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Listen to OSBA's podcast to stay informed about association news and the issues impacting public education. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify or your favorite podcasting app.


Season 4, Episode 3: Public participation at school board meetings

Today’s politically charged climate over pandemic policies, diversity and more has led to crowded school board meetings. Does the public have a right to speak at school board meetings? Can a school board limit public comments? OSBA staff attorney Ralph Lusher joins the Leading the Way podcast to discuss those questions and more. Also, be sure to check out the OSBA legal division's fact sheet on public participation at school board meetings at https://www.ohioschoolboards.org/sites/default/files/uploads/OSBAPublicParticipationBoardMeetingsFactSheet.pdf.



Season 4, Episode 2: Get behind the wheel: Promote school bus safety in your district

Every day in Ohio, more than 15,000 school buses transport 800,000 children between home and school. It’s quite an achievement, and it couldn’t be done safely without collaboration between school bus drivers, parents, district leaders and the community. OSBA Transportation Consultant Doug Palmer is our guest as we discuss how your district can help promote school bus safety throughout the school year.

Links to other resources:

When to stop for a school bus

OSBA's School Bus Safety Week webpage

OSBA's Master of Transportation Administration Program



Season 4, Episode 1: COVID-19 health guidance for a new school year

As schools prepare for another year during the COVID-19 pandemic, the health and safety of students and staff remain paramount. Several federal and state agencies have released recommendations on how schools can help control the spread of the virus. OSBA Chief Legal Counsel Sara C. Clark joins the podcast to talk about the guidance, including for masks and vaccines, and answers the questions school leaders likely have as they prepare to welcome back students. More resources are available at:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/k-12-guidance.html

American Academy of Pediatrics: https://services.aap.org/en/pages/2019-novel-coronavirus-covid-19-infections/clinical-guidance/covid-19-planning-considerations-return-to-in-person-education-in-schools/

Ohio Department of Health: https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/static/responsible/schools/K-12-Schools-Guidance.pdf



Season 3, Episode 8: A fair and equitable school-funding formula

The state has answered the call for a comprehensive, fair and equitable school-funding formula that meets the needs of students. Gov. Mike DeWine has signed a two-year, $75 billion state budget that includes a new funding model for public schools. OSBA's Director of Legislative Services Jennifer Hogue and Deputy Director Will Schwartz join the podcast to discuss the Fair School Funding Plan.

This episode is brought to you by Sedgwick, an OSBA endorsed partner. Learn how Sedgwick can help control the premiums your district pays for workers’ compensation coverage at https://www.ohioschoolboards.org/workers-compensation.



Season 3, Episode 7: Summer is no vacation for school transportation planners

Summer is here! For many in the public education world, it's a time to relax for a bit. That's not the case for the school transportation supervisor who must complete many critical tasks to succeed next school year. OSBA Transportation Supervisor Doug Palmer joins the podcast to help supervisors plan for the summer, and he's even included a handy checklist at http://links.ohioschoolboards.org/81214. Learn more about OSBA's transportation services at www.ohioschoolboards.org/transportation-services.



Season 3, Episode 6: The case of Mahanoy Area School District v. B.L. and freedom of speech

The U.S. Supreme Court recently heard arguments in a case that could have profound implications for students and freedom of speech. At issue is whether public schools can discipline students over something they say off-campus. OSBA Chief Legal Counsel Sara Clark and Jennifer Hardin, OSBA’s deputy director of legal services, are here to talk about the case -- Mahanoy Area School District v. B.L.

This episode is brought to you by Sedgwick, an OSBA endorsed partner. Learn how Sedgwick can help control the premiums your district pays for workers’ compensation coverage at https://www.ohioschoolboards.org/workers-compensation.


Season 3, Episode 5: Get on Board! Run for your local school board

If Ohio is to provide a high-quality education to its roughly 1.7 million students, it needs representative school boards that can meet the challenges of the diverse districts they represent. That’s the goal of OSBA’s Get on Board campaign, which was launched this month to encourage Ohioans to run for their local school boards. Angela Penquite, OSBA's deputy director of communication services, and Steve Horton, a former school board member and OSBA's senior board and management services consultant, discuss the roles and responsibilities of school board members and the training and other resources OSBA is providing to potential candidates and those who have decided to run. Learn more at https://www.getonboardohio.org.

