Secondary English Weekly #12

VOLUME THREE, ISSUE TWELVE /December 14-31, 2020

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All Week:

Monday, December 14th

  • StudySync Admin Ask-an-Expert Session 8-8:30am Register
  • StudySync Webinar: 4-4:45 PM Five Tips for Remote & Hybrid Lesson Planning Register
  • Delta Kappa Gamma Society International New Teacher Grant Application Due Application (email to Judy Valentine, Grant-in-Aid Chairperson at or sent via USPS to 69 Iron Ore Ct., Columbus, OH 43213)

Tuesday, December 15th

  • StudySync Webinar: 4-4:30 PM Supporting Students with IEPs Remotely Register
  • Novel Conversations Episode 8 Drops: 1984 by George Orwell (1949) LISTEN NOW

Wednesday, December 16thThursday, December 17th

Monday, December 21st

  • TeachRock Stand with Teachers Event 8pm Get Ticket or See "What's New" section for how to go for free.

Tuesday, December 22nd

  • OSU Teacher Leader Endorsement FORM Due

Wednesday, December 30th

  • StudySync Webinar: 4-4:30 PM Enhance Teaching with SyncBlasts Register

Thursday, December 31st

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Content Priorities-What Matters Most in English Under the Constraints of Remote/Pandemic Teaching and Learning

We all know that remote teaching during a global pandemic inherently leads to a slower teaching and learning pace. The director of Secondary Curriculum asked me to put together some slides for how to adapt to the slower pace by showing what the three main priorities would be for teaching English in our new normal. The priorities are not much different than what they would be in a face-to-face situation, but they are narrowed and more focused.

Priority I: Essential Practice

  • significant instructional time with ELA disciplines: reading, writing, discussion

  • strategies/scaffolds for comprehension and composition that transfer across texts/contexts

Priority 2: Standard Alignment

  • questioning/activities/lessons/assessments that apply standard knowledge and skills to ELA disciplines: reading, writing, discussion

  • heavier focus on targeted standards from OST
  • awareness of PreAP/AP standards (Honors & AP)

Priority 3: Adopted Resource

  • use of StudySync (English 6-12) for integrated, on-grade-level, scaffolded lessons that inherently include Priorities 1 and 2

  • use of Bedford texts/Launchpad (Honors & AP) for foundational, skill, and theme/topic lessons that that inherently include Priorities 1 and 2

-In general, the first priority focuses on the essential practices for your classroom time. The second priority lists the standards that you should focus on the most for questions, activities, lessons, and assessments using the grade-level, complex texts from your essential practice in priority one. It may be that those priority standards become your narrowed focus for the rest of the year. The third priority shows you how the adopted resources inherently meet priorities one and two. It should be noted that in StudySync, you teach all of the standards listed in priority two in the first four CORE ELA units for your grade level. It may be that you try to do just those four units instead of six this school year due to our slower pace caused by remote learning.

-Below are the slides with the priorities detailed including which standards are the most important for preparing a student to be college and career ready and to do well on the OST. You will find resource links from the CCS ELA 6-12 Webpage and our adopted resources for meeting the priorities. You will find research behind each of the priorities and why they are the most important for a narrowed focus. You will want to read through each carefully as they each contain several items of information.


Content Priorities ELA 6-8

Content Priorities English 9-12

Content Priorities Honors 9-10/AP 11-12

-You can also find the Content Priority Slides on the ELA 6-12 Webpage in the "CCS ELA GUIDING DOCUMENTS" section of the Curriculum/Instructional Resources 6-8 and the Curriculum/Instructional Resources 9-12 Quick Link pages.


CCS knows that the absence of one-on-one direct connections can often leave our young people and their families feeling isolated and disengaged. That’s why they’re undertaking an ambitious district-wide plan to directly connect with ALL of our students’ families before the holiday break. The goal is to call EVERY student household. That’s roughly 30,000 calls in three hours, between 4:00 - 7:00 p.m. If you want to volunteer to make calls, you just need access to a phone and a computer, which can be done at home. YOU CAN VOLUNTEER FOR THE “WE CARE WEDNESDAY” PHONE DRIVE ON DECEMBER 16. CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP. Questions can be sent to the Chief Engagement Officer, Alesia N. Gillison.



