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  • What's New at DCS: Spotlight on Communications

    Posted by Cassie Dietrich, Public Information Officer on 6/26/2024

    Have you ever wondered who the wizards behind our words are? The DCS Communications team’s mission is to keep our community informed, engaged, and connected. Earlier this spring, they launched a survey to establish a baseline for their strategic communications planning. Read on to learn the who, what, and why of the DCS Communications team.


     

    The Who and the What

    Tawnya, Cassie & Keyburn

    At the heart of our communication efforts are three individuals: Cassie Dietrich, Public Information Officer; Keyburn Grady, Coordinator of Media and Alumni Relations; and Tawnya Ewert, Community Outreach Specialist. Together, they oversee a wide array of responsibilities aimed at fostering strong relationships with stakeholders through effective information dissemination, compelling storytelling, and community events. Small but mighty, the DCS Communications team plays a pivotal role in managing:

    • Internal and external communications
    • Publication of the quarterly "United" newsletter and monthly "Inside DCS" e-newsletter

    • Maintenance of the district website and 24 school websites

    • Social media engagement across Facebook, Instagram, Nextdoor and LinkedIn

    • Media and alumni relations

    • Facilitation of public records requests

    • Coordination of district events, including the annual Dodgeball Tournament and Alumni Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

    • Support for Superintendent's stakeholder group meetings and Board communications

    • Execution of special projects aimed at enhancing community engagement


     

    Communications Satisfaction Survey

    In early spring, the DCS Communications team conducted a comprehensive Communications satisfaction study to gauge community feedback and refine their strategies moving forward. Here are some key insights from the survey, which received 1,105 voluntary responses from parents of DCS students.

    Usefulness and Balance of Communication: 79% of respondents indicated they receive the right amount of information from DCS, underscoring the team's efforts to maintain transparency while respecting community preferences. Forty-six percent of respondents find the information and communication provided by Dublin City Schools District very useful, with an additional 49% indicating it is somewhat useful. Building upon these insights, the team is gearing up for an extensive audit of all district and building communications in the upcoming 2024-2025 school year. This initiative will include a detailed analysis of communication analytics to understand parent engagement patterns. Moreover, the team remains committed to educating building staff on optimizing their Smore newsletters and emails, emphasizing the importance of concise and engaging content.

    Preferred Communication Channels: An overwhelming 78% of respondents expressed a preference for receiving district information via email, reflecting a strong alignment with the district's primary communication channel. To support this preference, the team has provided guidance to district leaders and building principals, emphasizing the use of email for routine communications and reserving text messages or voice calls for urgent matters. This approach ensures timely and effective communication tailored to the community's preferences.

    Social Media Engagement: When it comes to social media, 46% of respondents reported using Facebook as their primary platform, followed by 25% who favor Instagram. In contrast, only 4% indicated using Twitter, aligning with the district's strategic shift away from Twitter towards Facebook and Instagram. In response to these findings, the team has encouraged all school buildings to establish active accounts on Facebook and Instagram starting from the 2024-2025 school year.

    Website Accessibility: According to survey results, 48% of respondents occasionally visit the district's website, while 36% do so rarely. Additionally, 60% find the current website somewhat useful. These findings have led the DCS Communications team to complete a comprehensive overhaul of the district's website this summer. Scheduled for a mid-July launch, the revamped site aims to be more user-friendly and responsive.


     

    Future Initiatives

    Looking ahead, the DCS Communications team has set several new goals, including forging stronger ties with municipalities and stakeholders across Delaware and Union County and developing a better understanding of how residents outside Dublin receive news about the school district. The team wishes to actively collaborate with partner organizations such as townships, homeowners associations, and neighborhood publications to share DCS announcements. If you have suggestions on additional platforms where the team can share information about the schools, please let them know! Email recommendations to info@dublinschools.net.


