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Wrong Paige Baublitz-Watkins?

Mrs. Paige M. Baublitz-Watkins

Instructor, Gifted Education

Cleveland State University

HQ Phone: (216) 687-2000

Email: p***@***.edu

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Cleveland State University

2121 Euclid Ave

Cleveland, Ohio 44115

United States

Company Description

At Cleveland State University, we are committed to helping students prepare for a successful and rewarding career. Last year, CSU students completed over 3,000 internships and co-ops, from business to engineering, science to education. Our location in d ... more

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Background Information

Employment History

PreK-8 Principal

Cleveland Metropolitan School District


Riverside School - Cleveland Metropolitan School District

School Director

Menlo Park Academy


Gifted Education Department

Cleveland State University


Gifted Education

Web References (4 Total References)

Menlo Park Academy [cached]

Mrs. Paige Baublitz-Watkins, School Director

Paige Baublitz-Watkins School Director
Mrs. Baublitz-Watkins has been in the field of education for twenty years, and began her career as a special education teacher with a focus on students who had behavioral difficulties. To better serve the diverse learning needs of her students, she earned a Masters in Gifted Education, and began differentiating in the classroom before it became a more widely known concept. Over the years, she has created, run, and evaluated cutting edge programming and curriculum with a focus on acceleration with supports for all learners to be successful. She has a passion for the use of simulations in learning and has designed simulations from space station themes to archaeology; which she presented at conferences and school district professional development programs across the country.
Mrs. BW's career has led her through urban and suburban districts where she has worked with diverse populations in grades k-8. In all these positions, she was a major contributor to leadership teams and curriculum committees. At Citizens' Academy, where she created a highly successful summer program focused on citizen action and community building, her respect for a focused charter school mission was forged. After earning her Principal's license, she was part of the administrative team that opened the Campus International School at Cleveland State University. This International Baccalaureate program is a new school in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District's innovative school portfolio. At Campus International, she had the opportunity to learn the thrill of success in leading a new staff in the creation of a new curriculum, as well as how to avoid some of the pitfalls in the start up of a beginning school.
In the past few years she has also ventured into adult education. She is an adjunct faculty member at Cleveland State University in the Gifted Education Department. In addition, in a one year move to Florida she redesigned and taught state licensure course work on Special Populations in Gifted Education.

Menlo Park Academy [cached]

Cleveland, Ohio (October 12, 2012) -- Menlo Park Academy is under new leadership this year with Paige Baublitz-Watkins as School Director, and Jim Kennedy as Assistant School Director.

Mrs. Baublitz-Watkins holds a Masters in Gifted Education. She is an adjunct faculty member at Cleveland State University in the Gifted Education Department. She was part of the administrative team that opened the Campus International School at Cleveland State University, an International Baccalaureate program for Kindergarten through 4th grade. In 2011, she co-wrote sections of Dr. Susan Rakow's new book, Educating Gifted Students in Middle School.

Veteran educator Paige ... [cached]

Veteran educator Paige Baublitz-Watkins has a long history working with gifted students in Northeast Ohio. She also relies heavily on data to direct her and her staff on how to give students the best education while also focusing on creative programs to improve performance.

