How do you get your information about Grandview Heights schools -- by reading ThisWeek Tri-Village News or the district newsletter, visiting the district website, or perhaps by following us on Facebook or Twitter?

Technology certainly has made it easier to send messages in a moment's notice. Using texts, email and social media, our schools can share information in a timely and efficient manner.

While technology is convenient, I believe it will never replace the value of one-on-one conversations. One of my favorite, and often most productive, ways to communicate with the community is by sharing information and answering questions during the monthly Coffee & Conversation gatherings I host. The get-togethers are held from 8:15 to 9:15 a.m. the third Friday of each month, August through May, at Marshall's in Grandview, unless announced otherwise.

Due to the success of these monthly morning coffees with residents and parents, we are in the process of scheduling evening gatherings in the homes of your friends and neighbors.

I truly value this dedicated time during which residents and school officials can share information, provide and seek input, and address concerns in a casual, relaxed setting.

These conversations allow us to dig deeper into complex issues that impact our community, one of which is the facilities planning process. Our staff is doing an excellent job in providing a great education for our students, but our aging school buildings continue to be a challenge. Many would be shocked to learn that the average age of our buildings is 90 years old.

Although the buildings are well cared for, the cost to maintain them continues to rise. According to independent facilities experts, it would cost the district $44 million to address the maintenance needs in our buildings.

As we plan and prepare for the future of our schools and facilities, the most important part of the process is your input. By sitting down with residents and stakeholders, we can share facts, exchange ideas and gather feedback to help shape the future of our schools.

Be part of the conversation by attending the next community engagement meeting May 1, joining us for Coffee & Conversation at 8:15 a.m. April 21, or hosting a neighborhood coffee.

For more information about meeting dates, times and locations, visit ghcsd.org. Those who would like to host a gathering in their home may email me at superintendent@ghcsd. org.

I look forward to talking with you soon!

Andy Culp is superintendent of the Grandview Heights City School District.