This was an incredible year and we have been able to plan for many amazing things to come for our school community.
We have worked diligently to address some of the impediments to our success and 2019-20 is set to be a breakthrough year in the reimagining of our district. We were able to share not only with the local community, but with the state and the nation, many wonderful things that exist in our schools and to showcase the talents of our students and staff. Prominent among those items are the following:
* We increased our investment in creating environments whereby students can feel challenged to reach and exceed their potential and to engage in academic experiences that pushed them. Our enrollment in College Credit Plus and in Advanced Placement coursework reflects the talent that exists in our student population. (In fact, we had two students graduate this year who received both their high school diplomas as well as their associate degrees from Columbus State Community College, thanks to the CCP partnership.)
The class of 2019 accrued 4,125 college credits and more than $7 million in scholarships.
* We laid the groundwork to increase our instructional effectiveness through the use of problem-based learning experiences. The further articulation of our K-12 STEM pipeline and the development of similar experiences for all kids drive this work.
* A greater degree of exposure and emphasis was placed on the arts and the importance of those venues on the progress of the whole child. Herbert Mills Elementary School earned its STEAM designation as it continues to focus on the arts and humanities as they align with their global goals.
* We recommitted to early literacy and the need to embrace equity in resource allocation. The adoption of an elementary literacy curriculum is something that our district has not undertaken in more than 10 years.
* We created the 9X Impact to provide all of our freshmen with a common experience that exposes them to real connections to our academy structure, a more supportive environment for social and emotional learning and a gradual release from middle school, and a purposeful preparation for what high-school readiness needs to resemble.
This is, as they say, just the beginning. I am so excited for our future and I cannot wait to truly reach our full potential. We are aiming toward becoming a "go-to" district, one that is a trend-setter in education nationally and that can compete with any district in the country.
We have connections with educators from around the world who reach out to tour our buildings and to collaborate on innovative practices with our staff and students.
I do not make this statement solely on the basis of test scores, as they are but one measure of progress. We must constantly seek purposeful change that can carry us to even greater heights of success.
As we have often stated, "We will not allow our kids to simply be relegated to being a test score." They are vessels of promise and hope that will lead our world in the future and we must value them as such.
I hope you take the summer to relax, recharge and refresh. We will continue to work over the coming months to continue making progress and identifying new and exciting opportunities for our students and the district for the 2019-20 school year and beyond.
Together, we can accomplish anything and I always remain #reynproud.
Melvin Brown is superintendent of Reynoldsburg City Schools. His office provides this column to ThisWeek Reynoldsburg News.