Upper Arlington students will be able to enjoy three new "exciting" opportunities when they return to class Aug. 20, thanks to a $300,000 Straight A Fund grant from the Ohio Department of Education.
Emilie Greenwald, chief academic officer for the district, said the grant will pay for three programs: IT (Information Technology) @ UA; a medical academy partnership with Hilliard City Schools; and a mobile Fab Lab.
"IT@UA is a program where we provide computer courses to students that are dual enrollment for high school and college credit," she said.
Greenwald said Upper Arlington students now will also have the opportunity to attend a medical academy at Hilliard's McVey Innovative Learning Center and earn medical technology certification.
"Our IT program will be available to Hilliard students as well as Grandview Heights High School students," she said.
Upper Arlington will partner with Grandview for the third opportunity, the mobile Fab Lab.
"We will implement the mobile Fab Lab at our middle school level this year," Greenwald said.
"It is a fabrication lab on wheels that will enable our kids to design, build and evaluate their work for STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) projects," she said.
"It will be parked at our middle school at times, and sometimes parked at Grandview schools."
Greenwald said the Fab Lab program will be evaluated at the middle school level and likely will be implemented at the high school eventually.
"A part of the grant was sustainability," she said. "You were supposed to apply for programs that you could sustain once the money was gone.
"The grant paid for the elements of the Fab Lab, so we will have that," she added. "The same thing with the IT coursework. We are all ready to go there."
She said the grant provided new opportunities for students at no cost to taxpayers.
"It is a great win for us," she said.
Students returning to class next week will greet new principals at Upper Arlington High School, Barrington Elementary and Tremont Elementary.
Andrew Theado replaced Greenwald as principal at UAHS. He was the school's assistant principal for three years, so he is a familiar face to students. He said the chance to lead the school is "the opportunity of a lifetime."
"I am committed to working in collaboration with students, parents and staff members to honor the tradition of the high school and build upon it to make sure our brightest days are ahead," he said.
Before his stint as assistant principal, Theado was a science teacher and assistant coach for UAHS.
At Barrington Elementary School, Carla Wilson replaces Jason Fine as principal.
She will also be a familiar face to students, since she served as assistant principal at Barrington last year.
Prior to coming to Upper Arlington, she spent more than 10 years in Westerville City Schools as an elementary teacher, instructional coach and curriculum specialist.
Wilson said she is excited for the chance to lead Barrington.
She said staff members at the school are "dedicated to educating the whole child."
"I had a parent ask me last fall if I 'feel the magic of Barrington yet,'" she said. "I absolutely feel this magic each and every day."
At Tremont Elementary School, new principal Brett Gambill is replacing Tom Bates.
Before coming to Upper Arlington, he was principal at Hawthorne Elementary School in Westerville.
Gambill said he is getting to know Tremont's staff and administrators and is excited to get to know students.
"I want to participate with them in their lessons, hang out with them during lunch and recess and see them off at the end of the day," he said.