By Rick Palsgrove
Groveport Madison’s annual State of the Schools celebration provided a glimpse of where the district stands today.
The event, held March 14 at Groveport Madison High School, included performances by the high school jazz band, the high school A Capella Choir, Middle School Central’s choir and sixth grade band and seventh and eighth grade solos/ensembles, Middle School North seventh and eight grade solos/ensembles, Cruiser cheerleaders, the student art show, and food provide by the Eastland-Fairfield Career Center culinary arts program.
Groveport Madison Superintendent Jamie Grube shared the district’s State Report Card results from the Ohio Department of Education.
The newest version of the State Report Card is a five-star rating system to measure student performance in the following: Achievement, Progress, Early Literacy, Gap Closing, and Graduation. The star-ranking system equates to earning three stars as meeting state standards with five stars represented as significantly exceeding state standards and one star defined as needing significant improvement.
Groveport Madison’s recent State Report Card results are:
•Achievement (state tests) – 2 stars.
•Student Progress (how much learned in a year) – 5 stars.
•Gap Closing (reduction of educational gaps in subgroups) – 4 stars.
•Graduation Rate –1 star.
•Early Literacy (reading proficiency) – 2 stars.
The district’s four year graduation rate is 83 percent and its five year graduation rate is 84.9 percent.
“We are not where we want to be or where we are capable of being,” said Grube.
The district is retooling its high school pathways program and high school counselors have created graduation plans for each student. The plans closely monitor each student’s progress toward graduation. Efforts are also being made to allow students to obtain apprenticeships in various skilled trades, which also count toward meeting state graduation requirements.
Groveport Madison Treasurer Felicia Drummey, said the district receives 46.5 percent of its revenue from property taxes, 40.7 percent from state funding, and 12.8 percent from other sources.
She said 58 percent of expenses go to classroom instruction and 38 percent to support services.
Last month Drummey said there is a larger gap between revenue and expenses every year and it needs to be plugged by either spending reductions or obtaining additional revenue (such as an operating levy).
“While we have carefully managed our expenditures over the years, we still anticipate placing an operating levy on the ballot,” said Drummey.
The district’s most recent operating levy was renewed by voters in 2019. That five-year levy was a “no new taxes” levy and it was the renewal of an existing levy.
Drummey said the status of the district’s finances are not unexpected as the financial forecast projected there would be an operating deficit beginning in 2023.
“That is a natural occurrence near the end of the levy’s life cycle,” said Drummey. “It is not an indication the district is not managing its resources well, but rather reflects the impact of school funding in Ohio.”
Drummed added that Groveport Madison has the second lowest millage rate out of 17 area school districts. Only the Hamilton Township school district is lower.
School buildings and enrollments
Grube said a challenge facing the district is student overcrowding and aging school buildings.
“Our enrollment has grown by over 1,000 over the past 10 years,” said Grube.
He said school libraries have had to be converted to classrooms and crowded cafeterias mean some students have lunch as early as 10:20 a.m. and as late as 1:30 p.m.
The classroom capacities and enrollment, according to Groveport Madison officials:
•Lil’ Cruiser Pre-K – Built in 2017. Enrollment = 104. Capacity = 112.
•Asbury Elementary – Built in 1963 with additions in 1968 and 1969. Enrollment = 488. Classroom capacity = 385. (Asbury has two double-classroom modular units for additional capacity).
•Dunloe Elementary – Built in 1967 with additions in 1968 and 1969. Enrollment = 492. Classroom capacity = 444. (Dunloe has two double-classroom modular units for additional capacity)
•Glendening Elementary – Built in 1968 with an addition in 1974. Enrollment = 455. Classroom capacity = 480.
•Groveport Elementary – Built in 1923. Enrollment = 464. Classroom capacity = 408. (Groveport has two double-classroom modular units for additional capacity). Placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2009.
•Madison Elementary – Built in 1967 with additions in 1968 and 1969. Enrollment = 354. Classroom capacity = 359.
•Sedalia Elementary – Built in 1969 with an addition in 1974. Enrollment = 629. Classroom capacity = 456. (Sedalia has six double-classroom modular units for additional capacity).
•Middle School Central – Built in stages as a high school between 1952-56. Enrollment = 467. Classroom capacity = 463. Placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2009.
•Middle School North – Built in 1975. Enrollment = 510. Classroom capacity = 583.
•Middle School South – Built in 1975. Enrollment = 467. Classroom capacity = 485.
•High School, built in 2018. Enrollment = 1,889. Classroom capacity = 1,440.
Grube said district officials hope to have a master facilities plan ready by next year.