It's been a great start to the school year in the Grandview Heights City School District. Our students and staff are working every day to improve, grow and learn. Whether it's the classroom, the athletics fields, the marching band, vocal music or art room, our students are exploring their passions, developing purpose and unlocking their potential.

Over the past several weeks, our school district, community and board of education received important news that impacts both student achievement and our school facilities.

On Sept. 14, Ohio school districts received the latest state report card from the Ohio Department of Education. Grandview continues to be among the top school districts in Ohio and is ranked 26th out of 608 school districts throughout the state.

The district also earned, once again, the highest performance index score in Franklin County at 103.8.

We are proud of our ongoing achievement, especially at a time when the state is constantly changing the way it evaluates performance. The state continues to raise the bar when it comes to proficiency and our teachers and students are rising to the challenge.

While we experienced areas of progress and success, the results also point to where our schools can do better. We will evaluate our data and adjust our curriculum and teaching where necessary so that we continue to work toward growth and improvement.

Following the news on the report card, I presented a recommendation to our board on how to address our aging school buildings. The recommendation comes after much research, analysis and hundreds of conversations and meetings with community members.

The facilities plan recommends that the school board consider renovating Stevenson Elementary School and Grandview Heights High School and building a new school for students in grades 4-8 at a potential cost of $45 million to $50 million, which could change based on the selection of materials and inflation.

It also includes an additional $2 million in recommended renovations to current athletics fields, which would include a combination of new builds and repairs to locker rooms and restrooms, renovating the home stands and adding ADA-compliant access and seating to home and visiting stands.

There is still a lot of work to do as part of the facilities plan, including the establishment of a community-led financial advisory committee. This committee will assist the school district in making recommendations to the board regarding both funding the facility plan and a possible operating levy.

There will be many more opportunities for the community to be involved in this important process and I encourage you to continue to join the conversation.

It's a busy and exciting time in our Grandview Heights schools. As important events occur and decisions are being made, I will keep our community updated so that our residents may remain informed and engaged. Thank you for your ongoing support of our schools and students.

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