It's time to welcome students back for another great year of learning at Worthington Schools.

Classes resume Wednesday, Aug. 16, and Thursday, Aug. 17.

Over the past several weeks, our teachers and staff members have been busy preparing our classrooms to welcome more than 10,200 students back into our schools, where we will continue our mission to "empower a community of learners who will change the world."

We are also pleased to welcome new staff members, including new principals at Worthington Kilbourne High School, Worthington Hills Elementary School and Sutter Park Preschool. We are thrilled to have them be a part of our Worthington Schools' family and our strong tradition of excellence.

As we continue to focus on improving and growing our academic goals, we also face some unique challenges for the school year. Enrollment is on the rise and we are working to manage this growth. Our school district has added classroom trailers at Colonial Hills and Worthington Hills to address immediate enrollment needs at our elementary level.

Over the past year we have engaged the community through a facilities-planning process. The conversations we have had through multiple community meetings and in working with our community-led facilities task force have been extremely valuable.

In September, we will present a master facilities plan to the school board. Based on your feedback and our research, the plan likely will address our most immediate challenges, including:

* Finding a long-term solution for enrollment growth.

* Making sure our facilities are operating efficiently and with today's learning in mind.

* Ensuring our high school enrollment is balanced so that we may offer a variety of classes, opportunities and activities that will best prepare our students for the future.

Thank you to the hundreds of community members and to our task force for the many hours you dedicated to this process. Because of their work, I am confident that the plan will meet the expectations of our community.

I look forward to what the new school year will bring. We hope you will stay in touch by following the Worthington Schools blog at wcsdistrict.wordpress.com and by liking us on Facebook and following us on Twitter and Instagram. Visit our website at worthington.k12.oh.us.

We are grateful to our staff, families, students and community for their unwavering support of the school district. Working together, we will continue to empower a community of learners who will change the world in Worthington Schools.

Trent Bowers is superintendent of Worthington Schools. Contact him by email at tbowers@wscloud.org.