From time to time Superintendent John Marschhausen is asked the same questions from different members of the community. In an effort to share the answers with everyone he puts the questions here with his candid responses.
As winter has finally seized a frozen grip on central Ohio, and the forecast includes periodic snow showers and cold temperatures, the inevitable questions about temperature and school safety resurface.
First of all, you can check out this blog from our archives. While temperatures hovering around zero are cold, we do live in central Ohio and we must dress for the weather. The same can be said for snow. If we get an inch or two, and the roads are passable with some extra time, we will have school. It is imperative that we plan for the inevitable winter weather in Ohio. If the forecast is for snow, get up a little earlier and give yourself extra time. If parents are concerned about their teenage drives, our busses will be happy to pick up students that normally drive.
When are the professional development days in February and March? Are they different than last year?
The school calendars for the reminder of this year, and for next year, are available on the district website under the Calendar tab. We have moved our two “Hilliard University” professional development days to General Election in November and the Primary Election in March. This permits us to open our buildings as polling places while still maintaining the security environment we expect when students are in the buildings. This year we have a 4-day weekend in from February 12-15 (Conference Day and President’s Day) and then students have a day-off on Tuesday, March 15th (Ohio’s Presidential Primary).
Is the district considering expanding all-day kindergarten?
We would love to offer all-day kindergarten to more families. In my professional judgment, we shouldn’t mandate all-day kindergarten, but we should be able to offer it. For us, it is primarily a space issue and secondarily a cost issue. The Facilities Task Force is in the midst of examining options for our buildings. If we are going to offer all day kindergarten, we simply need more classroom space. We also turn away youngsters from our pre-school every year. Knowing early childhood education is the key in building a foundation for future success, it would be great to have enough space to offer these programs to all families. For now, we will continue to offer all day kindergarten where we have space and we will continue to seek opportunities for future offerings.
Can we continue to offer courses for students and parents focused on digital and online safety?
Of course, we will continue to offer courses, expand opportunities, and learn together. The technology isn’t going away. In fact, we must continue to relentlessly commit to staying current with developing programs, apps, and trends. In many cases the students are ahead of us on this digital journey. We must be vigilant and work together to keep our young people safe. Just this week, on Thursday, January 14th from 6:30 – 8:00 PM we have a Keeping Your Student Digitally Safer at Home event in the Hilliard Station Media Center. We will continue to have events such as this during this year and in future years. You can find those classes on our One2One webpage.