If it's August, then it's back-to-school time.

As we begin the 2019-20 school year in Grandview Heights Schools, our mission to maximize and personalize every student's learning continues to be our top priority.

Strengthening our district academically, financially and operationally are priorities as well.

As part of our continuous-improvement plan, we have three main goals to help us meet our mission: evolve curriculum and teaching methods; create personalized learning experiences; and design and implement innovative learning spaces in our facilities.

Academically, our district continues to make progress, as reflected on the preliminary, unofficial release of the most recent state report card and other academic measures.

Grandview Heights Schools likely will earn a Performance Index score of 105.1, which once again likely would be the highest in Franklin County. We also anticipate earning an overall A on the state report card, which would put Grandview Heights Schools in an elite group of districts throughout the state. Additionally, 100% of our students met the Third Grade Reading Guarantee threshold.

When it comes to college preparation, participation in our Advanced Placement courses is at its highest level, with more students achieving exam scores of 3 or higher.

Financially, our district rating has improved from AA to AA+, which will aid in lowering interest rates for financing school construction.

In addition, due to the collaborative efforts of the school district, city of Grandview Heights and Nationwide Realty Investors, the district was able to renegotiate the school-compensation agreement for the Grandview Yard development, resulting in taxpayers paying less for new and renovated facilities.

Operationally, safety enhancements and ADA access, as part of the Facilities Master Plan, remain a top priority of the district.

Grandview Heights Schools has updated phone systems and installed more cameras throughout the district as well as made changes to improve ADA access for the coming school year.

For the third year in a row, we have participated in ALICE training and proudly hold the top participation rate in the country for a school district.

It is with pride and anticipation that we begin this school year.

With our efforts to meet our goals, we will continue to be "A Small Place to Dream Big."

Andy Culp is superintendent of Grandview Heights Schools.