I must say that it is hard to believe it has only been about nine months since I officially started as superintendent for our district.

We have had many revelations and discussions about how best to move forward to create the best possible student experience that we can and the time has come to begin putting some of those thoughts into action. As we have now returned from spring break and reached the final stretch of the school year, our teachers and students have had some time to recharge their batteries to gear up to complete the school year on the most positive note possible and to look toward the next school year and beyond.

We have had a very eventful and intellectually challenging year that has compelled us to rethink our priorities and increase our alignment of efforts. We will soon have the results of our recently completed instructional audit that will provide some firm indications of our strengths and opportunities for growth, along with some recommendations as to how best to work toward continuous improvement.

In the coming weeks, we will also embark on a collective effort with a primary objective of constructing a strategic plan composed of goals and action steps that will steer us into the future. Recently, we also revealed plans to build a "Freshman Experience" that will allow us to address concerns about student preparedness for high school success, leading to productive college and career experiences following graduation.

Though we are quickly approaching the end of the school year, the efforts to increase school/community capacity remain the same. You should expect to see involvement in the Reynoldsburg community from our administration, teachers, and students all summer.

We are excited to partner with ADAMH (Alcohol, Drug and Mental Health Board of Franklin County) for a community mural project and we are thrilled to partner with the YMCA and our students for summer day camps for our kids. While the Tomato Festival is taking a year off, we will host and attend the Taste of Reynoldsburg and much more. I look forward to unveiling more summer activities in future communications.

This is also the time of year for moving forward. Fourth-graders have the opportunity to visit our middle schools to see what opportunities await them in fifth grade and beyond. Eighth-graders are selecting their academies to begin high school and finally, our seniors are preparing to head into the "real world" and experience life beyond 12th grade.

While we have many tasks ahead of us and structures to create, I also want to take a moment to reiterate how impressed I continue to be with our students, our parents, our staff and our community. It is so refreshing to experience so many individuals who take the future of education in our district so seriously and want to be part of the solutions to buoying us to even greater heights.

I sincerely thank all of you for your advocacy and I very much look forward to sharing our progress while working with our community to prepare all of our students for a future that is much different than that for which we were preparing when we were in high school. Being a community that works together in a positive manner on behalf of our students is clearly indicative of a community of people who care about each other and the future of its city. Reynoldsburg is that community.

We have an opportunity to do incredible, groundbreaking work that can build on the visionary achievements of our past. I am thankful to be able to be a part of that journey. Together we can accomplish anything.

As always, I remain #reynproud!

Melvin J. Brown is superintendent of Reynoldsburg schools. This column is provided to ThisWeek-Reynoldsburg News by his office.