Worthington City Schools recently hosted a second round of community meetings as part of our school facilities planning process.

Worthington City Schools recently hosted a second round of community meetings as part of our school facilities planning process.

Thank you to the hundreds of community members who attended the meetings and to the many others who have watched the presentation online. More information is available on our website, worthington.k12.oh.us/facilitiesplanning, and the community will have additional opportunities to provide vital input as we move forward in the process.

Community participation is the most important part of this process. Your feedback is what guides the work of our facilities planning and is what helps shape the options and plan that will be presented to the Board of Education this spring.

In addition to your participation, we are working with experts in educational facilities planning to help us gather data on our schools when it comes to school size, attendance boundaries, maintenance costs, educational programs, athletics and fine-arts offerings in all of our schools.

We must also consider the cost of any plan and its impact on our district budget and residents.

Many would be surprised to learn that the average age of a Worthington school building is 45 years and we are seeing growth in student enrollment. Also, it has been more than two decades since our school district has taken a comprehensive look at our school buildings.

Our maintenance staff have done an excellent job maintaining our schools, but in many instances we are dealing with roofs, heating and cooling systems and structures that are operating well beyond their useful life.

In order to protect your investment in our schools, we are analyzing the way we do business to ensure we deliver on the quality and efficiency our community expects in the most economical manner possible for taxpayers.

Some residents have asked if district leaders have an idea of what the final report will look like in May or if there is a plan already in place. The simple answer is no. In fact, our facilities experts have emphasized that there is no "right" answer when it comes to a school facilities master plan. Instead, it should be locally defined and reflect the desires of the community. There is still plenty of time and opportunities for our community to be a part of it.

Please visit the facilities planning page on our website and give us your opinion as together we shape the future of our schools and community for generations to come. It's your feedback that will write the rules for the process moving forward, including the development of options for further consideration by the community-led Task Force in February and March.

Thank you for your support of our Worthington Schools and community. Have a safe and enjoyable holiday!

Superintendent's notebook is provided to ThisWeek Worthington News by Worthington City Schools. Trent Bowers is the district superintendent. He can be reached at tbowers@wscloud.org.