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  • High School Government Students Seek Community Support for License Plate Project

    Posted by Cassie Dietrich, Public Information Officer on 6/13/2024

    Students Maria Rivera-Alvarez, Srijan Puli, Oli Wood, and Sal LoParo from Mr. Ron Bookmyer’s government class at Jerome High School are spearheading an exciting initiative to have a Dublin City Schools logo featured on an official Ohio license plate. As the project reaches its final stages, the students are seeking community support to gather 150 petition signatures from individuals who “have the current intention” to purchase a plate.


    From Classroom to Capitol: The Legislative Journey

    Students at statehouse

    To kickstart this ambitious project, the students learned that creating a district-specific license plate requires legislative approval. They carefully selected a district logo, contacted local senators, determined the price of the license plate, and had the honor of testifying in support of Senate Bill 163 at the Statehouse Transportation Committee meeting on November 15. Despite the lengthy process, the students’ commitment has remained steadfast, bolstered by the support of Mr. Bookmyer and Dublin City Schools administration.


    A Project with a Purpose

    The students have ensured that 100% of the sales and profits from the license plates will benefit the Dublin Food Pantry. Senator Stephanie Kunze, who sponsored the bill, praised the students for their dedication. "These students showed that they are passionate, determined, and thoughtful about their 'why' and I am grateful to them for their passion for helping others in their community," Kunze remarked.

    license plate


    Legislative Milestones and Next Steps

    In April, SB 163 passed unanimously out of the Transportation Committee and the Senate floor. After being introduced to the House, the bill was referred to the House Committee of Homeland Security in late May, where it now awaits further action.


    How You Can Help: A Call to Action

    Here’s how you can support their push to get DCS spirit on the move! To ensure enough interest before plates are produced, the students need 150 petition signatures from those who intend to purchase a plate. These signatures are not binding contracts but demonstrate community support to the BMV.

    To support these students in their mission to help our community, please consider signing the petition. Since signatures cannot be gathered electronically, you can contact one of the students or Mr. Bookmyer directly:

    - Maria Rivera-Alvarez: mariarivera052006@gmail.com

    - Oli Wood: oliviawood2199@gmail.com

    - Sal LoParo: sal.loparo@gmail.com

    - Mr. Ron Bookmyer: bookmyer_ron@dublinschools.net

    Join us in supporting our students and showcasing our Dublin City Schools pride. Every signature counts in making this vision a reality!

     

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  • School Finance - Key Insights from the May 2024 Five Year Forecast

    Posted by Tawnya Ewert on 5/31/2024

    At the recent Board of Education meeting on May 13, 2024, Brian Kern, Treasurer and CFO of Dublin City Schools, presented the latest Five-Year Forecast. This forecast provides a critical look into the financial status and future projections of the district. The following summary shares some key takeaways from the current Five-Year Forecast.


     

    What is a Five-Year Forecast and Why?

    The five-year forecast serves as a tool to communicate and assess the financial health of a school district. City, local, exempted village and joint vocational school districts are required to submit five-year forecasts twice annually to the Ohio Department of Education and Workforce. Each five-year forecast contains two components: 1) historical and projected financial data and 2) notes to explain any significant changes or “assumptions” a district used to develop the reported financial projections.

    At Dublin City Schools, the five-year forecast is a result of collaborative efforts involving the Board Finance Committee, district departments, and staff associations. The forecast offers a snapshot of the current financial state while projecting future financial scenarios based on the best available information. It is a vital management tool for the district, allowing leadership to adapt and plan for various scenarios, including potential cost reductions and new funding avenues.

    Revenue

    Dublin City Schools is primarily funded through local sources, with 85% of revenue coming from real estate taxes paid by residents and businesses. In Ohio, the funding landscape for public school districts comprises a mix of state funds, local taxes, and federal contributions. According to the Department of Education and Workforce, the state funding formula acknowledges that school funding has always been a partnership between the state of Ohio and the local school district. The state formula works to equalize funding and provide additional money to schools and districts that do not have capacity and wealth to raise revenues locally. The state and local cost methodology uses both assessed property values and income to determine the state share. Both of these figures are higher than average in the Dublin City School District, resulting in Dublin City Schools receiving a lower share of state resources. The district receives only 15% of its revenue from the state, highlighting a significant reliance on local funding.