This episode is brought to you by Sedgwick, an OSBA endorsed partner. Learn how Sedgwick can help control the premiums your district pays for workers’ compensation coverage at https://www.ohioschoolboards.org/workers-compensation.



Season 3, Episode 4: The PAST Foundation: Linking learning to life

How do we inspire students so they succeed and persist? The PAST Foundation is focused on that question in pursuing its mission to "link learning to life." To date, more than 300,000 students and more than 16,000 educators have been influenced by the foundation’s work. Its president and CEO, Dr. Annalies Corbin, joins the podcast to talk about that work and how the foundation is helping shape the post-pandemic education world. Get more information about the foundation at https://www.pastfoundation.org and the Ohio listening tour at https://www.pastfoundation.org/ohio-listening-tour



Season 3, Episode 3: Extending the school year is not an easy fix

Throughout the school year, students have shifted between remote, hybrid and in-person learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic, leaving educators worried about learning loss. One idea to help close the achievement gap is extending the school year into summer. While it may sound like an easy fix, OSBA Senior Attorney Van D. Keating joins the podcast to discuss what can be a complicated process, requiring considerable negotiations and expense. OSBA members can reach the association's legal division at (855) OSBA-LAW. Get more resources at www.ohioschoolboards.org/legal-services.


Season 3, Episode 2: Become a strong voice for Ohio public schools

Over the next several months, state legislators will craft a new two-year state budget. Your advocacy is integral to the process. OSBA’s Director of Legislative Services Jennifer Hogue and Deputy Director Will Schwartz join the podcast to discuss why and how you can help shape the direction of public school funding. Learn more about OSBA’s legislative efforts at https://www.ohioschoolboards.org/legislative-issues or contact the association’s legislative division at (614) 540-4000 or jhogue@ohioschoolboards.org and wschwartz@ohioschoolboard.org.



Season 2, Episode 11: What is an MCO and what does it offer my district?

Among the many crucial duties of a school board is evaluating risk management programs for the district. Whether you are a new or veteran board member, that task is not easy. For those board members not familiar with the workers’ compensation system, you might wonder, “What is an MCO and what does it offer my district?” Lance Watkins, vice president of client services for Sedgewick Managed Care Ohio, formerly CompManagement Health Systems, joins the podcast to talk about MCOs and the recent merger and what it means for districts that use the OSBA endorsed program.

Resources: https://sedgwickmco.com.

Thank you to our sponsor: CompManagement, an OSBA endorsed program. Learn more at https://www.ohioschoolboards.org/ohio-schoolcomp.


Season 2, Episode 10: Questions your district should be asking about COVID-19 vaccines and the pandemic's impact on workers' compensation

Gov. Mike DeWine says he wants Ohio teachers and school staff to be in the next group of people to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. What questions should your district be asking? OSBA Staff Attorney Ralph Lusher joins the podcast to talk about it. Also, Tony Sharrock, director of client services at CompManagement, discusses the pandemic's impact on school districts' workers' compensation plans.

Resources: https://www.eeoc.gov/laws/guidance/pandemic-preparedness-workplace-and-americans-disabilities-act.

Thank you to this episode's sponsor, CompManagement Health Systems, an OSBA endorsed program. Learn more at https://www.ohioschoolboards.org/ohio-schoolcomp.



Season 2, Episode 9: The pandemic's impact on teacher retention and recruitment

Even before the pandemic, U.S. schools were struggling to hire and retain teachers. How will COVID-19 impact teacher recruitment and retention? Brad Conrad, associate professor of education at Capital University and co-author of the book "Lesson Planning with Purpose: Five Approaches to Curriculum Design" joins the Leading the Way podcast to discuss how education leaders can help stop the profession's revolving door. Conrad also is part of the education blog talesfromtheclassroom.com. Thank you to this episode's sponsor, CompManagement Health Systems, an OSBA endorsed program. Learn more at https://www.ohioschoolboards.org/ohio-schoolcomp.


