A new school year brings new changes for Reynoldsburg City Schools as kids head back to class the week of Aug. 29.
Revisions to the districts RaiderWear policy will offer a more streamlined dress code for grades 5-12.
“We had some school leaders and parents, both, who thought that maybe if the policies were reorganized it would be easier to follow and to reinforce, said Tricia Moore, coordinator of community outreach for the district.
The new policy is organized differently to emphasize the points that really matter, Moore said. Collared shirts are still required, but in any solid color or pattern, and shirts may now be worn untucked.
“Were aiming for consistent application across the schools and we thought this would help, she said.
The changes apply to all the high schools, Baldwin Road Junior High, Hannah Ashton Middle School and Waggoner Road Junior High. The new policy will begin for Waggoner Road Middle School in the following school year.
Lunch prices will rise in the district this year for the first time in 25 years.
The Reynoldsburg Board of Education approved a 20-cent increase in prices to comply with the meal reimbursement requirements of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Prices for elementary and middle school students will increase from $1.65 to $1.85 and from $2.25 to $2.45 for the junior high and high school students.
“Our lunch program is completely self-sustaining and non-funded by local tax dollars, Moore said.We still have one of the lowest prices around and we try to keep it that way.
On the academic front, additional changes in the district include an early college implementation program offered at the Bell Academy High School on the Livingston Campus.
Reynoldsburg City Schools has collaborated with Columbus State Community College in opening the branch campus to serve both Columbus State students and Reynoldsburg City High School students wishing to earn early college credit.
“Ninth graders in the Bell Academy this year will really be the first class of early college students in Reynoldsburg, Moore said.
The 15-classroom building including two chemistry labs, a library, a tutoring center and a patient care lab, will open to the community in January. Reynoldsburg students will begin classes in the fall.
Additional changes in the district include a mid-level STEM Academy Program for grades 5-8 offered to students at the Baldwin Road Junior High School.
“This year were closing the gap, Moore said.
The district introduced STEM, standing for science, technology, engineering and math, to the elementary schools for grades K-4 during the 2011-2012 school year.
With an already existing eSTEM Academy for grades 9-12 on the Summit campus, the new mid-level program completes the kindergarten through high school STEM program for the district.
“Our Health Science and Human Service Academy has just received official certification as a designated STEM program, Moore added.
The new certification gives Reynoldsburg City Schools two of the 12 designated STEM schools in the state.
“Its meant a lot to us," said Moore, noting that the district has found the STEM network to be a powerful tool.