    Revenue vs Expenditures graph


    Expenditures

    As is typical of a human-driven enterprise, expenditures are predominantly allocated to salaries and benefits. At Dublin City Schools, salaries and benefits account for 85% of the district’s expenditures. This statistic was the primary driver for implementing the Responsible Staffing Plan (RSP), which aims to “right-size” the district’s staffing levels.

    One notable update to the forecast’s expenditures is the accounting of additional funding for all-day kindergarten starting in fiscal year 2026.

    Putting it All Together

    Thanks to the RSP and the passage of Issue 12 in November, the new Five-Year Forecast shows that the district will maintain a positive cash balance through FY28. This is a significant improvement from previous estimates. The Responsible Staffing Plan and other strategic financial decisions have been instrumental in managing expenses and extending the levy cycle an additional year.

    That said, the district is still projected to deficit spend in fiscal years 2026, 2027, and 2028 as a result of expenditures outpacing revenues. Efforts to manage expenses are ongoing. The district continues to advocate for better funding to ensure equitable educational opportunities for all students. Property value growth and reappraisals, influenced by new construction, contribute to the financial landscape. The district is closely monitoring property tax collections and delinquencies to ensure accurate financial planning. However, economic changes could impact future revenue projections.


    Future Considerations

    Because new state budgets and legislative changes can impact funding, the Treasurer’s Department remains vigilant about state legislature decisions regarding property taxes and school funding. The district's financial health is closely tied to its ability to adapt to changing economic and legislative landscapes, ensuring the continued delivery of quality education to its students.

     
     
     
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  • Listening to Our Students: The Superintendent's Student Advisory Council

    Posted by Tawnya Ewert, Community Outreach Specialist on 5/20/2024

    In the last few weeks, you may have heard whispers about the Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council amidst the buzz of the district’s annual dodgeball tournament. While the tournament is a highlight, it’s just one aspect of this dynamic group’s role. Comprising eight students from each high school—two from each grade—handpicked by their principals, the Council plays a pivotal role in bridging communication between students and district leadership, especially with Superintendent Dr. Marschhausen.

    The Council’s mission is clear: to facilitate open, two-way communication between students and the superintendent. Each meeting kicks off with Dr. Marschhausen sharing updates and decisions that impact students' daily lives. Recently, they discussed the new scheduling system via Infinite Campus, exploring its benefits and addressing challenges faced by students, particularly at the secondary level.

    What sets these meetings apart is the direct, unfiltered feedback Dr. Marschhausen seeks from the students. When he asks, “What do I need to know?” the students respond with honesty and candor. They don’t shy away from voicing their true opinions, whether it’s about the length of lunch periods or the scarcity of student parking spaces. More often, however, they bring up thoughtful concerns and ideas about academics and social issues, demonstrating their deep investment in their education and school community.

    SSAC

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     


    As the school year progresses, the Council shifts its focus to the annual dodgeball tournament. Working closely with the communications department, these students are the masterminds behind the event’s success. From marketing and team organization to managing the brackets and overseeing the courts, they are empowered to make decisions that ensure the tournament runs smoothly. Their hard work culminates in a fun, community-building event that leaves a lasting impact.

    At the end of the day, although they might be tired, the students express immense satisfaction and gratitude for the opportunity to work on such a fulfilling project. They learn that work can indeed be fun and rewarding, encapsulating the lesson that “it’s not really work if you’re having fun.”

    SSAC at Dodgeball event


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  • Summer Facilities Update

    Posted by Cassie Dietrich, Public Information Officer on 5/9/2024

    Dublin City Schools is gearing up for several major facility improvements this summer. These projects, many of which will be funded by revenue generated from the 2023 levy, exemplify the district's dedication to enhancing the student and community experience. These projects not only benefit the school community but also the community-at-large, as school facilities are utilized during all hours of the day and on weekends by local families and organizations. Below is a summary of just some of the work residents can expect to see happening this summer! Regular facility maintenance and cleaning will take place at all buildings.


