Nearly 100 people gathered at Dayton Boys Prep Academy Tuesday to learn more about the latest efforts to turn around Dayton Public Schools. The district, which received an overall grade of “F” on this year’s state report card, is trying to avoid state takeover next year.
At the meeting, Superintendent Elizabeth Lolli unveiled a host of goals related to district’s academic performance and relationship with parents. Lolli said district officials are focused on implementing socially conscious teaching strategies, addressing student attendance issues, and rethinking student discipline, among other things.
She also said the district is interested in forming new parent relations groups and improving communication among community members. These ideas were mostly praised by parents in the audience.
"Those of you who have been around in the community for years have seen DPS plans come and go," said David Romick, president of the Dayton Education Association. "But there's a difference this time, and the difference is for the first time in a long time there is a stability in the Dayton Public Schools.”
Romick says the teacher turnover rate, which was at 20% in previous years, was just under 10% this year.
It wasn’t all positive though. Parents expressed frustrations about teacher quality, the district’s unreliable transportation system, and what they perceived as a general lack of transparency.
Parent Will Smith says he’s concerned about the district’s ability to follow through on its promises.
“That’s a great list of strategies and goals and priorities but we really need to focus on the how.”
District officials say more town hall meetings will be held in the coming months.