Ohio SOAR Network

Elevating Educational Excellence Across Ohio

Serving the state of Ohio for more than 20 years, the SOAR Network is committed to empowering education leaders through meaningful collaboration and professional growth. The goals of the SOAR Network include:

  • Build a Collaborative Network of Innovators – We strive to cultivate a vibrant network where teams collaborate, share innovative strategies, and co-design solutions that enhance deeper learning environments statewide.
  • Design Learning Systems for Deeper Learning – We promote a systemic approach that prioritizes conceptual understanding and Portrait of a Graduate competencies to foster deeper learning outcomes across all grade levels and disciplines.

Is your district interested in membership for the 2024-2025 school year? Contact Sara Stockwell at sstockwell@bfk.org to learn more or schedule a meeting using her Calendly below.

Schedule a Meeting

Professional Learning Communities

Battelle for Kids facilitates professional learning communities for SOAR Network members throughout the school year. These groups will gather in person for four (4) half-day convenings to network, share insights, examine current research and trends, hear from guest speakers, and foster innovation in transforming education.

Districts can select representatives to participate in three dedicated professional learning communities, each centered around an essential question related to education transformation.


Visionary Leaders

How can superintendents collaborate to align their system towards a unified vision for deeper learning for all students?


Curriculum Leaders

How can curriculum leaders collaborate to foster learning systems that promote depth over breadth and integrate Portrait competencies to achieve deeper learning?


Communications Professionals

How can communicators build a compelling narrative and strategic messaging that amplifies the district’s vision, fostering authentic engagement and momentum for deeper learning?

SOAR Innovation Groups

These working groups serve as platforms for collaborative innovation and are designed to engage educators in focused, practical projects that address specific areas of transformation and innovation based on member interest. Based on the interest of our current SOAR members, our first Innovation Group will focus on literacy and deeper learning:

  • Literacy and Deeper Learning Innovation Group
    • Essential Question: What is the relationship between deeper learning and literacy development, and how can we effectively communicate this to the field?

Battelle for Kids will facilitate design work and activities that are structured around clear, member-generated goals and targeted deliverables. These
groups produce valuable educational tools and resources and aim to implement meaningful improvement across districts. Innovation Groups are exclusive to SOAR members. Additional Innovation Group topics may be developed based on member interest.

Portrait of a Graduate Roadmap

This year-long professional learning series is designed for districts that are exploring Portrait of a Graduate or who are in the early stages of implementing their Portrait. The Roadmap experience activates your vision for deeper learning with a step-by-step roadmap of what it looks like to implement a Portrait of a Graduate.

Districts will develop a plan that guides the development of a roadmap with onramps, key drivers, ETAs, and action steps to ensure their vision is being implemented systemwide.

Add-On Experiences

District Team Institutes

SOAR also provides add-on experiences. District Team Institutes are workshops are available for district teams seeking to delve into specific topics. The workshops are open to all Ohio districts, but SOAR Network districts receive member pricing to participate.

Fall Institute | Nov. 21, 2024
Depth Over Breadth: Concept-Based Teaching and Learning Institute
This comprehensive one-day session is designed to introduce district teams to the foundational principles of concept-based teaching and learning (CBTL), which focuses on helping students understand broad concepts that apply across various subjects, enabling them to recognize patterns, transfer knowledge, and solve problems in diverse contexts. This approach is necessary because it prepares students to think critically, adapt, and innovate in a rapidly changing world. Deeper learning is the outcome of concept-based teaching and learning.

This institute aligns with Battelle for Kids’ deeper learning “swoosh,” which emphasizes the importance of addressing both rigorous academic content and key Portrait competencies. Attending to both sides of the swoosh ensures that students not only master conceptual understanding but also develop the skills needed to apply that knowledge in meaningful ways. Participants will explore essential terminology, analyze successful CBTL models, and understand the components of a concept-based teaching system. District teams will generate actions to begin integrating CBTL into a teaching and learning framework.

On-Site Coaching/Consulting

Another new add-on experience for SOAR member districts is on-site coaching/consulting to support the important transformational work happening throughout your school system.

Battelle for Kids offers district-specific support that includes three (3) days of on-site, facilitated professional learning and consultant-supported team time. These sessions’ focus is co-developed with district leadership to provide a unique and customized experience.

Regional on-site coaching/consulting is available for districts that want to collaborate with neighboring and area districts.

Danielle Prohaska, Ed.D.

Superintendent, Mechanicsburg Exempted Village Schools
Quote Icon
“Coming together with like-minded school systems that are ready to envision a new future of education, challenge each other’s thinking, share resources and ideas is why we are part of a network.”

Benefits of Membership Also Include:

  • Membership in the EdLeader21 Network, Battelle for Kids’ national network which includes members from more than 30 states. Superintendents receive one free registration to Annual Event, scheduled for Oct. 21-23, 2024, in Indianapolis.

  • Member rates for additional Battelle for Kids consulting services, events, and/or programmatic resources.

  • Access to actionable tools and curated resources on a dedicated collaboration platform for SOAR members.

  • Early access to Battelle for Kids published reports, whitepapers, and materials throughout the school year.

  • Opportunities for feature stories to be written and published by Battelle for Kids highlighting a relevant topic or area of innovation.

  • Opportunities to co-present alongside Battelle for Kids staff at conferences and events in Ohio and across the country.

  • Opportunities to co-pitch media stories related to transformation and innovation with Battelle for Kids.

EdLeader21 Network Membership

SOAR Network members are automatically enrolled in the EdLeader21 Network, the premier national network for education transformation. Focused, collaborative learning experiences are offered throughout the year to support superintendents and their teams.

Learn More

Ready to Join?

Is your district ready to join the Ohio SOAR Network? Contact Jeff Korchinski today to discuss membership options.

Contact Battelle for Kids