As Teachrock Founder Steven Van Zandt put it, “Teachers are the plainclothes superheroes in our midst. They deserve to be heard and celebrated.” That’s why during the Stand With Teachers event on December 21st at 8pm, Eddie Vedder will appear side by side with Stephanie Arnell, the 2020 TeachRock Star Teacher award recipient, and several other teachers, administrators and students will appear alongside Margo Price, Steve Buscemi, Bobby Cannavale, Whoopi Goldberg, Melle Mel, Tom Morello, Edward Norton, Vincent Pastore, Maureen Van Zandt and Trønd Fausa Aurvåg and Steinar Sagen of Lilyhammer.

Tickets for the Stand With Teachers broadcast are $25, but educators can get a free ticket by sharing a #StandWithTeachers video on their Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn accounts. Just film a short video in which you tell:

  • Your name
  • Where you're from
  • Where you teach
  • Why you #StandWithTeachers or believe others should stand with you and your colleagues
When you post your video to your social media account, make sure to include the following text:
  • Twitter & Facebook - Join @StevieVanZandt @TeachRock & me to #StandWithTeachers 12/21
  • Instagram - Join @StevieVanZandt @Teachrockorg & me to #StandWithTeachers 12/21
  • TikTok - Join @LittleStevensTeachRock & me to #StandWithTeachers 12/21
  • LinkedIn - Join @Rockandrollforeverfoundation & me to #StandWithTeachers 12/21
Then share your link on THIS Google form and TeachRock will send you a ticket to the show!

NCTE STUdent writing awards

Here are two writing contest from NCTE.

Achievement Awards in Writing (for 11th grade students)

This school-based writing program encourages high school students in their writing and publicly recognizes some of the best student writers in the nation. Deadline February 15

Promising Young Writers (for 8th grade students)

This school-based writing program stimulates and recognizes student’s writing talents and emphasizes the importance of writing skills among eighth-grade students. Deadline February 15

thurber house's young writers' studio for high school students starts January 5th

Students in 9th–12th grade who love writing stories, crafting new worlds, and building never-before-seen characters, should sign up for Thurber House's Young Writers' Studio! Young Writers' Studio will be held online on Zoom until it's safe to meet in person.

Click Here to Learn More; Click Here to Register

What is Young Writers' Studio?

They meet every other week with author and English professor Robert Loss. They kick off the first hour with quality writing prompts and activities. They wrap up the last hour with the chance to workshop pieces that you or others share. It's a safe, low-key, fun way to enjoy writing and meet others!

Winter/Spring 2021 Schedule (6:30-8:30pm on Select Tuesdays

  • Tuesday, January 5
  • Tuesday, January 19
  • Tuesday, February 2
  • Tuesday, February 16
  • Tuesday, March 2
  • Tuesday, March 16
  • Tuesday, March 30
  • Tuesday, April 13
  • Tuesday, April 27

A limited number of scholarships are available for this program. Email for more information.

Thurber House's Flip the Page is Now Accepting Submissions through January 29th (Ages 13-19)

Flip the Page: Central Ohio's Teen Literary Journal

Flip the Page is written, staffed, and produced by Central Ohio teens. The mission is to provide a showcase for the work of young local writers and offer opportunities to learn about submission, critique, editorial design, and publication. All accepted writers and artists receive a complimentary copy of the journal, and writers receive an invitation to read their work at the Columbus Arts Festival. Submissions are juried by a committee of teen writers from Thurber House's Young Writers' Studio (See Above). Submissions are OPEN for the 2021 edition of Flip the Page. Please read all guidelines carefully. Submission Deadline: January 29, 2021

Writing Submission Guidelines

  • Must be a resident of Central Ohio (Franklin, Delaware, Union, Madison, Pickaway, Fairfield, or Licking counties)
  • Open to teens ages 13 to 19 years old
  • They are interested in short stories, poems, songs, essays, play excerpts, and especially humor pieces
  • Maximum of 800 words per piece
  • Limit of two entries per person
  • Accepted formats are Word documents and shareable Google documents

Artwork Submission Guidelines

  • Must be a resident of Central Ohio (Franklin, Delaware, Union, Madison, Pickaway, Fairfield, or Licking counties)
  • Open to teens ages 13 to 19 years old
  • We are interested in 2-D and 3-D pieces, as well as digitally-created or edited artwork
  • Each artist can submit up to five pieces
  • Artwork must be submitted as a .jpg, .tiff, or .png file
  • Resolution should be 300 dpi or higher
  • Send artwork to (or click the submit button below)
  • Include artist's first and last name, date of birth, title of piece, contact email, school, and art teacher's name with submission
  • At times, to accommodate the design of the journal, we must grayscale or crop artwork, but we always try to maintain the integrity of the piece


Questions? Check out the FAQ page! Not finding the answer there? Email Flip the Page is a free program.