Season 2, Episode 8: Lessons learned from the first-year school board member

In this episode, we've partnered with the PAST Foundation (pastfoundation.org) and its president and CEO, Annalies Corbin, who recently sat down with three first-year school board members to discuss their experiences, including the lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic. Lori Trent, Upper Arlington City; Dr. Tina D. Pierce, Columbus City; and John P. Jones, Huron City, discuss why they chose to serve; the school board's role and how school boards have been able to support the community while students learn from home. Listen to more episodes of the PAST Foundation's Learning Unboxed podcast at https://www.pastfoundation.org/learning-unboxed. This episode of OSBA's Leading the Way is brought to you by CompManagement Health Systems, an OSBA endorsed program. Learn more at https://www.ohioschoolboards.org/ohio-schoolcomp.


Season 2, Episode 7: Building support for school levies in the COVID-19 Era

School districts are on the Nov. 3 ballot in a challenging time -- in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. Jerry Rampelt, founder emeritus, and Mike Collins, executive director, Support Ohio Schools Research and Education Foundation, join the podcast to discuss this year's campaign, including planning, fundraising and voter targeting. Also, what impact will the pandemic have on future levy campaigns? Don't miss OSBA's Dec. 3 Levy Success Workshop with Jerry, Mike and others from the Support Ohio Schools Research and Education Foundation (supportohioschools.com). Learn more and register at  https://www.ohioschoolboards.org/events/view/levy-success-1. OSBA's Leading the Way is powered by CompManagement, an OSBA endorsed program. Learn more at https://www.ohioschoolboards.org/ohio-schoolcomp.


Season 2, Episode 6: Previewing the 2020 OSBA Capital Conference and Trade Show

For more than 60 years, OSBA’s Capital Conference and Trade Show has been the premier education event for all who play a role in education in Ohio. This year we're bringing the learning to you! Jeff Chambers, OSBA’s director of communication services, plays a big role in bringing the conference to thousands of attendees every year. He joins the podcast to discuss what attendees can expect and how to get the most out of this year's virtual experience, Nov. 7-10. Learn more about the Capital Conference at http://conference.ohioschoolboards.org. OSBA's Leading the Way is powered by CompManagement, an OSBA endorsed program. Learn more at https://www.ohioschoolboards.org/ohio-schoolcomp.


Season 2, Episode 5: Board members question how they should meet

Ohio school boards can meet virtually through Dec. 1, unless the state's health emergency expires prior to that date. Boards then would be required to meet in person. The decision on whether to meet in person or virtually continues to cause some concern. Cheryl W. Ryan, OSBA's director of board and management services, discusses what she's hearing from board members and also provides more information on OSBA's new STAR Awards program. Read more about the awards program at http://links.ohioschoolboards.org/24610. Then, Sara C. Clark, OSBA's chief legal counsel, breaks down a federal judge's ruling that declared the state's new school territory transfer law unconstitutional. Read more about the case at http://links.ohioschoolboards.org/23685.


Season 2, Episode 4: Changing the school culture: Fostering diversity, inclusion and equity

Schools have reinforced their efforts to develop effective school policies against racial inequality following the death of George Floyd and the large protests over the summer. Districts have committed to change, creating community task forces and hiring director-level equity officers. Two of OSBA's diversity and equity consultants, Kim Brazwell and Daniel Juday, join the Leading the Way podcast to discuss how schools can prioritize and promote diversity and equity and do it the right way. Learn how to foster diversity and equity in your district with the help of OSBA's diversity and equity consultants at https://www.ohioschoolboards.org/diversity-equity-consulting-services.


Season 2, Episode 3: The legalities of fall sports and COVID-19

Gov. Mike DeWine gave the green light for high school football and other fall contact sports, like soccer and field hockey, to proceed but with many restrictions and guidelines. He also stressed that the decision on whether to play would be made locally by the school district. If a district decides to have sports, then it must follow specific health, safety and Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) guidelines. A district also could choose not to have fall sports. The governor's recent order has generated many questions for OSBA's Division of Legal Services. Senior Staff Attorney Van D. Keating joins Leading the Way with answers to some of those questions. Learn more about sport-specific OHSAA guidelines at http://links.ohioschoolboards.org/50693. OSBA also has many COVID-19 resources at www.ohioschoolboards.org.



