The Diley Digest

January 6, 2023

January Calendar


January 5: Classes Resume

January 16: No School MLK Day

January 24: Spelling Bee 6pm

Principal's Message

Dear Diley Families,

The last principal’s message informed families that students would be starting the second iReady diagnostic assessment for reading and math. This upcoming week the students will take the reading diagnostic. The week after the students will take the math diagnostic. Here at Diley we are trying to build a culture of growth. Our goal is for families and students to view the test as an opportunity to find out information about their student’s understanding with the standards they have been taught over the course of their schooling. i-Ready does not assign a grade, however, it does provide teachers, students, and families valuable information on where a student is at in their learning and skill set. Just like in life, you get out of iReady what you put into it. That is why we want to stress the importance of your student trying their best on the diagnostic assessment and the lessons assigned after. Students do not have to worry about a grade. They will get answers wrong and that is okay, as long as they are trying their best! Once students, parents, and teachers receive the data from the assessments we can celebrate the strengths and make goals on how to improve identified areas. This is all part of our Level-Up Plan!!! Please click on the links below for information about the i-Ready diagnostic assessment.

Understanding you students i-Ready Diagnostic Video - English

Link to different video languages.

In the upcoming weeks please be on the lookout for more information about your students iReady data, and Diley’s “Level-Up” challenge.

Looking for more resources from i-Ready? Please visit
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Diley Middle School Community - 11 Week Level Up Challenge

Diley will be focusing on leveling up academically and behaviorally this year. Why? At PLSD and DMS we believe it takes a partnership with the community in helping develop our students to succeed. The intent of the plan is to inform everyone, so everyone can play a role in helping our students grow academically and emotionally. To help motivate our students we will be running a “Are you ready for i-Ready” and “Behavior Challenge”.

Are you ready for i-Ready challenge: The challenge will begin after diagnostic testing is complete. As a building, students will have to pass 9,250 i-Ready lessons. If the building reaches this goal then every student will have an incentive day. The team that has the highest average of lessons passed per student will also earn a snack to go along with their day.

Behavior Challenge: The fall Panorama Data indicated less favorable results in respect towards peers and others and how to control one's emotions when they are frustrated. Based on the data, lessons will be implemented weekly for the students to practice and learn. Teams can earn an additional incentive day if the students are engaged, really trying, and showing growth in regards to these topics.

WEEK 1 January 9-13


  • i-Ready Reading Winter Diagnostic

  • 6th Grade Science will be giving a pre-assessment for Life Science this week.

Behavior: Continue with lessons on Respect, Emotional Regulation and a Sense of Belonging.

Teams will implement the lesson “More in Common than I thought”.


The “why” behind our plan. Data shows that i-Ready data has a strong correlation with how well the students should perform on the State Test in April. It is important that students try their best on their diagnostic tests and lessons. As a team (community, students, and school) we can develop goals to focus on. In the upcoming weeks we want to develop and focus on both academic and behavior goals. Yes we want our students to perform well on the State Tests, however, it is more important that students are growing and getting better. This will allow them to be more successful as they advance in their educational career and life.

Therapy Dog Program

The following letter was sent home regarding our new therapy dog program. If you have a child that should not be around the dog please let us know as soon as possible.

Dear Parent(s)/Guardian(s),

Diley Middle School will have the opportunity to provide some therapeutic work to our students and staff this year through the use of a therapy dog. The dog that will be coming into our building has been certified by a therapy dog licensing agency and has completed extensive training to provide support and service to individuals in a variety of settings, including schools.

Therapy Dog research reveals many positive effects as listed below:

  • Encouraging communication from students reluctant to speak in other situations

  • Facilitating practice of social skills and encouraging a safe environment for sharing

  • Helping people cope with grief and loss, illness, or disappointment in their life by creating a calming effect and helping reduce anxiety or stress responses

  • Raising endorphin levels in the body through stimulating these senses

  • Lowering blood pressure

The therapy dog will mainly be utilized through the counseling office in individual and/or small group settings with selective participants but there will be times that he/she will be available to visit a classroom for arranged academic and social learning support. While we want to offer opportunities for all the benefits that the therapy dogs can provide we also want to protect and uphold our policy toward the health and safety concerns of all of our students. We realize that some students have allergies or other concerns that we need to take into consideration while continuing to provide a safe environment for all. If your child has a medical or emotional issue that would prevent him/her from being near the therapy dog, please contact Heather Ferns at 614-830-2900.

If you have any questions or concerns about your child working with the therapy dogs, or any questions about the program in general, please feel free to contact Jenny Nihiser (

The Counselors Corner

Welcome to the Counselor’s Corner! Every month, the middle school counselors will share a bulletin board with the following information: hot topic, theme, and family resources.

Click here to see January's Bulletin Board:

Click here to see the Family Resources Board:

Family Resources

Check out the amazing information supplied by our school counselor on our family resource board! You can find everything from student planners to food assistance to information on dealing with stress and anxiety. Check it out here:

From the Superintendent regarding possible Snow Days

As the weather in Ohio continues to get colder, I would like to share how the district will handle calamity days if in-person classes need to be canceled due to inclement weather. Calamity days this winter will be good old-fashioned snow days. Students will not be expected to learn virtually.

We strive to make the decision to delay or close by 5:30 a.m. or earlier so that we can notify radio and TV stations, post to the district website, and send electronic notices to emergency announcement subscribers.

Unusual weather conditions may force us to make the decision after this time. For that reason, parents and students are advised to stay tuned to major television and radio stations, as well as our website and e-communications notices, for updates.

Once a decision is made to delay or cancel, the information will be shared with parents and the media as quickly as possible. You can read more about calamity day procedures on our website at

Please check the Infinite Campus portal to ensure that your contact information is accurate so that you will receive closing/delay notifications in a timely manner, and that you will receive the messages via your preferred method(s) of delivery (text, phone call, email, etc.).

Thank you! The first official day of winter is Dec. 21st!

A note from the nurse

The School Nurses are on Facebook and Twitter! Please follow them for important health tips and news about school health opportunities! On Twitter @PLSDNurses and on Facebook

Keep informed!

There are a number of ways you can stay up to date on all things Diley.

Follow Diley on Twitter:

Follow Principal Koch on Twitter:

Follow our PTSO on Facebook:

Is social media not your thing? You can find all sorts of information on the Pickerington School District's website located at:

Diley Middle School

Principal: Eric Koch

Assistant Principal: Ashleigh Jackson

Secretary: Heather Ferns

Office Assistant: Stacy Gallion

Counselor: Gina Neilson

Nurse: Rhonda Carmel

Health Assistant: Robin May