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Ottawa Hills Innovation at Work

The Writing Studio: Innovation, Excellence in Action

A college-inspired academic service has come to Ottawa Hills Junior/Senior High School, enabling students to get help with writing and literature assignments. While having access to such a service is uncommon in grades 7 through 12, so is how the service started: as an independent study project undertaken by senior Oscar Kasch.

And much like those services at colleges, the Ottawa Hills version – The Writing Studio – also is largely run by students who help create and deliver the lessons, either in small groups or one-on-one tutoring.

“What made me interested in making The Writing Studio was a desire to make sure everybody gets that individual help,” said Oscar, who eventually wants to teach English at the high school or college level. “It’s important because we have a lot of existing support systems, especially for math and science. But it’s hard to sit with every student working on a paper because it is such a long process.” Read more

Honors Research Class Enriching Students' Experience

A first-year honors research class at Ottawa Hills is generating new academic opportunities for its six inaugural students, from publishing research in academic journals and receiving coveted college admissions to winning summer-long internships at world-class labs.

The class was made possible by a $15,000 grant from Toledo-based ProMedica, a national health-care system. With that funding, relationships have been formed with local university labs and new equipment integrated into the high school science curriculum. More importantly, a new standard now places college-level scientific research within reach of our high school students. The results have exceeded expectations.

The achievements of senior Abigail Berk exemplify the possibilities. Already a strong science student, Abigail took full advantage of the course to conduct research that led to poster presentations at two science events, a TEDx talk later this month, and her dream college acceptance: admission to the highly competitive biomedical science program at The Ohio State University’s College of Medicine. Read more

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