North Royalton City Schools News Article

District Provides Update to Board and Community on its Three-Year Strategic Plan

At the July 11 North Royalton Board of Education meeting, Melissa Vojta, director of curriculum and instruction and Pat Farrell, director of personnel for North Royalton City Schools updated the board members on the progress the district has made on its three-year Strategic Plan. The plan was updated in August 2015.

Community engagement, student achievement, communication, facilities, financial, and collaboration are the six goal categories that consist of the plan.

Highlights of action steps taken under these six categories in the past year include:

Community Engagement

• Alumni Association participated in the Pasta Dinner and has kept in contact with the high school through a Twitter account, Facebook page and website.

• Utilized a survey company to get feedback from graduates and continued to keep up alumni database.

• Included the 50th reunion group in festivities at a fall football game

• Began sharing a monthly district e-newsletter and the Bear Way digital magazine with NR and BH Chambers, as well as Mayor Alai’s office.

• Attended Chamber of Commerce meetings.

• Partnered with the CVCC and Jill Larsen to assist in arranging partnerships, career speakers and activities for elementary school Career Week.

• Attended Senior Citizen Advisory Committee meetings.

• Provided outreach and support to local seniors through sharing artwork, Halloween candy and Bingo at Mount Royal Villa.

• Student-led service projects: Pennies for Patients, UNICEF, Giving Tree, Clothing Drives, Girls on the Run, Paper Hugs for Veterans and Honor Society Bingo at Mount Royal Villa.

• Utilized Giant Eagle and the YMCA for special education student outings.

• Planned building programs such as Breakfast with a Buddy, Grandparents luncheon and Veterans Day celebrations.

• Numerous parent and community engagement events such as Donuts with Dad, Muffins with Mom, Family Literacy Night, Art Shows, Pride of NRMS.

• Real Money - Real World at NRMS: Board members, parents, and members of BAC participated as student facilitators.

Student Achievement

• District Response to Intervention (RtI) committee selected a new reading and math benchmarking tool to assess student academic needs.

• District Leadership Teams analyzed previous yearly student data to identify student achievement gaps and professional development needs.

• Olweus Bully Prevention, PBIS programs, and monthly guidance lessons to address the social/emotional needs of the district.

• District CIAC to communicate curriculum decisions and gather input; Presentations at PTA meetings/using social media to share information.

Curriculum alignment:

- Physical Education/Health standards vertically aligned this year K-12

- Ongoing teacher-based-team (TBT) meetings focus on core subject alignment of standards and the development of common standards

Positive climate:

- Students recognized for positive behavior through programs such as Royal Pride, PAWS, Popcorn Days

- Building reward programs for students: Pie in the face, Fear Factor Food Challenge, dunk tank

- Student staff basketball games

• Professional Development Focus:

- Instructional technology (supporting needs of students with identified disabilities as well as integration into general education classroom instruction)

- Wilson Reading training (Fundations and WRS for resource room instruction)

• Professional dialogue through TBT’s and monthly RTI meetings.


• Updated website pages by dedicated staff members at each building.

• Increased use of Facebook and Twitter by buildings.

• Shared information with families and community through consistent use of Constant Contact e-communications.

• Posted videos (Bear Time with the Superintendent) and emailed Key Communicator messages from the Superintendent.

• Posted PTA information on building websites and various social media outlets.

• Updated registration and Infosnap information on annual basis.

• Utilized Blackboard Connect for “alert now” information.

• Principals met with Student Advisory groups to gather feedback on student desires and opinions.

• Conducted monthly lunches with student leadership groups at all levels.

School Spirit Enhancement:

- High school graduate walk through the middle school and eighth grade Honor Society students visit the elementary buildings.

- Youth sports night at high school events.

- “NoRo Nation!”


• Provided information, enrollment and facility information, historical data and facility tours to the C.E.C.

• Partnered with the OFCC to conduct facility evaluations and development of master plan options.

• Updated technology infrastructure to accommodate increased wireless needs. Additional access points added at both the high school and middle school, with updated access points installed at all elementary buildings.

• District-wide conversion to Google Apps for Education allowing for cloud-based storage and applications.

• Reviewed and updated all building and district Emergency Operation Plans.

• Developed and established replacement cycles and budgets for roofing, flooring, concrete, painting, kitchen equipment, windows, HVAC and lighting.

• Implemented new district team cleaning approach during summer months.


• Provided financial information to the community through the Quality Profile, Bear Way, Your Royalton Schools and the audited Annual Financial Report.

• Increased use of social media such as Facebook and Twitter.

• Utilized the monthly e-newsletter to share easy-to-read explanations and charts on difficult financial concepts.

• Attended and shared information at community organization meetings such as the North Royalton Chamber of Commerce State of the Schools and State of the City luncheons.

• Continued to actively recruit business participation in the schools through financial support, product/talent donation and resource sharing.

- Continued the Business Advisory Committee

- Partnered with the Cuyahoga Valley Career Center Vision 8 to recruit business participation in the schools:

- Lineweaver Financial Group - donation to convocation day.
First Federal of Lakewood, Independence Flowers & Gifts and Cleat’s Restaurant - donation to Crystal Starfish Award program.


• Worked to create opportunities for common planning time: building schedules, team days, late arrival days.

• Discussed best practices at TBT and BLT meetings.

• District Leadership Team collaborates to recommend professional development needs for certified staff. (Wilson Training, Instructional Technology)

• C.A.R.E. training for principals, supervisors, administrative assistants and secretaries.

• Established a Classified Professional Development Team comprised of representatives from all classifications.

• Met in June and September to survey classified staff and plan the November In-service day.

• All activities were based on input from classified staff. (Google Docs, Chairlifts, Equipment Training, Dealing With Difficult Students)

• Professional development opportunities were evaluated through a survey of all participants.

“I am pleased with all that has been accomplished in just the first of our three-year strategic plan,” said Superintendent Greg Gurka. “This plan included numerous initiatives that are current and relevant to the needs of our students today. We continue to demonstrate to our community the many ways we are inspiring and empowering learners as our world of education continues to rapidly change, particularly in the area of instructional technology. Our curriculum and facilities must be equipped to handle the change.”

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