Important Dates JAN No School 17 Teacher Work Day JAN No School 20 MLK Day JAN Board of Education 21 Meeting JAN Coffee & Conversation 23 with the Superintendent Dunkin’ Donuts, Brook Park 8-9 a.m.
FEB Board of Education 3 Meeting FEB State of the Schools
FEB No School 17 Presidents’ Day FEB Board of Education 18 Meeting FEB Coffee & Conversation 27 with the Superintendent Panera, Middleburg Heights 8-9 a.m.
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TRACY’S JOURNEY REFLECTIONS AND NEXT STEPS
I want you to know how proud I am to be the superintendent of the Berea City School District. I am amazed at the opportunities, resources and diversity in our schools. I want to share the stories of my journey to help our community understand what I’m learning and how that knowledge will be used to improve our schools and make them better. I am grateful for this opportunity and invite you to be part of my journey. The Berea Board of Education introduced me as the school district’s new superintendent in July of last year. The support and encouragement I received by this community truly made me feel welcome. I appreciate the trust and confidence placed in me by our school board and this community. I have been dedicating much of my time as your new superintendent on a “listening and learning” tour. These interactions have formed the pillar of my vision for this district. I had the pleasure of meeting dozens of interested parents, students, citizens, and fellow BCSD colleagues at informal “meet and greets” at the beginning of the school year. I needed to hear directly from the community the positives, the negatives, the successes, and the challenges of this district. I also provided comment cards for people to fill out at these events so I could share constructive feedback with our school board. Almost every individual I have met has been able to share with me so many things they are proud of about Berea City Schools, but in the same conversation expressed that there is an energy in this community that is seeking opportunities for growth, innovation, and change in this school district. Together, we can ensure Berea City Schools is a great district. We began this school year defining what it means to “Be A Titan.” At our convocation day, a group of teachers and students told stories and shared experiences surrounding the theme. To #BeATitan means to be extraordinary by displaying safe, responsible, and or respectful actions towards others, showing character, showing leadership, or providing service. I witnessed the words shared on that day create pride among our staff and a feeling of excitement for this school year. That same energy was brought to the first day of school where our students were greeted by all staff united in “Be A Titan” t-shirts. I saw staff members lined up giving high-fives and hugs. I saw sidewalk chalk messages letting students know how excited we were for them to return. We continue to lead by example and Big Creek third grade teachers proudly display what it means to “Be A Titan” all year long and wearing Be A Titan t-shirts recognize those efforts in small and big ways.
I am continually impressed by the work of our volunteers, PTA groups, booster groups, and our Parent and Family Engagement Team. They are dedicated to doing what is best for students and their families. Our support groups made our back-to-school events and open houses come alive as great opportunities to meet so many proud supporters of our schools. Back-to-school is truly my favorite time of year. My favorite moment had to be celebrating the class of 2032 by inviting our newest kindergarten Titans to be introduced on the field of a home football game. Part of my learning included discovering what makes each of our schools wonderful in its own way. I attended staff meetings at each school and also held office hours at each of the schools. I wanted the opportunity to get to know staff as well as answer any questions and listen to any concerns one on one. Community is important to me. Further “listening and learning” has stemmed from informal community “coffee and conversation” events that will continue to be held throughout the remainder of the school year. The conversations are thought-provoking and will be helpful in future decisionmaking. Some great ideas and solutions have already resulted from these events. Our 5th grade lot at the middle school did not have visitor parking and thanks to a parent for bringing this to my attention, now it does! Another parent suggested a “Titans Student Pass” which would provide membership to all 3 community recreation centers. Students currently face issues with belonging to different recreation centers than their friends. This “Titans Pass” solution is currently being explored by the cities. It is important for me to develop these community connections and get a sense of what the broader community sees as needs and priorities.
December 3, 2019 evening Coffee & Conversation hosted by Grace Church
I have heard and observed tremendous strengths across this district. I’ve also looked at our district’s data. This combination gave me ideas about opportunities that build on our strengths while creating new paths toward improvement in ways that align with our strategic plan.