Season 2, Episode 2: Getting students to and from school during a pandemic

School leaders must confront many complex challenges as a new school year begins in the middle of a pandemic. Their toughest challenge just might be getting 26 million bus-riding students to school in the first place. How do you social distance on the school bus? Should fewer students ride the bus? What about cleaning standards? OSBA's Transportation Task Force set out to answer those questions and share ideas to help keep students and drivers safe. Nearly 30 transportation supervisors serve on the task force. OSBA Senior Transportation Consultant Pete Japikse and transportation supervisors Dan Grothause of St. Marys City Schools and Sheila Dikowicz of Kirtland Local and Perry Local schools in Lake County discuss the task force's work and the common ideas and concerns all districts must consider as the new year begins. Learn more about OSBA's Transportation Task Force and find resources at https://www.ohioschoolboards.org/transportation-during-pandemic.



Season 2, Episode 1: What will a return to school look like during a pandemic?

We ended the 2019-2020 school year with remote learning after the COVID-19 coronavirus closed school buildings across the state in March. Now the focus is on reopening. School boards and their administrative teams have an incredible task before them: preparing for a return to school during a pandemic. Members of South-Western City Schools' board-superintendent leadership team -- board President Robert W. Ragland, board member Lee Schreiner, OSBA's 2020 president, and Superintendent Bill Wise --  discuss the district's reopening plans and how the team is working together to ensure students and staff are safe.

Parents certainly will have a huge say in how districts shape their reopening plans. Ohio PTA President Ana Chapman, who also is president of the Berea City Schools Board of Education, and Ohio PTA President-elect Jackie Arendt, a North Royalton City Schools board member, joined the podcast in June to talk about the importance of community engagement.

OSBA continues to update and share information to support boards of education and school leaders during the pandemic. Find more information at https://www.ohioschoolboards.org/coronavirus.



Season 1, Episode 10: School transportation during a pandemic: Just how flexible are we?

For school administrators, the coming weeks and months are going to test everyone’s management skills, including those who oversee transportation. Can we really social distance on a school bus? What will routing look like in the fall? Will we have enough bus drivers? OSBA Senior Transportation Consultant Pete Japikse discusses the new challenges we’re experiencing as we live through a pandemic together. To maximize your chances of success, he says you need to take a step back from the planning process and answer a lot of questions. OSBA's Virtual Transportation Supervisor also can help guide your district through these challenges. Learn more about the subscription-based program at https://www.ohioschoolboards.org/virtual-transportation-supervisor.


Season 1, Episode 9: School district budget cuts during the coronavirus pandemic

Over the next two months, local school districts will lose more than $300 million dollars — the result of state budget cuts due to the coronavirus pandemic. Those cuts amount to nearly 4% of original base funding for school districts, which is separate from money districts receive from local property taxes. Jennifer Hogue, OSBA’s director of legislative services; Kevin Miller, director of governmental relations for the Buckeye Association of School Administrators; and Barb Shaner, advocacy specialist for the Ohio Association of School Business Officials, join the Leading the Way podcast to discuss the cuts' impact on schools and what federal funds districts may receive through the CARES Act. More information is available at http://links.ohioschoolboards.org/34421.

*Information in this podcast was current as of May 8, 2020.



Season 1, Episode 8: Addressing the needs of students with disabilities during the coronavirus pandemic

While Ohio’s students are adapting to online classes and other forms of distance learning, the new reality can be especially challenging for the families of students with disabilities. About 14% of students enrolled in U.S. public schools receive special education services. In this episode, OSBA’s Deputy Director of Legal Services Jennifer Hardin discusses how parents and districts are working cooperatively to ensure that students receive services during building closures. More resources are available at https://www.ohioschoolboards.org/coronavirus-covid-19-resources under state resources. U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos' April 27 report to Congress is available at https://www2.ed.gov/documents/coronavirus/cares-waiver-report.pdf


Season 1, Episode 7: The coronavirus and education's digital divide

With school buildings closed because of the coronavirus pandemic, many teachers have shifted to online classes. But what if reliable internet service isn't available? Some students don’t have a computer or high-speed internet at home, or even access to cellphone data due to income or their geographic location. The U.S. Department of Commerce estimated in 2017 that 7 million school-aged children lived in households without in-home internet service.  Two superintendents from school districts in rural southern Ohio -- Symmes Valley Local's (Lawrence) Darrell Humphreys and Alexander Local's (Athens) Lindy Douglas -- discuss how their students are learning in areas where the digital divide cuts deep.


