Another school year under the cloud of the pandemic, our third straight year by the way, has come to an end but the ray of hope from the Class of 2022 helped to close the year while simultaneously shining the light of a new “dawn” synonymous with the Latin roots of Aurora. It was a beautiful evening at Veterans Stadium in May as this group of seniors who have shown so much resilience throughout their high school careers turned their tassels. However, graduation does not mark the end, but rather one step in their progression of learning. These young people have been nurtured by the Aurora City School District (ACSD) staff, many since they entered kindergarten, until they now leave the halls of the Greenhouse (AHS). In fact, all three of the commencement speakers which included, Liz Crawford, Annalise Bender, and Mason Kacmar, eluded to either the Greenhouse or the “roots” in some form or fashion when delivering their speech. Two of the speakers made a point to recognize that their roots were nurtured by the entire PK-12 staff and the third recognized how special Aurora was since entering the school system as a freshman. I bring this up to point out that the environment that these young people have experienced throughout their time in the ACSD was clearly one that nurtured them and allowed them to grow and thrive in ideal conditions. Just like a young plant that leaves the greenhouse after being nurtured in ideal conditions, these young people leave with strong roots that they will set down in places all over the country which will anchor them, provide support, and help them to contribute to their new environment. Thanks to their efforts, family support, and nurturing from the entire ACSD staff these Aurora Learners are clearly Future Ready.
Throughout the last two years serving as the superintendent of the Aurora City Schools you have heard me speak of and share examples of the positive impact from following our district’s Strategic Vision. They are examples of what I like to call a “Greenhouse Culture” in the schools. I have often said that a natural byproduct of “focusing on the roots” (competencies) are flowers (scores/ranking) for all to appreciate. Yet another example of the byproduct of nurturing the roots of young people was announced earlier this year by U.S. News and World Report when Aurora High School was rated 461st in the nation (top 2%), 14th in Ohio (out of 872 public high schools) and 1st in the Akron Metro Area. The methodology for the rankings focuses on six factors: college readiness, reading and math proficiency, reading and math performance, underserved student performance, college curriculum breadth and graduation rates. As again one of 500 Best High Schools in the country for 2022 we have attained this U.S. News & World Report designation for the last 9 years.
I also wanted to be sure to thank those families who provided feedback on the 2021-2022 school year. This information is important as we will review it over the summer, reflect on it, and develop goals based off the feedback for the 2022-2023 school year. In general, the results were very positive though we only had about 40% (747 families) of our families respond this year compared to approximately 65% last year. Here is a quick summary of the quantitative data (1 = Extremely Unsatisfied and 5 = Extremely Satisfied). We will also be reviewing the qualitative data/written feedback over the next few weeks.
- What was your overall opinion of the ACADEMIC LEARNING for your child this school year?
- What was your overall opinion of the SAFETY MEASURES in place for your child this school year?
- Generally speaking, do you approve or disapprove of the decision your school leaders made about COVID during this past school year? For example, the utilization of our 20-point metrics for masking protocols.
- What was your overall opinion of the DISTRICT COMMUNICATION for your child this past school year
- What was your overall opinion of the BUILDING COMMUNICATION for your child this past school year?
Finally, I want to be sure to take this opportunity to wish everyone a happy and safe summer. The summer months go by very quickly so I hope you have the opportunity to really enjoy the time with family and friends. Please remember to check out our district website throughout the summer to keep up-to-date on summer reading information, reminders, and back to school events/information. We look forward to welcoming everyone back in the fall and kicking off another great year of learning and growing.