Educational Service Centers (ESCs) have been making a difference in  Ohio’s schools for the past 95 years. ESCs were established in 1914  through an act of the Ohio General Assembly. The law created 88 “County  School Districts” and charged them with the task of “elevating the  state’s system of education to a proper standard.” This effort entailed  county office staff members drafting courses of study for school  systems, providing in-service training for teachers and assuring quality  classroom instruction through supervision and evaluation.

The  role of the county offices of education evolved and expanded over the  next several decades. In the 1930’s, they began assisting districts with  fiscal and purchasing services; later in the 1960’s, their  responsibilities expanded again as they began operating special  education programs and increased professional development and technical  assistance for schools.

In 1995 Am. Sub. H.B. 117 changed the  role of the “County School Districts” by redefining their  responsibilities, and renaming them “Educational Service Centers” - a  statutory name change intended to reflect the evolving nature of ESC  programs and services. The law also encouraged county offices to merge  into regional agencies.  On December 30th, 1996 a charter was issued  declaring a merger of the county school districts of Defiance, Henry,  Fulton, and Williams into what is now known as the Northwest Ohio  Educational Service Center (NWOESC).

The Northwest Ohio ESC employs  approximately 350 regular staff members and additional staff in  after-school or grant related programming. The staff serves over 25,000  students in 23 school districts across northwest Ohio, including  Archbold, Ayersville, Bryan, Central, Defiance City, Edgerton, Edon  Northwest, Evergreen, Fayette, Hicksville, Holgate, Liberty Center,  Millcreek-West Unity, Montpelier, Napoleon, North Central, Northeastern,  Patrick Henry, Pettisville, Pike-Delta-York, Stryker, Swanton and  Wauseon.  We partner with the Four County Career Center and Penta Career Center as well.

ESCs  across the state continue to be vital and necessary components of  Ohio’s educational system. Am. Sub. H.B. 115 of the 127th General  Assembly created the Ohio Educational Regional Service System and  positioned ESCs to serve as the conduit and delivery system for Ohio’s  statewide school improvement and education reform efforts. Under the new  law, ESCs must implement state or federally funded initiatives assigned  to the service centers by the General Assembly or the Ohio Department  of Education. 
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