Superintendent's Notes: District preparing for new school year, beyond

The 2019-2020 school year is about to begin, and we couldn’t be more excited to welcome our students back to school.  The summer has been full of preparation work in our buildings and professional learning for our staff members. 

Strategic planning
We’ve also been hard at work on finalizing our 2019-2022 Strategic Plan.  Over the past several months, hundreds of community members and staff members have worked together on this plan which will focus our district even more intently on our strengths and our long-running philosophy of educating and supporting the whole child. 

The 2019-2022 Strategic Plan identifies a focused set of recommendations with the promise of greatest impact in two priority areas: whole learning and student and staff well-being.

The whole learning area is our core business - academics.  During the next three years we will build on our strengths as a district to provide an even greater integration of rigorous academic content with deeper learning skills through a variety of engaging experiences, environments and relationships.

The student and staff well-being area is critical to fostering a safe and inclusive environment.  Research shows these basic needs must be fulfilled before students can reach their potential academically.  During the course of this strategic plan, we will focus on two areas of well-being - belonging and balance.  Belonging is a person’s feeling of safety and connectedness.  Balance is a person’s feeling of harmony between school and personal time.

The foundation of the plan is a focus on continuous improvement, and it will truly impact every part of our district.  This is the idea of getting better at getting better - it started with our Efficiency Project a few years ago, and now we will ensure it’s threaded through everything we do.  Together we will build on our strengths to develop a consistent process-improvement system and culture.  This means taking a disciplined and ongoing approach to improving student and system outcomes tied to our strategic priorities and our whole-child philosophy.

To learn more about the strategic planning process, please visit www.uaschools.org/strategicplan.

Construction update
If you have driven past our schools lately, you know the summer has also been filled with construction work.  

All of our projects remain on schedule and on budget, and we are excited to unveil the newly renovated high school stadium facility in time for the fall sports season.  Three of the school projects - Greensview, Wickliffe and Tremont - will be completed in time for the 2020-2021 school year.  The other three projects in the first phase of the master plan - Upper Arlington High School, Barrington and Windermere - will be completed in time for the 2021-2022 school year.

We will continue to post monthly updates on construction progress on our website, www.uaschools.org/facilities, and on our social media accounts.  

Legacy Capital Campaign
In July, Upper Arlington residents received an invitation in their mailbox to participate in the Upper Arlington Legacy Capital Campaign, the largest philanthropic endeavor in the history of our school district. This is a unique opportunity for individuals, families and businesses to leave a meaningful legacy for generations of students to come.  

Please visit www.uaschools.org/legacycampaign to learn more.

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