Ohio Poetry Association 2020-2021 High School Poetry Contest

The Ohio Poetry Association (OPA) is sponsoring its annual high school poetry contest, offering prizes and publication to winners in nine categories. A grand prize-winning poem will be published in Common Threads, OPA’s annual poetry journal. Winning poems will be sent to the Manningham Trust Student Poetry Contest sponsored by the National Federation of State Poetry Societies. The OPA contest is open to any student in grades 9–12 in public schools, private and faith-based schools, and to home-schooled students in Ohio. There is no entry fee. Rules are set out below. To avoid disqualification, all of the following guidelines must be followed.


  • All poems must be the original work of the student and must be unpublished (in print or online, including social media) and not accepted for publication.
  • Each poem must be titled. There may be only one entry per student in any category, and no poem may be entered in more than one category. There is no limit on the number of categories to which a student may submit. NOTE: For Manningham eligibility, there is a limit of 30 lines for any poem; only one poem per student can be sent.
  • All poems must be typed or computer-generated in a plain font no larger than 12-point. Times New Roman is the suggested font.
  • All poems must be in English, single-spaced, printed on one side of the page only, and all category requirements must be observed. No illustrations or decorations.
  • Two copies of each poem must be submitted. Each copy must contain the name Senior Division and the category (number only) in the upper left-hand corner. On the second copy only, the name of the student, name of the school (or if home-schooled, your mailing address), grade level, and language arts/English teacher (or parent-teacher for home-schoolers) must appear in the upper right-hand corner.
    At the bottom of the page with the student name and school address identification, the following statement must be typed and signed by the student. This can be signed electronically if poems are emailed.

    “I certify that this poem is my original work and has not been copied in whole
    or in part from any author’s poems in print or posted on the Internet."
    Signed: ___________________________________________

  • All entries from the same school should be mailed together, flat in one envelope, with the name of the teacher or parent-teacher on a note inside or marked clearly on the envelope. Alternatively, poems can be emailed. Teachers should compile all their student entries into one WORD document file. See below for email and mailing information.

Special Note for Teachers: Teachers are strongly encouraged to read all student poems for appropriateness. No personal names of friends or family members should appear in poems. No poems will be returned.


  1. Voices from the Past – A persona poem in any style in the voice of someone or something from history or prehistory (e.g., a person/animal/artifact). Sponsor: Mark Hersman
  2. EthosEthos is a Greek word defined as the distinguishing character, sentiment, moral nature, or guiding beliefs of a person, group, or institution or the fundamental character or spirit of a culture. Write a poem that reflects in some way your own ethnicity or cultural heritage. Any form. 30-line limit. Sponsor: Chuck Salmons
  3. New Beginnings – Using your imagination and fresh imagery, describe how change of any kind can affect your life. 30-line limit. Sponsor: Great Expectations Writers
  4. Free Verse – A poem of no more than 10 lines on any subject. Sponsor: Jessica Bentley
  5. Humor – A poem that makes us laugh—amusing, humorous, funny (but clean enough to print) in any form. 30-line limit. Sponsor: Pat Snyder Hurley
  6. Metrical Measures – Write a poem in a form that is metrical, e.g., sonnet, villanelle, blank verse. 30-line limit. Sponsor: Betsy Hughes
  7. Ekphrastic – Choose a work of art from any art museum you visit on-site or online, and write a poem in response to that work. At the bottom of your page, note the name of the work of art; the artist; the museum where you viewed it; and a website location (URL) of the art, if available. 30-line limit. Sponsor: The Pentapoets
  8. A Sense of Place – A poem that captures a memorable landscape, cityscape, seascape, building, or interior. Any form. 30-line limit. Sponsor: William R. Reyer
  9. “There’s One Who Doesn’t Know We’re Twins” – Maybe or maybe not separated at birth or in a dream or somewhere else in the universe. Write about a “possible twin” you may have. 30-line limit. Sponsor: Springfield Writers Club


Awards for each category are $25, $15, and $10, with the possibility of honorable mentions. All judges reserve the right not to award a prize in a category if entries do not meet the category criteria and/or judge’s requirements. Chapbooks with winning poems will be sent to each school by mid-April. Please email or mail all poetry submissions by January 25, 2021.