    Groundbreaking

    Dublin City Schools celebrated the groundbreaking for Elementary 15 on Thursday, April 25 just prior to the evening’s scheduled Board of Education meeting. Elementary 15 is located on existing land adjacent to Jerome High School's track and stadium, wth the primary entrance off Cacchio Lane. City, county, and state officials joined the Board of Education and district leaders for the occasion.

     
     
     

    Naming Project

    After the groundbreaking, students in Shawn Kaeser's 8th grade social studies class presented their research findings about the possible names for Elementary 15. Names being considered for the school are: Cacchio Elementary, Riviera Elementary, Deane Brown Bishop Elementary, Catherin Headlee Elementary and Josephine Smith Scott Elementary. The Board of Education will select one of the five name options at a future meeting.

     
     
     

    Timeline

    The district's Operations team is collaborating with the City of Dublin to assess and mitigate potential traffic impacts on Hyland Croy and Cacchio. For those living adjacent to the site, a tree line and fence along the eastern edge of the parcel will be installed to provide a privacy barrier. Additionally, while the retention pond at the site has been relocated, residents will still have access to the existing walking path.

    Elementary 15 is scheduled to open for the 2025-26 school year. An overview of the timeline for the project is below.

     

    Playgrounds

    Elementary playgrounds are set to be replaced at Chapman, Indian Run, Pinney, Riverside, Scottish Corners, Thomas and Wright. The current playground equipment at these schools has reached end of life, so replacing the equipment ensures a safe and enjoyable play environment for children. Playgrounds are on schedule to begin construction at the end of May and planned to be fully complete by the beginning of August. All playgrounds will come with a mix of playground mulch and poured-in-place rubber pathways to swings and other various structures. All playgrounds were customized by each principal to fit their specific school’s footprint.


     

    Preschool Addition

    The DCS Preschool has already outgrown the centralized location they moved to in 2020. Fortunately, the approval of the bond issue has provided the resources for a much-needed addition. The project, which will increase the school’s capacity by 190 students, will break ground in June and open for the 2025-2026 school year. The addition includes six 900-square foot classrooms and a 1,600-square foot gymnasium. To view a video of the project renderings, click here.

    During the 2023 levy campaign, some inquired as to why DCS needs to have a preschool. The answer lies in state and federal legislation, both which mandate that public school district’s have Child Find policies and procedures in place to ensure that children with disabilities are identified and served by their third birthday. To learn more, check out our March Dublin Life magazine article.


     

    Roofs

    One significant undertaking involves the complete replacement of the roof system at Deer Run Elementary and phase one of the roof system replacement at Davis Middle School. Over the years, Deer Run has grappled with persistent issues stemming from the original installation of the roof. Despite previous refurbishments in 2017, the challenges resurfaced in 2023 when cold temperatures and precipitation led to ice formation on the roof. The Board of Education declared the Deer Run Elementary roof replacement project an urgent necessity in February. Replacement will begin following the last day of school and be completed by the start of next school year.

    The Davis Middle School roof project will be completed in two phases due to volume of work. By dividing the project into two phases, the Operations team has avoided construction happening during the school year. This maintains the quality of the learning environment and prioritizes the safety of students and staff.


    Turf

    Jerome and Scioto High School's football turf, having served their term, will be replaced. The decision to use turf fields aligns with the district's commitment to fiscal responsibility, as turf proves to be a cost-effective alternative. Unlike traditional grass fields, turf requires minimal maintenance, resulting in substantial long-term savings for the district. Turf can also be rented out for use more frequently, and tolerates inclement weather conditions better than grass. Turf projects will begin as soon as school is out and are planned to be completed by August 1.


