At Crooksville Schools, our top priority continues to be providing a safe learning environment for our students. We also pride ourselves in having a staff and support staff who care immensely about our students and each other. Our staff is both compassionate and hardworking and our students take advantage of our many educational and extra curricular opportunities.
In an attempt to paint an accurate picture of the learning environment of our students, we began implementing a student experience survey to students in grades six through twelve during the 2014-2015 school year. Since the initial survey was given, we have experienced significant growth in how the students feel in terms of hope, engagement, belonging and management. The survey asks students to answer a series of short questions in each category on a rating scale of 1-5 (5 being the highest and best response). We chart the number of responses that are answered with a 5 and use that data to look for areas of improvement. On average, we have increased by 20% in each of the four categories since starting this process. Our districts efforts have also been recognized by Battelle for Kids, a national not-for profit organization committed to realizing the power and promise of 21st century learning for every student. You can read the article they wrote about the district here.
The Crooksville K-8 School continues to provide a strong learning environment for our students as well. Since its inception, all third graders have met the third grade reading guarantee. Also, college and career readiness activities occur at all levels, including third and fourth grade students who participate in a “Chalk on the Walk” activity creating artwork displaying their future career ambitions. Additionally, our seventh and eighth graders have access to ten electives that include band, choir, Spanish, art, media, technology, fitness and invasion games, net sports, physical education and weight training, and college and career readiness class.
At Crooksville Schools, we also pride ourselves in the opportunities we offer our students. One of our learning opportunities that set us apart from other districts is our vast College Credit Plus (CCP) offerings. We have partnered with Zane State, Rhodes State, and Stark State to offer twenty college classes on our campus during the 2017-2018 school year. These classes are taught on our campus by our faculty and provide college credit at no cost to our students. These college credits are transferable to any state college in Ohio, including Ohio State and Ohio University. Last year, our students earned over 680 college credits and this program saved the families of our students over $100,000 in college tuition costs in a single year. We recently added a CCP lounge exclusively for students who are participating in this program to collaborate together and relax in during down time.
Our students also have the ability to enroll in our eAcademy or participate in our Independent Learning lab once they get to high school in order to work at their own pace to recover credits or take a vast assortment of electives. We also offer a full array of extra curricular activities from marching band to football and archery at no additional cost to our families. Our students also have abundant access to technology. Our district has over 150 computers and over 950 tablets; together that equates to approximately one piece of technology per student.
Additionally, the ample opportunities and fantastic learning environment have not gone unnoticed by residents of surrounding school districts. Crooksville Schools offers open enrollment to other districts in Ohio and has over 130 more students coming to the district than leaving the district though open enrollment. This is telling that many students residing in other districts know about Crooksville Schools and choose to attend school here rather than in the district where they reside.
Our community strongly backs our schools as well from attending our Open House and sporting events to providing scholarship dollars to our graduating students. Last year, our seniors were awarded over 60 local scholarships totaling over $60,000. Further evidence of our community support can be seen through our large Facebook following, where we have over 1,400 followers. You can visit our Facebook page, where we provide updates and highlight the great things going on in our schools here.
Crooksville Schools is also a good steward of taxpayer dollars. The last time a school levy was on the ballot was in 1999 and the levy passed. The district has not gone back to the taxpayers to ask for more money since. Also, the district takes advantage of a federal grant to provide breakfast and lunch to all students on campus free of charge. Crooksville Schools spends $11,100 per student and only 8 percent of that comes from local property taxes, providing an excellent value to our taxpayers in comparison to the rest of the state of Ohio. A homeowner residing in the Crooksville School District only pays $70.01 per $10,000 of home value each year in school property taxes. This is one of the lowest rates in the state; again showing the taxpayers the district is providing them an excellent value for their investment in education.
Crooksville Schools continue to offer a safe learning environment with a vast number of educational opportunities for our students and our staff members immensely care about our students and each other.