The Steering Committee will be an advisory committee to the Athens City School Board of Education, established for the purpose of researching and recommending a Master Plan for our facilities, which looks to the future and creates an atmosphere and structure that supports our recently adopted Vision and Mission Statements.
While this is an unpaid committee, since it is formed by a public body, the Steering Committee will be subject to Ohio’s Sunshine Laws.
The following individuals will have the option to serve on the Steering Committee:
- Three members selected by the Unions (I would prefer that these be teachers);
- A representative from each building (East, West, MoGo, TPE, AMS, & AHS), selected by that buildings’ PTOs and/or booster clubs;
- Three members selected by the Board. This would permit the Board to fill in potential gaps in community representation.
- An administrator appointed by the leadership team of ASCD;
- Mayor Steve Patterson;
- A representative of Ohio University;
- A Board Member
The Steering Committee would begin meeting in September of 2016, and have a deadline, to provide its recommends, to the Board, by the Board’s February, 2017, meeting. Because of the limited period, I would recommend that the Steering Committee meet twice a month. Also, on account of the size of the Steering Committee, it may be a good idea to have a moderator appointed to assist them, at least initially.
The following individuals would also be available as presenters and as informational resources to the Steering Committee:
- Dr. Tom Gibbs
- Matt Bunting
- OSFC and OFCC representatives;
- Representative of the selected design firm;
The following issues should be considered by the Steering Committee:
- What are the requirements and hurdles associated with obtaining funding for renovations to our existing facilities, as well as, the construction of a new facility?
- What are the attributes and disadvantages associated with our current facilities?
- If a new facility is constructed, what purpose would it serve and where would it be located? What do we do with old facilities, if they are vacated?
- What are the short and long term maintenance needs of our current facilities? What are the projected costs associated with these maintenance needs?
- How can the concerns associated with our five year forecast be mitigated through improvements to facilities, changes to the current uses of our facilities, or the construction of a new facility?
- Can concerns raised by our students, parents, and staff (such as limitations on collaboration, class sizes, social inequities, busing, and the loss of electives) be addressed through improvements, changes in use, or the construction of a new facility?
- Many of our neighboring districts have moved to a single campus and / or grade level buildings. What issues would be solved by moving to a single campus and / or transitioning to grade level buildings? What difficulties would we encounter?
- It has been several decades since our community considered the district lines of our elementary schools. Where are the current boundary lines of our elementary schools? What issues would be solved by redistricting these lines? Does this approach create other problems?
- How do issues such as the CC+ program, open enrollment, and declining student population affect the future of our facilities?
- What lessons can we learn from the history of our district's facilities?
- It is inevitable that changes will leads to controversies. What controversies should the community expect to encounter with the Steering Committee’s recommendations and how best should these controversies be addressed by the Board?