TPS reviews school year with new changes in place

TPS hopes to place a levy on the ballot this November.
TPS hopes to place a levy on the ballot this November.

TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) - It has been a big year of change for Toledo Public Schools, as the district put a transformation plan in place. Now as the school year wraps up, the district is reflecting on what worked and what failed.

Schools all across the district had been converted to the K-8 system, one of many changes in the new transformation plan.

"It kind of made you nervous because you had older students that were with younger students," said Ryan Tallman, a TPS parent of a third-grader at Arlington Elementary.

Tallman was one of several TPS parents skeptical about this year's big changes, but a year of the new K-8 schools reminded him of his roots.

"I actually like the K-8 because I'm from a small town, because that's what we have in the town I lived in, so the K-8 I like, because it keeps the kids together more," explained Tallman.

TPS officials like the system too and attribute a decrease in the number of discipline cases and an increase in parental involvement to the new system.

"It's been a successful year. It's definitely been a year of change, and I believe we are very well-primed for the future," said Jim Gault, TPS chief academic officer.

Other changes included distance learning, seventh and eighth-graders could take high school courses, and AP courses were offered at all high schools through the technology. Also, special education students were included in a regular education environment.

"I think we've made it student-centered, in terms of, we've made academic success our top priority," said Gault.

But change meant a lot of moving. One in six staff members and one in three administrators moved schools.

"There have been hiccups. It was a tremendous change," said Gault.

Gault said TPS received feedback from parents, students and staff throughout the year.

"We've asked how we could make these programs better, and there have been some changes," said Gault.

TPS will not get state exam results for a few more months, but Gault is hoping for improvement. Depending on funding, TPS has a levy on the ballot in November. The next step for the plan would be starting specialized high schools.

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