As we begin another school year I have been reflecting on what I love about Worthington Schools from my parent perspective. Listen, certainly there are many things I would like to change about Worthington Schools. Just like you, there are things that drive me crazy as a parent. But, like any good relationship, the things I love outweigh the things I struggle with.
My three daughters start school today at a Worthington elementary. This is my families 6th consecutive year at this school and we have grown to know and love the staff. My one daughter has a teacher who will be beginning her fourth year as a teacher of my children. What a blessing to have a talented individual invest in the lives of my children over an extended period of time. One of the things I love about Worthington is that there is incredible stability. Our elementary schools span seven grade levels and our attendance boundaries have been stable for almost 20 years. This means we will build deep and meaningful relationships with the school and the school with us. They will know my family inside and out, the good and the bad. Our K-6 schools allow my children to stay with a safe peer set and grow-up in a very 1950’s type environment (but with way better technology.)
I love that when my children leave the elementary school they have options. They will be able to transition to our neighborhood middle school or they will be able to try the mastery learning environment of Phoenix. Having options at the middle school is incredible, and unique, within middle school education in Central Ohio.
I love that our high schools also have options. Even though our high school enrollment is low by OCC standards, our breadth of curriculum is outstanding. My children will have amazing course opportunities in every area. They can choose a STEM pathway, an IB pathway, a blended learning pathway, or a business pathway. They can spend a semester on “walk a bout.” They have the option to attend what may be the best alternative school (Linworth) anywhere in America. They can spend time in performing arts and they have co-curricular athletic options that were designed to support a high school with over 2000 students. They can play Lacrosse, Field Hockey, Water Polo, and more. Worthington believes in helping students connect outside of school and an astounding 70% of Worthington students are involved in co-curriculars.
Mostly I love that I can raise my kids in Worthington Schools. A community that historically has placed a high value on education. A community that has invested in school by passing school levies because they value education and the role it plays in the lives of kids, and in the life of a community. A community where my 90 year old neighbor still weighs in with her opinion on school issues and where houses sell quickly because of the schools. A community where teachers are still respected, supported and valued.
I love the teachers who will invest in my children’s lives. Teachers who will go above and beyond to connect with my kids, to get to know them both academically and personally. Teachers who come watch my kids play soccer on Saturday morning. Teachers who inspire. Teachers who go above and beyond to create personalized learning opportunities both in and out of school, and teachers who will keep in touch and serve as mentors for many years after graduation.
There are many good school districts in Central Ohio. I love Worthington for my kids, because increasingly it is diverse. My children get to know children well who look different from them and come from different backgrounds. Worthington Schools is representative of the real world, but in a gentler, kinder way. It’s a place where kids can learn from one another and prepare for their shared bright futures.
I love that Worthington Schools values uniqueness. There are no “cookie cutter” schools or classrooms in Worthington. Principals, teachers and parent communities have the ability to put their unique stamp on our schools and all 19 of our schools are different in significant ways. Students in Worthington can express themselves and find their niche free from the pressure to be just like everyone else. We’re a come as you are, all are welcome school district.
Finally, I love that Worthington gets strong academic achievement but doesn’t focus solely on testing and standards. Our students still get significant time in the arts and at recess each day. Achievement matters, but Worthington is a “both/and” school district and won’t trade achievement on standardized testing for a reduced student experience.
I send my daughters to school today and I’m feeling lucky that they have the opportunity to go to school where they do.
A couple of hundred people read this blog everyday. Some of you read it through email, others on the website. Today, as we begin another school year, please take a minute and comment on what you love about Worthington Schools. We’ll spend the rest of the year working hard to make it better, but today, let’s reflect on how blessed we are to be in Worthington. Commenting only takes a minute….
P.S. I love that I filled out NO Pink Cards this week!