Below is a brief review of what the district has been up to since our students went on their summer break in June. I am looking forward, as I always do, to welcoming them back on August 29th. It’s been a bit too quiet around here.
Academics: The Downingtown Area School District spent the summer months continuing to develop, revise and enhance a robust, rigorous curriculum for all learners in grades K-12. A growing array of offerings will be available to students in all grade levels starting with the core content subject areas with a continued focus on STEM education, world languages, the arts, computer programming and technology education. In addition to the ongoing development of our curriculum the district has continued its focus on the integration of technology as a true teaching and learning tool to better enhance the learning process inside all of our district classrooms.
Accountability: 2016 results on State assessments (PSSA and Keystone) provide further evidence that Downingtown students continue to excel. This is due in large part to the high quality teaching and learning our schools provide, but also to the strong support we get from the amazing parents in our district. This summer, our school teams spent several days discussing how we can better support students and teachers. Continued growth and great, not good, results continue to be our ongoing goal.
Growth: News of our great school district has brought about unprecedented growth. This summer our Registration Office welcomed over 1000 new students into the district. While we will have a more accurate accounting of students who moved in and out of the district this summer on the 10th day of school, these numbers have again made us the largest school district in Chester County and one of the top ten largest districts in the state.
Hiring: In June we said goodbye to staff members who retired or were leaving the district. To fill their positions, our Human Resource Department interviewed over 767 potential teachers. Sixty-six have been hired to fill full-time, long-term sub or part time positions. Induction, our instructional process required of all new teachers, began on August 17th and included a bus ride around the district.
Facilities: If you drove by our schools this summer you probably saw roofers, painters and other contractors at work. DHS West has a new roof, Lionville Elementary has a new chiller and new carpet was added to several of our schools. New turf fields were added to our high school athletic fields in Downingtown and Phase 1 of the new East Ward community playground was completed.
Technology: The Technology Dept. implemented year one of the Educational Technology Plan. They deployed 2049 iPads for elementary regular education and 1:1 Programs. Computers in the high school business education labs were replaced. Secondary school Art Laptop Carts were added and the content distribution system with IP/TV District wide was replaced. the sale of surplus technology items netted the district over $125,000.
Best wishes to all our students for a wonderful new school year.