LIMA — Superintendents and teachers from 15 school districts across Ohio toured Lima schools Tuesday in an effort to exchange information on what works and what doesn’t work in their districts.
The visit by the Ohio Mid-Sized Urban Districts Leadership Collaborative included a chance for them to offer feedback to Lima schools.
“The purpose of doing this is so that we have an ability to get feedback from people who work in school districts that are very similar to ours, that face the same kinds of challenges, that serve the same kinds of populations,” said Lima Superintendent Jill Ackerman.
The group was formed due to some districts doing poorly on the state report card.
“We’ve been this group for about 18 months. We were brought together by Dr. Eugene Sanders, who is the superintendent and CEO of Sandusky city schools. This was his brainchild, his initiative, and it became the result of report cards across the state, that mid-size urban schools were struggling,” Ackerman said. “So he brought us all together because we’re never able at that state level to get feedback from somebody who’s actually walked in our shoes. We want to learn from the people that are doing the same jobs that we’re doing.”
Joe Ohradzansky is an eighth-grade science teacher in the Mount Healthy School District. That district received a failing grade on the state’s latest report card. Lima schools received an overall D grade, an improvement from the F the previous year.
“Some of our buildings are showing growth,” Ohradzansky said. “So it’s trying to, you know, almost pulling the district up high enough. We hope that all the changes we made and everything that we learned in this collaborative will kind of keep us going in the right direction.”
Charlie Keenan, superintendent with the Maple Heights School District, said his district was in danger of being taken over by the state. Lima schools feared falling into that group, but its improved grades in the last grade cards eliminated that possibility.
“We were two years ago. Fortunately, we were able to get out of it,” Keenan said. “I would credit a lot of the support that we had from this mid-size urban superintendents group in the collaboration for helping us get out of that situation.”
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.