Thanks to Our Local Police Departments!

Mosic,Jim-forwebThere has been a great deal of national attention recently focused upon local law enforcement institutions.  As a public school district we are in the education business not the law enforcement business.  However, in 2014 all K-12 public schools partner with the local police force to make schools as safe as possible.

Worthington Schools’ attendance areas encompass three local police departments.  We work regularly with the Worthington Police Department, the Perry Township Police Department and the Columbus Police Department.  From time to time we will interact with the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office or the Sharon Township Police Department.

We’re fortunate in Worthington.  Our partnerships with our local police departments have been very positive.  We are provided prompt and professional service from each of our local departments.  In one way or another we are in contact with our local police almost everyday.  They provide significant levels of assistance that we cannot do without.

As I read newspaper articles and watch news stories they sometimes paint a different picture than the one we see each day locally.  Worthington Schools is thankful that our local police departments take good care of our schools and the 9,600 students who attend our schools.  We’re thankful that our local police departments have built strong relationships with the district and that these local departments are always willing to go above and beyond to help make certain our students are safe.

Thanks to our local officers.  We appreciate your partnership with Worthington Schools and the job you do daily!

Trent Bowers, Assistant Superintendent

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Happy Holidays!

halloween2_cs4As we close for winter break, I would like to thank our students, staff, parents and community members who contribute so much in creating an atmosphere of pride and excellence in Worthington Schools.

While there is much to do and there will be further challenges, we end 2014 in excellent shape and better able to serve the needs of our students and community members. Staff and students are engaged in high level teaching and learning in every classroom; our winter athletic season is off to a successful start; and our musical celebrations and theatrical productions have reached peak performance across the district.

The majority of our students and staff generously give of their time, talent and financial resources to help ensure the holidays are enjoyed by all in our community. They assist local families in financial need, donate food and volunteer at the Worthington Food Pantry, share time with senior citizens and participate in other benevolent endeavors in the spirit of bringing in the New Year with joy and compassion.

Later today, we will enjoy our winter recess. Schools will be closed for the winter holiday. The Worthington Educational Center will be closed to the public from December 25 through December 28.

Please enjoy some well-deserved rest with family and friends during this holiday season.

Best wishes and a wonderful New Year!

Thomas S. Tucker

Superintendent
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The “5 of 8” Rule

wes-leadership-dayIf you follow education news in Ohio you’ve likely heard about the “5 of 8” rule.  There has been a great deal of reporting and advocacy on this subject.  You’ll find a few articles from the Columbus Dispatch here and here.

The Ohio Education Standards Committee updates rules about every five years. This year it chose to modify the “5 of 8” rule.   The “5 of 8” rule stated that for every 1,000 students in a district, the local school board must hire the equivalent of 5 full time service personnel.  Service personnel were defined art teachers, physical education teachers, counselors, nurses, librarians, music teachers, social workers, and visiting teachers.

Proponents of the “5 of 8” rule believed that it was necessary to guarantee students in Ohio receive services in these areas.  Proponents of eliminating the rule believed that local school boards should be accountable to their community and have greater flexibility in designing their educational program.

In Worthington the “5 of 8” rule had almost no impact.  As a school district we employ many more personnel in these areas than was required under the old standards.  More accurately we value these areas and our community consistently has communicated their desire for robust programming in the arts, wellness and in support for students such as counselors, nurses and social workers.  Moving forward Worthington will continue to provide these important resources to our students.  Students and families will see no change in Worthington Schools because of the modification of this rule.

In Worthington we often quote Albert Einstein when he said “not everything that counts can be counted.”  We believe this!  We believe that arts and wellness education are critical components to help our students become well-rounded and not only college and career ready, but life ready.  We believe that our counselors, nurses and social workers are trusted adults that make a long-term positive difference in the life of our students.  We believe these teachers are difference- and memory- makers for our kids.

Worthington Schools strives to be a “both/and” school district.  A district that helps every student grow and meet their full potential.  If you’re concerned about the impact of the elimination of the “5 of 8” rule you need not be.  Our students will continue to receive the robust programming they have today.  That’s what makes Worthington special.

– Trent Bowers, Assistant Superintendent

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Coming Soon

imagesIn the cold, bleak, Ohio winter that has come upon us quickly, it is easy to get lost in the mundaneness of it all.  You wake up in the dark, head home from work in the dark, and the days seem to be the same.  These are the times we wish for a different environment.  One we can feel good in.  One we can be rejuvenated by.  We wish for a place we could go to break the monotony and connect with ourselves again.

Last Monday night, the Worthington School Board granted that wish for some of our students when they gave the green light for the district to create the Worthington Academy Aspire Program.  Like its predecessors in alternative style education, Linworth and Phoenix Middle School, the Academy is designed to appeal to students who benefit from a non-traditional classroom setting.  The Aspire program will concentrate on three tiers of students who will be able to craft their pathway to success: (1) those who are under credited and are in danger of dropping out or not graduating.  (2) Students who have dropped out and/or are returning from an alternative educational setting, such as a charter or e-school, and (3) students who need various options in their pathway to graduation.

What sets The Aspire Program apart is its ability to meet appropriate educational, developmental and social needs for our students who are not finding success in one of the districts existing high schools.  These are students that may be in need of credit recovery opportunities, but they may also be students who experience high levels of anxiety in a traditional school environment.

We, as a district, believe that we have the ability to change students’ lives, and we should not ever waste an opportunity to do so.  Data collected in our district tells us a story about kids who need someone to help change their lives.  It is with this intention that we are ensuring a connection is made with our almost 600 high school students that are currently failing at least one of their core classes.  Initiatives have been taken to reach out to the 80+ students who left our district for alternative choices in the past year and reconnect with those families as well.  The creation of Worthington Academy will also support the growing number of students who are seeking comfort and guidance for their high levels of social and school-related anxiety.

Large collections of people have invested a great deal of time and effort to make the Worthington Academy a reality.  We began with a realization that we had a group of students who needed something they were not receiving, a group who needed to find themselves in a place of rejuvenation and self-belief.    We are incredibly appreciative of the Board of Education’s ability to see the need for the Academy and to fully support the initiative.  It has become obvious, yet again, that there is a high value placed on school choice and options by our board members and within our school community.  The students will see the immediate benefits of this program, but in the end, it is our entire community that prospers from the creation of the Worthington Academy.  Nelson Mandela once said, “It always seems impossible until it’s done.”  While we aren’t quite done, it no longer seems impossible, thanks to the continued support of so many people, and most importantly, the constant belief in our children.

High school students who are interested in attending the Academy Aspire program for 2015-2016 will meet with their school counselor through the normal scheduling process this winter to secure their seat.

– Jeff Maddox – Director of Innovation and School Support

The original Worthington Academy opened in Worthington in 1808.  Our newest version is a nod to this tradition of education.  To read more about the history of the Worthington Academy name check out the Worthington Historical Society website: http://goo.gl/EcPq8m

Check out this video of what the new Worthington Academy will look like from a facility standpoint when complete here.

 

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