Regular mail: Send submissions in one envelope to:

Sharon Fish Mooney, OPA Student Contests
86545 Cramblett Road
Scio, Ohio 43988

For further inquiries or questions send an email to:


This year’s program is online only due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Check out this Winter Reading Challenge video to learn more.

Dates: Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020 – Saturday, Jan. 30, 2021

Participants: Students in Kindergarten through 12th grade

How can I join Winter Reading Challenge? Go to Select “register,” then “I’m registering for Winter Reading Challenge.” Sixth grade teachers are able to sign up their entire class by selecting "I'm a teacher signing up my class" after hitting the register button.

How do I complete Winter Reading Challenge? Earn 6 Super Winter Reader badges by completing 6 reading activities of your choice. The required 6 hours of reading are built into the activities.

What prizes will I earn if I complete Winter Reading Challenge? You will earn a book, bookmark, mechanical pencil, a Raising Cane’s coupon and a Donatos coupon booklet. They will be mailed to the mailing address you provide when you sign up.


The 2020 National Book Awards were given out on November 18th. Here are the winners. You can check out the winners, finalists, and long lists HERE.

Fiction: Interior Chinatown by Charles You

Nonfiction: The Dead Are Arising: The Life of Malcolm X by Tamara and Les Payne

Poetry: DMZ Colony by Don Lee Choi

Translated Literature: Tokyo Ueno Station by Morgan Giles, You Miri

Young People's Literature: King and the Dragonflies by Kacen Callender

2020 Booker Prize

The 2020 Booker Prize was awarded on November 19th to Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart. You can check out the winner in this Announcement Video.
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MOY and OST Testing WINDOWs are OPEN

The MOY window opened on December 7th and lasts through January 22nd.

The OST Testing Window for Semester-Blocked English Classes and Student Retakes closes on December 18th.


As you know the district began semesterization this school year. This has brought up the question as to whether Semester Exams will be required. The answer is no. Teachers do have the choice to offer a semester exam if they want. For English 6-12, the exam could be one of the tests in the StudySync Assessment Suite. Some good choices from that suite would be a Benchmark Assessment (Grades 6-8), a State Test Preparation Assessment, or an End of Unit Test. Since the Benchmarks are used for the BOY, MOY, and EOY in Grades 9-12, they should not be used as the semester exam at those grade levels.

Here is the official word about semester exams from the district.

-Based on BOE Policy #5421 approved on April 15, 2015, semesterization is permitted with teachers having the OPTION to give final exams.

-Below is a guide for teachers to use to calculate final grade WITH or WITHOUT semester exams. For those teachers, especially Science and Social Studies, who are interested in creating semester exams, Mastery Connect could be a good tool to use. Math and ELA teachers have the option of using the assessment tools in their McGraw Hill resources.

Classes Granting Fewer Than One (1) Credit

-For a class granting less than one (1) credit for which a final exam is not given, the final grade shall be calculated by adding the quality points for each quarter's grade. The total shall then be divided by four (4). The final grade shall be determined by applying the resulting quality points to the Final Grade Calculation Scale.

-For a class granting less than one (1) credit for which a final exam is given at the discretion of the teacher, the final grade shall be calculated by first doubling and adding the quality points for each quarter's grade, and then adding those quality points and the quality points for the exam grade. The total shall then be divided by five (5). The final grade shall be determined by applying the resulting quality points to the Final Grade Calculation Scale. This Grade Calculator has two formulas for semester grades (one with an exam and one without an exam).

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What are the secondary english curriculum resources?

