LIMA — Even though Lima schools received an overall failing grade on the most recent state report card, there were some bright spots for the district.
South Science and Technology Magnet School was named a High Progress School of Honor by the Ohio Department of Education for its gains on the state report card.
The school earned a B grade overall and an A in gap closing.
On Tuesday, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Paolo DeMaria, along with Ohio School Board President Tess Elshoff and District 1 board member Linda Haycock, toured several classrooms at South to see firsthand the strides that have been made there.
“You always want to get a sense from students about their perceptions and their dispositions about what’s happening in the school. We hear from teachers. We hear from administrators, see some of the things they’re doing. It just gives us a sense of all the great things that are happening,” said DeMaria.
Principal Chad Fallis is proud of his staff and students for doing so well in the most recent report card.
“We were able to take a look at what things we’re doing well and some things we can improve upon but we definitely took some time to celebrate and be proud of our students and the staff and work towards more success, hopefully, this year,” said Fallis.
Students were able to demonstrate to DeMaria some of the exciting things going on in the school.
“The environmental club shared some of the unique programs they’ve been doing, from upcycling, aquaponics and hydroponics, a tower garden and some community partnerships we’ve had as well,” said Fallis.
While South Science and Technology Magnet School is doing well, other schools in the Lima school district are not and DeMaria would not rule out the district potentially being taken over by the state.
“I think the reality of their grade puts them in a position where that may happen at some eventual point. What we really want to do is work together to make sure no district ever gets to that particular point in time. You’ve got great management here, great leadership, doing the right things. I love the fact that there’s a lot of community involvement. We talked about some church groups that are involved. We talked about some business involvement, all those kinds of things because educating kids is not just the school district’s responsibility. It’s really all of our responsibility, and I think you see a lot of that,” said DeMaria.
Later in the afternoon, the group visited Bluffton Elementary School, which was recently named a National Blue Ribbon School.
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.