This year, New London Local Schools will continue to implement the Leader in Me Program across the district. Leader in Me is an evidence-based, comprehensive school improvement model that empowers students to develop the leadership and life skills they need to thrive in the 21st century. The program is based on a change theory known as the See-Do-Get Cycle so “when you change the way you see things, it influences what you do and the results you get.” By utilizing this program, teachers and students will gain a better understanding of leadership and their own personal potential.
New London Local Schools is also expanding its STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) programming to continue to push towards our district's goal of receiving a STEM designation from the state. A STEM designation from the state would award the district for its ability to implement best practices in STEM education. Research indicates that students who have access to a curriculum rich in hands-on STEM opportunities perform better in the classroom and are more likely to remain engaged.
A benefit to students and families, New London Local Schools is embarking on its fifth year of its 1:1 technology initiative. The initiative provides each student in grades 3-12 with his/her own Chromebook. This dedication to technology allows the district flexibility in adapting to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
New London Local Schools has also made the strategic decision to further our partnership with psi, a provider of educational and health services to schools, this year. Through the partnership with psi, New London Local Schools will pilot a telehealth project allowing students and staff to receive health care from our nurse’s clinic. Utilizing psi’s expertise in health services for schools, this partnership will help ensure that New London exceeds all the latest safety, health and wellness guidelines. This pilot is also made possible through our partnership with UH Samaritan Ashland.
Two years ago, New London Local Schools was recently awarded a Comprehensive State Literacy Development Grant by The Ohio Department of Education. The purpose of the grant, totaling over $2,000,000, is to build upon the district’s ongoing work to improve the language and literacy development of New London students. The funding will be distributed over the course of four years and will allow the district to develop a model comprehensive literacy program in preschool as well as elementary, middle and high school. Additionally, a major focus of the grant is the continued development and coaching of district staff members to become experts in the best practices of literacy improvement.
Additionally, New London Local Schools will continue to implement our strategic plan. A strategic plan is a guiding document that acts as a roadmap for the district. It delineates specific goal areas and identifies objectives that must be completed to attain the stated goal. Further, it assigns targeted action steps – the daily work that individuals perform to help achieve the purpose of the objective. Finally, it assigns specific individuals and deadlines to each criterion so that expectations are clear, and outcomes are somewhat predictable.
Beginning two years ago, the strategic plan extends through the completion of the 2024-2025 school year. With the help of community feedback, the district established six goals for its strategic plan. They are communication, academic achievement, facilities and safety, finance, culture and climate, and operations and human resources. The strategic plan is available for community review on the district website in the near future.
Finally, the district is excited about its new partnership with the Boys and Girls Club of Northeast Ohio. The partnership started this past summer with a free summer camp program for children in grades kindergarten through 11th grade. The partnership will grow this fall with the establishment of a free after school program. Through the use of $1 million in grants from the Huron County Mental Health and Addiction Services and the Ohio Department of Mental Health, the district purchased the old Nichols Bakery building and is currently renovating it to support these free programs, as well as, additional community outreach programs.
“We are really looking forward to this school year and the continued implementation of all of these exciting programs, and we are ready to see our students thrive,” said Superintendent Brad Romano. “We know that we will continue to face challenges due to COVID-19, but I am confident that we have the right plans in place to effectively educate our students while providing them the safest environment possible.”