Superintendent, Paul Imhoff
My family and I became part of the Upper Arlington family in 2013, and we quickly learned what has drawn people to this special place for so many years. It's more than the tree-lined streets and beautiful parks - it's a deep sense of community pride and cooperation.
While I am proud to be a member of this great community and a parent in this fantastic school district, I am humbled to serve as its superintendent. It is an honor to work with this fine group of educators as they make a positive impact in the lives of our students. I am invigorated by the thoughts of what is yet to come. Over the next few years, we will be laying the groundwork to build upon the district's tradition of excellence and reach even greater levels of achievement and opportunity for all students.
If you have any ideas or questions about our schools, please feel free to contact me by phone or email.
Strategic plan having positive impact after one year
As we move into the new school year, we are closing out the first year of our innovative new strategic plan. It has been exciting to see the positive impact our plan is already having on the student experience, and I wanted to share our progress with you.
Our first goal centers around student academic performance. During the 2015-2016 school year, a large group of teachers from across the district worked collaboratively to ensure we have a guaranteed and viable curriculum that is taught with fidelity across the district. These teachers collaborated to identify the priority learning targets in different subject areas and grade levels. At the elementary level, teachers are also implementing a comprehensive literacy framework that includes common language to be used across the district and access to professional resources to support instruction. All of these tools are designed to help our talented teachers focus on their students.
Our second goal is to personalize learning for all of our students. A notable part of that work is to ensure every student has one-to-one access to a technological device. These devices help teachers tailor their instruction to the individual needs of each student in the classroom.
Last year, we rolled out laptops to students in grades six through 12. This year, we are extending the program to our elementary students, who will use an iPad or laptop depending on grade level.
It’s important to stress that these devices in no way replace the extremely important relationship between a student and teacher. Instead, the devices are meant to give students and teachers additional ways to interact as well as open the door to a world of very rich, up-to-date learning materials.
Another important point with this program is that it’s funded through a reallocation of resources. For example, in the past our teachers had to rely heavily on printed textbooks and educational materials. As you can imagine, these are extremely expensive and, in this fast-moving world, become outdated very quickly. We are reallocating the funds we used to spend on hardcopy materials to cover a portion of the costs of this program. To learn more about the costs and funding for our one-to-one technology program, please visit www.uaschools.org/personalizedlearning.
Our third goal is accountability, and we will be releasing our second annual Quality Profile report this fall. This document was created by a committee of residents and educators and is meant to give our community a transparent report on our district’s strengths and areas of need. You can learn more at www.uaschools.org/qualityprofile.
Our fourth goal is efficiency and includes two major projects. The first is the Efficiency Project, which committed to improving the district’s bottom line by $4.5 million by 2017. We’re now 98 percent of the way toward that goal. Our treasurer, Andrew Geistfeld, has much more detail on that project online at www.uaschools.org/efficiency.
Another major efficiency project is our community-wide facilities master planning process. This stems from a recommendation from the community members on our Productivity and Efficiency Work Team, which identified the cost of maintaining our aging facilities as the biggest threat to the district’s financial health. We have had great community participation in this process so far, but we still hope to hear from many more residents regarding the question of whether to repair, renovate or rebuild our schools. Please visit www.uaschools.org/facilities to share your voice and learn more about the process.
That was just a brief overview of what’s happening inside our schools. If you have any questions or would like additional information about any of work I mentioned, please feel free to email me at email@example.com or call (614) 487-5030.
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