SUNBURY — Another way to keep up with what’s happening in the Big Walnut Local School District is to listen to the district’s podcasts.
The podcasts began earlier this year.
“It has been a wonderful experience working with our high school students throughout season one,” wrote then-Assistant Superintendent Mark Cooper in the district’s March newsletter. “Please take a moment to listen and learn more about our schools, district goals, and our mission to inspire and guide each student to his or her maximum potential.”
For example, there have been videos on all four of the district’s goals: “improve academic achievement (work collaboratively to personalize instruction, engage students, and grow minds); promote whole-child development (support students’ social, emotional, and physical well-being); optimize capital and human resources (provide capital and human resources to foster student growth); and demonstrate financial responsibility (maintain a fiscally-stable district that is accountable to our community).”
On that last goal, Treasurer Jeremy Buskirk discussed objectives such as maintaining a strong credit rating and obtaining financial resources. Moody’s Investment Service gives the district an Aa2 rating, which is the third-highest level of investment grade. The only grades above it are Aa1 and Aaa (prime).
It was also explained what goes into making that investment grade, with a matrix weighing in several factors. The economy accounts for 30% (resident income 20%, enrollment trends 10%); financial performance another 30% (available fund balance ratio 20%, net cash ratio 10%); leverage another 30% (long-term liabilities ratio 20%, fixed-costs ratio 10%); and the final 10% based on institutional framework (how operating revenues are determined and the ability to match revenues and expenditures).
The district has received Ohio Auditor of State awards for its clean financial audits. More financial information can be found at bwls.net/treasurer.aspx.
“Join us for season one — State of the Schools — where we discuss all of the happenings at Big Walnut Local Schools,” said another item in that newsletter. “Listen to our principals and directors share what makes Big Walnut so great! Thank you to our Big Walnut High School Video II class for all their work producing this podcast. We’re excited that our students will be taking over and hosting season two. Have a suggestion, or want to hear more about a topic? Email [email protected].”
New episodes are on Tuesday and Thursday at bwls.net/podcast.aspx, the district said.