STEM Bits and PL Update

Ohio Valley and the Athens/Meigs ESC/ SE Ohio PL Specialist

Issue #17 March 10, 2023

Interested in STEM/STEAM Designation

Join Christina Grady-Watts and Tracy Merica as they host Mary Ellen Debransky Janna Mino from the STEM Department at ODE. Janna and Mary Ellen will provide an overview plus answer any questions you might have. Follow the link below to register and find out more info. The discussion will take place on March 16.

Expand or Add AP Computerscience Courses

The Beauty and Joy of Computing (BJC) is looking for participating high schools to add or expand computer science courses. Please follow the link below to find out more information.

In order to develop various career pathways and "Personalize" and engage our students, we need to continue to expand the boundaries of what school looks like. STEM careers account for 90% of future careers. Here is an opportunity to expand opportunities for your students.

Rural Innovative Leaders Institute cohort is forming for 2023-2024

Join a community of other rural education leaders!

The inaugural Rural Innovative Leaders Institute is offered to rural school leaders in partnership with the Appalachian STEM Collaborative, and leaders from East Central Ohio, Ohio Valley ESC, and Muskingum Valley ESC.

School leaders in this program will explore the core topics of the Innovative Leaders Institute through the lens of rural education, taking into consideration the opportunities and challenges unique to rural schools. This cohort is for school leaders in rural Ohio schools. Special consideration for this program is given to applicants representing schools in Appalachian counties.

Per the Appalachian Regional Commission, these counties are: Adams, Ashtabula, Athens, Belmont, Brown, Carroll, Clermont, Columbiana, Coshocton, Gallia, Guernsey, Harrison, Highland, Hocking, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson, Lawrence, Mahoning, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Muskingum, Noble, Perry, Pike, Ross, Scioto, Trumbull, Tuscarawas, Vinton, and Washington.​

Applicants from other counties will be accepted as space allows.

Core Topics include:

  • Tranformational Leadership
  • STEM School Identity and Culture
  • Role of school leaders in establishing robust STEM practices schoolwide
  • Elements of high-quality STEM education
  • Creating and leveraging community and business partnerships

To learn more about the requirements and details of the program, follow the QR code below or click on the link.

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Why Do We Need to Transform our Educational System?

Appalachian STEM Collaborative April 18, 2023

The next convening of the Appalachian STEM Collaborative is April 18, 2023. I urge all districts in the Appalachian region to become involved as we continue to build momentum and a collective effort to leverage the resources in our region. We have developed a set of 5 core principles that will guide our work and we look forward to involving everyone.

1. Pursue and sustain meaningful cross-sector and community partnerships to build awareness of local and regional in-demand job opportunities and increase workforce development trajectories.

2. Embrace our region's rich history of being doers and tinkerers to shift our mindset from deficit thinking about resources (funding, spaces, human capital, etc) to collaboratively innovate creative and new ways to optimize STEM and STEAM programming and resources for our region.

3. Champion Academic environments that challenge students to develop problem-solving, critical thinking, and resilience through authentic real-world experiences and learning.

4. Foster hope among all students in the Appalachian region of Ohio by creating and committing to inclusive and accessible pathways for high-quality STEM and STEAM learning.

5. Invest and empower teaches through educator support in STEM and STEAM that will activate increased collaboration, innovation, and strengthen best practices.

Personalized Learning Support for Teacher Teams

The Personalized Learning Specialist for SE Ohio are ready to support teacher teams, building teams, or even districts in their journey towards a learner-centered classroom. If you would like to discuss potential options for free PD and coaching support around Personalized Learning, please contact me at 937-508-8680 or by email at

#Leading Change PLC

Are you looking to grow your own professional learning community? Maybe looking for a way to connect your team to others? Or maybe you need a place to go for advice and support to transform your teaching and learning? I would highly recommend joining the Leading Change Professional Learning Community. The #LeadingChange PLC is focused on the transformation of our classrooms through personalized learning. Currently, there are 500 active members. So imagine being able to pose an issue and receive feedback and connect with other members from around the country.

For the 2022-2023 year, I have been selected as a Leading Change Fellow to lead this group and help promote collaboration to support the members. I would love to see a presence of Ohio Educators in this group, plus it will grow your network. If you have questions, please feel free to contact me at or you can call or text at 937-508-8680. Follow the link below to join the group.

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.

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.

Chad Miller, Personalized Learning Specialist, SE OH