The chairman of the Youngstown City Schools Academic Distress Commission told district CEO Krish Mohip he needs more data to support decisions.
“We need to start to draw on firm data moving forward,” Brian Benyo said Thursday as Mohip and his senior leadership team presented district updates to the commission.
The presentation covered each of the five goals in Mohip’s strategic plan: academic achievement; supporting the whole child; parent, family and community involvement; a world-class workforce; and operations, budgeting and accountability.
Although Mohip discussed what is needed to achieve goals and what the district is doing to become more successful, not every presentation included numerical results.
The challenge, Mohip told the commission, is timing.
“I was not able to be put in the CEO position until June and it did slow us down in some areas,” Mohip said. “I wasn’t really able to see how the schools work when they are in session.”
Other challenges to his start included the sometimes adversarial school board, reorganization of many district functions, lack of parental involvement and the difficulty of change in general.
Mohip said the district is moving beyond its challenges with the help of a strong leadership team and sustainable teaching practices.
As far as reorganization, he said: “I am not here to fire our teachers, but to fire them up.”
Mohip’s neighborhood school plan is the most recent reorganization effort.
The plan will place students in prekindergarten through eighth grade into one of nine school buildings in the district closest to their homes.
“We are trying to make this as painless as possible,” said Joe Nohra, chief operations officer.
Nohra chose the Raptor Security System to improve safety.
The system will monitor outsiders coming into the schools with recognition software that will check visitors’ backgrounds, previous issues and more.
Technological advances will allow the district to improve at a faster rate, Benyo said.
“I just think it’s really great to see the efforts you’re putting forth,” commission member Barbara Brothers said to Mohip.
In addition, Brothers said she’s happy the district is utilizing the press to help get district information out to the public.
“I’m hearing a lot of positive feedback from the community,” she said. “Their support is really necessary about progress being made here.”