to me, I can either directly ask one of my co-coaches for input, or I can refer the inquiring teacher directly to one of the other coaches. Additionally, teachers are not required to seek out the coach at their particular ESC. Through escsupport.org, they can reach out to any one of us.”    Starkey was excited about the idea of assisting teachers to use technology to impact student learning in a positive way.     “The position is more about getting teachers to evaluate what they are doing in the classroom and seeing if we can come up with a solution to better reach the students that they teach. At the end of the day, it is about helping teachers to make a greater impact on the students they see each day.”    Starkey holds an Associate of Arts degree from Ohio Valley University and a bachelor’s degree in health education 5-12 and athletic training from Marshall University. He taught health for 16 years in the Indian Creek Local School District and pursued an opportunity outside the field around 2014. He has taught at the Jefferson County Justice Center for the past four years and is nearing completion of his master’s degree in education administration from Franciscan University. He is getting acclimated to his latest role and said he and his fellow instructional coaches will work to support and benefit the teachers and their pupils.   JCESC Superintendent Dr. Chuck Kokiko noted that RemoteEDX establishes mini-grants and the consortium applied for funding, and hopes are to renew it in the future to continue the program.    “JCESC viewed the RemoteEDx grant as an opportunity to work with surrounding ESC’s and provide valuable service to our local schools.  Just like our students are in different places in their educational program, so are our teachers when it comes to instructional tools and strategies,” Dr. Kokiko said. “With many schools going remote in the 2020-2021 school year, the need for instructional support, especially in the areas of technology became apparent.  The grant will allow the newly created network to assist our teachers with their individual needs in an efficient and effective model.  We look forward to Mr. Starkey assisting our educators in making the educational experience better for both our teachers and students.”
© 2021 Jefferson County Educational Service Center
2023 Sunset Blvd. Steubenville, OH 43952
Tel: 740-283-3347 Fax: 740-283-2709

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