What I Love About Worthington Schools

photo (3)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.

photo (7)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!

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8 Responses to What I Love About Worthington Schools

  1. pschlaegel says:

    Well said, Trent. I love that Worthington has rich history and traditions while being a very progressive school district. I am blessed each day to witness amazing staff meeting the social, emotional, physical, and academic needs of children. I love that Worthington is a place where children want to raise their own children. I’d love to know which family has had the most generations pass through Worthington Schools. Happy first day of school elementary families. It’s going to be a GREAT year!

  2. Amanda MacFarlane says:

    Well said. FYI this is my facebook post this morning as well as the required 3rd grade photo. Thrilled with TWHS guidance/administrative staff who worked all weekend trying to find a scheduling solution to give a foreign language & enrichment for the STEM 9th graders who are in band/orchestra!

  3. jwene says:

    I love….

    * Goal setting conferences at the elementary schools on their first day. They start with their own personal learning target! * The Freshman orientation at both of our High Schools. What a great way to spend what could have been a very scary day! * The hardworking, dedicated, professional and creative staff. * The kids! Watching them learn and grow!

    I could go on, but you get the point! Thanks for asking.

    Jennifer Wene Director of Academic Achievement and Professional Development Worthington Schools 614-450-6016 ________________________________

  4. Vicki Gnezda says:

    I love that you are encouraging reflection! And, I love that we can walk to most everything we need.

  5. John Woods says:

    Great post, Trent! I love our school because of teacher continuity and the amazing things the teachers and staff do to move kids forward, wherever they find them in their academic and social development. I love all of the innovation I saw when I served on the board of the WEF, and I love how many parent volunteers I see in the school each week. I would love to see some statistics on that one! I love the thought that goes into placing kids in classes with certain teachers and, like you, I like the focus on achievement without making the place crazy over standardized tests. I love the office staff at our school and how well they get to know all of the kids and parents, and I love our principal!

  6. Amanda Trueman says:

    Well… I didn’t tear up bidding my 6th grader and 1st grader farewell this morning in front of Wilson Hill Elementary. But… I did just tear up happily reading this wonderful blog entry! Thank you, Trent. I am eager to share it with my family in Louisiana and New Mexico – they see Worthington as “a portrait of Americana” – they always enjoy visiting here and hearing about what their nieces/ granddaughters are involved in. I love our schools and community for many reasons, but the one I will share is simple… My daughters LOVE school – they are excited and eager to return each year (we pratically ran instead of walked there this morning) – this love is developed IN the school and supported at home – so thankful for this relationship!

  7. Karen Holt says:

    I love Worthington because of all the great people I work with in this school system. And they accept me even though I choose to live in Hillard! : )
    I am confident that this District is providing great opportunities for their students and great support for their employees and I am always proud to say that I work in Worthington Schools!

  8. Jen Reis says:

    I love it that our principal is greeting everyone at the door – kids and parents – by name. I have no idea how she does it, but it is amazing. She leads by example and really gets to know the kids over the years they are in her school – I have found that the teachers follow her lead. I was amazed that my son’s second grade teacher was able to greet all the kids by name the first day – they felt so welcomed and comfortable – it was a joy to see! It is a blessing to have kids that love going to school and teachers that seem to really enjoy the kids.

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