Those qualities have made her a proactive, results-driven educator in both Cleveland's charter schools and within the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD).
After two years as director of Cleveland's Menlo Park Academy, a K-8 charter school specializing in gifted students, Baublitz-Watkins - or "Ms. BW" as the kids call her - took the reins as principal of Riverside School in 2014. The pre-K-8 CMSD school had historically performed well within the district, but was in need of a fresh approach.
Since Baublitz-Watkins took over, Riverside's state report card has improved. To achieve this, she spent a lot of time delving into performance data and considering programs that worked at Menlo Park in order to determine what exactly marks student success at Riverside.
Each school has its own challenges and successes to learn from, says Baublitz-Watkins.
"I would say that kids are kids no matter what the identifier may be," she says.
Baublitz-Watkins is one example of the "cross-pollination" within the CMSD.
Baublitz-Watkins says her experience within the two camps, as well as having some good mentors, has brought a healthy cross-sectional approach to her methods as principal of Riverside. "All of those different experiences come to (bear) when you're trying to make changes in city schools," she says.
Real life experience
Some of those approaches are of a more entrepreneurial nature. At Menlo Park, Baublitz-Watkins was responsible for many administrative duties as director. Even though those administrative tasks are not usually associated with district principals, the experience helped prepare her when she became one at Riverside.
"I was required to fulfill all of those non-traditional aspects at Menlo and it served me well in my role at CMSD," she says.
With more than 23 years of experience, including seven years with the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Schools as a gifted specialist and a one-year unpaid sabbatical with Campus International School (CIS), which included an internship at Garfield Middle School in Lakewood, Baublitz-Watkins garnered her share of hands-on experience. She also found solid mentors in CIS principal Julie Beers and Garfield principal Mark Walter.
"Starting a new school from scratch allows you to be more flexible in your thinking about what works or doesn't work in a school and be willing to challenge a status quo," she says of her experience at the then-fledgling CIS. She credits Beers and Walters for her current success at Riverside.
"Learning from professionals who have competency in data and its relationship to curriculum taught me more than I ever received in course work," Baublitz-Watkins says. "Practical hands on experience with those who create results made that work real."
A new approach
Relying on data to create new programming at Riverside, Baublitz-Watkins has implemented a K-3 literacy program that has led to improved state scores and has transformed Riverside's literacy report card from a B rating of 69 percent to an A rating of 87 percent. "We're the only A in the district," she boasts. "It's definitely positive. The program has set an example the CMSD is using for other schools.
Baublitz-Watkins was able to improve the school's literacy grade by implementing an intervention program based on her research. Beginning in fall 2015, K-1 teachers now use assessment data to flexibly group students for 50 minutes each day to provide targeted small group literacy support. Group composition changes at least quarterly, based on student progress. Teachers in Grades 2 and 3 already use this approach in their classrooms.
Additionally, while at Menlo Park, Baublitz-Watkins attended a training on sensory rooms and studied sensory diets to cope with the number of twice exceptional students, which includes those who are both gifted intellectually and have a disability.
She created a sensory room at Menlo Park and has found the experience to be helpful at Riverside as well. "At Riverside, we have an even broader student population," she says. "I felt they would benefit from this support and worked to make a full sensory experience happen for them."
Riverside's sensory room has features such as aromatherapy, light displays, manipulatives, music and weighted blankets to stimulate or calm the students' senses. Baublitz-Watkins admits the room needs some work, which is something she plans to tackle this summer.
While most adults can find an equilibrium naturally, Baublitz-Watkins explains how sensitivity can differ from person to person using light stimulation in her own life as an example. "I am a low-light individual and my husband is high-light," she says. "We constantly turn lights off and on in the home to create either more or less stimulation that our brains require."
Students, however, sometimes need help identifying what is stimulating or calming. "Children have yet to learn what is stimulating their brains and are reactive to environmental matters," Baublitz-Watkins explains. "A sensory room allows educators to determine baselines on what over- or under- stimulates a student and then teach them methods to control these factors for success in the classroom."
Room for growth
In addition to new literacy and sensory programs, Baublitz-Watkins has enabled common spaces in the school to foster learning and social opportunities and created an advisory program for the upper school students. The advisory approach at Riverside places small groups of students with the same staff member for two-year rotations. "Riverside's are gender based with defined programming outcomes such as community service," she explains.
She also believes in students being partners in their own learning. From that partnership comes success. "Student growth data and building trends need to be in teachers' thoughts at all times," explains Baublitz-Watkins. "This allows us to see without judgement where our compass must be pointed. I am always saying, 'This is a no-judgement zone. We all own the data and we all own how to improve it.' If teachers feel that you are on their side, working together, there is room to grow and glow."
Baublitz-Watkins has implemented Monday meetings at Riverside as a time to go over schedules and other details, and also as a time to recognize and reward positive behavior. Teachers award students "brag tags" and "keys to success" for work well done. "We celebrate successes, celebrate birthdays and review the agenda," she says. "It builds a sense of community. Parents are also invited to the first Monday meeting of each month.
Living what you learn
In retrospect, Baublitz-Watkins cites four core factors she learned from her time at Menlo Park and Campus International as contributing to her success as principal of Riverside: Working with management to create and reconcile a budget; creating a working flexible schedule; understanding best practices in hiring and legal matters; and taking "outside of the box" approaches to growth and achievement in the students.

Legislative Updates | OAPCS [cached]

Paige Baublitz-Watkins, Director, Menlo Park Academy

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