- Educational Services
- ESL (English as a Second Language)
- Facts About Inclusion
- Gifted Services
- Kindergarten Early Entrance
- Mental Health
- Special Education
- Title I
- For more information please contact...
Preschool- 4th grade
Kindergarten Guidelines: Registration: Children must be five (5) years old on or before August 1. For additional information, see Board Policy 5112.
Early entrance: Children who will not yet be the proper age for entrance to kindergarten or first grade by the first day of January of the school year for which admission is requested shall also be evaluated for possible early admittance if referred by an educator within the District, a preschool educator who knows the child, or pediatrician or psychologist who knows the child. Children who will not yet be the proper age for entrance to kindergarten or first grade by the first day of January of the school year for which admission is requested may also be evaluated for possible early admittance at the discretion of the principal of the school to which the student may be admitted. See Board Policy 5408 for more details.
Our middle school offers a wholesome curriculum with advancement opportunities, foreign languages, maker space, advanced technology classes, access to CCP courses, vocational trade certifications and soft skill vocational training. Please review the course descriptions for all the options available.
Berkshire High School is a four-year comprehensive high school accredited by the State of Ohio. Students interested in vocational or tech prep programs attend Auburn Career Center their junior and senior years for half the day. Our district also offers an in-house vocational program for students that are not ready to attend Auburn to gain work skills. Students who academically qualify may earn college credit in conjunction with high school credit through the College Credit Plus Program. Berkshire High School offers CP, Honors and AP classes. Please review the High School Course Selection guide for course offerings.
ESL is an educational approach in which students/English Language Learners (ELL) whose native or home language is other than English, are instructed in the use of the English Language. Berkshire Local Schools welcomes the opportunity to educate all diversities within the community.
Berkshire Local Schools Inclusion Based Service Model for Serving Students with Exceptional Needs
Inclusive education happens when children with and without exceptional learning needs participate and learn together in the same classes. Research shows that when a child with exceptional learning needs attends classes alongside peers who do not have disabilities, good things happen.
For a long time, children with exceptional learning needs were educated in separate classes or in separate schools. People got used to the idea that “special education” meant separate education. We now know that when children are educated together, positive academic and social outcomes occur for all the children involved. At Berkshire Local Schools we believe in the three guiding principles when including all students;
All children belong.
Inclusive education is based on the simple idea that every child and family is valued equally and deserves the same opportunities and experiences. Inclusive education is about children with disabilities – whether the disability is mild or severe, hidden or obvious – participating in everyday activities, just like they would if their disability were not present. It’s about building friendships, membership and having opportunities just
like everyone else.
All children learn in different ways.
Inclusion is about providing the help children need to learn and participate in meaningful ways, sometimes help from friends or teachers works best. Other times, specially designed materials or technology can help. The key is to give only as much help as needed, teaching a child to problem solve and be independent is a huge component to success.
It is every child’s right to be included.
Inclusive education is a child’s right, not a privilege. ESSA( Every Student Succeeds Act) clearly states that all children with disabilities should be educated with non-disabled children their own age and have access to the general education curriculum.
With every child being included, our intervention staff is with students throughout the day in all classrooms. To keep individuals from being singled out we have the intervention staff not only support exceptional learners but all individuals in the student body. Their unique expertise is a huge benefit to all students! If your child should mention working with another teacher that is different from their homeroom teacher, this staff
member is most likely one of our exceptional staff her to support. Below is a list of staff by building that help children throughout our district succeed and grow.
Berkshire Elementary School
Berkshire Middle School
Berkshire High School
Berkshire Schools follows the guidelines set forth by the State of Ohio for identifying and serving students who have met the definition of a gifted student. Each year, students are identified through various grade-wide assessment tools, which include MAP tests and Cognitive Tests of Ability (CoGats) . MAP tests are administered three times during the school year to students in grades kindergarten through tenth (10th). CoGats are administered in the spring to all second (2nd) and fourth (4th) grade students.
Test results are reviewed by the Curriculum Director, Director of Pupil Services and School Psychologist to determine which students meet the State of Ohio’s definition of gifted. Once a student is identified as gifted they will retain this status until they graduate from high school. When a student is newly identified, the GIS will send a letter to parent(s) explaining the identification. A Written Education Plan (WEP) is created every year by the GIS, in conjunction with teachers and administrators, and will outline the services being provided for each gifted student.
