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Pickerington Superintendent gives State of the District address
Superintendent Dr. Karen Mantia opened her remarks at the March 18 State of the District event, stating "We have strong schools, talented teachers, dedicated staff and hard working administrators."
Pickerington Schools earned an Excellent with Distinction rating from the state, Mantia said. Only 74 school districts out of more than 600 earned such a record.
Mantia also reported the following statistics:
• About 96 percent of district students are in attendance every day.
• Each year Pickerington schools graduate 98 percent of students.
• On average, 78 percent of students go on to a four-year higher education institution, including Ivy League schools Cornell, Harvard and Princeton.
The district learned recently it was recognized as one of 30 districts in Ohio that has shown academic growth for students with disabilities on state achievement tests during the past several years, Mantia added.
Mantia continued that while the district is doing well, she is working to bring education for the 21st century to students.
"Our job is to watch and proactively address what students need to know and learn as the needs of the world and nation change," she said. "Our incoming kindergarten students will graduate in 2022. It's time to think about their future."
Issues being studied and address include:
• Technology as an integrated tool for learning
• Learning management system
• Increasing bandwidth
• Efficient delivery of service
• Teacher professional development
While looking to the future, Mantia reported on current financial issues. Over the past two school years the district has made more than $1 million in cuts with additional reductions of at least another million planned for the next school year.
"Our goal remains the same - focus spending dollars for results and spending dollars wisely - responsibly adhering to strict budgeting and financial management."
Even with such challenges, Mantia pointed out that the district is committed to meet the goal of opening three new school buildings and staffing them in the fall of 2009.
With the opening of the new buildings there will be a noticeable decrease in the population of buildings, she said.
Mantia also discussed the Classroom Facilities Maintenance Renewal Levy, Issue 7, that will be on the May 5 ballot.
If approved, the district will extend the current Maintenance Levy an additional 12 years, thus allowing the district to benefit from an additional $50 million from the state to pay for upgrades to five older district school buildings.
The cost will continue to be $11.15 annually on a valuation of a home of $100,000.
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