Happy first day of school! It’s like a national holiday in Worthington! Our buses start rolling before sun-up. Young students with clean shoes and new backpacks wait anxiously at bus stops or walk briskly towards school. Some middle school boys may even have taken a shower this morning and combed their hair (maybe.) It’s going to be the first great day in what we believe will be a great school year in Worthington!
This year in Worthington we will focus on what it is that makes Worthington a special place for students. Staff members will go out of their way to build personal relationships with students that help all students and families to feel a sense of belonging and acceptance. With relationships firmly built, we’ll encourage and push students to heights they may not currently believe are possible. Our first focus is on the relationships. At the end of the day, each and every Worthington adult will strive to make a positive difference in the lives of our students, their families, and this community. It’s this commitment that is the Worthington difference!
On August 25th Worthington will roll out our three year technology plan with the Board of Education. As school begins students will see faster internet speeds, high density wireless ports and updated switches and electrical capacity that allow for students to use their own devices. We’ve worked hard to build a superhighway within our school district so that our students can utilize the technology tools of their choice in learning. In addition all Worthington students in grades 2-12 have their own Worthington Google Apps for Education accounts. These accounts will include email, calendar, docs, slides, drive, etc. These web based tools will allow our students to work digitally, share their work simply with their teacher or peers, and collaborate in real time with their teammates. As the fall progresses 2,800 Chromebooks will drop into the Worthington ecosystem and students will have on demand mobile technology. By utilizing a combination of Bring Your Own Device and Worthington supplied devices by 2017 our plan is for Worthington students to be 1:1 with their technology.
Due to Ohio HB 487 this year the class of 2018 has new graduation requirements. As a result, the Class of 2017 (10th-graders in the 2014-2015 school year) will be the last students to take the current Ohio Graduation Tests. The new requirements take effect with students entering ninth grade this school year. Additionally, every student in the Class of 2018 and beyond will have the opportunity to take a nationally-recognized college admission exam free of charge in Grade 11. As the school year progresses we will continue to strive to implement high quality programs in all areas. We’re attempting to grow the number of young women and minority students in our STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) programs by partnering with the Women in Engineering Society and the National Black Engineering Association. We’re also encouraging and providing support for more students to take high level Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and College Credit Plus classes. When students graduate in May of 2015 we will make certain that they are College and Career Ready.
Worthington students K-12 will participate in co-curricular programs that enrich their lives. The Colonial Hills cross-country course has been spruced-up and is ready for runners. Coach Hopkins is challenging the football players at Thomas Worthington and Coach Irwin is excited to see her Lady Wolves on the soccer pitch. For the last several weeks the marching bands from each high school have been practicing on the front lawns. Drivers on 161 and Hard Road have been rolling down their windows to listen in.
The 2014-2015 school year is finally here. It’s our great privilege to welcome the children and young adults of Worthington into our schools! It’s going to be a great school year. We promise.
- Trent Bowers, Assistant Superintendent