STEM Bits and PL Update

Ohio Valley and the Athens/Meigs ESC

Issue #3 September 16, 2022

Update Highlights

  • Collaborative PD Day: Sept 23, 2022
  • Growing Home Fellowship Program for Young Educators
  • Grant Opportuntities
  • STEM Twitterchat on 9/19
  • Personalized Learning and the Accomplished Rating of OTES 2.0

Collaborative PD: Adding Sessions for Personalized Learning and STEM

The Ohio Valley ESC is excited about our upcoming PD day on Sept 23 where over 600 educators will come together to share best practices and collaborate. Due to the volume of attendees, I have been asked to add 2 sessions.

Here is my schedule for Friday, Sept 23:

Session 1: Personalized Learning and OTES 2.0: A crosswalk

Take away from this session, strategies you can use to increase learner agency while having support from a PL specialist.

Session 2: PBL...From standards to effective questions that lead to increased student engagement through PBL.

Session 3: Creating a STEM Culture in your classroom

All session will take place in room 1615.

Growing Home Fellowship

The Foundation for Appalachian Ohio’s Growing Home Fellowship leverages the potential of young adults, ages 18-35, in the K-12 workforce to advance sustained transformation in communities across Appalachian Ohio. This program seeks to identify emerging leaders who feel compelled to serve their communities and who are excited to connect with other passionate, committed young people across Appalachian Ohio. Fellows will be supported with financial stipends, leadership development experiences, and peer support.

Fellows agree to live, work, and volunteer in Appalachian Ohio for a five-year period, during which they will participate in a leadership development cohort focused on one of these topics: regional, local, or sector-based servant leadership.

Over five years, fellows will receive a $32,000 stipend to ensure their continued employment in the K-12 workforce and residency in Appalachian Ohio. This stipend may be used at the fellow’s discretion. Follow the link below if interested. This is a great opportunity for young educators to not only impact their community but also grow as a professional.

Grant Opportunities

Celestron Binocular Grants

Our friends at Celestron are supporting 10 classrooms who participate in citizen science or nature-based inquiry projects and could benefit by having high-quality optics. Whether you’re watching a bird feeder, going out on regular bird walks, or participating in a bio blitz, share with us how your students are practicing their science skills and what you could accomplish with a classroom set of 10 Celestron binoculars. This would be a great opportunity to create some outdoor learning opportunities.

Strengthen Civics Education in Appalachian Ohio

Educating and equipping strong citizens is essential to strong communities and a strong democracy. That’s why the Longaberger Family Foundation and the I’m a Child of Appalachia Fund at the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio are offering grants to K-12 public educators and nonprofit service providers.

Projects should encourage students to acquire a broad, deep knowledge base in subjects integral to robust citizenship, forge positive relationships with the self and wider-world, and work to analyze different views to feel empowered to participate in civic life. Applications are available here and will be accepted from K-12 public educators and nonprofit service providers in the 32 counties of Appalachian Ohio through Friday, October 29.

BATTELLE Funding Classroom STEM Grants Again and Due Oct 10, 2022

The Ohio STEM Learning Network and Battelle are once again offering classroom grants for up to $5000. See details below.


  • Eligible applicants are teachers or school administrators in public, charter, or independent STEM schools, grades K through 12.
  • The applicant’s school must be located in Ohio.
  • Awards must be made to an organization or fiscal agent that is tax-exempt under Internal Revenue Service code 501(c)(3) or a governmental agency. A current and signed W9 must be submitted with the application.

Funding Guidelines

  • The award will be a one-time grant for either $2,500 or $5,000, as selected by the applicant.
  • Funds may not be used for furniture, cash, gift cards, salary, food, general office supplies not related to STEM activities, or sports. Travel may be included but may not be greater than 20% of the total budget.
  • Everything purchased with the grant funds is to become property of the school/organization and must stay with the school/organization if the grantee (i.e., teacher) were to depart.


  • Grantees will be required to complete an online Student Impact Report, which includes providing:
    • an explanation of how the funds were used,
    • a summary of the educators supported and students impacted by the grant,
    • a brief description of the implementation of the project and
    • at least one photograph.

Deadline is Oct 10, 2022. Contact me at and I would be happy to help write the grant for you.

Supporting Personalized Learning Across SE Ohio

While employed through a collaborative grant effort by the Ohio Valley and the Athens/Meigs ESC, I serve the majority of SE Ohio as a Ohio Personalized Learning Facilitator and would like to connect with teachers, principals, and other administrators to see how I can support your current work and potentially enhance your current practices through a Personalized Approach. If you would like support in any of the following, I would be happy to assist. If you have other issues/challenges or a new initiative you would like some additional support for, please contact me and I will support you and work to connect you with resources.

Personalized Learning in Your Classroom can Lead to An Accomplished Rating in OTES 2.0

We all want to be great at what we do right? In the world of OTES 2.0, when you take a deep dive into the rubric, there is a huge correlation between being a skilled or accomplished rated teacher and implementing personalized learning (PL).

I am currently working on a crosswalk document between PL and the OTES 2.0 framework. At the same time, developing a list of resources for teachers to access to help them with PL.

If you as a building administrator or a classroom teacher would like me to come in and share with you more about PL, please feel free to contact me and we can set up a time.

What is Personalized Learning?

Personalized Learning means meeting each student at their own level, challenging them with high expectations for academic achievement and growing learner agency through:

  • Instruction aligned to rigorous academic standards and social-emotional skills learners need.
  • Customized instruction that allows each student to design learning experiences aligned to his or her interests (Learner Agency).
  • Varied pacing of instruction based on individual learner needs, allowing students to accelerate or take additional time based on their level of mastery. (Path and Pace)
  • Real-time differentiation of instruction, supports and interventions based on data from formative assessments and student feedback to ensure every student remains on track.

To find out more details, please reach out to me. I can work with individual teachers, grade levels, buildings, districts.

Powerful...Powerful video from the Columbus, OH TedX...worth the 13 minutes...

One of the quotes from the video below from Katherine Prince that makes you reflect on our current system, "We keep operating schools for the most part with a one size fits all model...Every child deserves a radically personalized learning."

A vision for radically personalized learning | Katherine Prince | TEDxColumbus

3 Opportunities to Learn More about Personalized Learning

There are 3 ways to learn or deepen your understanding of personalized learning.


On-demand resources for educators interested in learning at their own pace, plus regular opportunities to learn from peers also exploring personalized learning.


Two-year cohort for school and district teams ready to re-energize your vision for learning and implement transformational personalized learning practices.


Five-year cohort for districts ready to transform to a more equitable system of teaching and learning by implementing a district-wide system of personalized learning

Chad Miller, Director of Personalized Learning and STEM