The Madison-Champaign Educational Service Center (ESC) will receive a state grant to improve efficiency in its programs.
The ESC received a Local Government Innovation Fund efficiency grant from the Ohio Development Services Agency for $32,738 for program evaluation for accreditation. The program – which divides grants depending on efficiency or innovation – assists communities with shared services and efficiency projects in all aspects of operations, according to a press release.
ESC Superintendent Dr. Dan Kaffenbarger said the grant follows training ESC administrative staff went through in the summer. The training is designed to get make local government entities more efficient. In the training, staff were asked to identify areas that needed improvement or efficiency.
The ESC has eight programs and 16 services, Kaffenbarger said, but no way to measure effectiveness or efficiency in those programs and services. This grant will help staff do that.
The need to measure efficiency came up in the ESC’s efforts to become accredited through AdvancED, a non-profit, non-partisan organization that conducts external reviews of pre-kindergarten to grade 12 schools and school systems. AdvancED was created through a 2006 merger of the pre-kindergarten to grade 12 divisions of North Central Association and Southern Central Association of Colleges and Schools and expanded through the addition of the Northwest Accreditation Commission in 2011.
“We were actually on the road to getting it done when AdvancED came in and made suggestions (for efficiency),” he said.
The grant will allow the ESC to develop, research and design a way to gauge the effectiveness of its programs and services, Kaffenbarger said. It will be a three-year process, with research and design completed by the end of the current school year in 2016. The next step will be designing and implementing the training program, so staff know how to collect and use data. That will be completed by the end of the next school year in 2017. Then the process will be implemented, with the first data coming in at the end of the 2017-18 school year.
“What we’re hoping is it will generate confidence from our client districts that, yeah, your programs and services are doing what they say they do,” he said.