Welcome back to what will be another excellent school year.
I hope everyone had an enjoyable summer. As I begin my third 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.
Xenia Community Schools has over 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. The Xenia High School class of 2019 earned nearly $5 million dollars in scholarships and grants, again placing XCS in the top tier for Ohio school districts of comparable size. Over 82 percent of the class of 2019 has been accepted into a two or four year college or university, 15 percent are going to work, and roughly 3 percent have enlisted to serve in the armed forces.
Last year our Xenia High School student athletes captured league titles in boys cross country, girls cross country, girls soccer, boys soccer, boys bowling, girls swimming, wrestling, competition cheer, softball, girls golf, and for the first time in 49 years, our football team captured the Greater Western Ohio Conference American South championship, beating some of the top ranked teams in the state of Ohio. And, last but not least, Xenia is home to the 2019 Ohio Mr. Basketball, Samari Curtis. We also had colleges and universities from the Ivy League, Big Ten, SEC, Big 12, and 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 local and state competitions.
This coming school year will be an exciting one, with lots of great things having occurred across our school district for students and staff when they return.
We will ramp up our One2One Chromebook Initiative for our students in grades K-12. Our students in grades 6-12 will be taking their device home to assist them in learning when they are not in school. The Chromebook device will help support the vision of the district to access education through technology integration in a 21st century learning environment that will enable our students to achieve academic success.
Our elementary schools will have a new start time this school year beginning at 9 a.m. This change will allow for our students to have increased instructional time, which will help us continue our gains related to student achievement. Also, they will notice a newly renovated Benner Fieldhouse, an updated Central Preschool, a new parking lot at the high school and a whole host of facility improvements across our school district.
Additionally, I would like to thank the nearly 70 individuals who participated in our Visioning Committee work last year and the community members who participated in our three facilities listening sessions last May as well — the work we accomplished was tremendous. As a result of the committee’s work, listening sessions, face-to-face conversations, our limitations in receiving state funding in the near future, and other variables, we will be recommending to our board of education, sometime in the next couple of months, an appropriate course of action for Warner and Xenia High School.
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 organization and the Xenia community. As you have read, 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. Gabriel Lofton is the superintendent of Xenia Community Schools.