From the superintendent's desk
District ready for state education reforms
Ohio's education system is experiencing an unprecedented number of proposed and soon to be implemented reforms.
Our district welcomes tougher academic standards and higher expectations of students and staff.
At the same time, the Dublin City School District has seen its state funding reduced while our student enrollment continues to grow.
These challenges represent opportunities for our district to grow stronger and more efficient.
New this year is the State of Ohio's Third Grade Reading Guarantee.
The goal of Senate Bill 316 is to ensure that all Ohio students are reading at grade level by the end of the third grade.
Beginning next school year, if a third-grade student is not reading at grade level, he or she will be retained.
While this mandate would affect only a small percentage of our students, it is our goal that all of our students read at grade level.
Literacy has long been a point of emphasis in our district, and the teachers involved in our Early Literacy Initiative (ELI), Reading Recovery, and Reading Support programs are experts in helping students with reading issues.
Another change on the way is the implementation of the Common Core standards as mandated by the State of Ohio.
The Common Core is a set of internationally benchmarked teaching standards that is designed to help students better prepare for college, career and competition in the global economy.
The Common Core standards must be implemented by the 2014-15 school year and we have already been working diligently on the transition.
We will continue to communicate with you regarding the adoption of the Common Core standards as we move through the process.
The good news is we have been planning, and continue to plan, for the implementation of both the Third Grade Guarantee and the Common Core standards.
We will continue to communicate with our community on these issues.
As is often the case, as new mandates are issued by the State of Ohio, there is no accompanying funding to implement the changes.
In fact, the state has significantly reduced funding to the district during the current state budget cycle.
The reduction in funding comes as our district continues to add students each year.
On the first day of school this year, nearly 200 new students had enrolled in our district since the first day of school last year.
We began the year as Ohio's 12th largest district, with a student enrollment exceeding 14,850 students.
The district has added more than 1,200 students since 2007.
Financial challenges and governmental reforms are not new to our district.
We can all be proud our students and staff remain focused on learning.
We have some great success stories we will be sharing with you this fall.
We recently learned that our average composite ACT score has hit an all-time high of 25.1.
The Ohio average composite ACT score is 21.8.
In a five-year span, the district's average composite ACT score has risen from 24.3 to 25.1.
Students continue to improve on this important college entrance exam as participation numbers in the ACT rise each year.
More than 80 percent of Dublin City Schools high school students take the ACT exam.
Student participation in Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) classes in our district continues to rise.
Last year, Dublin City Schools was one of fewer than 400 public school districts in the nation being honored by the College Board with a place on the 2nd Annual AP Honor Roll, for simultaneously increasing access to Advanced Placement coursework while maintaining or increasing the percentage of students earning scores of 3 or higher on AP exams.
Although we do not have final 2011-12 Ohio Local Report Card data at this point, we look forward to sharing our student's academic accomplishments with our community when the data is released by the Ohio Department of Education.
Our preliminary results indicate our students have continued to achieve at high levels.
Dublin City School District Superintendent David Axner submitted the For the Superintendent's desk column to the ThisWeek Dublin Villager.