    Electrical

    The primary electrical infrastructure switchboards, panel boards, transformer and generator at Sells Middle School have reached end of life. The school has experienced a number of issues with this equipment and it is now scheduled for full replacement. This very complicated project was designed by Advanced Engineering Consultants over the last year and publicly bid this spring. The project will take more than a year to complete due to its complexity.


    In Summary

    These improvements highlight the district's proactive approach to facility maintenance, ensuring that equipment is replaced as it reaches the end of its life cycle. This strategy not only addresses outdated and deteriorating infrastructure, but also mitigates costs associated with maintaining aging equipment. DCS is grateful to voters for passing the 2023 levy. New revenue enables the district to provide safe, modern, and efficient learning environments for residents of all ages.


     
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  • Dublin City Schools’ Response to English Language Arts Legislation

    Posted by Lori Marple, Executive Director of Teaching and Learning on 4/26/2024

    Legislation Guides Reading and Language Arts Instruction

    In Ohio, recent legislation has been established to guide district Reading and Language Arts instruction. Under Ohio Revised Code 3313.6028(B), the Ohio Department of Education and Workforce requires districts to choose from a list of English Language Arts instructional materials that are aligned with the science of reading and strategies for effective literacy instruction. This spring, the Department released a list of approved core curriculum and instructional materials for prekindergarten through grade 5; districts are required to choose a resource from that list. The state also released financing to districts to support their adoption of these required instructional materials.

    Teacher with students


    Early Literacy Action Steps

    Dublin City Schools continues to focus on our mission to develop skilled readers, writers, speakers and listeners. This instructional magic lives in our classrooms and intervention spaces, where our teachers embrace the art and science of teaching while working with young learners using our state required standards and initiatives. Teaching young students to read requires high quality resources, expert instruction, knowledge of the science of reading, and flexibility to provide appropriate scaffolding and support to students. As new initiatives come from the statehouse to the classroom, DCS is steadfast in our approach as we work to select the best comprehensive resource from the state approved list. Below are the steps that Dublin City Schools is taking to support our youngest students in English Language Arts:

    1. In early April, nearly 70 teachers, reading specialists, instructional coaches and administrators heard from a selection of vendors about their Pk-5 state approved resources. Participants evaluated resources based upon a rubric aligned to the science of reading and DCS board policy.

    2. DCS will spend the summer months training a small team of pilot teachers for a fall resource pilot to ensure that the resources have usability features and alignment that best support teaching & learning in Dublin Schools.

    3. By Winter, we will make a recommendation to the Board of Education for an adoption of a High Quality Instructional Material from the state supported list.

    4. Spring of 2025 will be a time of teacher training and implementation.

    Students learning

    This resource implementation is one of many steps that Dublin Schools has taken to focus on literacy instruction in recent years. We know that high quality instructional materials can supplement our already strong phonics programming and new foundational skills assessment practices. If you have any questions about your student's literacy education, please reach out to your child’s teacher. We are grateful for our amazing teachers who bring literacy to life each and every day in our classrooms.

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  • Using Cognitive Ability Tests to Meet Students Where They Are

    Posted by Rachel Dobney, Student Services Coordinator on 4/18/2024

    How does data drive results in education?

    We often know what students have learned, but we don’t always know how our students learned it. For decades, schools have used report cards and the traditional A to F grading system to measure knowledge and academic performance. But as scientists make gains in understanding human development and the child brain, educators are learning that traditional assessment methods are not comprehensive enough to understand the many ways students learn. In fact, taking a data-driven approach to measuring how students learn has proven to be an effective and quite interesting way for teachers to better understand their students.

    Teachers learning


    Enter: The CogAT

    One of the measures our district uses to think differently about our students and their learning is called the Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT). At Dublin City Schools, we conduct whole grade assessments using CogAT in second and fourth grade. Ability data from the CogAT provides us a fresh and meaningful way to understand each student’s potential for learning. The CogAT assesses how students reason with the knowledge they have in three areas:

    • Verbal

    • Quantitative

    • Nonverbal

    The Verbal section measures flexibility, fluency and a student’s ability to adapt in reasoning with materials and in problem-solving. These play an important role in reading comprehension, critical thinking, writing and virtually all verbal learning tasks.

