This summer, there is much to do in our schools as we work on final preparations for the upcoming school year and continue to provide academic and well-being support for our students through our summer programs.
We are thrilled to have approximately more than 1,000 students taking part in Summer Academy, Summer Reading for grades 1-3 and our extended school year program. These are great opportunities for our students to grow their academic skills, earn middle school or high school credit, explore their passions and foster meaningful relationships.
Our teachers and principals are also busy finalizing student schedules, engaging in professional learning, and wrapping up their plans for the upcoming school year. We have a truly exceptional staff — whose commitment to challenging and supporting students is second to none.
As we look to the fall, I want to provide a couple important updates for our community on our financial situation and the community engagement process.
This fall, Upper Arlington Schools will be returning to voters with a 6.9-mill operating levy request on the November 8, 2022, ballot to provide needed funding to maintain the district’s high-quality educational program.
The unanimous decision by the Board of Education to move forward with this request comes after the Board delayed an operating levy request for the past two years. Because a new operating levy was needed two years ago, the Board had to take significant steps in 2020 to stretch the district’s resources in order to maintain operations and our high-quality academic program. That — along with historic inflation, the exciting challenge of growing enrollment districtwide, and the fact that the majority of our district revenues remain relatively fixed due to a state law known as House Bill 920 — has led us to where we are today.
The 6.9-mill levy would allow our schools to continue our high-quality academic programming for students, while also taking steps to gradually rebuild the district’s budget reserve, or “rainy day fund,” which had been reduced amid the financial constraints of the pandemic. In the absence of new operating funding, however, there would have to be significant cuts that could only be accomplished through measures that would have a considerable impact on the student experience in the Upper Arlington Schools.
Community members will be receiving a letter from the Board of Education to provide an update on the district’s finances and offer more details on their decision to return to voters for operating funding. You can also visit www.uaschools.org to learn more.
Listen Learn Lead process
Also at their meeting in June, the Board of Education received a Listen Learn Lead briefing report outlining learnings based on all of the data points from this process. The Board of Education has asked district administration to prepare an action plan based on the findings of the report and present it at the August regular meeting.
You can view the briefing report and the screencast presentation from the Board of Education meeting at www.uaschools.org/ListenLearnLead.aspx. We encourage parents, staff, community members and students to share their thoughts on the findings of the briefing report or the process as a whole using the online form located on that page.
Paul Imhoff, Ed.D., is superintendent of Upper Arlington Schools. You can follow him on Twitter @imhoffpaul.