Upper Arlington City Schools News Article

Board of Education Update — April 11, 2023 Regular Meeting

The April 11, 2023, meeting of the Board of Education included presentations on the following topics:

Calendar Hearing

Tammy Yockey, Ed.D., the Director of Data and Accountability, presented draft calendars for the 2024-2025, 2025-2026 and 2026-2027 school years. A committee of teachers and administrators in the district developed the draft calendars based on the feedback of 1,600 family, staff and students in the district. 

2024-2025 DRAFT School Year Calendar

2025-2026 DRAFT School Year Calendar

2026-2027 DRAFT School Year Calendar

The Board of Education will take action on the draft calendars at the June 13 regular meeting.

District Highlights

Interim Superintendent Kathy Jenney, Ed.D., shared highlights from the district, which included a presentation by Assistant Director of Student Life Jacob Ramsey and UAHS students who planned the inaugural hUmAn Connection Festival. This event was created by students to support a sense of belonging and celebrate cultures and diversity within the Upper Arlington community. It was funded by grants from the UAHS PTO, the Upper Arlington Education Foundation and the Upper Arlington Community Relations Committee.

Additional highlights included: the Upper Arlington High School BearBots 5th place finish at the FIRST Robotics Buckeye Regional Competition; the Cum Laude induction ceremony; and the Upper Arlington Civic Association’s Golden Apple Awards. Dr. Jenney also shared that the district’s 2023 Quality Profile is now available and a reminder about the Listen Learn Lead community engagement sessions coming up in May.

Dr. Jenney introduced Stephanie Siddens, Ph.D., the incoming deputy superintendent. Keith Pomeroy, chief academic officer, introduced Kristin Robbins, Ed.D., the incoming director of secondary education. 

Finally, Dr. Jenney shared an update to the 2022-2023 school year calendar for the early dismissal on the last day of school - Thursday, May 25. Elementary dismissal will be at 11:05 a.m., and secondary dismissal will be at 11:35 a.m. Grab-and-go lunches will be available to students. She also shared that there have been some questions about the 2023-2024 school year calendar and the way breaks fall, and she encouraged anyone to reach out with questions.

Safety Update

Chris Potts, the chief operating officer, shared an update on safety in the district. He emphasized the importance of safety being everyone’s responsibility — “see something, say something.” He shared a reminder that safety information and plans are protected under Ohio law from any public records request, so this update was a high-level overview of safety. He also highlighted the importance of belonging in school safety. 

The safety update included an overview of the process for submitting and certifying safety plans with the state of Ohio, the requirements surrounding safety drills for schools, safety features in the school buildings, a new state grant for safety improvements at the district’s K-12 school buildings, and the School Resource Officer program in partnership with the City of Upper Arlington.

In addition to those elements to safety, the district also has a behavior threat assessment team and a Traumatic Crisis Event Intervention Team (TECIP) in all school buildings. More than 40 employees have been trained in behavior threat assessment.

Teaching & Learning Update

The Program of Studies for the Online Academy and a revision to the Middle School Program of Studies, regarding the gifted program, were presented to the Board of Education for approval.

Andy Hatton, Ed.D., the associate superintendent of learning and leadership, shared an update on the summer programming in the district — including Summer Reading, Summer Academy and Extended School Year (ESY). Approximately 900 students, K-12, will be taking part in these programs this summer.

Well-being Update

Denise Lutz, Ed.D., the chief technology officer, shared an update on the well-being supports for staff members in the district. Supporting the well-being of staff ultimately supports the well-being of students. Programs for staff include: staff fitness opportunities, healthy habits challenges, Lounge & Learn sessions of various topics, and an expansion of offerings available through Matrix, the district’s employee assistance program.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Update

Dr. Jenney shared an update regarding the DEI partnership proposal. Through the request for proposals process, the district has received 16 proposals from agencies that are interested in partnering with the district. A committee of staff, parents/guardians and community members is evaluating those proposals. 

Dr. Jenney shared an update on the districtwide staff professional learning day on May 2. The day will offer an opportunity for staff to participate in self-selected breakout sessions as well as building-level or department-level sessions. The learning targets for the day are to:

  • Articulate connections between Board of Education policies, the district’s strategic plan, the Profile of an Engaged Learner and district initiatives

  • Continue to develop strategies for supporting a sense of belonging and school/life balance for both students and staff members

  • Grow together and strengthen relationships in a culture of diversity, equity and inclusion

  • Focus strategies to support the well-being of our students

Human Resources and Operations Update

Director of Human Resources Matt Jordan shared an update on human resources — which is in the midst of hiring season. This includes the hiring for deputy superintendent and director of secondary education, introduced earlier in the evening. Those positions are a reallocation of current administrative positions and do not increase the number of total administrative positions in the district. 

Chris Potts also shared an update on an urgent necessity project at Tremont Elementary School. This exception permits waiving competitive bidding for a project. He is asking the Board of Education to enter into a contract with Elford Construction to complete the replacement of windows at Tremont. Window replacement was removed from the renovation of Tremont during the value-engineering process; however, Potts shared that the windows are now failing and that timing is critical to complete the project during the summer due to material delays. The expense of the window replacement would come out of the construction change over fund — money that was put aside for the master plan construction but that did not end up needing to be used.

Policy Recommendations

The Board of Education conducted a first read of policies during a special meeting on March 28. The policies were amended following feedback from the Board of Education and were presented for a second read and approval at this meeting.

Communications from the Board

Board President Lori Trent shared that the Board of Education will be engaging in the districtwide staff professional learning day on May 2. This will include a Board of Education work session in the afternoon that will be open to the public. 

Members of the Board of Education shared brief updates on the committees they serve on. Board President Lori Trent shared an update on upcoming events from The Stand Project. Member Nidhi Satiani shared updates on the Equity Advisory Board, the Finance Committee and the Teaching & Learning Committee. 

Treasurer’s Update

Treasurer/CFO Andrew Geistfeld shared that the Financial Update is now available on the district website. This is an important part of the district’s commitment to financial transparency and to the recommendations stemming from the Listen Learn Lead community engagement process.

He also shared monthly financial statements reflecting March 2023 and construction funds. He also provided an update on the legislature activity involving two House bills - House Bill 33, involving the biennium budget, and House Bill 1. 

You may visit our Upper Arlington Schools Board of Education page to access the April 11 meeting agenda and video recording. To view the meeting presentation, please click here. For meeting dates and more information about the Board of Education, please visit www.uaschools.org/board.

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