"Gifted" means students who perform or show potential for performing at remarkably high levels of accomplishment when compared to others of their age, experience, or environment and who are identified under division (A), (B), (C), or (D) of section 3324.03 of the Revised Code.
Berkshire Local Schools Early Kindergarten Entrance
Legislation Governing Early Entrance to Kindergarten and Giftedness
- A parent may request early entrance to kindergarten if the child turns five years of age after the District’s kindergarten entrance date of August 1. Entrance shall be determined through a standardized testing program.
- Children who will not yet be the proper age for entrance to kindergarten by the first day of January of the school year for which admission is requested shall also be evaluated for possible early admittance if referred by an educator within the District, a preschool educator who knows the child or pediatrician or psychologist who knows the child.
- Early entrance to kindergarten is a subject typically addressed through gifted education. It is covered in the State of Ohio’s Model Student Acceleration Policy. According to the Ohio Revised Code (3324.01), “gifted” means students who perform or show potential for performing at remarkably high levels of accomplishment when compared to others of their age, experience or environment and who are identified under Division (A), (B), (C), or (D) of Section 3324.03 of the Revised Code.
Is Early Entrance to Kindergarten the Best Choice for Your Child?
Early entrance should be viewed as a means of meeting a child’s needs. The key to determining whether or not early entrance is appropriate for a child is his/her developmental readiness. Even though a child may have a lot of ability, he/she may not be ready for kindergarten. Other important factors to consider are social maturity, personal development and motor development. Early entrance is designed for the exceptional child who is both academically ready as well as developmentally mature when compared to others his/her chronological age.
Some considerations when determining if early entrance is right for a child
- Is my child capable of working in a classroom setting with children who are one year older than he/she?
- Will my child be frustrated by this placement?
- What are the possible long-term impacts as my child progresses through elementary, middle and high school (i.e., beginning college at a younger age)?
- Do I understand the expectations for students in kindergarten today?
There is a difference between ability and achievement. Some children may appear exceptional simply because of their access to opportunities (i.e., preschool programs, parents working with them on skills or access to learning materials). Early entrance is designed for the child who has high ability and easily achieves when presented with new material. Once the decision has been made for early entrance, the choice is difficult to reverse. If a child is evaluated as a good candidate for early entrance to kindergarten, it is important that all stakeholders are supportive of the decision.
Below are examples of what to look for in the areas of ability, achievement, aptitude and behavior.
My child seems advanced beyond other children his/her age in these ways:
- understands the meanings and use of words better than other children his/her age;
- is curious about many things and asks questions often;
- is very good at working puzzles or solving problems;
- has a great sense of humor and understands jokes more than other children his/her age;
- has a good memory and remembers details of conversations or stories;
- is interested in difficult concepts such as time and space;
- concentrates on certain activities much longer than other children his/her age;
- reads (and understands text) in picture books or chapter books;
- figures out math-related problems better than other children his/her age.
Expectations of Kindergarten Students
Kindergarten, like many other areas of education, has changed considerably over the past couple of decades. Today’s kindergarten students are engaged in a rigorous instructional program. Ohio, along with many other states across the United States, has adopted Common CORE for the purpose of preparing
Ohioans to meet the demands of the knowledge-based economy and the needs of the 21st Century. What are some important school and academic factors? My child:
- enjoys learning new information or skills;
- participates in community-sponsored activities such as sports, dance, gymnastics, library and museum programs;
- believes he/she is capable of succeeding at new tasks;
- has the ability to attend, or pay attention, for relatively long periods of instruction;
- he/she can draw and trace basic shapes and cut with scissors.
What are some important developmental factors? My child has the following developmental characteristics:
- He/she has average fine and large motor coordination (i.e., holding a pencil, skipping);
- He/she is able to use the computer to play games or find information;
- He/she can use the bathroom without adult help;
- He/she can button and zip up shirts and pants, tie or Velcro shoes and put on and take off his/her coat;
- He/she is able to separate from the parent without being upset.
What are some important interpersonal skills for entering school?
- thoughtfully considers feedback and criticism and modifies behavior appropriately;
- often behaves in a way that is positive and effective;
- has good interpersonal skills with age-mates, as well as with both older and younger children and with adults;
- has excellent interpersonal relationships with adults in a teaching role;
- has the ability to follow routines.
