Our statement of purpose, "to create a culture of accountability that achieves the best academic and developmental outcomes for each student," provides clarity and focus for education in the New-Albany Plain Local Schools daily.

We have and will continue to be accountable for ensuring our students' needs, both academic and social-emotional, remain at the forefront of our continuous improvement.

Our talented faculty and staff members and administrators work daily to create and facilitate the academic-learning environments and culture that produces the educational outcomes our incredible students, families and community deserve. Continuous improvement requires an honest assessment of our ability to meet the educational needs of all students preparing for college, careers and life.

Being ready for college means that a high school graduate has the knowledge and skills necessary to qualify for and succeed in entry-level, credit-bearing college courses without the need for remedial coursework.

Ohio's dual-enrollment program, College Credit Plus, provides students in grades 7 to 12 the opportunity to earn college and high school credits at the same time by taking courses from Ohio colleges or universities. At New Albany High School, we provide on-site college courses in partnership with Columbus State Community College, Kenyon College and Wright State University.

Additionally, our students have access to Advanced Placement courses that may earn college credit, honors-level courses and other high school curricula aligned to rigorous standards. Although students are challenged to meet high expectations for learning, our teaching faculty is responsible to help every student demonstrate growth.

Being career-ready means that a high school graduate is equipped with the knowledge and skills deemed essential for success or preparation for the workforce.

Career-readiness competencies include critical thinking, problem solving, sound reasoning, decision making, communication and collaboration skills.

Although such workforce competencies are integrated into our partnership with the Eastland-Fairfield Career & Technical Schools, such skills also are integrated into the curricula of our entire learning campus to contribute to our ability to enable our students to be life-ready.

Being life-ready means students leave high school with the grit and perseverance to tackle and achieve their goals by demonstrating personal actualization of self-awareness, self-management, social-awareness, responsible decision making and relationship skills, all competencies and attributes that are expected for higher education, the workforce or in service to our country.

Students who are life-ready possess the growth mindset that empowers them to approach their future with confidence, to dream and to achieve as a result of the high-quality education received in our school district.

Our schools also provide social and emotional support and experiences to equip our students with life skills to succeed in the present and in the future.

Our school culture and the disciplines of the R Factor challenge our students to recognize they don't control events or outcomes, but based upon the discipline of their response, an outcome is earned. We are working daily to instill the behaviors necessary for students to own their responses to influence and achieve the outcomes desired.

Our purpose demands for us to own our responses as a school district to continue to produce outcomes that meet the needs of each student.

As we look toward our future, we will sustain the excellent teaching and learning occurring, improve where data identify opportunities, continue to implement age-appropriate social-emotional programs and supports, and challenge the status quo to recognize that all of our students do not do "school" the same way.

In the coming months, we look forward to sharing with you the exciting "pathways" and "partnerships" that we are expanding for our students to empower them to be college-, career- and life-ready, regardless of their choice to enroll, enlist or become employed upon graduation.

Michael Sawyers is superintendent of New Albany-Plain Local Schools.