Administrators present state of Bay schools
Administrators from the Bay Village City School District gave their annual State of the Schools presentation to the Bay Village Kiwanis and members of the community on Oct. 29. Much of the focus this year was on the new statewide standards and the district’s curriculum adaptations, where emphasis is placed on students’ comprehensive understanding of concepts and integration of skills across subjects.
The district has carefully managed the 2012 bond revenue, aiming to extend the life of the levy beyond the traditional three to four years, with three bid packages completed under budget, even with upgrades to the original bids. Necessary infrastructure and technology upgrades have been performed or are nearing completion, with two more rounds in the planning stages.
A video of the entire State of the Schools presentation is available on the Bay Village Schools website at bayvillageschools.com/stateofschools. More detailed information about the topics discussed can be found on the webpages listed in each section below.
BOND ISSUE WORK
“How do you maximize the bond issue dollars? Common sense really comes into play.”
– Daryl Stumph, assistant superintendent of operations
Bay Schools budgets $350,000-$500,000 each year for capital improvements, out of a budget from the operating levy that voters passed in November 2010. To stretch those funds as far as possible, the district takes advantage of “state term” (cooperative) purchasing; looks for high quality products with long warranties; forecasts life-cycle costs, including maintenance, repairs and efficiency; and repurposes or sells obsolete equipment.
Work is 90 percent complete, and on budget, for the first three bid packages of the bond work: heating, exterior and electrical. High-efficiency boilers were installed at Glenview, Normandy, Westerly and the high school. Masonry repairs were performed at Glenview and the K.T. Allen Board of Education building and Bay High’s windows were replaced. Electricity panels were replaced at Normandy, Glenview and Bay High – which also received a new, higher-capacity generator so the school can be utilized as a community shelter in the event of power outages.
Future bid projects include electrical upgrades at Westerly and flooring upgrades, air conditioning and classroom renovations at the high school.
More information: bayvillageschools.com/bondissue
“We are embracing the report card as a new form of information to help us set new goals and set new standards and to benchmark new levels that we want to get at. And hopefully, if we do that, then all the students will be doing better and have better opportunities.”
– Clint Keener, superintendent
All schools in the state will be evaluated using a revamped Ohio Report Card, which assigns a letter grade to represent each district’s progress. A “C” grade indicates that expectations are met; for school systems like Bay which are already performing at a top level, the significant level of growth required to earn a “B” or “A” grade will be difficult to achieve. One example offered was Bay students’ participation in Advanced Placement courses. Statewide, 60 percent of students score a 3 or higher on AP tests; in Bay Village, that number approaches 83 percent.
The state of Ohio will be instituting new standardized tests next year with higher cut scores, meaning that scores will be lower across the board. When similar tests were rolled out in Kentucky recently, the passage rate dropped by 30 percent. Bay school administrators expect student performance to be on par with surrounding districts, despite the lower scores, until adjustments are made.
More information: bayvillageschools.com/achievement
“We have a focused set of standards that give [students] the opportunity to really work on mastery of that standard, not just memorizing and moving on … It also allows our students to make connections from kindergarten all the way through their senior year and into college so that they can build a set of skills and knowledge that they will need to be successful in whatever they choose to do once they leave Bay High School, whether it’s go to college or take on a military career or go into a vocational path.”
– Char Shryock, director of curriculum
Ohio is shifting to new learning standards to ensure consistency across the state. The challenge for each district is how it creates curriculum to achieve those standards. Bay Village schools are adopting a more comprehensive teaching approach that blends content mastery with analytical skills using technology, cooperative learning and real world tasks.
State standardized tests are now computer-based and interactive, requiring schools to be technologically up to date. Bay is using its money from the state’s casino fund in two ways: to install a computer lab at Normandy and purchase additional laptops for Westerly; and to offer “innovator grants” to teachers who come up with different ways of using technology.
More information: bayvillageschools.com/curriculum
“I’m projecting that our revenue and our expenditures are pretty much going to be equal this year, we’re not going to deficit spend and, as a result of that, we look like we’re going to have a reserve and that reserve’s going to carry out at least until 2017.”
– Deborah Putnam, treasurer
The Bay Village school district is still in good financial shape from the 2010 levy. The reserve fund is projected to be around $8 million dollars at the end of this school year, and will help carry the district through the next four years.
The majority of revenue – 85 percent – comes from local property taxes. Fourteen percent comes from the state, with the remaining one percent attributed to state casino funds, facility rentals, all-day kindergarten tuition and a small amount of federal funding.
Expenditures increase an average of 3 percent a year, fueled by rising utility rates, healthcare costs and equipment expenses.
Revenue has exceeded expenditures the past three years; that equation will shift beginning next year, according to the conservative five-year forecast.