Welcome back to another school year in the Ridgedale Local School District, it is my hope that you all had an enjoyable and relaxing summer! As we prepare for another year, we are currently awaiting word from the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) on how our students fared on the new AIR assessments and end of course exams for 2016. As we move forward into another year of adjustment and change in how we evaluate our student learning, we will continue to use the Ohio Improvement Plan to improve the educational opportunities for all students in the Ridgedale school district. The district professional development plan has been approved by the Ridgedale Board of Education and our schedule will be very similar to last year. Beginning on August 29, 2016 all schools in the Ridgedale District will be on a one hour delay for teacher training and professional development and we will continue this schedule for every Monday throughout the entire school year. This will enable us to save district funds by providing professional development, at the local level for our teachers, while using our testing data to continue to improve student achievement. Each building leadership team has provided the administration with their plan for professional development throughout the year which includes, but is not limited to, grade level meetings, content area meetings, building wide meetings and district wide meetings. By doing this the faculty is gaining a better understanding of curriculum alignment K – 12, as opposed to just focusing on their individual classrooms.
On the business side of the district, the Ridgedale Local Board of Education, Treasurer and Administration have continued to be fiscally responsible and have realized a carry-over in the general fund balance for Fiscal Year 2016. This is the 7th year in a row that the district has had a general fund carry over. With this carry over in revenue we are again able to keep our lunch prices the same for all students, and we still do not charge a participation fee for our extra-curricular activities. We have been very busy this summer updating and making needed repairs to the facilities. The most notable improvement will be the new security entrances that are being built in both the Elementary and Jr/Sr High School, along with security cameras in both buildings. We have also replaced the bleachers in the elementary school, and the athletic department has purchased new scoreboards for the Jr/Sr High gymnasium. We have also had work done behind the scenes with a new roof membrane and drain repairs on the high school gym roof and new gutters and downspouts on the elementary gymnasium. We are continuing to update flooring in both buildings and we will soon be discussing which big projects we will pursue in the summer of 2017. We continue to work with OHM Advisors to help us to help us prioritize our capital improvement plan for the next several years, which helps in the budgeting for major facility maintenance and repair issues. The repairs and improvements have all been paid for with FY 16 carry over money, and we will continue to address our needs while continuing to “live” within our means. In other financial news, the Board of Education, in open session during the regular meeting of the Board held on July 18, 2016, determined it necessary to place on the general election ballot the renewal of an emergency operating levy in the amount 3.9 mils, which is down from the original millage of 6.9 mils passed in 1996. This Emergency Operating Levy is not an increase to your tax bill and this levy is still subjected to the rollback and homestead exemptions that were eliminated by the Ohio Legislature in 2014. This levy will collect $575,034/year for a period of five (5) years. This levy is very important for the continued day to day operations of the district and allows us to continue to operate without asking for additional operating funds.
I am very excited to hear the hallways full of the laughter of children and the hustle and bustle of daily school life. Our first day for student attendance is Wednesday August 24, 2016, and as always feel free to stop in the buildings at anytime, however for security reasons, please call the office that you wish to visit prior to your arrival. If you have any comments you would like to share, questions that you may have or any general concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me, either by phone:740-382-6065 ext. 101 or email:email@example.com and I will be happy to assist you.