CCS Adopted, Supplemental, and Intervention Resources List

  • Tier I Instructional Resources are StudySync (English 6-12) and the Bedford Texts/Launchpad (Honors and AP English)
  • Tier II Intervention Resource is Achieve3000
  • Supplemental Resources (in general) are TeachingBooks and DBQ

ELA 6-12 Webpage (One Site for Secondary English Curriculum/Resources)

NOTE: To access many curricular and district, you must be logged into Google using your CCS credentials and not a personal account.

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StudySync: Tier One Instructional Resource for English


-You AND your students access StudySync via the Clever icon or Click on the McGraw Hill icon. Then, launch the StudySync App.

-Your classes are marked with X and Y. The X classes are for first semester and the Y classes are for second semester. If you want to change the names of your classes in StudySync, follow this guide: StudySync-How to Change Course Names

-Here is information about liking StudySync to Google Classroom.

-Here is the demo code for StudySync in case you have a co-teacher, building coach, or admin that wants to see the platform and they do not have a class aligned in Clever/IC.


UN: StudySync2021

PW: study2021


Help Center

Finding the Help Center in StudySync (video)

-Remember, if you have a question that deals with CCS infrastructure as it relates to StudySync (Clever, rostering, IC, etc.), those questions would be for Tim Wangler.

Tutorials, Trainings, and Webinars

Ask-an-Expert Sessions

Remote Teaching Documents

Resources/ Links from StudySync Training Presenters

Teacher Resources from StudySync:

Administration Resources from StudySync:

Here are the finalized/updated support emails/numbers for McGraw Hill.

Teacher Support McGraw Hill

Administrator Support McGraw Hill

Student/Parent Support McGraw Hill

studysync usage

StudySync should be used in the same manner as any adopted "textbook." It is the place where the CORE ELA Units for Grades 6-12 are housed (print-student consumable; digital-StudySync online). It is where students access grade-level, complex texts that they will read, write about, and have discussions around. It is the resource that offers scaffolding at point of use for students to access complex texts. It is the place where standards are mastered using reading, writing, and skill lessons. It is the place where you have a up-to-date information on how your students are mastering standards because the StudySync grade book has a Standards view that allows you to see every assignment a student has done aligned to a standard and offers ideas for remediation (StudySync Gradebook & Data Analysis). It is NOT a literacy intervention tool like Achieve3000 that has programmatic goals for students. It is important to make this distinction because teachers need to take ownership of using StudySync as their Tier 1 Instructional resource. The bulk of your curriculum should come from StudySync. Teachers are still free to add and take away from the units, just as you might have a textbook in the past. However, it is not ok to just use StudySync for testing and blasts. If you have been doing that, please make the change to using StudySync's CORE ELA Units. The first read, skill, close read routine found there is exactly what our students need to master standards using complex text. It is also important to note that StudySync is not a supplemental product, like TeachingBooks or DBQ Online. Those are available for your use but should not be the place you go to for the bulk of your curriculum.
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Bedford/Launchpad: Tier One Instructional Resource for Honors and AP English

BEDFORD access and support


To get to Launchpad through Clever, click the Launchpad icon and click on the name of class/textbook. Student texts were sent to the buildings. All students have a hardback text, Honors students should also have a workbook.



Trainings and Tutorials
Bedford Overviews, Slideshows, Trainings, and Tutorials

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TeachingBooks: Supplemental Resource



You AND your students access TeachingBooks via the Clever icon or Click on the TeachingBooks icon.



-TeachingBooks is the tool that houses the lists of books we have in the warehouse and in the Secondary English Curriculum Office. Use this TeachingBooks Tutorial to learn how to access the CCS book lists.

- TeachingBooks also is a place to get additional novel and author resources. These Overview videos/trainings from TeachingBooks can help you understand the resources: Introduction video I Slide Presentation and Training Script.

-October 16th PD Session: Virtual and Blending Learning Recording


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This year’s program is online only due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Check out this Winter Reading Challenge video to learn more.

Dates: Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020 – Saturday, Jan. 30, 2021

Participants: Students in Kindergarten through 12th grade

How can I join Winter Reading Challenge? Go to Select “register,” then “I’m registering for Winter Reading Challenge.” Sixth grade teachers are able to sign up their entire class by selecting "I'm a teacher signing up my class" after hitting the register button.

How do I complete Winter Reading Challenge? Earn 6 Super Winter Reader badges by completing 6 reading activities of your choice. The required 6 hours of reading are built into the activities.

