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Superintendent's Message

RKHeadshot2014Dr. Rocky D. Killion

Spring 2018/2019 School Year

Teachers And Staff Make The Difference

As public schools across Indiana enter another season of standardized testing, school letter grades and statistical rankings, I am mindful of the true heroes of public education, our teachers and staff members.  
West Lafayette Schools is made up of outstanding teachers and staff members who work tirelessly every day to ensure our students have what they need to be successful despite, in some cases, extreme difficulties.

Students come to our schools from a variety of backgrounds, all with varying levels of needs. In short, our students are non-standardized and it’s unfortunate that Indiana continues to place so much emphasis on a standardized test to measure the perceived effectiveness of teachers and school districts. A single letter grade or one test score should not define our students, teachers and schools.

If we really want to make a difference in public schools, Indiana should focus more on the well being of our students, teachers and staff members. Rather than spending over $100 million on a broken testing system, why not reinvest those resources towards student mental health services and teacher/staff resources? Our students will be better served if we provide our teachers and staff members with the resources they need including better compensation.

The State School Superintendent of Georgia, Dr. Richard Woods, just published an op-ed about the same issue going on in his state.  He challenges his state’s accountability system which has the same premise found in Indiana, using a standardized test to measure the effectiveness of teachers and school districts.  I agree with his final statement; “Our mission is to prepare children for life, not a test.”   (http://www.gadoe.org/External-Affairs-and-Policy/communications/Pages/PressReleaseDetails.aspx?PressView=default&pid=649)

It’s not a test score that will determine how our children will do in the real world; it’s the quality of the teachers teaching them that will have the greatest impact. So if you support this idea please consider contacting your legislators and letting them know.  As Jamie Vollmer says, “schools cannot do it alone.” I need your help in this cause.  I hope you will stand with me in saying that it is our teachers and staff members who really make a difference.

Dr. Rocky Killion

Superintendent of Schools

Superintendent of West Lafayette Community School Corporation

 

 

 

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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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