Below are just some of the strengths and opportunities I have identified. Several observed strengths: • Strong partnerships with local police, fire, and safety agencies
• Safety practices are reviewed and updated, and drills performed regularly
• Increased focus on social-emotional learning • Student support programs (e.g., school-based mental health and behavior support)
• Parent and family engagement workshops Some key opportunities: • Conduct an instructional audit and tech audit
• Create a detailed emergency re-unification plan • Expand vaping and other drug awareness programs • Increase cultural awareness/diversity training • Improve leadership and transition opportunities for our BMMS students
• Expand PBIS-addressing Tier 2 Interventions for struggling students
• Build a positive school climate to lessen and prevent bullying • Develop a Culture Playbook to align everyone in the district to a common set of values and behaviors that produce exceptional outcomes I came to this district with a motto of, “say what I’m going to do and do what I say.” After listening, learning, and reflecting, the next phase is action. I intend to work with our school board, administrative leadership, staff, students, families, and community stakeholders to align action steps with our current strategic plan. I encourage you to attend my State of the Schools Address on Wednesday, February 5 at 7 p.m. at Grindstone Elementary School where I will share more about my journey and vision for the district. This reflection would not have been possible without the BCSD employees, families, students, and community who helped contribute to my understanding of this school district. If you took the time to attend a meeting, write an e-mail, call me, or just said hello, I sincerely thank you. I want you to know that your ideas and feedback will continue to be welcome! Together, let’s create the best opportunities for the students of Berea City Schools!
TITANS 2020: A NEW CHAPTER IN BCSD HISTORY 2020 will mark the closing of another chapter in BCSD history as we prepare to start a new one with the opening of our new high school and new elementary school. These schools were designed to transform teaching and learning for our students. The learning spaces will provide flexibility, be conducive to different learning styles, accommodate unique learning needs of every student, support developing relationships, and enable students to learn in relevant, real world, project-based work. How our children thrive depends in large measure on experiences they have in school. Intentionally designing spaces to include innovative areas and placement of furniture will create environments where students can realize their full potential. The school structure allows for targeted direct instruction at the same time that it promotes shared resources, spaces, and teacher collaboration. The structure and design can accommodate a wide variety of activities, group sizes, and ultimately cultivate a community of learners. The high school completion date is scheduled for August 1, 2020 for areas A, B, & C. The remainder of the facility, which includes the gymnasiums and performing arts center, is scheduled to be completed on December 10, 2020.
Berea-Midpark High School facts: General Classrooms
Special Education Classrooms
Visual Arts Classrooms
Family & Consumer Sciences
Labs for Video Production, Audio Engineering, Computer Sciences
Music Rooms (Orchestra, Band, Choral)
plus 2 ensemble rooms & 3 practice rooms
284,771 gross square feet Anticipated Enrollment: 1,800 students
Extended Learning Areas
The completion date for Brook Park Elementary School is scheduled for the end of March. The first day of school for students at the new elementary school will be September 3, 2020.
Brook Park Elementary School facts: Pre-K Classrooms Kindergarten Classrooms 1st Grade Classrooms 2nd Grade Classrooms 3rd Grade Classrooms 4th Grade Classrooms Title I Classrooms Small Group Workrooms Special Education Classrooms Motor Rooms Art Rooms Music Rooms
7 8 7 7 7 6 4 9 4 2 2 2
126,445 gross square feet Anticipated Enrollment: 1,000 students (includes pre-K)
Information regarding open houses and ribbon cutting ceremonies for our new schools, as well as activities celebrating the heritage of our closing schools, will be announced in early February on the district website.
Visit www.berea.k12.oh.us for additional construction photos, videos, and information.
390 Fair Street | Berea, Ohio 44017 216-898-8300 | berea.k12.oh.us
Board of Education
Ana Chapman | President Cori Farris | Vice President Steve Dockman Jeff Duke Neal Postel Tracy Wheeler | Superintendent Jill Rowe | Treasurer Mike Draves | Assistant Superintendent Cristina Capretta
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Berea City School District