Reynoldsburg Schools to revamp academies


By Sarah Thomas
Staff Writer

Reynoldsburg Schools Superintendent Melvin Brown presented a proposal for academy transformation that will go into effect for the 2019-20 school year.

It received positive feedback from the Reynoldsburg City Schools Board of Education.

This proposal will create a “freshman experience,” where all freshman will be housed on the Livingston Avenue campus. This experience will have an accompanying curriculum, opportunities for students to experience field trips to each academy and programs in place to make sure they are prepared for whatever pathway they choose.

Planning for what this experience will look like will take place during the 2018-19 school year, with input from students, teachers, administrators and staff. Students who wish to be involved can apply for the Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council, found on the announcements page on the school website.

The 2019-20 school year will see the implementation of all freshman at Livingston Avenue. This is when they will also determine locations of academies based on need, program, resources and demand. The 10th, 11th and 12th graders will continue to follow their established paths and transfer to different academies if they are interested.

Brown said he hopes this plan will address some of the issues with the academy system, but stressed this is just a start. It aims to give students more opportunities to explore the different academies before choosing a pathway, and to create a sense of unity between the two campuses.

Board President Joe Begeny agreed that students have had issues with belonging to two campuses, but one high school, but have already found ways to connect through extracurricular activities.

“This is a long process of fixing the issue, not a problem that is going to be solved overnight,” said Begeny.

Board Vice President Debbie Dunlap said that even she didn’t understand what the academies actually were when they first started, and making incoming freshman choose in one night is tough.

“It’s all about exposure at a young age, so they can make better decisions come high school,” said Dunlap. “But they still have the opportunity to change their academy later on.”

Board member Neil Whitman likes that this proposal gives us a year to plan, so there is time to work through the issues. He likes the idea of everyone coming back together for one year and getting to experience Livingston Avenue campus.

The board also approved a new open enrollment policy that clears up issues of in-district students being displaced because of open enrollment, as well as the pecking order for which students are admitted.

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