January 7, 2019
Dear Reynoldsburg City Schools’ Families, Staff and Students,
I would like to take a moment to say Happy New Year and welcome to 2019. We had a very eventful first half of the school year and we have a lot of work to do as we head into the second half. As we returned from Winter Break on January 2, I had the opportunity to talk with our staff about our mission, vision, and plans for Reynoldsburg City Schools’ future during our Winter Academy, a professional learning day for our administrators, teachers, and staff. In this, I provided an overview of what we will look to employ for the future for our District.
Earlier in the
school year, we adopted the Mission Statement, Empowering leaders who impact the
NOW and innovate the FUTURE. The term “leaders” is very important for us as we take the leadership development of our staff and students very seriously. We recognize that, while we as the adults, are charged to lead and propel the District forward, our students also have a responsibility for being part of that leadership. They have incredible ideas and insight that can help us to be more successful in our daily endeavors. They, too, have ideas about how they want our District to grow and improve and they also know what many of their needs are as students and community members. We have four focus areas that capture our District Vision Statements (available on reyn.org) and each of those areas is as follows: Student Learning, Student Experience, Communication, and Finance. A keen focus on each of those areas will guide our work as we look to embrace continuous improvement. We will use each of these focus areas to craft goals and action steps associated with the completion of our Strategic Plan.
We are in the
process of creating what we call, a Portrait of a Reynoldsburg Graduate.
This will be a comprehensive view of skills and experiences that every graduate
will possess before they walk across the stage to receive their high school
diplomas. We understand that this portrait is and must be impacted by the
entire K-12 experience that our students receive.
We are also looking
at what the high school experience looks like for incoming freshmen. While we
create a Portrait of Reynoldsburg Graduate, we need to ensure that we are
working to meet the needs of our rising ninth graders as they transition into
high school. We want to make high school a successful experience for all four
years and to provide consistent, collective support for each and every student.
We will do this through The 9X Impact, an experience that
will ensure our children are high school ready, future focused, inspired to
making an academy choice and socially and emotionally ready for high school and
We are working to
align all of our efforts for the benefit of students, including how we can
better articulate our programming from Kindergarten through 12th Grade. Each grade is a building block in a student’s academic experience and they work together to foster productive and successful learning.
The use of time is important to our academic success. We are in the process of
reviewing how well we use our daily schedules to increase opportunities for
students in and outside of the classroom. Examining our use of teacher
collaboration time can result in more purposeful opportunities for teacher
planning, varied academic experiences for students, and additional flexibility
and creativity for teachers.
Finally, we know
that we must be more mindful of the social and emotional needs of our students.
Mental health, anti-bullying, and student support mechanisms are not measured
on a report card, but we know that a failure to address these types of needs
will result in the lack of success of far too many students.
As we look out
three to five years into our future, we have to be considerate of our continued
emphasis on financial planning as well as building space usage and allocation.
The District is growing and that is a wonderful problem to have. Two major
issues that we must tackle in our not too distant future are Full Day
Kindergarten and expanded Preschool Opportunities. We will have much more
discussion about these future initiatives as we go forward.
Change is good and
we are definitely in an era of change. As we work towards the future, we cannot
remain stagnant or the evolution of our District will be stunted. We will seek
input and support from our community, staff, and students. As we work to
address the needs of all of our students, we also intend to ensure that
Reynoldsburg City Schools is an innovative place to learn and it is recognized
not only in Ohio, but nationwide.
I look forward to
sharing additional thoughts and working with you all in the coming months. Here
is to an exciting and energetic 2019. I am, and remain always, #reynproud!
Melvin J. Brown
Reynoldsburg City Schools
Click here to read a PDF of the letter.