As an educator for more than 20 years I know that great schools involve their residents in the decisions and happenings of the school district. From advisory councils, to senior citizen’s groups and even a facility taskforce, it is imperative that residents understand the ongoing issues impacting their schools. This is how both the community and school district grow stronger.
For example, Mariemont City Schools is currently looking at possible solutions to significant problems with our high school facility. The school structure is presenting us with many challenges as it ages and regardless of which solution the district chooses to address these challenges, more money will be needed to address the structural, mechanical and academic issues in the current space.
The district has done a significant amount of research; we’ve engaged experts in architecture as well as mechanical and security systems. We are exploring options that range from basic mechanical updates all the way up to a full building replacement. Yet we are also engaging our community. It is important that we understand their voice in this process.
As an educational leader, I know that schools are the heart of many communities. Beyond the tax dollars paid to schools, residents take pride in their schools. From Friday night football games, to choir concerts, theater performances and art shows, the public is an integral part of the school community.
Also, research shows that schools are a driving force in maintaining strong property values and are a high priority for families moving to a new community. The only way to ensure that residents understand what is happening in their school district is for the school leaders to engage directly with the public. Newsletters, social media posts, websites, blogs, podcasts, community chats, online discussions and just having a conversation with members of the community are all great examples of how schools reach out to local residents. Regardless of which options your school district uses, the important thing is to make sure you are getting the information you need to be up to date about what is going on in your schools.
As for Mariemont City School's high school facility project, we continue to seek community input through design workshops and online surveys. If you are interested in learning more about this process or sharing your opinion regarding the proposed solutions, please be sure to keep an eye on our website.