Since the latest release of the Local Report Card we've received much media attention about our status with the state as a result of HB 70 which will introduce a new Commission and CEO to our district in 2017. And most recently, some articles have been floating around on social media that have led people to believe that there have been new developments to the process as it relates to being in Academic Distress because of the media's use of the phrase "state takeover" - a phrase we do not use to describe our situation. Please allow me to reassure you that absolutely nothing has changed from the information we have been sharing with you all along.
I want to reiterate a couple of things to ease some of the stress this type of media exposure can bring about:
This is not new information. The rules have not changed since HB 70 was enacted and we have been providing regular updates on our status throughout. Since we didn't meet the benchmarks this year, we do not meet the requirements needed to be released from Academic Distress.
In late October, we shared information about how we are working with the state to increase the likelihood of a smooth transition for our schools. As it stands, the earliest a CEO could be introduced to us is April 2017, and the latest is August 2017. However, I think it would help all of us if we knew who and what would be coming as early as possible so that we can prepare accordingly. We will continue to share all of those details with you as soon as we have them.
Full information with answers to frequently asked questions about HB70 and a CEO in Lorain are being shared weekly and are also available on our website at this link. If you have questions that are not addressed there, please email Erin Gadd at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll address those issues as well.
Again, our focus right now is to ensure a smooth transition to respect our students, staff, families, and community during this time. By collaborating with the state, our hope is to keep both our community and current board of education fully engaged throughout this process. I believe that if that happens, we can be successful. The state has made it very clear that they want us to be a success story - and I'm very encouraged that the focus right now is on how together we can have a positive impact on the children of Lorain.
I know this is a stressful time for many of us as there are many unknowns and the current time lines for the next steps may add to this anxiety. We will do our best to share what we know as soon as we can. Regardless, if there are rumors, fears, concerns, questions, suggestions, etc. or if you’re bored and you just want to chat, please let me know. If you want to chat, call me at 440-830-4000. If you'd like for me to speak in your area of the community or at an upcoming meeting of an organization you're with, I will make it a priority to meet with you as soon as I can. If you’d prefer to communicate via email, please email Erin Gadd, our Director of Communications. I suggest this for two reasons: She has most of the answers at her fingertips and can respond quickly, and admittedly, I am horrible with email.
In the meantime, please know that we're doing all we can to keep our relationship with the state strong, collaborative, open and transparent. I truly believe that if we do this the right way and engage the right people along the way, a lot of good can come from this. Sincerely, Dr. Jeff Graham Superintendent