As hard as it is to believe, we find ourselves in the midst of the holiday season once again and before we know it, the real cold of a Northwest Ohio Winter will once again upon us. Be prepared with all of the necessary back up plans and enjoy it the best you can.
Here at school, I am impressed with the learning taking place in our classrooms. Our students and teachers are making the most of the opportunities afforded them and I am excited by the growth that is apparent. I encourage all of you to take an opportunity to visit our school for a concert, ball game or other activity. You will be glad you did.
Our school is our community’s school. The resources required to turn out the next generation of educated citizens come from all of us. From the contributions of our parents to those of our neighbors, a community effort is what it takes to provide excellent educational opportunities for the youngsters in our community and I thank you for the support you provide.
As you know, our school district has had to make changes in the way we operate in order to provide excellent educational opportunities. Our district last requested a levy for additional operating funds in March of 2008. With the passage of that levy along with the substantial reorganization of the district that included some tough choices such as the closure of Lark Elementary, pay to participate fees for athletics and other activities and the accepting of open enrollment students, we have been able to maintain programs for our students in the face of reduced support from the State of Ohio.
I continue to be pleased to report as our school superintendent and as a fellow Northwood tax payer that our district is presently on stable financial footing. Our commitment is to continue to do our best to manage costs and only come back for additional operating money when it becomes a necessity.
As you know, our Board of Education has accepted the opportunity to partner with the State of Ohio to address our school’s facility needs and had a levy on the ballot in November that would have provided our local share for that effort. While that levy failed to garner majority support of our electorate last month, the need to address our facilities remains and must be dealt with. That plan, which was developed by community members through a great deal of study and analysis over the course of the last year called for building a new 21st century facility providing completely updated educational facilities for all of our students. If you have ideas on how that plan can be improved, please share them with me or a member of the Board of Education.
Now is the time to embrace this opportunity of a lifetime. We need to address our aging buildings, bond rates (borrowing costs) are low and the State of Ohio, for a limited time, is willing to pay 35% of the total cost. The Ohio Facilities Construction Commission (OFCC) has earmarked over 11 and a half million dollars IF we provide our share locally ---just as other communities have done to address their facility needs. We are not likely to ever see a better or less expensive opportunity to address our facility needs. If not now, when? And at what cost?
As you have all heard me say before, we are fortunate to live in a community that continues to demonstrate a serious commitment to excellent educational opportunities for our children. As superintendent of our school district, as the parent of a first grader and as a community member, I continue to be impressed and sincerely appreciate our community commitment to our children and their future. We understand educating our youngsters is an investment in the future prosperity of our city, our state and our nation in addition to simply being the right thing to do. Providing these opportunities for our children is not something that comes without some sacrifice on our part as community members and with that understanding comes our school’s commitment to work to do it well at a price we can afford.
As always, I welcome your questions, comments and suggestions.
Northwood Local Schools
500 Lemoyne Road
Northwood, OH 43619