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2015 State Report Card

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Superintendent's Message

Hello Visitor,

The 2015-16 school year has been an exciting one.  At the close of last school year a team of about 75 caring community members, teachers, and administrators met to have a conversation about teaching and learning in the Boardman Schools in the 21st century.  This group, led by visionary architect and Harvard Professor Dr. Frank Locker, met for three days discussing what schools should be like in Boardman in order to best meet the needs of our students and community.  We talked about everything from building design and the use of technology to STEM education and project-based learning.  At the end of the final session, a group of parents asked me, “What can we do now to make these things come about?”

Thus began the year with the charge of implementing “some” of the ideas explored in the late days of June 2015.  Since then, our teachers, administrators and school board members have been studying, researching, and discussing the possibility of changing the grade configuration at the middle school level.

To give you some historical perspective, the two middle schools have existed in Boardman since the present high school was opened in 1969.   Back in those “early days” of the middle school configuration, Center Middle School housed about 1,500 students and Glenwood Middle nearly 1,000.  Today, the two schools combined house fewer than 1,400 students.  Now one might say, “Why don’t you close a building”?  Simply put, priorities have changed markedly in that time span.  Class sizes today are about 1-25 versus 1-35 or 40 back in the “good old days”.  Also, in the early 1970s, the federal government passed the “Individuals with Disabilities Education Act” forcing schools to expand opportunities for children with educational challenges.  This legislation expanded ten-fold the need to provide extra space in schools for special education classrooms.  Consequently, though our middle school enrollment today is about one-half of what it was in 1969, we are bursting at the seams and are in need of space at that level.

We are considering reconfiguring our current two middle schools into one building (Center) which would house all fifth and sixth graders and the other (Glenwood) which would house all seventh and eighth graders.  This would correct much disparity that currently exists.  What are those disparities?  Let me list a few: (1) class size at Glenwood is about seven students per teacher larger than at Center; (2) Glenwood is the recipient of many more federal dollars than Center due to having more students who receive free or reduced lunch.  As a result, Glenwood received over $130,000 in Federal funds for technology this past summer, whereas Center received nothing; (3) Glenwood has over 30 more special education students than Center; (4) Glenwood qualifies for Title I tutors who can work with all students, whereas Center has very limited tutoring help for students.

Our Board of Education will soon make a decision as to whether this will come to fruition for the 2016-17 school year.  I will keep you updated as things progress.

Best wishes in 2016!

Frank Lazzeri
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