Reynoldsburg News

Reynoldsburg schools

Academics, safety, fiscal responsibility are goals

By ThisWeek Community News  • 

The Reynoldsburg City Schools Board of Education established formal district goals for 2014 at its last meeting of the year Dec. 17.

"We have had goals for each year, but I was hoping we could formally approve goals this year," Superintendent Steve Dackin said.

He said the goals are designed to create a culture of learning for students that requires "full engagement, authentic assessment, citizenship development and full participation in the school, community and city."

Dackin said the three main and "timeless" goals are academic excellence, safety and security and fiscal responsibility.

"Academic excellence will be measured by the state report card," he said.

The academic goals outline targets for next year's state report card that include achieving an A in gap-closing for achievement in student groups such as ethnic groups and students with disabilities; that would be a higher score than this year's B. The target for gifted students' progress is a C or better, which would be higher than the D earned this year.

Target grades also were listed for the 2014-15 and 2015-16 school years with the aim of having the district reach all A's on all report card components by 2015-16.

"When the state begins measuring prepared for success and literacy targets, we would measure those by the number of our students enrolled in Advanced Placement and dual-enrollment classes," Dackin said.

The safety and security goal includes the mission statement, "All students will have hope and optimism for a more preferred future."

"There is a growing body of research around hope and how it can contribute to a child's future," he said.

The goal states that every building will strive to "create customized, personalized learning environments in which students are known, trusted, empowered, connected and honored."

Physical safety also is a part of that goal, with benchmarks next year that include collecting baseline data on all emergency evacuation drills, tornado drills and school safety drills. The benchmarks for the next two years include recording all of those drills.

Under fiscal responsibility, the targets include having a positive cash balance and that the balance will be about $12.8 million by the end of fiscal year 2014. The district's cost per pupil also is targeted to stay on the low side. It is currently at $9,313, lower than most central Ohio school districts.

"We want to make sure also that more of our resources are directed to the classroom and have set a goal that our personnel expenses will go below 75 percent of our operating revenues," Dackin said.

In other board business Dec. 17, Dackin told board members that the $14 million Straight A Fund grant from the state of Ohio would be "transformational" to the 12 school districts, including Reynoldsburg, involved in the Pathways to Prosperity Network.

"We intend to have some new opportunities available for students as early as fall 2014," he said. "This will accelerate a lot of the goals we have."

The Pathways to Prosperity Network includes the Columbus, Whitehall, Upper Arlington, Canal Winchester, Olentangy, Hilliard, Westerville and Gahanna-Jefferson school districts.

It is designed to create opportunities for students to earn college credit and get workplace experience before graduating from high school.

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