It has been a privilege to observe the tremendous growth in our students this past year. In 2017, our school family certainly witnessed a wide variety of student accomplishments. Our students excelled in academics, performing arts and athletics in a manner that should make our community justifiably proud. Many individual and team performances within the past year established a new level of achievement for all students. I fully understand and appreciate the vital role parents, school staff and the entire South Range Community play in student development.
With the New Year, in addition to our Strategic Plan to enrich student opportunities and achievements, I reflect on the important role that each of us holds as a champion for our students and school district. Our words and actions are extremely powerful, and for every positive story we share, there is student or family or perhaps alumni working harder and feeling a deep sense of pride because of it. Life’s every day challenges can be so consuming, it is very easy to overlook the influence that positive stories bring to students, our school district and ultimately our community. Please join me in celebrating these success stories about our children throughout the entire South Range Community.
2017/2018 District Strategic Plan
The South Range Local School’s comprehensive Strategic Planning Team continues to meet on a regular basis within our district. The process requires our committees to analyze both the internal and external environment of our school district. Typical steps in strategic planning include an analysis of the current state, defining the future state, developing objectives and strategies to achieve the vision, and implementation and assessment of the plan. The four (4) main goal areas of focus include Academics, Communications, Finance and District Culture. Discussion items in the Academics goal area include additional Advanced Placement (AP) classes and mentoring programs at the high school. Middle school students have incorporated the “Inventor Cloud/3D Printing” into their curriculum for the 2017/2018 school year. The goal area of School Finance will soon be communicated on an interactive map on the school website which will graphically demonstrate expense areas. The goal area of District Culture is to assemble meaningful artifacts, traditions and historical documents that will incorporate all of our communities past accomplishments that can be shared with those attending and visiting South Range Local Schools. Lastly, the Communications goal is to work with all goal areas and develop a plan to effectively reach all community members with newsworthy events within the school district. Many thanks to the Strategic Planning Team members for their willingness to participate and for their dedication to our students.
Teaching and Learning
Ohio’s State Report Card was released earlier this fall. The state report card recognizes six different performance measures for each school district in Ohio. This data provides the district with data to develop a plan for instruction for the year. After looking at current data, we measure our performance with last year’s performance as well as with other local districts’ performances.
How did our data compare to last year’s data? In the area of indicators met, the district earned 15 out of 23 indicators which appears to be a drop from the previous year. However, the number of indicators earned is fewer than last year’s measure, the percent passage rate was raised from last year. In the area of performance index, the measure of how students are performing by performance level, the district score increased from 97.2 to 99.3. This shows that our students are reaching higher levels of performance over time. In the area of gap closing, the district moved from a D in 2016 to a B in 2017. This shows we are closing gaps in learning for our different populations of students. In the area of progress, we are still focusing our professional development in increasing student growth over time. Where the report card is a multi-year measure, we are finding gains in the year to year value added measures.
How does South Range’s report card compare to other district report cards? In seven testing areas, South Range students performed higher than any other district in those served by Mahoning County Educational Service Center. In all tested areas, South Range students scored above the state average. As always, we are very proud of how hard our students and staff work to prepare for the state assessments. We also recognize that South Range is so much more than a report card can measure.
Raiders Stadium Project - “The Time is Now”
For the first time in South Range Local School History, a new sports venue welcomed the South Range Local School Family to the “Rominger Sports Complex” and Raiders Stadium for the 2017/2018 school year where a new tradition of athletics and performing arts excellence began. It has often been said that “The Only Constant in Life is Change.” This facility change has and will continue to be life changing for the many generations that will have the opportunity to make new memories and establish new traditions and new routines that will be entrenched in their hearts and souls as Memorial Field is in ours.
