Our schools are preparing students for the future, but our community is at a crossroads. The district has experienced explosive growth over the last decade, growing by nearly 500 students. We are the third-fastest growing school district in the state. That growth presents challenges to our high quality academics, as well as our facilities. Despite the rapid growth, our schools are still operating at 2012 funding levels – forcing our educators to make due with less.
Our schools have four operating issues set to expire in the near future, and those issues account for nearly 40% of our operating budget. Our Board of Education is considering placing a levy on the ballot this fall to combine the four issues. If placed on the ballot, the levy would not be a tax increase.
Our Board also recognizes the district’s growing enrollment is impacting capacity. Some schools are over capacity (Liberty Elementary, High School) or near-capacity (Early Childhood Learning Community, Ranger High-Tech Academy), and some students are learning in spaces never intended to be classrooms- including hallways and mobile trailers.
The Board and administration are actively planning for North Ridgeville’s future, and they are taking the community’s thoughts into consideration in their planning. To date, the Board has worked with Burges & Burges Strategists, a community research organization to:Hold in-depth conversations with elected officials, businesses, clergy, and other community members to hear their feedback about our facilities and funding.Conduct listening sessions with parents and staff to hear their concerns and perspectives about our District’s future.Conduct an online survey, with more than 1,400 community members providing feedback about future funding and facility needs.
Our stakeholders know education is key to our city and school district’s continued growth, and understand the importance of our educators, resources, and the facilities in which our students learn. The Board will use data collected from the research to make decisions on when to place the no-increase levy on the ballot, and recommendations for a facility plan to improve and update our educational quality.
We are committed to working with the community to determine how we can live within our means, and provide the facilities most conducive to educating our learners and our community’s future.