Sidney City Schools strives to educate all students to achieve academic excellence, be responsible citizens, and become prepared for further education and productive employment. With this in mind, the district continues to allocate its resources to keep our students and staff comfortable and secure; to maintain clean, well lit, and operationally efficient buildings; and to ensure safe and efficient transportation. In being transparent in our allocations, the district continues to make necessary improvements with interior and exterior upgrades, which allow us to provide a quality learning environment.
Building maintenance comes with some expensive price tags, which is why the district is seeking a Permanent Improvement (PI) Levy on August 2, 2016. These funds will allow the district to make necessary allocations to keep our students and staff safe. For example, our school busses are running to transport not only Sidney City School students, but also Lehman Catholic, Holy Angels, and Christian Academy students to their respective buildings. The district is in need of a bus replacement each of the next three years as the fleet is aging. New busses cost between $78,000 – $100,000 each with no assistance from the state.
Furthermore, the PI fund will allow the district to continue to replace sections of Sidney High School roof which is experiencing unrepairable sections. When the weather elements are coming into the building, learning in a comfortable environment is not easy. In the last two years, three of the 16 sections have been replaced which have cost over $300,000.
Technology use and needs continue to grow at Sidney City Schools, which, like textbooks, is also a permanent improvement expense. Education is no longer dependent primarily on paper and pencil tasks. Over the past five years, more than 300 iPads and 1,200 Chromebooks have been deployed into the classrooms to improve the quality of education. The district staff and students are transitioning to the use of Google Classroom and Google Docs for collaboration, online learning, and to reduce the amount of paper being used on a daily basis. More importantly, we are using the many devices to transition to the State’s online testing mandates.
With your support at the polls, the district will continue to maintain our schools for all students, staff, and community members. As presented on the October 19, 2015, Board of Education meeting, a clear plan is in place based on the needs of the district. (Presentation can be found online at www.citizensforsidneyschools.org under resources.) However, as with my own house, sometimes project timelines can be changed when unexpected issues need some assistance. With our aging buildings of the district, we need your help to keep our facilities maintained, and be rest assured the finances will be used in a prudent manner.
The writer is the Director of Operations, Technology, and Transportation for Sidney City Schools. He can be reached at 937-494-2020 or [email protected]