Superintendent's Message

  
 RKHeadshot2014
 
   Dr. Rocky D. Killion       


Fall 2017

 

What Does It Take To Be A World-Class School System? 

 

Beginning in 2007, I was fortunate to be able to join the West Lafayette Community School Corporation’s (WLCSC) Board of School Trustees (Board), staff and administration as we embarked on a journey to not only maintain the academic reputation of WLCSC, but to build on that reputation and become aligned with the world’s best education systems.   This has been no easy feat in light of constantly changing legislative mandates that have weakened public school systems across Indiana and the defunding of public schools in favor of a so-called “school choice” system, where parents receive public school dollars to send their children, if they so choose, to a private or parochial school.  Despite these seemingly insurmountable obstacles, the WLCSC continues to provide all students with a public education system rated at the very top of all educational metrics.  So what does it take to be a world-class education system and how has WLCSC been able to work to achieve this goal?

 

Strategic Planning

 

In 2010 the Board approved moving forward with a five-year strategic planning process.  Facilitated by one of the best superintendent’s in the state, Dr. Janet Emerick guided approximately 50 WLCSC stakeholders in developing WLCSC’s mission, belief statements, improvement goals, and actions steps.  The strategic plan included short- and long-range goals that addressed academics, facilities and funding.  Above all, it garnered the input and support of WLCSC stakeholders that included parents, staff members, administrators, business leaders, Purdue University representatives, and Board members. 

 

The strategic plan guided the WLCSC Board and administrators with implementing three global strategies:

 

1)     Redesigning academic programs;

 

2)     Submitting a general fund referendum question to the community; and

 

3)     Developing a long-term facilities plan.

 

By the spring of 2017, these three global strategies were realized.  WLCSC academics continue to be recognized statewide and nationally.  The WLCSC community supported two referendum questions, one in 2010 at a 66% approval and another one in 2017 at a 94.28% approval, which set a state record.  The long-term facilities plan has started.  However, there is much work to do to finish these projects.  Even though additional bonding will be necessary to complete all of the school projects, because the school district’s assessed valuation is projected to increase by 2% a year, additional bonding can occur without impacting the overall tax rate.

 

Finishing the Plan

 

Various construction projects are underway including a new intermediate school at the former Burtsfield elementary site and Cumberland Elementary School has just started. The West Lafayette Jr/Sr High School facility improvements will begin in 2018.  Renderings of some the projects are shown below.  For more information about the construction projects, visit www.theRDPproject.com.

 

WLCSC is fortunate to have strong community support for these initiatives.  To become and maintain a world-class education system it takes 1) creating a vision for the future, 2) providing the proper funding to execute the vision, and 3) receiving community involvement and support.  The future is bright for WLCSC.  With continued support from community and alumni, our students, present and future, will continue receiving a world-class education.

 

 

Respectfully,

 

Dr. Rocky Killion

Superintendent of Schools

New Intermediate School
New Intermediate School 



 
Robert Kelly Performing Arts Center

  Performing Arts


Cumberland Elementary
New Cumberland


James Guy Education Wing
Education Wing



Richard Wachs Aquatic Center 
Aquatic Center


 

Additional Superintendent Articles






Welcome Back Everyone,

 

As we begin the 2014/2015 school year, I am mindful of the great challenges that lie ahead for our school district.  Currently, our school corporation leadership team, with the assistance of over forty community members, is carefully looking at our facilities.  Several of our facilities are nearing fifty-years of age and when they were built, the design and construction were definitely lacking for a public school.  Over the next school year, our facilities strategic planning group will consider all options to develop a long-term facilities plan for our school district.  The facilities planning group has made three global recommendations as we begin putting together this plan:

 

  1. Maintain WLCSC community schools
  2. Maintain, renovate or replace current buildings as appropriately supported by verification of need, and;
  3. Keep the school district tax rate at or below the current level.

 

I anticipate by the fall of 2015, our strategic facilities planning group will be ready for me to begin presenting our initial planning ideas to our community for feedback.  Then, based upon the feedback, we will regroup to finalize our plans for future implementation.  So stay tuned.

 

Another issue on the horizon is the expiration of our General Fund referendum.  I am thankful to our community for supporting our referendum request of a rate not to exceed $0.43 per $100 of assessed valuation which was approved by nearly a 2 to 1 margin back in May 2010.  Since then, our administration team and staff have worked diligently to bring down costs while at the same time trying to improve our education system for all of our children. 

 

I am pleased to report that we have thus far accomplished both.  Since the passage of our referendum, our rate has never exceeded $0.37 per $100 of assessed valuation, and we are maintaining quality class sizes while experiencing student enrollment growth of nearly 400 students over the past five years.  If we did not have the current referendum, our class sizes would be nearly 45 students per elementary classroom.  So I am very thankful to you for supporting a high quality education for all of our students.

 

I want to wish all of you a wonderful school year.  I truly believe the best is yet to come.

 

Sincerely,

 

Dr. Rocky Killion

Superintendent of Schools

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