Education

Nature-based preschool to open in August

IMG_0312Discovery Woods Preschool, a nature-based preschool and after school education facility, will open at 67 St. Francis Ave. in Tiffin this month. The non-profit program aims to prepare children from 18 months to 5 years for school, teaching traditional childhood education combined with a nature-based approach.

Discovery Woods Preschool offers several programs in a nature based curriculum with an emphasis on project based learning in the areas of science, technology, engineering, art, and math.

The school is split into four different programs:

  • Caterpillar Cove – Infant/Toddler Program for children 18 – 30 months – Provides children a positive environment to explore with the guidance and support of an infant toddler teacher who designs developmentally appropriate lessons to help children become more familiar with their world. Staff encourage communication, walking, exploring, and learning.
  • Butterfly Landing – Preschool class for children 2.5 – 3 years – Introduces children to flexible routines with circle time, small group work, and center based exploration to develop their project based interests. Activities include dramatic play areas – such as a grocery store, hair salon, or flower shop – building with blocks and natural items, water table exploration, painting, and science lessons.  Part Time and Full Day Program available.
  • Rainbow Path – Kindergarten Readiness Program for children 4 – 5 years – Encompasses more structured play based routines with two circle times, small group and a morning work time to prepare children for Kindergarten.  Children will be introduced to the Pre-K Ohio Department of Education Content Standards.  They will learn the alphabet, letter sounds, patterns, numbers, and reading basic color and sight words. This program also includes the project approach where children participate in a year long project or two based on their interests, which guide the teachers lessons.   The children’s projects are displayed at the end of the year Watch Me Work at Night event.
  • Tree Top Trail – After School Enrichment for students K-5th grade – Includes tutoring in a child’s specific area of need, engaging STEAM projects such as creating robots, drawing in 3D, and tending to the school garden.

The staff is trained in childhood development and first aid, and the Kindergarten Readiness Program is taught by educators with an Elementary Teaching license. All staff also participate in continuing education classes related to the growth and development of the age level they teach.

While their official grand opening and family open house is set for August 12, families are invited to participate in a nature scavenger hunt at Hedges-Boyer Park on August 5 from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. for a day of fun and to learn more about the programs.

For more information, visit their website.

DC Weld Tech to offer welding basics

Welding it togetherLocal welder Dave Clark is hoping to make a difference in his community with a training program for out-of-practice or aspiring welders. The aim of DC Weld Tech is to enrich the community by offering a cost-effective training program in the field of welding in a one on one setting.

From Dave:

“We feel this important to the community to offer a skilled trades training which will open to doors to those individuals looking to better themselves by obtaining a better job or if they choose to further their education in the field.

“We have been a family owned and operated welding and fabricating company for over 20 years. Now we would like to share what we have learned over those years with our community with our new company DC Weld Tech. This new venture will allow us to to give back to our neighbors by offering a skilled trades training program in the field of welding. This course will be cost effective in a one on one setting. These individuals will be able to obtain a job in the field, the knowledge to take a certification test, or to further their education at a higher level. Our hope is to be able to offer this course to anyone with a willingness to learn who may not be able to afford college and would benefit from a one on one setting.”

For more information, visit www.dcweldtech.com.

County workforce plan is made public

workforce-picPublic-private collaboration to implement plan in 2017

View the complete plan here.

TIFFIN, OHIO – December 23, 2016 – After four months of collaborative effort, a group of more than fifty stakeholders announces they have completed a new strategic plan for workforce development in Seneca County. Six committees have been formed to work on the 18 identified strategies in 2017. The plan is available to the public at www.senecasuccess.com.

Facilitated by Terra State Community College, the planning process was started after a local study done by Heidelberg University student Mark Linsalata revealed that 70 percent of Seneca County companies could not find all of the workers they needed and that half of those companies were not able to expand because of that issue.

State Representative Bill Reineke, who serves on the Governor’s Executive Workforce Board, kicked off the event. “This is one of the most critical issues facing our economy and the businesses that make it run. I am passionate about workforce issues and am really pleased with the large-scale cooperation here among educators, businesses, and workforce and economic development.”

Seneca County Commissioner Holly Stacy also participated and looks forward to what the group can accomplish together. “I appreciate this initiative, and I believe we will make some real progress in addressing critical workforce issues for all of Seneca County.”

Representatives from the education sector include several area public and private K12 districts (Bridges, Calvert, Hopewell-Loudon, Old Fort, Seneca East, Tiffin), Vanguard-Sentinel, NCOESC, Heidelberg and Tiffin Universities. Participating businesses include Alvada Construction, American Fine Sinter, Arnold Machine, Autumnwood, Ballreich’s, Clouse Construction, Croghan Colonial Bank, Fifth-Third Bank, Mennel Milling, Mercy Health, ProMedica, Pyramid Recruiting, Quick Tab II, Roppe Corporation, St. Francis, Surge Staffing, Taiho Corporation, Toledo Molding & Die, US Bank, and Webster Industries. More people are being asked to participate and invited to the committees.

Old Fort Local Schools Superintendent Steve Anway, who is helping co-chair the Education Committee with Tiffin City Schools’ Pat Smith, praised the effort: “I am proud of the work we’ve done and the plan we’ve put together. I look forward to getting to work on the plan in January.” The group will be working on strengthening career awareness, job shadowing, financial and workplace literacy, as well as preparing students for careers.

