Academic Distress Commission meets following major hires, changes to school district

By Graig Graziosi


The Youngstown City School District Academic Distress Commission will meet at 3 p.m. Tuesday at 20 W. Wood St. as school district CEO Krish Mohip and senior staff will offer a progress report for the 2016-17 school year.

They will focus specifically on the implementation of the district’s strategic plan.

The meeting takes place a week after members of the board of education tabled a resolution that would result in the board’s rejecting Mohip’s authority as “unconstitutional.”

This also will be the first meeting of the commission since the district reconfigured the city schools and since Mohip hired more than a dozen administrators with salaries of $100,000 or more.

The reconfiguration is meant to put students in schools closer to their homes and rebuild pride in the neighborhoods within the district.

New programs – such as the ninth-grade academies and sports teams at both high schools – were introduced as part of the reconfiguration.

Brian Benyo, academic distress commission chairman, said the changes are “positive.”

“I think the district is in a better position going into this school year than in previous years,” Benyo said.

Brenda Kimble, president of the district board of education, said she would be present at the meeting and that other board members likely were to attend if their work schedules allow.

Mohip ultimately has the final say on district actions, as the board of education serves as an advisory panel, and relations between the board and Mohip have been strained since his arrival.

Mohip said that while there is more work to be done in the district, he believes the schools are heading in the right direction.

“We’re moving forward and making progress toward the five goals outlined in the three-year strategic plan,” Mohip said. “We still have a lot of work to do, but I’m confident that I have the right people – people who share our vision – in place to get it done.”

The “five goals” are academic achievement; addressing every aspect of students’ learning environments; improving parent, family and community engagement; developing and maintaining a quality workforce; and establishing an effective budget to which the district can be held accountable.

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