What prizes will I earn if I complete Winter Reading Challenge? You will earn a book, bookmark, mechanical pencil, a Raising Cane’s coupon and a Donatos coupon booklet. They will be mailed to the mailing address you provide when you sign up.


Poetry Out Loud (POL) encourages students to learn about great poetry through memorization and recitation. This program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about literary heritage and contemporary life. Created by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, Poetry Out Loud is administered in partnership with the State Arts Agencies of all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. Teachers, librarians, or administrators register their high schools each year with the Ohio Arts Council and organize contests with one class, several classes, or a whole school. Contests, workshops, and multi-media program materials, including curricula, are free. Poetry Out Loud is aligned with Common Core and National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) standards.

REGISTER YOUR SCHOOL HERE. I Get more information here.

POL Teacher's Guide I POL Virtual Competition Specifics


The 15th Annual Short Story Challenge is a creative writing competition open to writers around the world. There are 4 rounds of competition. In the 1st Round kicking off on January 22nd, writers are placed in groups and are assigned a genre, subject, and character assignment. Writers have 8 days to write an original story no longer than 2,500 words. The judges choose a top 5 in each group to advance to the 2nd Round where writers receive new assignments, only this time they have 3 days to write a 2,000-word short story. The judges again choose a top 5 in each group to advance to the 3rd Round where writers receive new assignments and have 2 days to write a 1,500-word short story. Judges select finalists and the remaining writers are challenged to write a 1,250-word story in just 24 hours in the fourth and final round of the competition. Feedback from the judges is provided for every submission and there are thousands in cash and prizes for the winners. In addition, they will be donating two dollars from each entry to global charities dealing with some of the most critical issues affecting our world, and writers choose where that donation goes. Learn more about the competition, register, and read winning stories from previous competitions at the link below. Good luck and stay safe writers!

Learn More and Register


Humanities Moments

Through the National Humanities Center’s Humanities Moments project, users submit short videos and essays recalling how an encounter with the humanities, whether through a book, film, document, performance, or something else, profoundly affected their lives.

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The Delta Kappa Gamma Society International promotes professional and personal growth of women educators and excellence in education. Each year, Gamma Chapter, one of the local chapters in the central Ohio area, provides grants to new teachers to buy materials and supplies for their classrooms. These grants are given in the form of gift certificates. Interested teachers should go to to download the application form. Grant applications can be emailed to Judy Valentine, Grant-in-Aid Chairperson at or sent via USPS to 69 Iron Ore Ct., Columbus, OH 43213. Completed grant applications must be received by Dec. 14, 2020. Grant recipients will be notified by Jan. 15, 2021.


Novel Conversations, a fan-favorite podcast about classic literature, is returning for its seventh season! And they are kicking it off with a dystopian theme. Get ready for Big Brother, battles with Morlocks, and some apprehensive book burning. Join them every other Tuesday for eight brand new episodes, featuring titles like Fahrenheit 541 and 1984. See below for all eight books and release dates, or follow us for updates on their Twitter and Facebook pages. Enjoy! Listen Now

Older Episodes: LISTEN NOW

Ep 8: 1984 by George Orwell (1949) Dec 15


Columbus City Schools’ Division of Professional Learning & Licensure is once again partnering with The Ohio State University to offer the opportunity to apply for consideration for the OSU Teacher Leader Endorsement cohort beginning summer semester. This opportunity is for certificated staff employed by Columbus City Schools with the exception of substitute teachers and substitute administrators.

Finances: Teachers who are selected by OSU for the cohort will have all Instructional and General Fees (i.e., tuition) paid. Individuals will be responsible for any additional fees for materials (including on-line learning fees), applying to the OSU Graduate School (if not a prior student), and for the cost of OSU’s Tk20 online program (required for all endorsements).

About the Program: Recognized by the Ohio Department of Education, the Teacher Leader Endorsement from The Ohio State University fulfills one of the requirements to obtain the Lead Professional Educator License, the highest licensing credential a teacher can achieve in the state. This endorsement is tailored to meet the needs of classroom teachers and other educators who aspires to lead, under the direction of school and district leaders.​ The endorsement is a three-course program that is completed in three consecutive terms. It begins in June 2021 and ends in May 2022.