It is nearly impossible to thank the individuals, organizations and businesses responsible for making the Raiders Stadium a possibility. The dream of a new stadium began in the fall of 2014 as committees were formed and the committee members implemented an action plan to construct a new stadium. With many caring and passionate people the South Range Athletic Boosters and the South Range Local School Foundation collaborated to transform the dream into reality. The South Range Athletic Boosters under the leadership of Mr. Randy Dominguez, President, has been relentless in making the Raiders Stadium possible. Dr. Donald DeChellis, as the Capital Fund Raising Chairperson, has been instrumental in his collaboration to bring in sponsors and donations to help with this privately funded project. Our local businesses/trades have been very generous in providing in-kind work to help stretch the Athletic Boosters budget in terms of completing Phase II of the project. Funding for Phases III and IV is still needed to complete the project. Phases III and IV consist of a team room, restrooms, concession stand, entrance plaza, fencing and parking improvements.
The South Range Music Boosters were actively engaged in raising funds to construct a Band Shelter on the Raiders Stadium south end zone. Funds were secured and the Music Boosters began construction of the shelter prior to the start of the season. The Band Shelter officially became “home” to the Raider Band at the October 13th Homecoming Game.
Special thanks to the following contributors, whom without their generosity to the Stadium Project, the contests would not be possible:
Stadium/Structure Naming Rights:
“DeChellis and Stonestreet, DDS” Stadium Press Box- DeChellis and Stonestreet, DDS
“The Mark and Linda Witmer Family” Stadium Band Shelter- The Mark and Linda Witmer Family
“David E. Lawless Memorial Track” – Lawless Industries
“Ralph Witmer Field” – Mr. Ralph Witmer
In addition, Mr. Ralph Witmer has generously donated $100,000 and will contribute an additional $100,000 in matching funds for Phases III & IV of the Stadium Project. Each dollar donated to Phases III & IV will be matched dollar for dollar up to $100,000.
“Joe” Dickey Electric, Witmer’s Inc., Fairway Ford, Myers Insurance, Salem Propane, Sheeley’s, Advanced Dermatology, Farmers National Bank, Less Contracting Inc. and Knightline Embroidery. Other significant donors include the Dan Kurtz Family, Beaver Ruritan and Greenford Ruritan Clubs. It should be noted that many of our supporting contributors are South Range Local Schools Alumni who continue to generously give back to their alma mater.
NORTHEAST 8 Athletic Conference “NE8”
The 2017/2018 school year brought another change as this year our athletic teams are competing as “Independents” before joining the Northeast Eight (NE8) Athletic Conference for the 2018/2019 athletic season. Member schools include; Girard, Hubbard, Jefferson, Lakeview, Niles, Poland, South Range and Struthers. Please note that football for the fall 2018 season will remain as an independent schedule and will begin competing in the NE8 in the fall of 2019. Once again, we say goodbye to the past and look forward to the future as a member of an extremely competitive and exciting athletic league.
Ensuring that our children are safe in school is among the most important responsibilities of our staff at South Range. This requires the attention, cooperation, and communication of many partners. By working together, we can help prevent crises and respond effectively should one occur.
The Attorney General’s School Safety Task Force - made up of public safety officials, school personnel, mental health professionals, and others - has worked to help make a difference in these efforts. The School Safety Task Force has produced a comprehensive report of recommendations and resources that addresses school safety plans and operations, training and local partnerships to manage school-based critical incidents and mental health issues that can impact school safety. It also developed a School Safety/Emergency Operations Plan that guides schools and their community partners in efforts to safeguard our children. Safe School Helpline and our Raptor system was introduced to help prevent such actions. The Safe School Helpline is designed to assist students and parents in reporting any wrongdoing that impacts our schools, or students, or our staff-----anonymously, so as to protect your privacy. The Raptor system is an effective visitor management system that screens all visitors to our school prior to gaining access into the educational setting.
To report a concern over Safe School Helpline, from a touch-tone phone call 1-800-41-VOICE, ext. 359 (418-6423) to leave your information. Your message will not be traced and you will not be identified. The Safe School Helpline team will transcribe and fax your message to school officials so appropriate action can be taken. Additional questions may be directed to Cpl. Brian Hartman – South Range Local School’s Resource Officer/Beaver Township Police at 330.549.2163.
