LORAIN — Lorain Schools CEO David Hardy released a State of the District video Thursday.
Posted to the marketing and communications team’s YouTube account, not TV20, he gave a brief timeline for establishing next school year’s goals. The video was directed to school staff, including teachers.
He said the Jan. 10 town hall will outline next year’s priorities, which will be finalized in February. He did not give any specifics on what those priorities might be.
He also noted a limited response on a recent teacher’s climate survey — though those who did respond pointed out low morale and a “need to identify areas where we can improve our support to schools.” The survey was sent out to the district’s roughly 900 employees before November’s Academic Distress Commission meeting. At the Nov. 28 ADC meeting, Chief People Officer Jackie Younker reported only about 130 people had returned the survey.
Hardy said he wanted to continue to hear input from staff and will be sending out emails and conducting “chief chats.”
“We cannot live, lead or teach in fear of what is coming,” he said. “We must engage in conversation about what we need to see change. Your voice, honesty and hope will make this happen.”
In the interim, he said he will need to visit a number of schools and spend significant time in the middle and high school classrooms — citing them as the highest priority in the district.
Comparing the decisions he has to make for the betterment of the district to Clemson University football coach Dabo Swinney’s decision to replace a senior quarterback with an inexperienced freshman, he said it will be important for the district to develop a system of accountability and be able to make “necessary adjustments annually.”
“As we move forward, I could not be more excited about what 2019 will bring for us,” he said. “This is our year to make a large, collective step forward. A step forward that will ask for a deep belief in what is right for our kids, a sense of optimism that will allow for moments of challenge and sacrifice to become opportunities for deepened commitment, purpose and possibility.”
The next town hall meeting is 5 p.m. Jan. 10 at Longfellow Middle School, 305 Louisiana Ave.