Delaware County’s five schools superintendents spoke about buildings and enrollment at a Delaware Area Chamber of Commerce luncheon on Thursday.
Big Walnut Local Schools is planning for community development and growth, said new Superintendent Angie Pollock. “We’re getting a mall. That’s driving the development,” she said. The district currently has more than 3,400 students, but Big Walnut will exceed their building capacity of 4,027 students in the 2019-20 school year.
In addition to the growth, Pollock said she wants Big Walnut to look more like the workplace and to teach students how to think and solve problems, instead of memorizing something that’s already online.
Buckeye Valley Local Schools will go back on the ballot this fall with a bond issue to add two new elementary school buildings, said Superintendent Andrew Miller. The schools would be at Bellepoint, and the site of the current East Elementary, an option that received 80 percent support at a community forum. He said voter approval of the bond issue will provide a number of benefits to the district, including shorter transportation times.
The Delaware Area Career Center has decided to consolidate its two campuses, said Superintendent Mary Beth Freeman. The north campus will close while the south campus will be expanded, she said.
“If you go to the Career Center, it doesn’t mean you can’t go to college,” Freeman said, and described a former student who is currently attending college.
Freeman also spoke a tax levy renewal that will be on the ballot for DACC. The center has made that levy last for 10 years without an increase, and pledges to make a renewal of the levy last another 10 years.
Delaware County has the highest average district Performance Index (106.6) in Ohio, said Paul Craft of Delaware City Schools. The county also leads the state in Pre-K education, he said.
As for his district, Craft said there has been expansion of the current school buildings. “We are on budget and we are on time,” he said.
The new superintendent of Olentangy Local Schools, Mark Raiff, said his district leads the state in median income ($74,000) and gifted/talented students (39.4 percent). He said his district, which has an enrollment of 19,310, is seeking community input on whether to add a fourth high school.
“We’re all about providing opportunities for our students,” Raiff said.
The superintendents also spoke of their wish for fair funding from the state for the county’s 30,000 students.
“All four school districts are rated excellent with distinction,” said Marlene Casini, president of the Delaware County Foundation, which sponsored the annual talk at SourcePoint.
Chamber president Holly Quaine said the chamber endorses the Buckeye Valley and Career Center tax issues.
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0904 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.