We are weeks away from Aug. 16, the first day of the 2018-19 school year for most students enrolled in the New Albany-Plain Local School District.
The summer hustle and bustle for families mirror the flurry of activity on the learning campus during summer recess.
Although students are away spending time with families, playing, earning income from summer jobs, hopefully reading and more, we have been busy preparing and repairing our school buildings, classrooms and grounds to welcome the joyful voices that make our learning campus come alive.
This summer included more capital repairs and replacements to our aging facilities based upon our community's support of the permanent-improvements levy last November.
The first phase of shingle and metal-roof replacements at New Albany High School are progressing despite some weather delays.
Replacement security cameras at the Early Learning Center, middle school and high schools have been installed, and on our bus fleet will be ready for the start of school.
Phased and necessary changes are underway for HVAC and instructional-technology systems and equipment. Painting of some faded hallways and stairwells at the Early Learning Center and high school will provide an energized climate for the new school year.
The middle school gym-floor replacement is on schedule for completion as a result of the insurance claim for flooding in May.
And, based upon the joint owner's agreement among the city of New Albany, Plain Township and school district, the deteriorating concrete stairs and the original carpet at the Jeanne B. McCoy Community Center for the Arts, 100 W. Dublin-Granville Road, are scheduled for replacement by August as a shared expense.
The summer recess is being maximized to maintain and repair our school assets thanks to our supportive community.
Each new school year provides opportunities to learn new curricula, challenge our practices, implement new programs, increase expectations, stretch to meet new benchmarks, personalize learning and welcome new students, families and staff members.
Our clarity of purpose, "to create a culture of accountability that achieves the best academic and developmental outcomes for each student," grounds our commitment to excellence in our school district.
Our academic progress continues and will be evident upon release of the report cards from the state of Ohio by September. Our increases in student-performance outcomes are combined with cost savings and improved financial stability within our five-year forecast.
The 2018-19 school year will provide new curricula designed to meet student needs with the implementation of the Lucy Calkins Writing Framework and second-year implementation of Bridges Math at the elementary level.
Intermediate, middle and high school curricula changes will focus on the implementation of college-preparatory mathematics in grades 6 to 8, algebra, geometry and statistics.
In addition, the opening of the Easton E3 Lab will expand our K-12 integration and study of energy, the environment and engineering. English and language arts, music and drama/theater curricula will be reviewed and revised.
The district will continue the well-being initiative focusing on social-emotional development, support systems, substance use and digital citizenship, while implementing and integrating the R Factor response-and-outcome training into our school culture so our learning community of students, faculty, staff members and parents can all state "I own my R" with confidence.
The new school year also will include the Here Comes the Bus tracking system for families, the redesign of our website, the beginning of our one-to-one iPad initiative at the intermediate school, increased safety and security protocols, the creation of Noble Academy at the high school and more.
We look toward August with anticipation to welcome approximately 5,000 students and our faculty, staff members and parents/guardians back to school. Back-to-school information, school-supply lists, meet-the-teacher sessions, open houses and schedule pick-up dates, plus other important information, are available on the district website at napls.us.
Watch for daily updates to the website beginning Aug. 1.
Enjoy the remaining days of summer recess, but remember, school starts Aug. 16 for all students in grades 1-12, and kindergarten and preschool students will have a phased start to the school year.
Michael Sawyers is superintendent of the New Albany-Plain Local School District.