Big Walnut’s 2020 vision focused on culture


As the 2019-2020 school year begins, Big Walnut Local Schools continues to discuss the district’s 2020 Vision.

“This is the fifth and final year of our 2020 Vision,” said Director of Academic Achievement Jen Young at the district’s Board of Education meeting on Aug. 15. “In 2020, our vision will become our culture.”

The idea behind the 2020 Vision is that many of tomorrow’s jobs for today’s students haven’t been created yet; and that by personalizing instruction, engaging students and growing minds, it will help students become more employable. The 21st-century skills of creativity, critical thinking, communication and collaboration are integrated into the curriculum to prepare students for a variety of work environments.

A handout on the 2020 Vision states, “Big Walnut continually invests in innovative learning environments” and “technology is used as a tool to open new learning opportunities.”

Young also said a new platform launched by the district this school year for communication, called Schoology, has been a success so far.

“Everyone’s excited to get on,” she said. “We feel we overly communicate, but when it’s coming from so many angles you shut down. We hope this ends up being a fantastic tool.”

On the district’s website, there is a link for Schoology.

“Big Walnut now has a ‘Digital Backpack’ to streamline communication and to help students stay organized,” the site states. “Schoology provides a centralized place for teachers, students, and parents to communicate, access assignments, and receive school and class updates.”

For more information, visit or

Doug Swartz, director of facilities, said the interior walls of Prairie Run Elementary are up, ponds are underway, and utilities are being put in. In addition, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is visiting the district this week concerning a Land Lab at the new high school and Prairie Run. The Land Lab is an area where students can be taught about nature. There is a Land Lab already in place at Big Walnut Elementary, Swartz said.

The board approved a supply agreement for electricity with META Solutions.

“What an awesome first couple days,” said Superintendent Angie Hamberg, referring to the district’s smooth opening. The district currently has an enrollment of 4,030 students, and classroom space is tight, she added.

Student representative Camden Edwards said he was surprised he had a lot of announcements to tell the board even though it was only the second day of school.

In other Big Walnut news, parking passes are only being sold to seniors and juniors. Students without a parking pass can park in the lots by the softball field or by the wrestling room/band practice field.

Friday’s football home scrimmages with Teays Valley are free to those bringing a canned or non-perishable food item. The freshmen play at 5 p.m., and the varsity at 7 p.m. on Aug. 23.


By Gary Budzak

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Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0906 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.

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