Kerrie Carte, Planning & Development Coordinator for WSOS Community Action, is chairing the Training & Placement Committee, and is excited about next year. “Our key focus for 2017 will be working to better align adult training programs with the needs of the business community. We also hope to work on specialized job fairs and support for veterans.”

Ron Schumacher, Director of Facilities and Support Operations for Mercy Health in Tiffin, is co-chairing the Community Services Committee with Tiffin-Seneca United Way’s Pat DeMonte. “We hope to join the effort to make progress on some of the ‘big-picture’ challenges including combating the drug epidemic, addressing mental health issues, and getting the word out about available community services.”

The overall planning effort is co-led by the Seneca County Department of Job & Family Services, Terra State Community College, and SIEDC. The six committees will begin work in January, with a Workforce Summit–to celebrate the successes of the year and plan for the next–to take place on November 30, 2017.

If anyone in the public has interest in becoming involved, they may contact Carol Kern at Job & Family Services at (419) 447-5011 x322 or  Carol.Owen@jfs.ohio.gov, Beth Hannam at 419.559.2237 or bhannam@terra.edu, or David Zak with SIEDC at 419.912.1150 or zak@senecacounty.org.

SENTINEL PROGRAM EARNS DISTINCTION

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Photo provided by VSCTC

Vanguard-Sentinel Career & Technology Center has taken home another national honor. This week, the Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management Program was named one of the “Elite 50 Hospitality Programs” in the entire country.

From Vanguard-Sentinel Career & Technology Centers:

The Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management program at Sentinel Career & Technology Center has been named an “Elite 50 Hospitality Program” by Sullivan University.  The program was selected from more than 350 secondary school hospitality programs from across the nation that were invited to apply for the honor of being named to the 2017 Elite 50 list.

“All of our programs at Sentinel Career & Technology Center have a high standard of excellence”, explains Sentinel Director, Elissa Heal.  “This recognition showcases that we are a program of excellence and we are preparing and inspiring tomorrow’s hospitality professionals.  Instructor Valerie Zeno is a true asset to our district and the instruction and experiences she provides to the students in the program is top notch.  She has built a program that is truly deserving of this designation.”

The criteria for earning the Program of Distinction award includes:

  • Two-Year Culinary or Hospitality Management program at the high school level
  • Participation in state competitions, with more points earned for placing 1st-4th in competition
  • Submission of an original recipe with photos or a restaurant management design
  • Program information including student participants and teacher credentials
  • Additional consideration is given when a school operates a restaurant, or catering service as part of training.

Vanguard-Sentinel Career & Technology Centers have been providing quality career technical education since 1968.  The district provides students with specific, marketable skills to begin a career, pursue further training or attend college.  For more information about any of our programs, or to apply to be a student, visit www.vsctc.org.

Sentinel Career Center expansion underway

vanguard_sentinel-_career_1Vanguard-Sentinel Career and Technology Center has begun work on a $1.5 million, 11,000 square foot facility at their Tiffin campus.

The building will be the new home of the Public Safety Program.  The addition of space will move the program from just a classroom space to a lab environment that will allow the instructor to train the students in a setting similar to a real academy.  There will be adequate space for physical and tactical training, an evidence and booking room, and also a bay entrance for equipment for the program. It will also have classrooms for the Adult Education and Collision Repair Programs, and a Wellness Center. The school has also partnered with the Seneca County Commissioners that will allow the new facility to be a secondary location for their Emergency Operation Center in the county.

vanguard_sentinel-_career_2Clouse Construction is the contractor for the project, but now that the building is under roof, Sentinel students will gain hands on experience in their field of study as they work to complete the project, including (but not limited to) constructing walls and running the electric.

Another project underway at Sentinel is the “AIM” Mobile Career Tech bus.  This will be a mobile lab used to introduce K-8 students in 13 school districts to in-demand careers and the 12 career clusters available at Vanguard-Sentinel Career and Technology Centers. It is designed to engage students with career connections and experiential learning to better prepare for in-demand careers at an early age.   This re-purposed bus (a partnership between Automotive and Collision Repair) will be a mobile and multi-functional CTE lab.  An instructor will deliver exposure and hands-on experiences to students at their home school  that will help AIM them in the right direction towards their future goals.   This should be completed for the 2017-2018 school year.

Vanguard-Sentinel is also looking at continuing to help mitigate a crisis in workforce preparation for advanced manufacturing careers and skilled trades with RAMTEC. Funded by the Ohio Department of Education’s Straight A Fund, RAMTEC supports a holistic approach to economic/workforce development by allowing students to demonstrate mastery of skills on equipment identical to that used in Ohio manufacturing industries. There will also be an expansion of programs, that will add and expand opportunities for  Freshman through adults, continuing to focus on industry credentials but expanding opportunities including early placements and pre-apprenticeship programs designed in close collaboration with local business and industry partners. Sentinel is also involved in the strategic planning process for a county-wide Workforce Development Plan.

Sentinel opened in 1985, and in 1997 the Family Learning Center was added in partnership with Seneca County.  Five years ago, the entire facility underwent a complete renovation which included energy efficient upgrades to lighting, HVAC, and technology.  The total cost of the renovation was $7 million.