The State of Our Schools

Mark Kowalski SuperintendentThe state of the school is something you often hear public school leadership talk about - the condition of the facilities, the initiatives implemented in the classroom, the budget decisions that must be addressed, and the past, present and future of the district. 

And for us, the future of our facilities looks clearer thanks to the support our residents showed at the ballot this past May. I am grateful for the opportunity our community has given us to address our facility needs and provide our students with great facilities that match the exceptional instruction they receive every day. We are working with the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission (OFCC) to get that important work started and I will keep you posted on the progress throughout the process. 

In the present moment, we can continue to direct the majority of our budget - 68 percent - to the classroom, where we can make the biggest impact on the experience we provide to our students and staff. This year, we have implemented a few new initiatives and programs that I am excited about: Additional course offerings at the high school, expanded gifted services at the elementary, increased psych and nursing services across the district, the 2020 Wonders Reading Series at the elementary school, the 2020 Into English Literature series for grades 9-12, and increased security across all buildings just to name a few of the positive changes this school year. We want our students to have opportunities to individualize their experience while also providing them with the greatest sense of well-being, safety and protection we can offer. 

And that protection extends to our community - our goal as a school district is to protect our community’s investment in the school and maintain the great quality of education and experience our students receive. My goal as the superintendent is to ensure that happens, and this school year I am doing so by beginning the process of addressing our facility needs, supporting our staff to my fullest capacity, continuing open and transparent communications with district stakeholders, and maintaining a mindset of carefully stretching our precious resources as far as possible. 

And district resources are precious...and limited. This November, the district will be on the ballot for our income tax renewal levy that, when passed, would continue to help fund the day-to-day operations of our schools, such as wages and benefits, technology, utilities, classroom supplies, equipment, as well as maintenance and repair of school property and fixed assets not covered by the bond issue that was approved in May. When passed, this would be the 3rd renewal of this request.

I know that your resources are precious as well, which is why I think it’s critical to emphasize that there are no new taxes with this renewal.  This renewal is absolutely necessary to continue the excellent experience we provide at Liberty-Benton. 

And to hear more about the excellent experience we provide, the condition of our facilities, the initiatives implemented in our classrooms, the budget decisions we must address, as well as the past, present and future of our schools, I encourage you to attend our annual State of the Schools event on October 8 at 7pm at Liberty-Benton High School. 

I hope to see you there! 

Mark Kowalski
Liberty-Benton Local Schools

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