Column: Meeting on facilities is Dec. 10WORTHINGTON — The article for this week is related to an update on facilities work that the task force committee completed last week prior to the upcoming public meeting and the presentation to the school board.
By: John Landgaard, District 518, Worthington Daily Globe
WORTHINGTON — The article for this week is related to an update on facilities work that the task force committee completed last week prior to the upcoming public meeting and the presentation to the school board.
In writing this article, I thought about what education really means and what school means, so I pulled out the dictionary. The dictionary defines education in four different ways with similar meaning, which is: the knowledge or skill obtained or developed by such a process; learning or schooling. The dictionary also defines a school (facilities) in 13 ways, with one being a place of instruction; the building or group of buildings in which instruction is given or in which students work and live. Now there are other ways this is defined, but for the purposes of this article it seems the most logical.
District 518 is currently addressing the issue of space needs within the facilities that will allow for continued quality education to happen on a daily basis. This first started with some focus group meetings about a year ago, and last spring the school board made the decision to hire a consultant to lead a process of reviewing the district’s needs. The task force recently had its last meeting in which the potential options were developed, and they will be presented at a community meeting at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 10 in the high school’s Media Center. The meeting will consist of approximately 30 minutes of a presentation, 20 to 30 minutes of question/answer/input and about 10 minutes of participation/input by placing dots on the options and writing notes/comments. We would encourage you to attend and participate in this meeting to help provide future direction for your school district.
During last year’s focus group meeting, three options were recommended in the following order based on the options that were developed by the facilities and grounds committee. The three were: To build a new high school, build an intermediate school (grades 3-5) and the third adding on to existing buildings. During the current task force’s work, the identified options were very similar to the options from the focus group discussions with some alterations. These will be presented on the public meeting on Dec. 10. Again, I would encourage you to attend the meeting to develop a better understanding of the work completed and the needs of the district.
As I started this article with definitions about education and school, I would like to finish with some questions. What do you want your school district to look like? Is it an economic driver for the community? What would promote further pride in our educational system? What is the educational expectation for District 518? What should it look like in the future? What is needed to continue the current strong educational system? What should be a part of the needs for educating todays’ students? What has changed over the years in education?
All of these questions and many more provoke thoughts about how, what and why this current discussion is happening in District 518. The changes that have occurred over the past 30 years in education, along with increasing enrollment, have added pressures to the current school (facilities) and education system that will require addressing space issues and educational programs. Your school needs your input in order to develop long-term plans that will continue to provide the quality of education expected in the Worthington School District, while helping to build a strong economic environment that promotes outstanding community amenities that enhance the overall experience of the community.
We are always thankful for the strong support of District 518 and would like to encourage your continued participation. Please choose to be a part of a viable solution for the needs of our school system and the future of our children.
Best wishes during the Holiday season.
John Landgaard is the superintendent of Worthington Independent School District 518.