The new year is just beginning, but there already is a long to-do list for the Grandview Heights City School District.
"There's never a slow time," Superintendent Ed O'Reilly said.
This year's slate includes implementing new technology initiatives, negotiating contracts for teachers and support staff, and complying with new state standards.
"In terms of curriculum, one of our biggest pieces is our new one-to-one Internet-ready-device policy at the high school," O'Reilly said. "Our goal and our intent is for every student in grades 9-12 to have access to an Internet-ready device, whether it's something we provide or one of their own they bring."
High school students will be allowed to use their own devices for class-related work at school, he said.
"This has required a total revamping of our infrastructure," O'Reilly said. "Two or three or four years ago, our infrastructure couldn't have handled that. Now it does, thanks to voters' support of our 2010 permanent-improvement levy."
The introduction of a learning-management system to the district gives teachers a common platform where students can access educational materials 24 hours a day, seven days a week from home, he said.
With the permanent-improvement levy in place, "we will be updating our PI plan in terms of planning expenditures and the long- and short-term projects we hope to accomplish," O'Reilly said.
Work will continue this spring to develop a foreign-language program at Stevenson Elementary School.
A "baseline program" will be in place in the fall "with a plan to grow the program," O'Reilly said.
The scope of the initial program is yet to be determined, including which languages will be taught, he said.
This month, district staff members will visit elementary schools in the Cincinnati area that operate high-level foreign-language programs, O'Reilly said.
The foreign-language program may mean additional staff will be hired at Stevenson, but at Edison Intermediate and Larry Larson Middle schools, the focus will be on hiring replacements for the seven to nine staff members expected to retire at the end of the current school year.
"This is a huge percentage when you consider there are probably 30 teachers between the two schools," O'Reilly said. "A lot of time will be spent during the spring to fill those positions for next year."
The district's contracts with its teachers and support staff will expire in August, so negotiations are expected to begin in the spring, he said.
Grandview also will work to complete its teacher and principal evaluations under the state's new system, O'Reilly said.
As 2013 ends, about half of the evaluations have been completed, he said.
Under the state's new guidelines, teachers are evaluated in equal measure by student growth and by their own performance.
The district also will complete the final steps of implementing new curriculum standards mandated by the state in math, science, social studies and English/language arts, O'Reilly said.
"Despite all these programs and initiatives and other things that can take away from teaching and learning, our teachers and students are continuing to perform at an extremely high level," he said.
"Our performance index score (on the state report card) was the highest in central Ohio," he said. "Every year, our focus is on helping our students learn and preparing them" for college and/or a career."