Andrew R. Sprang
GREAT THINGS GOING ON IN FOSTORIA CITY SCHOOLS
Welcome to the 2018-19 school year!
The new school year is rapidly approaching and preparations are underway to continue to build upon the progress that the district has been making. One of our goals is to provide the best opportunity possible for our students and doing this within budget. This year we have continued our work on updating curriculum materials, course offerings, and technology.
As the new school year starts there will be new materials in the science classrooms, as the district has purchased new materials for all grade levels. These materials in many cases were between 10-15 years old. With the implementation of the new science programs, you will see more hands-on activities that will engage the students in the discovery and learning at a higher level. A goal of the district’s work with curriculum and materials is to provide these resources in a manner that is relevant to the students and also prepares them for the types of activities that they will see as they move into careers and everyday life.
Another endeavor that the district has taken on is the implementation of a 1:1 program with students in grades 5-12. Technology is a significant part of the lives of students today, whether it is in the classroom through lessons and assessments, or there lives outside of the school day. This year these students will be given a Chromebook that they will be able to use in the classroom and take home to complete assignments in the evening. Most of our curriculum programs have technology components that have been underutilized, whether it is tutorials or readings at various levels as examples. With these devices, students will be able to take advantage of these opportunities to enhance their classroom experience.
It has often been said that it takes the entire community to raise a child. A very exciting opportunity has presented itself this year for the district to expand opportunities to work with the Fostoria Learning Center and Terra State Community College to start an early-college high school program. This year will be the first cohort to begin taking classes at the learning center that will put them on course towards an associates degree as an expansion of our College Credit Plus Program. This program allows students to be earning college credits for free as long as they maintain a passing grade in the course. Partnering with our community resources will allow our students to experience instruction from college professors and have more of a structured college experience while being able to stay in our community. We are extremely grateful for the opportunity to develop this program and look forward to expanding it beyond this initial cohort of students after this school year.
Along with the changes that have been explained we are looking to continue our progress in existing areas of what the district offers. Last year Longfellow obtained Lighthouse status as one of 8 schools in the state of Ohio to have this distinction. Across the district, we want to continue to develop our young leaders as we have Leader in Me programs across all of our district. Beyond the Leader in Me active involvement is crucial to student success in all areas of their learning. It has been a proven theory that if students are involved in something within the school, whether it is the arts, athletics, DECA, or any of the clubs that we offer that they will be more successful in the classroom. I encourage all of our students to take advantage of the numerous opportunities and continue doing something they have done in the past or to try something new in order to enhance their school experience.
With these changes, it is hard not to be excited about the new opportunities that our students can have in the upcoming school year as well as into the future. I look forward to working with all of you to make this school year a great year for our students.
Building Project Update
There is a great deal of visible progress being made on both the 7-12 as well as what will become the PK-6 buildings. The biggest point of progress that will impact us in the near future is the addition at the PK-6 is working towards a December completion date so that those classrooms can be occupied as swing space in the second half of the school year. This is vital for two reasons in particular. The first was to condense the overall scale of the project timeline, which helped with costs when the project was put out to bid. The second point is by utilizing these classrooms as swing space this allows for more project funds to be used on items that will stay in the district after project completion, instead of spending money on setup and tear down of modular trailers for temporary classrooms.
Current work that is not as visible deals with preparing for the next round of items to go out to bid. After the first of the year loose furnishings- desks, chairs, library furniture, technology, and the playground will be going out. Currently, we are working to get some sample furniture to test out in the district over the next few weeks. We also have held an initial technology package meeting and will be doing the same shortly for the playground as well.