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Superintendent's Message

Photo of Superintendent Catherine Aukerman

Welcome to the 2018-19 School Year!

Welcome to the Highland School District! We are excited to embark on another year of learning and growing. We are especially excited that our parents and community supported a bond issue (November 2017) to build three new elementary schools and renovate Highland Middle School, as well as an operating renewal levy (May 2018). Thank you!

This past year, our teachers, administrative team, construction managers and architects have been working diligently on plans, land acquisition and designs for the new buildings. We engaged in Educational Visioning Sessions with staff and community members, developed a Program of Requirements for the new schools and visited and toured new school facilities in Strongsville, Lyndhurst and New Albany to better understand modern-day school design concepts. It has really been a collaborative effort with our staff and community to this point and we want to continue to involve the community and learn about what kind of schools do they envision.

In May, the Board of Education approved the purchase of land on Wilbur Road to be the site of the new Granger Elementary School. The architects and the construction management team have been on the property for the new Granger school and have conducted soil tests and land surveys in preparation for construction. In June, the Board also approved the purchase of two additional land parcels -- one for the new Hinckley Elementary School and the other for the new Sharon Elementary School. Both properties are located on Ridge Road. The vacant Hinckley property (21.7 acres) is located approximately one-half mile north of Route 303, and the Sharon property (48 acres) is located approximately one mile south of Sharon Circle (the former Western Reserve Golf Course). 

The Board's original intention was to build on or near our current sites. However, our current sites are less than perfect from a size perspective for new schools. Knowing these schools will serve the community for the next 50 years, the Board has worked to find land that is a better alternative to our current sites. Our elementary schools now sit on approximately 8 acres, whereas the OFCC recommends 16 acres for new elementary schools. While we could build on the current sites, it would not be optimal for separating bus traffic from parent traffic, for overall layout of buildings, etc. The ideal scenario is still to build all three schools simultaneously as that would give us the greatest economy of scale. 

Our building project team will continue to work during the 2018-19 school year on fine-tuning our educational planning, school designs, conducting additional site visits and finalizing a construction timeline. 

Our new elementary facilities will meet the constantly evolving needs of teaching and learning in the 21st century. We believe that the design and physical structure of a school shape the development occurring within its walls, and it is our mission to continue to inspire students, facilitate innovative learning and prepare our students for a successful future. Our new buildings will be safe and secure, timeless and inspiring to students, educators and community members alike. 

We will keep you informed of any updates through our e-newsletters, website and Facebook page. As always, please check our website for the most current information.

Have a great school year!

Thank you,
Catherine Aukerman
Superintendent of Schools


Contact:
Catherine Aukerman, Superintendent: aukerman@highlandschools.org
Sue Liszniansky, Executive Secretary: sliszniansky@highlandschools.org