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Olentangy Schools

September 21 Meeting Summary

September 21, 2023 Meeting

Delaware County is performing a triennial revaluation of properties. Board President Kevin O’Brien shared that the Treasurer’s office is demonstrating fiscal responsibility by identifying and exploring options in the appraisal process to roll back millage on debt service to benefit Olentangy residents. 

Vice President Brandon Lester met with the ad hoc committee for student mental health and well-being to draft a charter to become a full board committee. They will submit the charter later this fall. 

Berkshire Middle School Gifted Specialist Sarah Wisniewski shared about the Invention Convention enrichment opportunity, which challenges students to identify a problem and create real-world solutions to address the issue. Ms. Wisniewski introduced former student, Berlin Middle School seventh-grader Vinoda T., who has earned local, state, national, and now, international awards and accolades for her invention, the “Smart Mailbox.” 

Vinoda created the “Smart Mailbox” to resolve the problem of packages being delivered to incorrect addresses. Her solution puts QR codes inside mailboxes and at front doorsteps, adding a second verification step to ensure mail/packages arrive at the correct address. 

Vinoda has submitted and presented her proposal to USPS to explore implementation opportunities. 

Director of Data and Continuous Improvement Jeanette Kenney presented Olentangy’s ratings on the Ohio School Report Card, which was released on September 14. The District received an overall five-star rating, the highest rating a school district can receive, signifying that Olentangy Schools is significantly exceeding state standards. This overall rating was only achieved by 75 Ohio school districts, five of which are in central Ohio. 

The first component of the school report card is achievement, which measures the academic achievement of all students on state assessment performance. Olentangy received five stars in achievement, demonstrating that Olentangy significantly exceeds state expectations in this area. Olentangy’s Performance Index (PI) increased by one point from last year to 103.3 (94.9% of the maximum possible score). The District’s PI rank increased to 34th in the state and 4th in central Ohio. 

The second component is progress, which measures student growth on Ohio’s state tests. Olentangy received four stars in progress, demonstrating that Olentangy exceeds state expectations in this area. This score looks at Olentangy students maintaining their place in the distribution of students from one year to the next. Olentangy did not meet the threshold for five stars at a high enough magnitude. 

The third component is gap closing, which measures academic achievement and growth of specific subgroups of students. Olentangy received five stars in gap closing, demonstrating that Olentangy significantly exceeds state expectations in this area. Ms. Kenney showed the Board that all of the District’s subgroups are far exceeding the state’s growth expectation. 

The fourth component is early literacy, which measures reading improvement and proficiency for kindergarten through third grade. Olentangy received five stars in early literacy, demonstrating that Olentangy significantly exceeds state expectations in this area. This rating was determined based on students’ proficiency on the reading portion of the third grade ELA state assessment and student promotion to the fourth grade. 

The fifth and final component is graduation, which measures four-year and five-year graduation rates. Olentangy Schools as a district, and all four high schools, received five stars in graduation, demonstrating that Olentangy significantly exceeds state expectations in this area. 

Ms. Kenney reminded the Board of Education and community that the State School Report Card is just one data point of the work taking place in our schools and the multitude of opportunities available to Olentangy students. 

Superintendent Todd R. Meyer thanked the staff, parents, and community for their support and significant contributions that allowed the District to be awarded top scores on Ohio’s School Report Card. He also expressed his pride in our students, who continue to exemplify educational excellence and remain purposeful, resilient, curious, and kind. 

Elementary School 17 is on track to open for the 2024-2025 school year. Community members are invited to submit school name suggestions for the District's new elementary school through October 6. Once school names are collected, Mr. Meyer will use the submissions to guide his building name recommendations to the Board of Education for approval at the October 12 meeting. The guidelines and process for naming new Olentangy buildings are detailed in Board Policy 7250

Olentangy: BridgED will host four sessions, one at each high school, of the State of the Workforce event featuring central Ohio’s top employers. Companies will share how our workforce is changing, emerging trends, and the skills necessary for the job market our students (and parents) will face in lieu of, during, and after college. Sessions will also highlight the pathways to the jobs of today and tomorrow, potential opportunities for Olentangy students, and how Olentangy Schools is preparing students to flourish in our changing economy. View the State of the Workforce event flyer for the four dates and locations in September and October. 

High schools are preparing to welcome back alumni before each homecoming football game for the annual alumni gatherings! The Olentangy Education Foundation and the Olentangy Alumni Association will have a gift for every alumnus. The alumni gathering dates, times, and locations are linked for each high school below.  

Treasurer Ryan Jenkins created a short video series for the Olentangy community on the current Delaware County complete property reappraisal process and what residents can expect on their OLSD taxes. View parts one and two of the three-part video series; part three will be shared next week. 

Also, in reference to Delaware County undergoing a complete property reappraisal, Mr. Jenkins spoke to Mr. O’Brien’s earlier comments about rolling back millage to benefit Olentangy taxpayers. Mr. Jenkins reviewed two options for the millage rollback. 

  1. For the calendar year 2023, total property values in the District are forecasted to increase by nearly 30% over 2022. Because of this increase in property valuation, the Board plans to pass legislation asking the County Auditor to reduce the millage, or tax rate, needed for 2023 debt service collections. In this scenario, the District would ask the County Auditor to collect only 6.50 mills, a 1 mill reduction from 2022.  

The 1 mill rollback would reduce the amount of taxes collected by the District by about $6.5 million. For individual property owners, 1 less mill means a reduction in property taxes of about $35 annually for every $100,000 of home value.  

  1. As of the September 21 board meeting, House Bill 187 was working its way through the Ohio Legislature. Should House Bill 187 pass, property valuations will be 'smoothed' by looking at a 3-year average of valid sales. In this scenario, the District forecasts an increase of around 20% - 25% in overall property values, not the 30% in the first scenario. The Board still plans to pass legislation asking the County Auditor to reduce the millage, or tax rate, needed for 2023 debt service collections. However, the District will ask the County Auditor to collect 7.00 mills, a ½ mill reduction from 2022 if the increase is closer to 20%. 

The ½ mill will reduce the amount of taxes collected by the District by about $3.0 million. For individual property owners, ½ less mill means a reduction in property taxes of about $17.50 annually for every $100,000 of home value. 

Both millage rollback options allow the District to collect enough in taxpayer dollars to cover the debt service payments required for its facilities and retain adequate cash reserves in the District’s debt service fund for future years’ debt service obligations. Mr. Jenkins will continue to moderate the outcome of House Bill 87. If there is an increase in overall property values around 20%, the District will pass a ½ mill rollback to Olentangy residents. However, the District could go as high as 1 full mill rollback if the overall property values are closer to 30%. 

The livestream of the Olentangy Schools Board of Education meeting on September 21, 2023 is available on the Board Meeting livestream web page. The Board of Education 2023 meeting schedule has been added to the district website and the next regular meeting will be at the Olentangy Administrative Offices on Thursday, October 12 at 6:30pm. All meeting information and records are posted to the Board Meeting Records web page