Accomplishments that Improved Dayton Public Schools in 4 years

Forty of the key achievements at Dayton Public Schools in 2014-2017 that the Administration, principals, teachers, bus drivers, custodians, paraprofessionals, all other employees and staff, and certainly the Board of Education can be very proud of, and which are part of DPS' improvement and growth for two years in the row (2016 and 2017):

1) Avoiding state takeover - avoiding loss of local control (2016)
2) First-ever "A" (Value Added component) on a state report card (2016)
3) First-ever "A" on a sub-component (Gifted Value Added) of a state report card (2015-2016 and 2016-2017)
3a) First ever three state report card components being above "F" (2016-2017 SY), specifically, for Value Added, K-3 Reading and Graduation

4) Improving Performance Index on state report card (2016-2017)
5) 115 brand new school buses and wholesale improvement of busing and transportation department (2017) (read the DPS Factsheet on the acquisition of these 115 brand-new buses)
6) roll-out of 1:1 technology for all students in just one year (2016)
7) performance based contracts for top administrators and for educational software (2016)
8) comprehensive DPS app (iPhone and Android) with school bus tracking (2016)
9) launched new career-technology tracks in all DPS high schools (2017)
10) online school Dayton Innovation Virtual Academy (DIVA) to take Dayton children back from ECOT (2017)
11) winning record-level state SIG grants for school improvement (2016)
12) Thurgood Marshall High School earned the official STEM designation (2014)
13) Strengthened mentoring and academics through Office of Males of Color (2016)
14) Adopting a policy on equity (2016)
15) First-of-any-school-district SAS Certified Base Programmer certification (2016)
16) more 5-STAR Step Up to Quality rated preschools than anyone else in Dayton area (2016)
17) unprecedented level of transparency of Board meetings incl. through BoardDocs online (2015), Facebook live video (2017), having Board meetings in HD quality (2015)
18) First to join the #1 transparency initiative - (2015)
19) DPS bidding and RFP process improved, simplified and fully online for transparency (2016)
20) Establishing office of independent Internal Auditor (2015)
21) Reducing number of deficiencies on State Audits (2016-2017)
22) Exceeding 10% Cash Reserves (2016)
23) refinanced bonds to lower interest rates (2015)
24) preventing significant downgrade by Fitch rating agency (2016)
25) Increasing energy efficiency, reducing gas and electric costs significantly (by $350,000 in 2016 alone)
26) bringing the bands back to DPS (2017)
27) improving Human Resources (HR) department (2016)
28) improving Professional Development (PD) offerings and their quality (2016-2017)
29) New Courses of Study for all grades (2017)
30) New Pacing Guides for all grades (2016)
31) New school books with 6 years free digital updates (2017)
32) 28 new Teacher Leaders - one in each school (2017)
33) 17 new phonics coaches for kindergarten and first-grade reading (2017)
34) brought NWEA MAP and RIT bands to the District, to allow better estimates of academic performance by DPS students and thus more effective intervention (2016)
35) significantly improved and redesigned Student Enrollment Center (2016-2017)
36) DPS Data Dashboard - most comprehensive in Ohio (2017)
37) Belmont High School expansion by nearly 500 seats (2017)
38) Mobile Health Unit - a wrap-around service to help DPS students with various health conditions (2016) (read this DPS Factsheet on what made possible this Mobile Health Unit and other healthcare-related donations from Caresource)
39) DPS students placing high and receiving numerous state and national awards on financial (Dayton Boys Prep Academy), robotics (Thurgood Marshall HS) and TV/radio/media (Ponitz CTC) competitions
40) Many millions saved in 2014-2017. According to the Internal Auditor’s calculations, from mid-2015 till mid-2017 DPS saved over $6.5 million and recovered over $1.3 million of taxpayers’ funds. That is just in two (2) years.


The list could certainly be continued, but it's quite obvious that this is why DPS, after some 30 years of decline and being even at the very bottom, on the verge of state takeover and loss of local control, has been improving for two years in the row - and the 2017-2018 school year will be successful, too. In 2017 DPS got better grades on a whopping three (3) components of the state report card - another record for the District. Unfortunately, these improvements are not enough to completely undo the legacy of 30 years of being at the bottom - but they are surely a great foundation and an example of how quickly can a district improve under the right leadership. 

In 2013, running for the seat on the Board, and knowing about the looming state takeover, I could not have dreamed that we will have so many accomplishments, steer DPS away from losing local control, and that all three campaign pledges I've made to voters - such as 1:1 technology and fiscal accountability & transparency - would be fulfilled, at least, 200%. I hope this progress and improvements can continue. Thank you everyone at DPS whose hard work made all this possible. I was hoping, and still hope, to see DPS as a Top 3 urban school district in Ohio within a short time as was the goal. #WeAreDPS