Over the past four months I have had the opportunity to speak with hundreds and hundreds of people about Worthington Schools. It is a pure joy to discuss a school district that I, and so many others, care deeply about.
Throughout my conversations there are many themes that seem to arise. Currently PARCC testing and high stakes assessment in general creates a great deal of dialogue. Others want to discuss wellness and the food we serve our students. Sometimes athletics or facilities arise as topics. But, while there is a wide variety of discussion areas in a large suburban school district serving 9,500 students in 19 different schools one topic always comes up:
Our families value the unique Worthington experiences that their students are able to participate in and enjoy. There are too many of these to name as each of our schools operates with a level of autonomy, but over the last few weeks I’ve had the opportunity to witness two of these uniquely Worthington experiences that are so rich and meaningful at just one of our eleven elementary schools.
Two weeks ago Colonial Hills held their annual Pastapalooza. This event is essentially a large spaghetti dinner, except for two important elements: 1. The entire Colonial Hills community comes to this shared dinner and many Colonial Hills alumni choose to come back to the event creating an incredible atmosphere and 2. The Colonial Hills sixth grade students dress up and serve the families there for the dinner. Generations of Colonial Hills students have learned to serve in this capacity.
Thursday night those same 6th grade students participated in the Colonial Hills lip-sync. This is not just any lip-sync. It makes Jimmy Fallon and Will Ferrell look like amateurs. The students are in costume, there is excellent production, and the packed crowd often sings along. The night was full of unique and super cool songs. My personal favorites include a rendition of The Beatles Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club and The Toast Song.
While much of the current education dialogue may focus on standardized testing, in Worthington we’ll continue to focus on the whole child and our staff will continue to work hard to provide our students with experiences that are unique to the Worthington Schools experience. Over the last few weeks I was able to witness Colonial Hills doing exactly that!
-Trent Bowers, Assistant Superintendent