    Quantitative flexibility with symbols and concepts, and the ability to organize and give meaning to numerals and symbols, are part of the quantitative section.

    And finally, the Nonverbal section measures reasoning using geometric shapes and figures. To perform successfully, students must invent strategies for solving novel problems and accuracy in implementing them. These reasoning skills are significantly related to problem-solving in all disciplines.

    CogAT’s three subcategories are averaged to provide a composite score for a child’s overall abilities.

    CogAT in Dublin City Schools

    Once data is released, our Student Services team provides support to elementary teachers so that they can better understand what scores mean. Individual teachers and grade-level teams review CogAT data to determine students’ relative strengths. In some cases, teachers are relieved when receiving the CogAT scores for students who haven’t achieved up to their ability on the traditional grading scale. Ultimately, CogAT data, alongside other assessments, helps teachers:

    • Provide students exposure to differentiated instruction

    • Expand opportunities for learning

    • Grow their own abilities in teaching students

    • Help students find ways to explore pathways

    In addition to teachers, CogAT scores are shared with second and fourth grade parents each spring via our new Infinite Campus Parent Portal. Publishing these scores provides parents an opportunity to actively understand how their child is learning. By transparently providing scores, our district is increasing parent engagement and, in many cases, even assisting parents in better understanding their child’s development, improving outcomes for all.

    Teachers learning

     

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  • Special Announcement for Jerome Township Residents

    Posted by Cassaundra Dietrich on 4/5/2024

    Jerome Township Comprehensive Planning Open House and Survey

    Join the conversation and share your ideas about the future of Jerome Township. Jerome Township is hosting an Open House on April 9th from 6-8 pm at Township Hall that residents can attend. Important topics will be discussed, including conservation and the character and long-term development of the community. Learn more about the event or complete a survey at: https://jerometownshipcomprehensiveplan.com/

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  • The Vital Role of Paraprofessionals in Education

    Posted by Chris Ondrus on 4/5/2024

    What is a paraprofessional?

    On Wednesday, our district celebrated National Paraprofessional Appreciation Day on social media. If you're a parent of a student with a disability, you probably already understand the vital role paraprofessionals play in our schools. But for those of you who might be scratching your heads and wondering, "What's a paraprofessional, anyway?"—don't worry, you're not alone. We get that question a lot.

    Technically, the position title is instructional paraprofessionals, but we commonly call them paraprofessionals or "parapros" for short. Dublin City Schools has 221 of these amazing individuals, spread across preschool, grades K-12, and our Postsecondary Access to Transition after High School (PATHS) program.

    While paraprofessionals aren't licensed teachers, they do hold an educational aide permit through the Ohio Department of Education and Workforce. They team up with our intervention specialists (who are the licensed teachers) to provide top-notch support to students with disabilities. Dublin City Schools currently has approximately 2,600 students with disabilities, equating to 14.5% of the district’s student population.

    You might be thinking, "Oh, so they're basically teacher's aides, right?" Well, not exactly. Unlike teachers or building aides, paraprofessionals have to pass the ParaPro Assessment, earn an associate’s degree (or higher) from an accredited institution of higher education, or have at least two years of study at an accredited institution of higher education.
     

    Paraprofessionals aren't a one-size-fits-all deal

    Like teachers, paraprofessionals vary in their expertise area. In addition to the typical paraprofessional, our district employs licensed practical nurse (LPN) paraprofessionals, sign language interpreter parapros, and job coaching paraprofessionals.

    Most paraprofessionals lend a hand to students with disabilities in PK-12, helping out with everything from academics to behavior to daily living skills. LPN paras handle the more intense medical needs of some of our students, while interpreters work closely with those with hearing impairments to ensure they're fully included in the school environment. And job coaches work hard to teach employability skills to students transitioning to adulthood and independent living.
     
