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Superintendent's Message


Dennis Dunham
Superintendent

Dear South Range Community,

I genuinely look forward to the second half of the school year and continue to reiterate that we are here, with purpose; purposely giving our daily best as students, our daily best as educators,  our daily best as parents and our daily best as productive citizens in our respective communities.  With our continued resolve to do our very best, each and every day at South Range Local Schools, we will continue to be successful in all we do.

Strategic Planning

The spring of 2016 witnessed the first of four (4) comprehensive strategic planning meetings within our district.  The Ohio School Boards Association helped facilitate the strategic planning process with the intent of creating a solid and workable plan that will serve as a roadmap for decision making, school improvement and student success over the next several years. The final core team meeting was held on November 1st.   As a result of the last meeting, four goals and goal statements have been created by the committee.  The goals: Academics, Communications, Finance and District Culture, along with their statements will be conveyed to the district’s steering committee and ultimately the South Range Board of Education to be considered for adoption.  The next steps in this process will be organizational planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation. The comprehensive plan will continue to develop and be recommended to the board of education for adoption in the spring of 2017.   Many thanks to the strategic planning members for their willingness to participate and for their dedication to our students.

Teaching and Learning

Ohio’s Annual State Report Card highlights six different performance areas for school districts.  With reporting multiple measures schools use these data along with additional data to identify areas of strength and concern.  This data analysis allows districts to create a road map for the school year.  

When the report card is first released, we have the opportunity to observe where our data points are in relation to our expectations.  Once the report card is public, we are able to determine our performance in relation to other districts throughout the state.  This relative measure is critical especially as we have transitioned to different vendor assessments.  It is common to show a dip in performance data when there are changes in testing.  Moving forward, we are hopeful that the vendor will stay consistent so results are more predictable.  

Overall, how does South Range compare on the State Report Card to other districts?  Locally, our math and language arts achievement scores are competitive with surrounding districts.  According to data compiled locally, South Range’s results are among the highest in grades 3, 4, 5, 6 and 10 in the Mahoning County area.  At the state level, the district gap closing measure was in the top 13% of the districts in Ohio.  The area of concentration for improvement is the value added measure.  We have implemented building and district goals for improvement in this area.  Our grade level teams have been working with content area consultants to implement and measure the effects of research-based strategies in the classroom.  

This data comparison is important for all of us.  However, this does not define us.  Instead, it helps guide us to continue to improve the opportunities provided to all of our students in the district.  We all know that what makes our district stand out reaches far beyond the measures of the Report Card.    

Stadium Project/Official Announcement

The South Range Local School’s Board of Education authorized a Ground Lease and Lease Purchase agreement with the South Range Athletic Boosters, Inc. on November 10, 2016 to help pave the way for improvements to the Rominger Sports Complex.

The Board had previously entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the South Range Athletic Boosters that addressed fundraising, design, planning and construction of the athletic stadium facilities on land owned by the board.

The Athletic Boosters made improvements to the Rominger Sports Complex last July by constructing a turf playing field for our students, and have donated those improvements to the board of education.

The Athletic Boosters have recently announced that a $1,000,000 loan has been arranged from the Farmers National Bank of Canfield to finance construction of Phase II of the stadium project, which at a minimum, includes electrical site work, architectural design, bleachers and field lighting. A 34’x32’ digital scoreboard will also be part of Phase II as advertising has been secured from local businesses and was recently board approved.  A locker room/wrestling practice room is a conceivable part of Phase II construction providing costs are below budget. If funding is not in place for the locker room/wrestling room, the facility will be scheduled as part of the stadium improvements in Phase III. 

It is the district’s goal to host Varsity Football, Soccer and Track at the Rominger Sports Complex/ Stadium for the 2017/2018 school year.  As always, the construction schedule, project funding and the necessary building permits will determine the feasibility of hosting events in the fall of 2017. As with any project, it is prudent to have a “back up” plan in place.  If necessary, Memorial Field in North Lima, which is owned by the board of education, will be utilized until the project is complete.  As previously discussed, Phase III projected improvements include rest rooms, concessions and a band shell.  Phase IV will incorporate a hillside (Memorial Field replica), entrance plaza, fencing, ticket booths and parking lot improvements.

Many thanks to the South Range Athletic Boosters, Capital Fund Raising Committee Members, South Range Schools Foundation, Farmers National Bank and the many, many caring individuals that have contributed to the stadium project.  Our entire community will benefit from these wonderful improvements.

School Safety!

Recent polls show that parents’ first concern about schools today is their child’s safety.  It is also the first concern of the staff at South Range Schools.  Fortunately, South Range is very safe; however, no community is immune from the threats of violence and drugs that endanger public schools nationwide.

Prior to winter break, Safe School Helpline was introduced to help prevent such actions.  It 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.

To report a concern, just call from a touch-tone phone to 1-800-4-1-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.

Technology Improvements

We have taken a strong initiative to improve the use of technology in all of our buildings. We are pleased to announce that we have purchased 180 new Chrome Books for the 2016/2017 school year. Our students are using these devices for testing as well as class assignments. Students are able to use these devices in their classrooms, in the media center or in the labs. Over the summer a ninety seat computer lab was created in the former Industrial Technology Lab.  This lab will be used for large group assessments and for other technology needs.

Communications! 

Communication is a top priority within our district. We strive to accommodate our community and offer a number of ways to share information with you. We encourage parents and community members to inquire about South Range Schools through any of our outlets:

Facebook, Drund, Saturday Morning Coffee Club, District Website (www.southrange.org), K-12 Newsletter, One Call, Email, Parent Access.

 

Best Wishes for a great 2017 and 2nd half of our school year!

 

Sincerely,

Dennis J. Dunham

Superintendent




8/18/2015


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