LIMA — Lima schools will open its doors on Tuesday for a district-wide open house, in an attempt to show the community that it goes far beyond a state report card letter.
The district launched a Public School Week celebration to highlight its programs and the Lima schools experience. This celebration, along with the development of a new community support group, is geared toward shining a light on the “attack on public education,” Lima schools superintendent Jill Ackerman said, including the overall F grade the district received on the most reason state report card.
“What we want to have happen is we want people to have an awareness that our district is comprised of much more than the one letter grade that shows up on that grade card,” Ackerman said. “That is really our story, to really look deeper at everything that goes on here … not just be focused on a state report card that is really a reflection of a day’s worth of testing.”
It is the third year the district staged the week. The open house is 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday at Lima Senior High School, where every school and program will be represented. A free meal will be offered by Spartan Inn culinary students, and tours and prizes will be offered.
This new community support group, which has yet to be officially named, includes 15 to 20 members and began when a number of them read and reviewed “Our Towns: A 100,000-Mile Journey into the Heart of America” by James and Deborah Fallows.
“We are a group of concerned citizens that wanted to see what we could do to basically look at the towns of ‘Our Towns’ and decide whether or not there were things that were similar to Lima,” said member Peggy Ehora. “We as a group, even though we’re not all Lima City Schools people, we decided that the grade card is not only hurting the Lima City Schools district, the grade card hurts the community, the City of Lima in general and the surrounding area.”
Lima Mayor David Berger supported the group’s initiatives, citing a recent example of a missed connection in the community between local businesses and job-seeking students.
“Folks at General Dynamics did not know until essentially six weeks ago that there was a welding program at Lima Senior. They are hiring welders,” Berger said. “We were able to basically bring the Lima City Schools, Lima Senior’s career tech programs together with General Dynamics … so there will be opportunities for graduates of the Lima City Schools welding program immediately for opportunities for GD.”
Reach Tara Jones at 567-242-0511.