The Jefferson County educational community consists of five public school districts – Buckeye, Edison and Indian Creek Local School Districts, as well as Steubenville and Toronto City School Districts, Jefferson County Catholic Schools and Jefferson County Joint Vocational School. Buildings, phone numbers and contact persons may be found in the appendix.
Jefferson County schools and programs continue to receive national and state recognition. Of the 14 Ohio Schools designated by President Bush and the U.S. Department of Education as 2003 Blue Ribbon Schools recently honored in Washington, D.C., four elementaries are in Jefferson County. They include Buckeye Northwest (Buckeye), Hills (Indian Creek), Lincoln and Wells (Steubenville). The county boasts a USA Teacher of the Year (Indian Creek) and seven teachers who have achieved National Board Certification (4 Indian Creek, 2 Toronto, 1 Edison). Statewide honors include the Ohio Department of Education School of Promise designation for seven buildings – Buckeye Local High School, SouthWest Middle, North Elementary, South Elementary (Buckeye); Gregg Elementary (Edison); Lincoln Elementary and McKinley Elementary (Steubenville) – and a recent Ohio Teacher of the Year awardee (Indian Creek).
Students in grades 9-12 attend one of seven high schools – Buckeye Local, Catholic Central, Edison, Indian Creek, JVS, Steubenville or Toronto. Building schedules vary from the traditional eight-period day (Catholic Central, Edison, Toronto) to flex block (Steubenville), block scheduling (Buckeye) or trimester scheduling (Indian Creek). Curricular offerings range from core courses in all buildings to a variety of honors (Buckeye, Catholic Central, Indian Creek, Steubenville) and AP classes (Buckeye, Edison, Indian Creek, Steubenville). All districts offer a gifted curriculum from Preschool – 12. Edison and Steubenville offer a Tech-Prep curriculum. All students have opportunities to participate in post secondary options at Jefferson Community College, Franciscan University and other area colleges or universities.
Effective with the class of 2007, students must pass the Ohio Graduation Test as a requirement for graduation. During the school year and the summer, all districts provide intervention programs and services for students who need additional help. A Virtual Learning Academy is an option for students looking for credit reclamation or enrichment courses. Students with special needs can benefit from a full range of special education programs and related services.
Seventeen vocational programs are available through the JVS. After 25 years of traveling to construction sites across the county, JVS students are now constructing homes in Breezewood Manor, a housing development located on the school campus. The JVS participates in High Schools that Work, a national program for school improvement designed to increase student achievement in math, science, communications, problem solving and technology. The Computer Aided Drafting & Design Program won a Gold Medal at the National Vocational Industrial Clubs of America (VICA) Competition in Tech Prep Architectural Design.
The Catholic schools in Jefferson County partner with families and local parishes to provide educational programs based on Catholic beliefs and traditions. They focus on the whole child and emphasize spiritual and moral values as well as academic excellence. In accordance with Diocesan Office of Education policy, Catholic schools reflect local site-based management practices and procedures. Families interested in more specific information about Catholic schools should contact building principals directly. The schools are located in Steubenville (All Saints Central, Aquinas Central, Holy Rosary Central, Catholic Central High School); Toronto (St. Francis Central); and Mingo Junction (St. Agnes Central).
Middle school/junior high building organizational patterns vary among districts. Organizational patterns include grades 5-8 (Edison), 6-8 (Buckeye, Steubenville, Toronto), 7-8 (Indian Creek) or K-8 (Catholic Schools). Curricular offerings include core courses as well as several honors classes (Catholic Schools, Edison, Indian Creek, Steubenville). Edison, Indian Creek and Steubenville offer flex scheduling that allows common time for teams of teachers to provide intervention and enrichment services, collaboratively plan lessons and instruction and analyze student work. Vocal and instrumental music, art, technology, and a full range of special education programs and related services are available to students.
Elementary buildings offer a rich curriculum aligned with the Ohio Academic Content Standards. Participating in constructivist and hands-on activities, students have opportunities to develop problem solving skills along with content knowledge and skills. Extra academic services and formal intervention programs such as Title I, Ohio Reads, HOSTS (Helping One Student to Succeed - Indian Creek), DREAMS (Dance, Reading, Enrichment, Art, Math, Science - Edison), Failure Free (Toronto), and Success for All and Homework Helps (Steubenville) are offered during the school day and after school hours. Steubenville also offers a summer enrichment program. All elementary buildings have libraries and computer labs. All buildings offer all-day kindergarten programs. A full range of special education programs and related services complement the curriculum. In all buildings, art, music and physical education are taught as separate classes by certificated teachers. A collaborative countywide grant funds a social educator in each district to work with elementary students and their families.
Students in all districts have opportunities to participate in a wide variety of extra curricular activities and school organizations such as academic competition, Destination Imagination, yearbook, Power of the Pen, Scripps Howard spelling bee, school newspapers, Mock Trial, plays, musicals, debate, SADD, DARE and community service projects. Bands, Key Club, choirs, glee clubs and a vast array of athletic programs for girls and boys complete the offerings.
Jefferson County Educational Service Center
The Jefferson County Governing Board is recognized as a leader in providing vital county, regional, and statewide initiatives. The Board currently has service contracts with 187 boards of education and 7 governmental agencies across 48 Ohio counties. Regional initiatives include the Health Benefits Plan, Self-Help Gas Program, Cafeteria Purchasing, Co-op Purchasing, and the Virtual Learning Academy. The FY 04 budget is $80 million.
The Health Benefits Plan is a customized, partially self-funded insurance program covering hospitalization, major medical, dental, prescription drug, life, and/or vision for 8,110 employee lives. Anticipated FY 04 premiums exceed $63 million. The natural gas program (42 districts) is open to schools and city/county governments. From 10/02 – 9/03, the program saved participants $640,101. Cafeteria Food Program purchases (41 districts) totaled $1.9 million, and Co-op Supplies Program purchases totaled $2 million.
Now in its third year, the Virtual Learning Academy (VLA) has 2,640 students from 117 districts in 31 Ohio counties and 811 faculty members. VLA teachers have developed a totally new curriculum fully aligned with the Ohio Academic Content Standards and expected to be fully operational by fall 2004. The VLA program targets students who are homebound, in need of credit reclamation, dropped out, home schooled, assessed with special needs, or assigned to an alternative school.
In addition to regional initiatives, JCESC provides programs and services to Jefferson County schools and Harrison Hills City Schools. Programs and services include curriculum development and alignment, professional development, technology, and direct services to students with special needs. The OME-RESA DA-Site provides computer services to 182 public and 22 nonpublic buildings from 45 districts in mid-eastern Ohio.
Jefferson County Christian School, Commercial Avenue in Mingo Junction, is a non-denominational Christian school, for pre-school through grade 12. For over 25 years the school has been dedicated to offering students an academically challenging, Bible-based program of instruction in a Christ centered environment. The goal is to prepare students academically, physically and spiritually to serve Christ and carry out God's will. Currently, the school's enrollment is 175, with an average class size of 13 and a 9 to 1 student/teacher ratio. Admission to JCCS is based on one parent being a born again Christian and that they can meet the academic and/or emotional needs of the student. The admission policy is non-discriminatory in regard to race, color or national origin.
Extra-curricular activities include French club, yearbook, chapel committee, music ministry, harmony choir, Junior High, Junior varsity and varsity sports (soccer, volleyball, basketball, baseball, softball), speech meet, and Spring musical. Additional resources include library, remedial tutoring, speech therapy and college and career planning. JCCS is chartered by the State of Ohio and busing is available from most Jefferson County districts. Tuition discounts are available.