Although we are nearing the end of the school year, there's still a lot of important work and significant learning happening in Grandview schools.

Our students and staff grow and improve every day, ensuring progress in our mission to maximize and personalize every student's learning. The Grandview Heights City School District is truly a "Small Place to Dream Big!"

Springtime also signals testing time in Ohio's public schools. In addition to our regular spring testing schedule, we also administered the ACT to all 11th-grade students April 19. This is the first year we have administered this test on site at Grandview Heights High School. We will continue to provide our students with this opportunity from now on.

These tests serve as an important accountability measure to make sure our students are gaining knowledge and meeting standards. They also provide our teachers with important data for each student so we can track progress and adjust teaching and learning as needed.

In Grandview Heights schools, we recognize the value of these tests, but also acknowledge they are just a small part of the learning experience in our schools. Many of our students are taking classes that require them to think more critically, work more collaboratively and act more creatively than ever before. Our students also are involved in spring athletics, the arts, service-learning projects and preparing for graduation. We strive to offer students opportunities that inspire them and an educational environment in which they can pursue their passions, purpose and potential.

In addition to the great teaching and learning in our classrooms, the school district is in the process of engaging the Grandview Heights and Marble Cliff communities in a conversation about the state of our school buildings.

According to independent facilities experts, it would cost the district $44 million to address the maintenance needs in our buildings. That amount is well beyond the $500,000 our district has earmarked for maintenance through the annual permanent-improvement fund. Given that the average age of our buildings is 90 years, we also are dealing with mechanical systems, roofs, heating and cooling systems, windows and plumbing that are well beyond their lifespans. A plan of action is needed now to ensure our students are learning in buildings that are safe, warm and dry, and with today's learning in mind.

At 6:30 p.m. May 1, we will host a community engagement meeting in the John Glenn Community Center at Edison Intermediate/Larson Middle School to share the first presentation of draft facilities options to address the challenges of our aging school buildings. Please consider joining us for this meeting and provide your feedback.

We also will make available an online survey and invite students, staff, families, facility task force members and residents to participate so we may gather as much input as possible from our community. Ultimately, it will be the community that brings forth and fosters any facilities plan for the future of our school buildings.

As the school year draws to a close, I want to thank our staff, families, students and residents for making the Grandview Heights City School District such an important part of the Grandview Heights and Marble Cliff communities. It is a real honor and privilege to be a part of such a supportive community.

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