Before Sandusky Schools officials make any decisions on the matter for their district, they’re asking community members to provide input at a series of upcoming public discussions.
At their meeting Monday, school board members released a statement regarding the plan, called “Summer Conversation on the Future of our Schools.” The dates and times for preliminary discussions will be listed soon on the district’s website. Anyone can attend.
“We’re seeking input and feedback from all segments of the community,” board president Faith Denslow said. Superintendent Eugene Sanders stressed Sandusky Schools has not yet made any decisions, but it’s important to start talking informally about the possibilities.
The district could seek assistance from the Ohio School Facilities Commission, a state organization that provides partial funding for construction or renovation projects it oversees, Sanders said. It could also assess community input and decide it’s not necessary to update its facilities at this time. No matter what the outcome, academic plans will determine facility needs, he said.
“We don’t want to build facilities and then build our academic plan around those,” Sanders said. “We want a strong, dynamic, viable education plan to determine what facilites we need to match that plan. That will lead the conversation moving forward.”
The district will first meet with a select group of community leaders Wednesday morning, he said.
In other business, board members officially accepted assistant superintendent Dennis Muratori’s resignation Monday and hired David Danhoff as his replacement.
Also at the meeting, state Rep. Randy Gardner, R-Bowling Green, gave a brief presentation to board members regarding the state budget’s impact on public schools. Gardner praised Sandusky Schools officials for their desire to find innovative ways to educate children, including the district’s new gifted school slated to open in August. More than 100 fourthgraders through sixthgraders have already enrolled, Sanders said.
“Public education has more competition than it did 20 or 30 years ago and if you sit back and don’t engage, you’re bound to lose students,” Gardner said. “I give you credit for already thinking in that way. I know the governor wants to see districts like you pushing the envelope and finding new ways to educate kids.”
The new state budget offers districts a share of a $300 million pool of “innovation funds” in one-time grants for projects to modernize schools and improve achievement, he said. Sanders and board members expressed interest Monday in pursuing the funds.