Administrators discuss state of Bay schools
The Bay Village Kiwanis hosted Bay Village Schools administrators for the district’s annual State of the Schools presentation Jan. 20 in the middle school cafeteria. The program offers the public an overview of the past year’s achievements, as well as a look at plans for the coming year.
In a departure from the standard lecture format, the evening featured Superintendent Clint Keener interviewing coaches, principals and department heads on topics ranging from athletics to curriculum to infrastructure. Selected highlights follow; a video of the entire program will be available on the Bay Schools website.
Bay High School football coach Ron Rutt and soccer coach Bob Dougherty discussed their teams’ successes this past season. Matt Spellman, activities/athletics director, lauded student participation, with 70 percent of students involved in sports and 60 percent in music. The district will join the Great Lakes Conference in the fall.
Under the new Ohio Report Card system, districts are assigned letter grades representing their performance related to expected growth. A “C” grade indicates performance that meets state expectations. Bay Schools were awarded five A’s, two B’s and two C’s. Marty Patton, assistant superintendent for special services, praised the district’s special needs educators whose students’ progress exceeded the expected growth.
Char Shryock, director of curriculum, explained the state assessments for the new Common Core learning standards that will begin this year. The new tests will be more difficult and require a deeper mastery of the material.
Bay High principal Jason Martin discussed the graduation tests that will require students starting with the class of 2018 to demonstrate college or career readiness. Post-graduation preparation options available to students include: College Credit Plus, a partnership with Tri-C that allows students to enroll in and receive credit for college-level courses; and Career Ready, which offers students the ability to achieve industry-accepted credentials in the technical field of their choice.
Dan Sebring, principal at Normandy School, talked about the statewide 3rd Grade Reading Guarantee and early literacy initiatives at the school. The popular One School One Book program, which Sebring introduced last year, will expand to Westerly this year as part of the effort to unite the two elementary schools.
Bay Middle School is encouraging students to make positive choices. Assistant principal Kevin Jakub discussed the student and parent education programs involving drug use and bullying.
In his first year on the job, treasurer Kevin Robertson feels the district is on solid financial footing. Property valuation is a strength, with high overall values providing a buffer against fluctuating state revenue. Robertson indicated that funding is also a challenge; as at least 95 percent of the city’s property is residential, homeowners bear the tax burden. The last operating levy was approved by voters in 2010; Superintendent Keener stated there is no intention to place an issue on the November 2015 ballot. The district recently purchased at auction property adjacent to Westerly. There are no immediate plans for the site.
The district has performed a number of building upgrades under the current bond issue, which have come in a little under budget and are covered extensively on the district website. Daryl Stumph, assistant superintendent for operations, said upcoming projects include parking lot paving at Normandy, Westerly and BHS; flooring, ceiling and light replacements; HVAC upgrades; and upgrades to the BHS cafeteria.