Dear Howland Community,
We are one month away from our 2nd annual “All One” Student and Community Showcase. We look forward to seeing our students, staff and community uniting once again for the common goal of celebrating what our students have learned and what they do within the walls of our schools each day.
Importantly, this showcase could not be possible without the support from our families, community and local business and organizational partnerships. The “All One” Showcase will feature students and staff presentations and interactive opportunities for kids and adults of all ages. The showcase will share the past and highlight what’s being done to help our students “roar” into the future. We invite the entire community to this free event. Local food vendors, student presentations and hands-on activities will be available from those who care most about our schools and community - our families, support services, businesses, organizations, and officials. We hope to see you on May 2, 2019, beginning at 5 p.m. when we kick-off the showcase with the winners of our student essay contest, which encouraged students to write about why the high school clocked stopped at 2:10 several years ago. We will then restart the huge clock in front of the high school to signify the official start of our capital campus campaign that embraces our old school traditions while promoting our continued new school vision.
In the interim, we will not allow the lack of state funding for the 25% of Ohio schools, similar to ours, deter our forward momentum and pride in doing our best to continue to improve and maintain our facilities. We will continue to fight for the fair funding that our schools and community deserve in order to educate our students in buildings of tomorrow, without attempting to pass on these prohibitive costs on to our local taxpayers.
The Howland Local School District’s annual operating budget is well over 30 million dollars with general fund expenditures comprised of 53% on salaries, 25% on benefits, and 18% on purchased services (i.e. utilities, professional consultants, equipment repair) and 4% on supplies. Besides the general fund, the district has local, federal or special funds (i.e. student activities and permanent improvement). Permanent improvement funds accumulate approximately $555,000 yearly and accounts for almost 100% of the district's capital maintenance and equipment expenditures. These funds are utilized to maintain, repair and improve our facilities and campuses. They are spread thin each year with aging buildings and infrastructure spread out over a large portion of the township. These funds also purchase buses, maintenance equipment, vehicles and a number of other improvement or purchasing needs for the district. We will continue to be responsible with the annual spending of our permanent improvement dollars by balancing current facility needs with necessary improvements. Our goal is to maintain our school system to levels equivalent to others around us without going to the ballot for additional permanent improvement tax revenue until fair state funding comes our way.
We have been pounding the pavement the last few weeks talking with community supporters in an effort to secure donors, who wish to buy advertising space on the state of the art video scoreboards that the district hopes to purchase for the stadium and gymnasium. Their donations are a commitment to our schools and an opportunity that many people have been requesting. We are excited to see it finally come to fruition. This is not just a partnership to purchase these video boards, but importantly, a commitment to ongoing partnerships that will foster reciprocal relationships in the years to come. This also creates ongoing revenue streams that will assist in capital improvement projects that will be completed with both donated/advertisement funds and permanent improvement funds when feasible. The educable element to this is exciting and it builds bridges to our businesses as we will invite them into our schools to help us facilitate a curriculum that will be directly connected to our community with a focus on jobs that may or may not require a college degree. This idea has stemmed from conversations I have had with the Youngstown Warren Regional Chamber and local business agencies. They understand our goal of meeting each of our students’ curricular and career interests. They also understand our desire to work with local businesses as they attract local students to work for them in cooperative programs even before they graduate from high school.
Again, we look forward to welcoming the Howland community to our “All One” Showcase next month!
Howland Local Schools Superintendent
Archived Letters from the Superintendent