The beginning of the school year is an exciting time for all of us and it is my pleasure to welcome our students back for a new school year! The summer months provide valuable time for our families to slow down and build important memories. It is also the time our staff uses to recharge our internal batteries, collect our thoughts, and renew our commitment and passion to ensure we are able to provide the best educational experiences for our students.
Accomplishing our vision - To be the model school district for excellence in student success, opportunities, and safety, exemplified through our commitment to our students’ educational experiences – is collectively dependent upon all of us being committed to our mission: OUR STUDENTS • THEIR FUTURES • OUR FOCUS.
As we start this new school year, it is important for our community to know we have made improvements to teaching and learning, and we will continue to ensure our students are afforded numerous educational opportunities to meet all types of interests. In the last few years, we have thoroughly reviewed our core curriculum resources and adopted programs that are data proven to enhance learning. Starting this year, students, parents, and staff will be able to access resources more efficiently using ClassLink, a one click single sign-on into web and Windows applications. Students and staff will no longer need to remember numerous passwords to access instructional resources. However, it is important to know that we believe the most effective instructional resource, is an excellent teacher supporting our students to think critically, express their creativity, and develop the collaboration and communication skills needed for their future success. Once again, the most recent preliminary assessment data demonstrates our position as a leader in student achievement throughout the county, state, and nation. Congratulations to our students, staff, and families!
Additionally, it is an honor to share with you that BCHS has been recognized by U.S. News & World Reports with the Silver Award as one of the nation’s and Ohio’s best high schools. The U.S. News rankings include data on more than 20,500 public high schools in 50 states and the District of Columbia. Schools were awarded gold, silver, or bronze medals based on their performance on state assessments and how well they prepare students for college - only 13% of the schools received a Gold or Silver Award.
Further improvements to safety and security have been made by adding a full-time district resource officer, replacing several exterior doors with access control features, and installing internal door barricades. Personnel will now be available to address mental-health and social-emotional needs of our students at a younger age.
Because of our community’s support of Issue 3 in May of 2018, we are continuing to work on the issuing of bonds and obtaining design and construction manager services for a new K-5 elementary school – several opportunities for staff and community involvement will be communicated and made available once agreements are finalized. We have stayed on track with our tentative timeline communicated throughout the campaign last spring. Beginning this late August or early September, we will begin the programming and concept design stages. Throughout the next school year we will work through the schematic design, design development, and construction document development stages of the project. Early site work is targeted to begin at our Carroll-Eastern property in the summer of 2019 with a new K-5 elementary being completed in the Spring of 2021.
As we continue to make improvements and progress, we do so in a fiscally conservative manner. For example, we are working to reduce energy consumption and costs by beginning the early stages of an LED lighting project, and, when possible, by revisiting vendor agreements for numerous resources used throughout the district. We are pleased to share that this past school year was our sixth consecutive year finishing with an operating surplus.
Progress is clearly being made and we remain committed to working together to support our students. I wish all of our students, families, staff, and community members a very successful 2018-2019 school year!