Upper Arlington school district officials will seek to personalize student learning by using technology in 2016, as well as continue to shape a plan for a major facilities overhaul.

Upper Arlington school district officials will seek to personalize student learning by using technology in 2016, as well as continue to shape a plan for a major facilities overhaul.

Superintendent Paul Imhoff identified personalized learning, facilities planning and teaching and learning accountability as the district's top priorities for 2016.

Personalized learning, he said, will continue to be enhanced through technology.

The district got a jump on this initiative in December when it launched a program to give laptop computers to all students in grades six through 12.

That effort will continue for kindergarten through fifth-grade students next fall.

"One of the first major steps of this goal was to get personal technology devices into the hands of our students," Imhoff said. "But these devices are just a tool -- much like pencil and paper or a chalkboard. In the coming year, we will continue to focus on how these new tools can help our teachers differentiate instruction and spend more time with individual students."

Imhoff said district staffers also will focus on personalization techniques that don't involve technology.

"Our staff is our greatest asset, and when they work together, there's nothing that cannot be achieved for our students," he said.

Another top objective will be to determine how to proceed with major renovations at the district's nine school buildings, which average 60 years in age.

In November, construction consultants identified between $156 million and $188 million in needed upgrades that would yield increased classroom space, additional room for teachers and students to engage in collaborative learning projects and enhanced natural lighting in classrooms.

"Upper Arlington's reputation is great schools," said Nancy Drees, who served as Upper Arlington Board of Education president in 2015. "Over the next 10 years, UA's student enrollment projections are expected to grow by nearly 100 students in every school -- that's nearly 1,000 new students overall.

"And the recent assessment of our buildings gave us a look into our future: $188 million to maintain over the next 15 years," she said. "The board realizes the importance of efficiency in order to maximize our performance."

Imhoff said reviews of options for how to improve buildings will start this month.

"During that phase, community volunteers on our building teams will explore other options than simply maintaining the buildings," he said.

"We invite everyone in our community to take part in one or more building teams. Signing up is as easy as visiting uaschools.org/buildingteams. We hope to hear from as many community members as possible during this process."

The district's third priority in 2016 will be to continue working on its "Accountability/Quality Profile," which seeks to provide teachers, students and parents with more data to chart student learning and growth.

"It's meant to go beyond the data in the state report card and provide residents with a full and transparent update on the district's strengths and areas of need," Imhoff said. "We mailed a summary of this document to all UA homes this year, and the full report is available at uaschools.org/ qualityprofile.

"The website also has a place for residents to give their feedback so that we can continue to refine the quality profile in coming years," he said.