Little Miami Superintendent Greg Power says the coming of a new year gives one the opportunity to reflect on the past year’s events, and to look ahead to what the next year may have in store.
As the superintendent of Little Miami Local Schools, I am greatly encouraged by what our staff and students accomplished in 2012, and I expect even more great things in the coming year.
Some of the highlights of 2012:
- Our enrollment rose more than 120 students this year, reversing a recent trend that saw almost 500 students depart Little Miami in the last four years. We are encouraged that more and more parents are entrusting their children’s education to Little Miami.
- Harlan-Butlerville Primary and Hamilton-Maineville Primary Schools re-opened their doors for the 2012-2013 school year. This began a new chapter in the history of these two buildings, where so many pleasant memories live and many more are waiting to be made.
- Little Miami High School was designated as a High Schools that Work Platinum High Achievement School by the Southern Regional Education Board, and Little Miami Junior High was named a Pacesetter school by the same organization, which recognizes high achievement and high expectations in the nation’s schools.
- Our buildings once again became hubs of activity for the community, as groups and organizations used the facilities for meetings, programs, practices and games. We’re proud that families and the community can reconnect with their schools. More opportunities to do just that are coming, with the return of Pantherfest on Feb. 9 and the district-wide fine arts festival on May 4.
- The number of athletes wearing a Little Miami uniform increased, as our sports teams saw participation numbers rise, reversing the trend from the last two years.
- Sweet strains of holiday music rang through our buildings as we ended the year with a number of band, music and choral concerts. This was the result of efforts to revitalize our fine arts program, which had suffered greatly during our recent financial difficulties.
Looking ahead to 2013, a number of exciting events await us, along with a number of challenges.
For example, Little Miami is projected to be released from fiscal emergency on May 22, 2013. After 34 months of financial oversight, we look forward to the day when our own Board of Education will have the final say in decisions about our schools.
In addition to this, we will implement a new mathematics curriculum in 2013-2014 for grades K-4 designed to meet the new Common Core State Standards, along with providing an increased number of resources for our teachers.
These local changes will be happening against the backdrop of sweeping educational change for districts across the state of Ohio. From the third grade reading guarantee, to the new state report card for school districts, to new teacher evaluation requirements and merit pay considerations, all public school districts like Little Miami will be facing a great many changes for which the state has offered little associated funding necessary to efficiently and effectively deploy these reforms.
I am confident that Little Miami is up to the challenge, and in 2013, will do as it always has: create a safe learning environment that supports a quality education for every child. We look forward to great things in the coming year.