​When you earn a Teacher Leader Endorsement you are well positioned to support the development​ of new teachers, lead school improvement initiatives, assist school and district administrators with professional development activities and attend to other leadership needs within the school and/or district. The Teacher Leader Endorsement also assists qualify educators for the Lead Professional Educators License, the highest qualification on Ohio's highest four-tiered licensure structure.​

Application Information: If you are interested in applying for consideration to be part of this cohort, please complete THIS FORM by December 22, 2020. You will then be notified with the steps to officially apply to the program via your provided email.

Requirements: Ohio teaching license/certificate, Master's Degree, at least four years of successful teaching.

If you have any questions, contact Karmen McCaslin at


The LifeChanger of the Year Award, sponsored by the National Life Group and the National Life Group Foundation, seeks to honor K-12 educators, teachers, administrators or school staff members who make a positive difference in the lives of students. LifeChanger awardees and their schools or districts receive prizes valued between $50 and $10,000. To be considered for a LifeChanger of the Year award, nominees must:

  • Make a positive impact in the lives of students;
  • Enhance the school or district’s atmosphere, culture and pride;
  • Demonstrate exemplary leadership at the school and/or district level;
  • Possess a proven record of professional excellence;
  • Show commitment to building a nurturing environment that supports learning;
  • Adhere to the highest moral and ethical standards.

Learn more about this award and submit nominations here.


Recognizing the extraordinary challenges teachers face in the upcoming academic year 2020-21, a one-time $5,000.00 grant will be awarded to purchase books for K-6 students in an Ohio public school building. This Bonnie Chambers Grant is designed to help teachers who strongly promote the use of quality literature in their classrooms. Teachers will use the grant money to select and purchase their own book choices (fiction or non-fiction) dealing with understanding and coping with COVID, racism and equality issues, and/or mental health issues for children and their families.

Application Criteria

  • This grant is open to any* Ohio public school teacher(s) in grades K-6 who demonstrates a need for money in the purchasing of classroom books for their elementary building.
  • If a group of teachers apply, one teacher will apply on behalf of the building and serve as the contact teacher.
  • Need can be demonstrated through free-lunch ratios, recent school-levy results, extraordinary events, etc.

Applications are available and due by December 31, 2020.

Online Application I Print Application

Visit the Bonnie Chambers Grant page for more information:


Program Chair Valerie Kinloch chose "Equity, Justice, and Antiracist Teaching" as the theme for the 2021 NCTE Annual Convention, and she invites you to submit a program proposal today! Submissions are due by 11:59 p.m. ET, Wednesday, January 13.



Due to the current pandemic, OCTELA 2021: Equity will be held virtually on February 20-27th. They hope that this format will satisfy your need for top-notch professional development while also being able to accommodate the various schedules that teachers have this year. This year’s OCTELA virtual conference will include four keynote sessions (Laurie Halse Anderson, David Bowles, Dr. Jocelyn A. Chadwick, and Dr. Peggy O'Brien) that will be live streamed on Saturdays. There will be a mixture of live breakout and pre-recorded sessions available to attendees throughout the week. Virtual seats in live breakout sessions are limited; however, recordings of live sessions will be available for a minimum of thirty (30) days after the conference. All pre-recorded sessions will be available for on-demand viewing for up to one (1) year after the conference. As always, CEUs and graduate credit will be available.

Go to for more information.

2021 Registration Prices: Standard Registration: $73; Undergraduate registration $33


HERE is the contest to win $500 in Books.


HERE are the highlighted contests and giveaways for December 2020.


HERE are the highlighted contests and giveaways.

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Hoping that the red-suited superman (Santa) brings you peace this holiday season!

rod stewart - red suited superman

did you miss earlier issues of the secondary english weekly newsletter?

Each week, this Secondary English Weekly Newsletter will be linked in an email sent to ELA and ELA-related teachers in Grades 6-12 and posted on the CCS English Language Arts 6-12 Page ( It will contain all of the latest information that could prove useful to you and your students. If you know of anyone who needs to be added to the mailing list, please send their name(s) to cphillips3865@columbus.k12.oh. Happy Educating!

Carla Mae Phillips

Lead Secondary English Curriculum Coordinator

Southland Center, Suite 125