    For our paraprofessionals who demonstrate a deep passion for aiding students with challenging behaviors, they can take their credentialing one step further. Via specialized training conducted by Board Certified Behavior Analysts, paraprofessionals become Registered Behavior Technicians (RBTs). Once equipped with this credential, they can deliver targeted behavioral support to students in one-on-one or small group settings.
     

    Filling a Great Need

    At the heart of it all, paraprofessionals embody our district’s commitment to inclusive education, ensuring that students with disabilities have access to the same opportunities as their peers. Their unwavering dedication not only enriches the educational experience but also fosters a sense of belonging and empowerment among students.

    Interested in pursuing a career as a paraprofessional or know someone who would be an excellent fit for the job? Great! Dublin City Schools currently has openings for paraprofessionals. Visit our Human Resources website and click the Frontline button to learn more, or to apply now, click the button below.

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  • Could Cardinal Health's West Campus Become a School?

    Posted by Cassie Dietrich, Public Information Officer on 3/28/2024

    One Possibility is a Fourth High School

    On Monday, news broke that Dublin City Schools has signed a non-binding Letter of Intent (LOI) with Cardinal Health, Inc. to assess the feasibility of acquiring their west campus headquarters. Cardinal Health West, located at 7200 Cardinal Place, was built in 2007 when Cardinal Health, Inc. consolidated its two largest business segments and relocated more than 700 positions to Dublin.

    The LOI provides the district more than a year to determine if the building can be effectively configured to serve as a school. During this time, district leaders will also be implementing several community engagement initiatives to determine how the purchase of Cardinal Health West aligns with the district's long-term goals. One possibility is its conversion into a fourth high school. The three-story, 247,000-square-foot building sits on more than 31 acres, offering enough space to accommodate the addition of an athletic stadium and gym.

    Cardinal Health Building

    With projected enrollment growth expected to necessitate additional secondary space by 2030, the acquisition of Cardinal Health West could address this need. Enrollment projection reports show that the district will grow by 2,000 students in the next five years. Jerome High School, which just opened a 58,000 square-foot addition in August, is already near capacity and will be more than 1,000 students over capacity by 2030 if nothing changes.

    During the 2023 levy campaign, the district was transparent about the future need for additional space. An “Our Future” timeline shared during levy chats showed that conversations about middle and high school capacity would need to happen by 2025. While the passage of the 2023 levy provides the funding needed to build a fifteenth elementary, it does not provide enough to build a new high school. Construction costs for the fifteenth elementary are currently estimated at $515 per square foot, but could increase due to rising material and labor costs.

     Map of Space 2nd Aerial view

    Aerial view Cardinal

    Building Conversion Provides Significant Cost Savings

    Due to the size and scope of a high school facility, Dublin City Schools estimates it could cost more than $150 million to build new. That’s why exploring Cardinal Health West, at a minimum, makes sense. Converting office space leverages pre-existing infrastructure and amenities, reducing costs and providing significant savings for Dublin City Schools taxpayers. In 2017, the district purchased the vacant Verizon building on Emerald Parkway for $9.4 million. The all-in cost with the building conversion was $21 million, which was approximately half of what it would have been to build new at that time.

    Financial Stewardship is the Focus

    Financial stewardship, including reducing the tax burden of local taxpayers, has been a predominant focus for Dublin City Schools since November, when the levy narrowly passed. While exploring the suitability and alignment of Cardinal Health West is just beginning, the district believes it could see a similar return on investment with Cardinal Health West as it did with Emerald Campus.

    All that said, Dublin City Schools is committed to surveying the community and engaging stakeholders in focus groups to gather input before making any purchasing decisions. While initial public opinion survey results favored a fourth high school over three high schools with higher enrollment, the district wants to be absolutely sure that any decisions made regarding Cardinal Health West reflect the values and aspirations of the Dublin City Schools community.

    Fiscal Timeline Graphic

     

    More information about participating in conversations about master facility planning will be shared in the near future.

     

     

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