Both the Groveport Madison and Canal Winchester school districts secured critical operational levies in 2019, but officials from both say 2020 will bring its own share of challenges.

Groveport Madison voters approved a 6.68-mill renewal levy in November, after rejecting a combined levy-bond issue in May. Part of the funds from the spring initiative would have been used to build new schools, and several Groveport Madison officials said addressing the need for facilities is the most important project heading into the new year.

"It's my top priority, getting a facilities plan together," said Libby Gray, a school board member. "It has to be our focus so that we can figure out where we want to go with it."

Fellow board member Nancy Gillespie echoed those sentiments.

"After Issue 5, the community said loud and clear that we didn't have a good enough plan for what we want to do with our facilities," Gillespie said. "We need to figure that out, first and foremost."

Groveport Madison officials also hope to bounce back from a year that saw the district's overall letter grade on the state report card drop from a C to a D.

Although officials have plans to rectify this, Gray said, there were a number of academic bright spots in 2019: Last month, Groveport Middle School South received the 2019 Momentum Award and Groveport Middle School Central received the 2019 Schools of Honor-High Progress Award from the State Board of Education

Canal Winchester

Canal Winchester Board of Education President Kevin Butler said the district's most prominent goal for the 2020 school year will be managing growth.

Butler said this is a regular issue for the schools, but there are specific areas requiring attention.

"We have growing numbers of ESL learners (English as a Second Language) and special-education students every year," he said. "We want to make sure we're supporting these students, but we also have to do so responsibly.

"We don't want to overextend ourselves and be forced to ask the community for more money a few years down the line," Butler said.

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