Hilliard Schools Ranked First in the State in Value-Added on State Report Card

As you have heard, the Ohio Department of Education recently released the Ohio School Report Cards for the 2022-23 school year.  We’re thrilled to share some exciting news about one of the components of the report card:  Progress.  The Progress Component is based 100% on the district’s value-added score.

The value-added score is made up of two components:  overall growth index and effect size.  I am pleased to report that, according to the Ohio Department of Education, Hilliard City Schools was ranked #1 out of 607 public school districts on the overall growth index and #15 out of 607 districts on effect size.

Value-added looks closely at the growth all students are making based on their past state test performances.  In short, value-added measures how much our district’s teachers grow student performance, regardless of where students start, over the course of a year’s time.  It is a true representation of our commitment to every student, without exception.

The Progress Component (based 100% on value-added) measures the academic performance of students compared to expected growth on Ohio’s State Tests. This calculation uses a “value-added” model of measuring academic growth that compares the change in the achievement of a group of students to an expected amount of change in achievement that is based on the students’ prior achievement history.

I want to congratulate every employee and every student of the Hilliard City Schools for this achievement.  This is a testament to their hard work and dedication to being Ready for Tomorrow.

David Stewart – Superintendent


Hilliard City Schools Celebrates Results on the 2022/23 Ohio Report Cards

The Ohio Department of Education recently released the Ohio School Report Cards for the 2022-2023 school year. We are pleased to announce that Hilliard City Schools continues to make positive gains in our goal of ensuring that every student, without exception, is Ready for Tomorrow. 

One change in this year’s report card is the inclusion of an “Overall” rating.  The Overall rating is out of 5 possible stars, in increments of .5 stars.  The Ohio Department of Education has clarified that an overall rating of at least 3 stars indicates that a district or school has met state standards. We are proud to share that Hilliard City Schools has earned 4.5 out of 5 stars, affirming our commitment to academic excellence.

We are particularly delighted to have received 5 stars in Progress and Gap Closing. Progress measures the growth made by all our students based on their past performance, reflecting our dedication to continuous improvement. The Gap Closing component evaluates our efforts in reducing educational disparities among student subgroups, emphasizing our commitment to equity and inclusivity.

In the category of Achievement, Hilliard City Schools received four stars. This component assesses student performance on state tests.  Within this component, we are also excited to share that our Performance Index Score, which is a measure of all tests taken by all students, continues to increase as well.

Hilliard City Schools received three stars in both Graduation and Early Literacy, which indicates that the district is meeting state standards. Graduation evaluates the percentage of students who graduate with a regular or honors diploma, while the Early Literacy component assesses reading improvement and proficiency levels in grades K-3. These areas will be a focal point for our continued improvement efforts.  Specific to the Early Literacy component, this year, we launched new K-12 English Language Arts Curriculums. The Wit and Wisdom program is the new resource that our professionals chose to support this new curriculum.  It is designed for our younger learners and will empower students to read challenging texts, write effectively, and speak clearly and logically. We believe these initiatives will lead to even greater gains across our district.

At Hilliard City Schools, our vision is to Embrace, Empower, and Inspire students, families, and the community through an active partnership.  While we will never be defined solely by state test scores or local report card results, we are pleased to celebrate the success of our teachers and students.  While we recognize that there is always more work to be done, we extend our heartfelt gratitude to all of our parents, students, staff, and community members for their unwavering support and the work that went into this success. Together, we will continue to raise the bar for educational excellence in Hilliard for every student, without exception.

Superintendent David Stewart

How Does Development in Hilliard Impact the Schools

Many people have seen the City of Hilliard develop a new comprehensive plan.  According to their web page, they launched Hilliard by Design to significantly update the city’s 2011 comprehensive plan.

While we congratulate the City Leaders for creating such a forward-thinking document, we hear that some in our community need more clarification on what the city can do with land owned by the school district. The short answer is they can not buy or sell property owned by the Board of Education without the Board’s approval, nor have they ever tried to. The Board appreciates the opportunity to collaborate with our city partners on projects that impact the schools.

Currently, the Hilliard School Board of Education will continue working on the District’s Master Facilities Plan, or MFP. An MFP is the product of a data-driven process that guides capital planning decisions over the next 5-10 years. The process takes into account community and stakeholder feedback, which results in transparent decisions about:

  • Educational programs
  • Facility use
  • Capital investment

This MFP will address many fundamental questions:

  • What kind of schools will best prepare students and inspire them to achieve their full potential for the future?
  • How many students will attend our schools in five years? Ten years?
  • What is the correct number, size, and location of schools to best serve these students?
  • Where do we need new schools?
  • Which current buildings should be replaced, expanded, modernized, or repurposed?
  • What is the cost and schedule to make these changes?

You can click here to access the web page to learn more about the District’s MFP process. If you want to participate in the process moving forward, please email us by clicking here.


School Funding Remains Flat Even As Local Property Values In Hilliard Rise

You may have read that all Franklin County residents’ properties have been assessed this year.  This part of a regular procedure ensures fair taxation based on area changes.

In Hilliard, residential property values have increased by an average of 34%. Residents may wonder if their taxes will increase at the same rate or if the school district will gain extra funds. The answer to both is no.

A law passed in 1976, House Bill (HB) 920, protects homeowners from significant tax increases by limiting growth on taxes. While rates went up, each property owner will be impacted differently.  You can click here to access the Franklin County Auditor’s web page to search for your specific property.

HB 920l also prevents school districts from collecting extra revenue from rising property values unless approved by voters. An exception is the “inside millage,” or the 4.45 mills of property tax that Hilliard receives that grows with inflation, which may fluctuate with property assessments.

Hilliard maintains its reputation as an excellent place to live, and our top-rated schools contribute to this success. We remain committed to providing value for your investment in education. For questions about school finances, please click here for our Fiscal reports on the District web page.

Navigating Financial Uncertainties with Prudent Fiscal Management

Twice yearly, Ohio’s public schools must approve a 5-year financial forecast. Hilliard Schools’ latest forecast was approved on May 18, showing careful planning amidst potential revenue challenges. Here are some essential details: 


The Current Revenue Landscape

  • State Funding: The Fair School Funding Plan, enacted in 2021, aims for more equitable funding for Ohio schools. The state aid is determined based on 60% local property valuation and 40% household income. However, as the plan was only partially funded in the last budget cycle, it’s still uncertain what it will mean for Hilliard Schools. Early projections suggest flat state funding for our district.
  • House Bill 920: This 1976 law prevents districts from collecting increased funds even as property values rise. Despite this, Hilliard Schools has managed its funds wisely, not seeking additional operating money since 2016.
  • Inflation: Rising inflation rates put added pressure on school budgets. Combined with HB 920, this likely leads to deficit spending as expenditures outpace revenues. However, schools are expected to manage their cash balances wisely and are prohibited from operating with negative cash balances.


Managing Administrative Costs

Contrary to rumors, Hilliard Schools has minimized administrative costs, even eliminating seven administrative positions over the past three years. The cut positions save the district close to one million dollars a year. This places us with the lowest administrative expenditure per pupil in Franklin County.


Deficit Spending and the Forecast

Deficit spending reflects the challenges of rising costs and restricted property tax growth rather than financial mismanagement. Hilliard Schools has carefully built a cash balance over the years, which is now utilized as costs exceed revenues. This prudent fiscal planning allows us to stay off the ballot asking taxpayers for more money only when it is absolutely needed.


We appreciate our community’s support as we navigate these financial uncertainties. We are committed to keeping you updated on our financial status. You can find our latest financial reports here.

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