Dublin Villager

New faces, face-lifts greet returning students

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There will be a few changes when Dublin City Schools students return to class Aug. 20.

The district is back in session this month and students will notice a few differences -- from construction that took place over the summer to a few new faces in the buildings.

Several retirements will have new teachers in classrooms and new administrators leading the district, said Superintendent Todd Hoadley.

"Through retirement, we lost great teachers and administration," he said. "There's been a lot of hard work going on with hiring new people. ... There are three new principals and I'm excited to see their new leadership."

On the academic side, students will benefit from new computers.

"The second thing I'm really excited about is the integration of some new technology," Hoadley said. "We got $1.5 million this year from the Bridge Street agreement. We've been purchasing new computers and updating technology. We haven't added to the total number of computers, we've been updating what we have. ... I'm excited to see students working with more up-to-date technology this year."

In the classrooms, teachers will have more opportunities for professional development as 12 new literacy and numeracy coaches travel between elementary schools this year.

Hoadley said the coaches were repurposed from other positions around the district.

"Rather than having teachers come out of the classroom, these coaches will go into the classroom and provide real-time professional development," he said. "This will vastly reduce the amount of time we pull teachers out of the classroom."

Around the district, students will return to improved schools after summer capital improvements projects.

"We did a lot of work on roofs, but they probably aren't going to notice -- but it's still important work," district Business Affairs Director Annette Morud said.

New roofs were installed at Karrer Middle School and Pinney and Bailey elementary schools, she said, and Jerome and Scioto high schools got partial roof replacements.

The weight room at Coffman High School is being expanded and work should be completed by the end of the month, Morud said.

Several renovations at Davis Middle School started over the summer and should be complete by the end of October.

"We've done some work on the serving area in the kitchen and added a new serving line to make it more efficient and attractive," Morud said. "We're working right now on adding restrooms on the addition and enlarging the commons. The work is pretty much all outside, so it shouldn't impact the way the building runs."

At Coffman High School, the orchestra pit was improved over the summer, and turf at all three high school stadiums has been replaced.

Behind the scenes, work will be ongoing this year on a K to Industry program, for which the district received an Ohio Department of Education Straight A grant.

"Parents will hear a lot about STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) programming," Hoadley said. "It's about opening pathways to computer programming to our students."

The district also will continue work on becoming more efficient using Lean Six Sigma techniques, Hoadley said.

"We've been training people this summer on the support side ... on process improvements through a partnership with Lean Ohio," he said. "We're really going to ramp up those."

Community members may not initially notice the work, but Hoadley said they might see changes as the school year goes on.

"Hopefully parents will see the end result, which is smoother processes," he said.

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