Three Tiffin City Schools administrators gave a progress report for the district's Charting The Course process Monday evening.
About 30 people listened as Donald Coletta, superintendent; Scott Urban, director of instruction and personnel; and Doug Hartenstein, principal of Lincoln Elementary School, provided the update at Tiffin Middle School.Charting The Course has helped people define what they want the school district to look like in five years and has had three parts, a community meeting, a telephone survey and research groups.
About 100 people had been divided into four groups to study career-based education, community engagement, student achievement and using technology in instruction, and the district looked at ways to implement recommendations that were made.
Coletta said it is important people take time to reflect on the past year of the Charting The Course process and the progress that has been made. He said eventually, he would like to combine the process with the district's continuous improvement plan and encouraged people to ask, "Are we where we need to be?"
"This is our two-year anniversary. ... We really appreciate your input," he said.
Coletta addressed the district's goal to improve mechanisms it uses to get information to taxpayers and said he is not pleased with where the district is in the process. The district previously published "Focus On Our Children" and then switched to an electronic magazine called "Inspire!"
Only 12 percent of subscribers opened the magazine in August, which was its last issue, and the district couldn't continue offering it, he said.
Coletta said he is looking for input about how the district can communicate with taxpayers.
He also updated people about the district's goal to expand partnerships between parents and the district.
"Much of that takes place at the building level," he said.
Hartenstein reviewed the district's efforts to create a character education program and include parents. He said a district committee made up of administrators and staff members was formed and is finding ways to implement character education.
Tiffin Middle School has a program in place that focuses on themes such as responsibility, respect, caring, perseverance and integrity, he said.
Urban explained the district's efforts to make the curriculum relevant and rigorous. Relevant and rigorous instruction motivates students to learn, he said.
"We see that every day," he said.
Urban said the district plans to implement a series of rigorous pre-Advanced Placement courses for sixth-graders and also increase the number of AP courses it offers from three to eight by 2014.
"AP courses are very rigorous, and they're very challenging," he said.
Tiffin City Schools has a goal to research a curriculum dealing with science, technology, engineering and math. The district is partnering with local manufacturers to develop middle school courses.
Urban said one idea is to offer students scholarships funded through an outside organization to attend Terra State Community College or Owens Community College to study machine trades and then potentially return to the local work force.