Season 1, Episode 6: Leading your district effectively amid a changing world

Our home, school and professional worlds have been turned upside down. Even so, we are learning and discovering new ways to continue in our professional roles, and in some cases, we've been asked to take on new roles during the coronavirus pandemic. This is especially true for school board members who are juggling their family and career responsibilities. Add to that the concern for their district's well-being. Cheryl Ryan, OSBA's director of board and management services, and Steve Horton, senior board and management services consultant, discuss how board members can continue to be effective advocates and how district administrators can help.


Season 1, Episode 5: Teaching during a pandemic: Why SEL and staff cohesiveness are more important than ever

Educators had to become distance learning experts overnight amid the coronavirus pandemic. They are facing new demands in meeting the needs of anxious students and their families. Add to that, the responsibility of caring for their own families during the health crisis. Dr. Kathy McFarland, OSBA's deputy chief executive, and Karen Sedoti, principal of Olentangy Local's (Delaware) Olentangy Academy, discuss what educators are experiencing during these challenging times, the importance of mental health and social-emotional learning (SEL) and what administrators can do to help maintain a cohesive staff.


Season 1, Episode 4: Coronavirus: Holding board of education meetings

With social distancing and stay-at-home orders in place, OSBA has received many questions about Ohio's Open Meetings Act and holding board of education meetings during the pandemic. What is a virtual meeting? How can the public participate? What about executive sessions? OSBA Chief Legal Counsel Sara C. Clark answers these questions and more. For up-to-date information on this topic and other legal issues related to the coronavirus, subscribe to the OSBA Legal Ledger at https://www.ohioschoolboards.org/blogs/legal-ledger. Also, follow Sara on Twitter at @SaraCravenClark. OSBA members can contact the legal division at (855) 672-2529 or (855) OSBA-LAW.


Season 1, Episode 3: Student achievement during the coronavirus closures: It looks different

We are in this together! While the coronavirus has closed school buildings across the state, what board members, administrators, teachers, parents, community members and others have accomplished is nothing short of phenomenal. These are transformational times, and there may be no better time to think seriously about student achievement. OSBA Senior Student Achievement Consultant Kim Miller-Smith discusses the importance of academic success as students adapt to learning from home. Also, be sure to check out Kim's Achievement Matters blog at https://www.ohioschoolboards.org/blogs/student-achievement. She's compiled numerous at-home learning resources.


Season 1, Episode 2: A conversation with 2020 OSBA President Lee Schreiner

Lee Schreiner, South-Western City, became OSBA president on Jan. 1. We sat down with OSBA's 65th president to discuss his goals for the association and his long career in public education. Schreiner taught at South-Western City Schools for 37 years before retiring. He has served in numerous federal, state and regional leadership roles. He currently serves on OSBA’s Board of Trustees, Executive Committee, Federal Relations Network and Central Region Executive Committee. He was the Central Region president in 2017. Don't forget to check out what OSBA's Transportation Services can do for your district at https://www.ohioschoolboards.org/transportation-services.


Season 1, Episode 1: Welcome new board members

OSBA Director of Board and Management Services Cheryl W. Ryan and Membership Retention and Engagement Consultant Mark E. Bobo share tips for what new board members can expect in their first year. Learn how OSBA can help you on your journey at https://www.ohioschoolboards.org/new-board-members. Also, Deputy Chief Executive Dr. Kathy McFarland explains how social-emotional learning has become a key indicator of student success not just in the classroom but in life. Don't forget to check out what OSBA's Transportation Services can do for your district at https://www.ohioschoolboards.org/transportation-services.