WARREN SCHOOLS Harding assessment to aid district plan

The district is expected to learn in July whether it will receive funding this year.
WARREN -- Integration of technology, graduation rates, vocational programs and counseling are some of the things the faculty at Warren G. Harding High School believes need improvement.
The group of roughly 40 teachers and staffers met Tuesday to talk about the aspects of the high school that are working well, and those that need improvement.
The information is being used in formation of the district's master plan for school buildings. The district has been in line for the last few years to receive funding from the state for new building. Officials expect to learn in July if this is their year.
The state will provide 80 percent of the funding and the remainder will have to come from local sources, most likely a bond issue.
The Ohio School Facilities Commission has recommended a plan to build eight elementary schools, two middle schools and a high school and to renovate Western Reserve Middle School.
Alternative plan
The district, which includes Warren G. Harding High School, three middle schools and 12 elementaries, proposed an alternative plan earlier this year that OSFC also approved.
The district's plan proposes a new high school and three new kindergarten-through-eighth-grade buildings in three quadrants of the city.
In the fourth quadrant, Reserve would be renovated and used as a kindergarten-through-eighth-grade building.
"But the actual master plan will emanate from the community," said schools Superintendent Betty English.
Tuesday's meeting with the faculty was the first in a series of sessions. Other gatherings are planned to get input from the community and from parents whose children attend all of the district's school buildings.
Dr. Nancy Myers, a facilities planner who is working with architects Fanning/Howey Associates Inc. of Columbus and Olsavsky Jaminet of Youngstown, facilitated the discussion. Myers, a former teacher, has worked with school districts around the country.
"About 70 percent of the work I've done across the country is rethinking high schools," she said. "We have to consider, will we have high schools in 10 years?"
Meeting student needs
Faculty members attending Tuesday's meeting listed the international baccalaureate program, variety of curriculum, athletics, custodial staff, special education, extracurricular programs and technology as things at Harding that are meeting student's needs.
The information gathered in each of the group sessions will be presented to a key communicator group, which will include parents, faculty members and others from the community who will work on the master plan.
Myers said she hopes the group consists of 100 to 150 people.
"We have to be done by June because we'll find out if the funding is coming through in July," she said. "That's why this is on the fast track."

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