Thank You Voters! (A Message to the Community from Superintendent Dr. John Kellogg)

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A Message to the Community from Superintendent Dr. John Kellogg

I would like to take this opportunity to thank our Westerville City School District community for its continued support during Tuesday’s election. I would also like to thank the incredible group of volunteers who worked over the past few months to raise awareness and generate support for Issue #8.

Even though you may have just recently heard that our district was seeking additional funding for facilities and operations, it actually was a fairly lengthy process leading up to this ballot request. We spent more than two years engaging our community, staff, students, and families in discussions about the future of their schools. The plan approved by voters reflects the collective thoughts and priorities of more than 2,000 individuals who participated in the process.

As we presented information during community forums, spoke with staff members, met with constituents in people’s homes, and took phone calls from residents seeking additional facts, our efforts to communicate the essence of Issue #8 came down to three things: safety for kids, space for kids, and success for kids.

Thanks to your support, we will be able to restructure school entrances so every building has a greater level of controlled access to the facility. This updated design will require visitors to go through the main office before gaining access to any areas occupied by students or staff. Other safety projects will be funded by Issue #8 resources, but the redesign of our school entrances will be the hallmark of these projects to improve and enhance our comprehensive safety plan.

Thanks to your support, we will be able to manage projected enrollment growth by building two new schools in the southern end of our district, updating existing classroom spaces, and designing other spaces appropriate for modern instructional practices. More students will be able to attend school closer to their homes and neighborhoods, while the oldest of our buildings receive infrastructure updates to critical mechanical systems.    

Thanks to your support, we will be able to maintain class sizes as enrollment grows, continue to provide students with rigorous instructional opportunities, and better prepare our graduates for life after high school, whether their future entails starting a career, joining the military, or entering college.

Issue #8 also continues a period of financial stability for our district. We have been deliberate in our fiscal approach and have worked diligently to avoid spending more than we receive in revenue. This can be a challenge due to the Ohio’s current model of school funding, which makes deficit spending a fact of life. Your ongoing financial support of our district is greatly appreciated; we pledge to continue lobbying our legislators to implement a fair funding model that reduces school districts’ reliance on local property taxes.

As residents researched Issue #8, they may have seen our slogan, “Where You Belong.” Given our district’s projected growth, as well as residents’ continued support of our schools, it’s clear that Westerville City Schools isn’t just a place where people belong…it’s a place where people want to be. On behalf of our Board and Executive Leadership Team, thank you once again for your dedication to our schools, our staff, and our students.