Dublin's new superintendent said he will continue to work to keep the district on the path of excellence in the new year.
As Superintendent Todd Hoadley looks into 2014, he's got a long to-do list with his plans to continue improvements at Dublin City Schools.
Technology will continue to be integrated into education at Dublin City Schools in 2014.
"We'll continue to work on technology and the implementation of technology in the way we do business as a school," Hoadley said.
"We have pockets of excellence in that area. We need to make it a district of excellence."
A Chinese class has been offered at Dublin's three high schools that lets the teacher post lessons online and uses video to hold class at all three schools at the same time.
"That's a model I think you'll see us expand in the future," Hoadley said, noting the method can be used for upper-level high school courses that may have less interest at some schools than others.
"We always have to be mindful that curriculum is the same across all three high schools."
The district did not receive a first-round grant from the state's Straight A fund in 2013, but will apply for the second round in 2014.
"We're looking at who got it," Hoadley said. "We're not going to turn in the same grant request."
The grant the district turned in was based on continuous improvements through training staff in Lean Six Sigma.
"We want to be about continuous improvement here at the school district," Hoadley said.
"We want to continue down the pathway of operational excellence," he said.
The program, Hoadley said, focuses on continuous improvement in the district through efficiency and reducing defects.
"In public education we can use a business model by doing more and more for students while the financial model is decreasing," he said.
Although the district didn't receive a grant, the program will go on.
"We'll continue our partnership with Cardinal Health and OSU," Hoadley said.
"The grant request would have funded 10 people through the program. OSU allowed 10 people to go through the first four days of classes."
The district will continue to deal with the new state-mandated third grade reading guarantee in 2014.
About 10 percent of third-graders who took the state reading test in October did not meet the state benchmark. If they do not meet the benchmark when they take the test again in the spring, they will be held back.
"It's an end-of-year test that we gave to children at the beginning of the third grade," Hoadley said of the state test.
Plans are in the works to get students who did not meet state benchmarks up to snuff in time for the spring test, Hoadley said.
"Personal phone calls have been made to every parent of a student not showing the trajectory," he said. "We'll talk about how to best partner for the child."
Dublin's Race to the Top funding will end in June with the fiscal year and Hoadley said new goals will be developed.
"District goals have been aligned with Race to the Top," he said.
"In 2014, we'll have conversations on what our new goals are."
As for finances, Treasurer Stephen Osborne isn't expecting many surprises in 2014.
"It's a little less active of a year," he said. "It's not a biennial budget year.
"The state will be introducing modification bills to make any changes they need to or any adjustments if state revenue and the budget aren't made," Osborne said.
"But there's not a lot of movement at the state level as it is an election year."
The district will negotiate new contracts with classified and certified staff in 2014, Osborne said.
"Other than that, we're holding steady," he said.
For facilities, Hoadley said maintenance is the key in 2014.
"A lot of buildings were built in the 80s and 90s," he said.
"They're coming to the 20- to 30-year mark. We're having to do some things with these buildings."
In fact, Scioto High School will celebrate its 20th anniversary next year and Jerome will be 10 this year.
"Even a 10-year-old building has maintenance needs," Hoadley said, adding items such as roofs and boiler systems will be needed for older buildings.
The district will also look at enrollment and building space.
"Fortunately our enrollment is not exploding the way it was in the '80s and '90s ... but we're seeing a lot more in elementary increases in the southeast part of the district," Hoadley said.
"We are having overcrowding issue and we'll look at how to address this at elementary schools."
The district does have funding for a 13th elementary school that was approved in the 2008 bond issue.
Land has been set aside in the Jerome Village development on the northwest side for an elementary school.
The development, however, has not progressed as quickly as expected.
"Do we build elementary 13? Do we shift attendance boundaries? What does that look like? These are important decisions that require a lot of discussion," Hoadley said.
In 2014, the Dublin Board of Education will get a new member. Former Karrer Middle School Principal Rick Weininger will take a seat vacated by Gwen Callender, who did not run for re-election.