The New Albany-Plain Local school board on Nov. 21 accepted $50,000 in donations to continue its benchmarking efforts this school year.

The New Albany-Plain Local school board on Nov. 21 accepted $50,000 in donations to continue the district's benchmarking efforts this school year.

"That will cover all of our work this year," Superintendent April Domine said.

The Westerville-based Corna Kokosing Construction Co. and the New Albany Community Foundation each donated $25,000, she said.

The benchmarking advisory committee was formed as an objective of the district's updated master plan. It has spent the past eight months identifying some of the best schools in the nation to glean best-practices that could be used to help the district achieve its mission of ensuring "the development of high-achieving, ethical, self-directed and intellectually curious citizens of the world."

A group of 14 or 15 people will visit the Minnetonka Public Schools in Minnesota, the top district identified by the committee, in February. The group is expected to include school administrators, teachers and leaders from the teachers union, the Plain Local Education Association. They will ask questions and observe education practices at Minnetonka, Domine said.

Part of the $50,000 will be used to pay for the visit, and some of the money will help support a visit from Minnetonka administrators and teachers to New Albany this spring.

Domine said the work the benchmarking advisory committee will do this year includes the two site visits and continued research on how New Albany-Plain Local can achieve its mission. The committee will detail those findings in a report at the end of the school year. Research tools that need to be purchased will be funded by the $50,000 donation.

Domine said the next step in the benchmarking effort is to research international best practices and the best international schools.