In late October the Worthington Board of Education announced that I would have the privilege of becoming the next Superintendent of Worthington Schools on July 1, 2015. Since that late October day I have been working to engage our community and listen to community feedback regarding our schools. It’s been an amazing road show.
Over the past few months I’ve met personally with Leadership Worthington, the Partners for Citizenship and Character, the Circle of Grandparents, the Worthington-Dublin AM Rotary, Worthington Youth Boosters, the Worthington Parks and Recreation department and the Worthington Association of Realtors. I’ve spoken twice at the PTA council meetings and I’ve attended 8 other PTA meetings across the district. I’ve eaten chili with parents and students at Linworth and I’ve had ginormous pancakes with Colonial Hills families. I’ve met with student leaders from Thomas Worthington and Worthington Kilbourne on several occasions.
Throughout January and February we held community coffees on Friday mornings in three different locations across the district. Over those six mornings I was able to interact, talk with and listen to 80-85 community members. During the same time period we held four home meetings where 90-100 people attended an evening meeting in a community member’s home and we had significant conversation about our school district.
In March we invited the entire community to two evening meetings at the Worthington Education Center. Those meetings were attended by around 90 people and we solicited feedback in four main areas (Academic Programs, Facilities, Finances and Co-Curriculars.) Likewise we opened a community survey online for anyone who wanted to provide input but was unable to come in person. You can see the results of those meetings here: Academic Programs, Facilities, Finances, and Co-Curriculars
Finally, we contracted with Fallon Research Associates to conduct a random phone survey of registered voters within the Worthington School district. This survey mirrored the demographic and geographic characteristics of our electorate to ensure that all major sub-groups were represented in the data in proportion to their actual percentages. You can see the survey results here and here.
After speaking with hundreds and hundreds of people about our school district I come away encouraged. Our community cares deeply about Worthington Schools and is willing to partner with us to make Worthington a great place for kids. There are certainly enhancements that many would like to see and there are a few things we need to attend to. But overall our community feedback was overwhelmingly positive.
At tonight’s (4.27.15) regularly scheduled board of education work session we will discuss the results of our community engagement. Paul Fallon from Fallon research will be present to explain his survey results. I will discuss the results of our community engagement sessions and our online community survey. This data will be used to guide the board of education and the administration as we sit down to set goals for next school year on May 14th and May 15th.
-Trent Bowers, Assistant Superintendent