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Superintendent's Message

Dennis Dunham

Dear South Range Community,

This is an exciting time to be a part of our school community. It is my intent to provide the necessary support to make the South Range School District a “Point of Pride” for our entire community as we close out another school year and plan for the opening of our forty-ninth year as South Range Local Schools.

This past school year, the South Range Local School District Board of Education convened a diverse group of community members, school district staff and administrators to consider and debate the status and future of the district. These discussions resulted in a comprehensive strategic plan, including a  vision statement; a revised mission statement; a set of core values; and four new, over-arching district goals, each with a set of measureable and actionable objectives. The South Range Local Schools 2016/2017 strategic planning process also reviewed the recent community survey to include input from constituents. Our community supports the school system, continues to encourage using technology to teach students and expects high performance in student achievement. The board of education at the December 2016 meeting adopted the following:
Vision Statement - “The Community Centerpiece Building on Excellence”
Mission Statement - “At South Range Schools, we educate, empower and enable each student to become a caring and contributing citizen in a diverse global  climate, focusing on individual pathways to success while maintaining respect and responsibility for our community.
Core Values - At South Range, our school   community values … Our School Family;  Our Traditions; Our Dedication and Commitment; Our District Pride; Our Academic Integrity; Our Safe and Secure Environment; Our Support for Learning Beyond the Classroom.

At South Range Local Schools, we have made a commitment that all actions and initiatives undertaken by administrators, staff and students in our district will be aligned directly to one or more of the four overarching goals set forth below:
Our Goals
Academics - “We successfully prepare students for the rigors associated with an ever-changing technological society, postsecondary success and state mandates by establishing strong academic foundations across the curriculum.”
Communications - “Because we believe in what we do, South Range informs and listens through multiple channels with candor and total transparency.”
Finances – “We enhance confidence in and credibility of the district by maximizing “return on investment” for taxpayers through better engagement with the community.”
District Culture – “We develop and nurture partnerships with families and staff to share, reinforce, cultivate and adapt to the values and traditions of our district and community.”
We believe that if we are accountable to these goals as a district and as a community, our schools will continue to improve, achievement will increase and the decisions about doing what’s best for students will be clear.  District staff and community members with expertise or interest in these goal areas are serving on action teams for the new or ongoing objectives aligned directly with each of these goals. As the objectives are implemented, new ones will be discussed, planned and initiated.
We also pursued initiatives designed to enhance opportunities for our students including before and after care program, restoring elementary music for 2016/2017 and the implementation of core teams relative to strategic planning. 
To better engage the community, we have worked hard to build stronger communications with our community leaders and others to advocate in support of strategies to increase student achievement and sustainable funding for schools.  In addition, we strove to enhance our communication with the business community, support organizations and our parents.

Board News
At the January 5, 2017 organizational board meeting, Mr. John Kuhns was elected as Board President and Mrs. Amy White as Vice-President for the 2017 calendar year.  Mr. Ralph Wince, Mr. Dale Murray and Mr. Corey Yoakam comprise the remainder of the board whom dedicate a great deal of time and effort in caring for our students, staff and our community.

District & Building Report Card
Please note that the 2016/2017 report card will be released in August or September and will include the following:  Performance measures, achievement component, progress component, graduation rate component, gap closing component, K-3 literacy component and prepared for success components will be included in this upcoming report card. All the information relative to the 2016/2017 district report card can be accessed on the ODE site @

School Safety
School safety continues to remain as a vital piece to the teaching and learning process.  We know students and staff must feel safe for optimal learning to take place.  Our emergency operations plan has been customized to meet the specific and unique needs, capabilities and circumstances found at our school.  Our safety committee meets frequently and continuously updates are district wide plan.  The key component to our safety plan is to communicate the plan to our students and staff and practice their interoperable skills through drills and exercises to ensure the  strategies in place provide for an effective crisis response and collaborative recovery. 
As a reminder, we will continue our K-12 visitor management system by utilizing the Raptor system, the system instantly screens out registered sex offenders from the campus while managing custody issues, visitors, students, faculty and volunteers.  Visitors  wishing to access the K-12 will be asked to scan their driver’s license prior to gaining entry into the  complex.

Athletic Booster’s Project
A capital fund raising campaign committee led by many caring and passionate community members organized in March of 2015 to develop a plan to build a new stadium at the Rominger Sports Complex.  Since its inception, members have been  tireless in their desire to see improvement made to the Rominger Sports Complex that will benefit students and our community.  In November of 2016, the South Range Board of Education and the South Range Athletic Boosters entering into a lease purchase agreement that permits the boosters to make improvements on school owned   property and then donate the improvements back to the board without any cost to the board/community. This resolution cleared the way for the boosters to secure the necessary funds to make improvements at the stadium to accommodate varsity sporting events, band shows and music events.  The South Range Athletic Boosters have secured a loan from Farmers National Bank and have had many generous contributors to the overall project that will permit the boosters to make Phase II improvements.  The following businesses and individuals have made significant contributions to the stadium project: Advanced Dermatology, Don & Delaine DeChellis, Fairway Ford, Farmer's National Bank, Joe Dickey Electric, Myers Insurance, Salem Propane, Sheely’s, and Witmer’s Inc. Phase II improvements will include: electrical infrastructure, LED field lighting, home and visitor grandstands and a state of the art digital/video scoreboard.

Music Boosters
The South Range Music Boosters have been working to raise funds to construct a band shelter on the stadium site. The “Band Shell” will be located at the south end of the stadium and will provide necessary seating and shelter for the Raider Band.  Recently the Music   Boosters received a significant donation from the Mark and Linda Witmer family that will along with the other donated funds make it possible to construct the shell as soon as construction permits.
The two privately funded initiatives by our two booster organizations has an aggressive time line of August 26, 2017 as a completion date. The remaining two (2) phase improvements include a main plaza entrance, ticket booths, concessions, restrooms and parking. The   timeline for the listed improvement will be done as funds become available. 
As a reminder, this initiative will not use any board of education funds/tax dollars to complete the necessary phases of construction.   The South Range Athletic   Boosters, South Range Music Boosters and the South Range Schools Foundation have contributed to making Phase I and II a reality. This facility will be a great resource for the entire South Range Community to utilize.

In closing, sincere thanks to the parents, community members and support organizations that continue to do extraordinary things for our students, staff, school district and community.

As always, I am available to answer any questions or listen to any concerns, ideas or thoughts that will benefit our school district.  Thanks for making the 2016/2017 school year a “Great Year to be a Raider”



Dennis J. Dunham



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