Welcome back to what will be another excellent school year.
I hope everyone had an enjoyable summer. As I begin my second year as superintendent, I am excited about a number of initiatives that are taking place across our school district for this upcoming school year and several accomplishments last year that continue to make Xenia Community Schools one of the best school districts in the state of Ohio.
Here’s why — 76 percent of our faculty have a master’s degree or beyond in their respective content areas. Xenia Community Schools has more than 40 extra and co-curricular opportunities for students to get involved with, ranking in the top tier in Ohio for school districts of comparable size. We continue to see improvements in standardized test scores, so much so that the state superintendent will be in the district on Aug. 16 to recognize us for our continued growth with increased test scores and innovative educational practices. The Xenia High School class of 2018 earned more than $4 million dollars in scholarships and grants, again placing our district in the top tier for Ohio school districts with comparable size. Eighty percent of the class of 2018 graduates were accepted into a two- or four-year college or university, 13 percent are going to work, and 7 percent have enlisted to serve in the armed forces.
Last year our Xenia High School student athletes captured league titles in boys soccer, girls soccer, boys cross country, girls cross country, boys golf, boys and girls swimming, girls bowling, baseball, softball, and competition cheer. We also had colleges and universities from the Ivy League, Big Ten, SEC, Big 12, ACC, and Navy, just to name a few, come to Xenia High School to recruit our student athletes. Additionally, our band and music programs continue to receive excellent and superior ratings at competitions.
Although we continue to make significant gains related to student achievement and be recognized for those accomplishments, we continue to look at ways in which we can offer the best educational experience for our students. Beginning Aug. 23, we will form a community committee comprised of teachers, parents, business leaders, administrators, and others to begin to do some visioning around how we continue to provide the best 21st century education for our students and community. The purpose of the committee is twofold: to study the shifts, research, and identify the values and vision for the school district related to learning and teaching; and facilities and finances. You can find more information on our website or Facebook page. As always, we are open to feedback and input.
Additionally, for this upcoming school year, as a result of the SHP building assessment we are beginning some exciting restorative projects for the Benner Fieldhouse and the high school. The Benner Fieldhouse has been at the center of Xenia excellence and pride including the 1942 state basketball champions — and that is why we will begin a significant building rehabilitation project. The high school will see its parking lot repaved and restriped and other buildings throughout the district will receive some mechanical and safety upgrades as well.
Our school board has adopted BoardDocs, which is a web-based content management system that allows for improved access to information for our stakeholders. By adopting and utilizing BoardDocs we are continuing our commitment to transparency and community engagement.
In closing, Xenia Community Schools is a child-centered school district committed to providing the best educational experience. We are excited about the future for our school district and the Xenia community. There are some excellent things occurring here and we invite you to be a part of the journey. As always, if you have questions, concerns, or just want to chat, please give me a call, send me an email, or stop me while I’m out and about. Again, welcome back to the school year and let’s make it great.
Dr. Gabe Lofton is superintendent of Xenia Community Schools.