What are some important attitudes and supports necessary for success in school?
- My child is enthusiastic about going to kindergarten.
- As a parent, I understand that a child’s success in school depends on support provided at home. I am able to give my child additional support to help in his/her transition to a new setting with much higher academic demands than he/she encountered in preschool.
- The Berkshire Local School District has established enrolling Kindergarten students must be 5 years old on or before August 1st prior to the start of the upcoming school year. This date has been elected in order to ensure a developmentally appropriate Kindergarten program. Adopting the August 1st cut-off date allows children to be better prepared socially, academically, and emotionally. This allows them to better handle the rigorous full day every day Kindergarten schedule coupled with the demands of our state mandated Kindergarten curriculum.
- Complete the online application form.
- Schedule your screening from May 1st - June 16th with the Berkshire Local Schools Psychology Department. Ext 2109.
- Your child will complete the WPSSI III and must receive a 127 or higher. Other assessments/staff may be utilized in order to measure/assess readiness.
Our District recognizes the increase of mental health needs for all students and staff in grades Prek-12. We offer a tier one educational curriculum to make students aware of a variety of social and emotional topics. As students grow and mature we offer tier two educational supports such as teen pregnancy education, suicide prevention, drug and alcohol education, sexual trafficking, bullying etc. We have numerous community partners to provide support ranging from whole classroom to individual student support. A few of our partners are as follows; Family Pride, Catholic Charities, ESCWR Community form, Ravenwood mental health and DARE.
In accordance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA) of 2004, the Berkshire Local School District is participating in Child Find efforts to locate, evaluate and identify all children with disabilities, from birth through 21 years of age, who may be entitled to receive special education and related aides and services, regardless of their situations.
A disability, in this instance, means such conditions as autism, deaf/blindness, multiple disabilities, deafness/hearing impairment, orthopedic impairment, visual impairment/blindness, specific learning disabilities, emotional disturbance, cognitive disabilities, speech and language impairments, other health impairments, developmental delay or traumatic brain injury.
Although many school aged children with disabilities are identified and currently being served by the Berkshire Local School District, preschool children ages 3-5 with disabilities may not yet be identified because parents may not be aware that programs and services are available through the public school. If you have a child aged 3-5, our district does offer monthly screenings for parents that have concerns about their toddlers development. We offer an array of preschool services for students that qualify.
Our district is committed to keeping students in their least restrictive environment, whenever possible. We offer programming for students with social/emotional needs Prek-12, low incidence Prek-12, a vocational program and co teaching K-12.
In addition and in accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendment of 2008, the Berkshire Local School District is participating in Child Find efforts to locate, evaluate and identify all students with a disability. In this instance, a student with a disability is a student who has a mental or physical impairment that substantially limits a major life activity and who may, because of the disability, need special education, related services or aids or accommodation/modifications.
If you know of a child within the Berkshire School District that has a disability and is not presently attending school or receiving services, please contact Dawn Fleming-Kendall, Director of Pupil Services at (440)834-3380, ext. 2108.
Title I is a Federal aid program through which Berkshire Local School District receives funding to provide supplemental instruction for students who qualify. The allocation of these funds for most Ohio school districts is based on a legislative formula dependent upon the distribution of low-income children and state per-pupil expenditures.
The Title I Program at Berkshire Local Schools is conducted during the school day throughout the school year and is dedicated to serving students in the elementary grades at Berkshire Elementary. Students are selected for program participation based on teacher recommendation, parent input, performance on Standardized testing, Title I math/reading testing and economic need. Title I services, which will focus on math and reading intervention, will be directed to students who have met the criteria guidelines. Students will be serviced by either: 1) limited pullout (where students are removed from classrooms for a limited period of time for a more one-on-one instruction; or 2) remain in their regular class and receive extra assistance and time.
Reading is the basis for school success! Parents are encouraged to be actively involved and to provide a strong foundation through encouragement and practice. Participation from parents helps improve their child’s academic achievements.
Note: In accordance with federal legislation’s No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) school districts receiving Title I federal funds are required to notify parents of their right to request information regarding the professional qualifications of their child’s teacher. This includes degrees and certifications held and whether the teacher is certified in the area in which they are teaching. If you wish this information, please contact your child’s building principal.