In addition, all Ohio schools are required to file school safety plans and building floor plans with the Attorney General’s Office and to update them every three years or whenever significant construction or renovation occurs.
Welcome New Staff!
It is a pleasure to welcome the following new staff to the South Range Local School District for the 2017/2018 school year.
Mr. Jordan Baker – Long Term Sub – 7th Grade Mathematics
Mr. Ryan Dunn – Director of Transportation
Mr. Frank Dispenza – Long Term Sub – Middle School Music
Ms. Trista Houck – 6th Grade Mathematics
Ms. Jennifer Lucido – EMIS Coordinator/Supt. Secretary
Mrs. Alyson Zwingler – Elementary Title I
Raider Football – Undefeated Regular Season!
The 2017 South Range High School Football Team finished the regular season with a perfect 10-0 record. The perfect season extended into the OHSAA Division V Football Playoff State Semi-Final game on November 24th. The Raiders (13-0) faced Pemberville Eastwood at Strongsville High School for a chance to advance to the Division V State Championship. The Raiders fell one game short of the State Final and finished with an outstanding record of 13-1. Congratulations to our student athletes, cheerleaders, band members, football coaches and directors for a season to be remembered!
Raiders Earn State Recognition in 2017
Congratulations to our fall student athletes who were selected to Ohio All-State Teams! Thank you for representing South Range in such a positive manner!
Ian Pierson – Cross Country State Qualifier
Brandon Youngs – Boys Soccer – 2nd Team Division III All-Ohio
Aniello Buzzacco – Football – 2nd Team Division V All-Ohio
Anthony Czap – Football – Honorable Mention Division V All-Ohio
Mathias Combs – Football – 3rd Team Division V All-Ohio
Peyton Remish – Football – 1st Team Division V All-Ohio
SR Board of Education Members
Thank you to all of our past and present Board of Education members that have served our community. Please join me in thanking Board members Mr. John Kuhns and Mr. Dale Murray for their service to South Range Local Schools as December 2017 was their last meeting as Board of Education members. Their time, dedication and commitment to South Range Local Schools is greatly appreciated.
The following Board of Education members will be recognized at the January Board of Education Meeting for their years of service as we celebrate “School Board Recognition Month” in January.
Mr. Ralph Wince – Twenty (20) Year Service Award
Mr. Corey Yoakam – Two (2) Year Service Award
Mrs. Amy White – Two (2) Year Service Award
Please welcome our two newest South Range Board of Education Members elected in November 2017!
Mrs. Terri Lally – Mrs. Lally resides in Beaver Township with husband, Tom, and three children, Emily, Patrick and Michael.
Mr. Taylor Christian – Mr. Christian resides in Green Township with his parents, his brother, Zachariah and his sister, Jessica. Taylor attends Youngstown State University where he is pursuing his Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Geography.
Mr. Christian and Mrs. Lally will be officially begin their Board duties in January 2018.
School and Community “Straight Talk” Meetings
As part of the District Strategic Plan, community meetings will be held in Green and Beaver Townships to improve communications relative to school and community. These meetings are being planned with both Green and Beaver Township leaders as a means of demonstrating the need for communities and school to work collaboratively to make our schools and community a better place for all. Future meeting dates will be communicated in January, including location and time. Upcoming events relative to the community and school will be shared with those in attendance. The meeting will also be an opportunity to address misleading information that may be communicated via social media and other outlets. Positive suggestions/recommendations are encouraged for those attending.
In this fast paced world, we strive to share information with you in a timely manner. We encourage parents and community members to inquire about South Range Schools through a variety of outlets:
Facebook, Drund, SR District Website (www.southrange.org), Saturday Morning Communications Coffee Club, K-12 Newsletter, One Call, Email, Parent Access or via phone.
With inclement weather approaching, school adjustments will be announced through our district “One Call” system, local news media, our website and Drund.
Please join me in welcoming the New Year with a desire to make it a “Great Year to be a South Range Raider.”
Best wishes for a healthy and safe 2018!
Dennis J. Dunham