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Nance gives address about State of Ironton City Schools

Published 9:46am Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The slogan used by Ironton City Schools is “To teach, to nurture, to serve.” Following this past Monday’s meeting of the Ironton Board of Education, Superintendent Dean Nance gave an address detailing how the district is doing those things in his State of the Ironton City Schools”address.

Nance went over a PowerPoint presentation that outlined the district’s mission, academics, facilities, finances and strategic plan, among other topics.

“About 15 people showed up but I was hoping for more,” Nance said. “We did what we could to get the community involved in terms of advertising. I know people’s lives are busy but am hopeful people can view the PowerPoint and if anyone has any questions my door is always open.”

The 2013 state report card had Ironton receiving two “A”s, one in achievement and one in four-year graduation rate. Four “B”s were awarded to the district in performance index, measurable objectives, students with disabilities and five-year graduation rate. Three Cs rounded out the grades with one each in the overall, gifted and lowest 20 percent categories.

“We strive to become better every year and we are proud of our accomplishments,” Nance said. “We have identified areas we can improve and we celebrate the accomplishments we have made. It is a good time for Ironton City Schools right now.”

Nance also touched on Ironton High School being named a 2013 School of Promise for its overall score increase of 91.3 percent to 97.4 percent from the 2006-2007 school year to the 2012-2013 school year.

“The Ironton City Schools System continues to experience increased academic achievement, improved curricular and extracurricular facilities and having a balanced budget,” Nance said in his address. “

Overall enrollment in the district has dropped by only 26 students since 2006-2007 when it had 1,531 students. Enrollment peaked at 1,548 in 2011-2012.

Nance explained the district met five of its six academic goals set last school year, missing making all six by two indicators on the state report card. Two of the district’s five goals for this school year have already been met, which are implementing a new teacher/principal evaluation system and adopting a new math curriculum.

There are four goals set for next school year.

All four facilities goals were met last year, according to Nance, including updating computers and laptops, implementing and refining a preventative maintenance program, performing an energy efficiency study and training maintenance and custodial staff. A total of six more facilities goals are on the board for this school year and next.

Nance outlined the goals for extracurricular facilities in the future and ones already completed, which includes installing turf at Tanks Stadium.

The district’s finances were also discussed by Nance, which showed $7,903.06 was spent per pupil in 2012-2013; totaling more than $12.3 million and as of June 2013 the balance in the general fund was around $1 million.

“Financially we are making it work by running a lean ship and focusing on priorities,” Nance said. “We have reduced staff members over the years due to cost savings and as a result increased the number of students per class. But research shows there is no major detriment from increased class size if delivering proper instruction.”

Nance added that it is tough working with a tight budget, but gives all credit to his staff.

“Many would complain about teaching a larger class, but our teachers stepped up to the plate and it shows in our student achievement,” Nance said. “We have been under our estimated budget the last two years and we are proud to be operating at that level. I praise the board for supporting the changes we have made. The board has had faith in our administration and staff and supported us through the changes made to become more efficient. I am very honored to be at the helm of this school district because I have worked in others and the parental support and teachers’ efforts at Ironton are unmatched by anything I have ever seen.”

Ironton’s Strategic Plan Dashboard can be seen at www.tigertown.com along with a copy of Nance’s PowerPoint presentation. Updates and news are available at Ironton City Schools on Facebook and on the district’s smart phone app.

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