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The following is an archived video story. The text content of that video story is available below for reference. The original video has been deleted and is no longer available.

DPS Addresses One of Biggest Problems Before New School Year

DAYTON -- Two-thousand Dayton Public School teachers are fired up to start a new school year Thursday.


"This year I'm looking forward to an academic rigor that supersedes anything we've done," said World of Wonder sixth-grade teacher Pauline Wilson.

Take to UD Arena for their yearly convocation, but it wasn't all cheers.

In 2002 there were 18,000 students enrolled at Dayton Public Schools. This upcoming school year there will be fewer than 14,000. Superintendent Lori Ward Blames several reasons for the drop.

"Vouchers, additional community schools and open enrollment," Ward said. "If you are a city of Dayton resident, you can choose other districts that except open enrollment.

Also in the last 11 years, DPS has gone from academic emergency to continuous improvement, back down to academic watch where they have stayed for the last few years.


"For three years straight our third-grade reading proficiency is hovering around 54 percent, that's a travesty," Ward said.

Ward says things are improving but will need to improve a lot more if they want to keep kids in their district.

"The driving point was really dedication to education," said Ward. "Family's choose where they want their kids to go and we know if families invest their babies with us at kindergarten and we have a highest quality staff, then we produce a great product: a high school graduate ready for post secondary options."

The teachers agree.

"If we become the teachers and we take each day as if it matters, then the parents will start to see that we are investing in the child and they won't want to take them anywhere else," said Meadowdale Spanish teacher Kimberly Kennerson.

But not every parent does. Some would rather continue to send their kids elsewhere.

"You get more help, you learn more than at public schools, you do a lot of horse-playing, you don't learn too much," said Dayton parent Marco Bough.

So why should you continue to send your kids to DPS? Ward says because they have implemented several new programs from early literacy at Louise Troy Pre-K to 4 to transforming Dunbar High School to an early college high school.

Teachers hope the new improvements will change the mind of parents.

"We have a stronger curriculum and we have a broader base of support people that help the teachers do what they need to do to get the kids to score on their test and to graduate," said Cleveland Elementary teacher Kim Miller.

Year              Score         Grade
2012-2013    75.5          Academic Watch
2011-2012    75.6          Academic Watch
2010-2011    75.9          Continuous Improvement
2009-2010    72.6          Academic Watch
2008-2009    70.8          Academic Watch
2007-2008    70             Academic Watch
2006-2007    71.5          Academic Watch
2005-2006    73.2          Continuous Improvement
2004-2005    66.5          Academic Emergency
2003-2004    61.2          Academic Emergency
2002-2003    62.3          Academic Emergency
2001-2002    58.6          Academic Emergency
2000-2001    56.4         Academic Emergency



Previous coverage:

DAYTON -- Students aren't the only ones getting ready to go back to school. Teachers for Dayton Public schools are gearing up as well.

About 2,000 employees will meet Monday morning at the University of Dayton Arena for their annual convocation.

DPS superintendent Lori Ward will talk about the district's achievements and her expectations for this year.
   
We spoke with her Friday about a major change in the district; Dunbar High School becoming an early college high school.

"We have in essence collected data of success and I truly believe that when a success occurs you should look at and see how you can replicate," said superintendent Lori Ward.

After the convocation the staff will spend the rest of the day working on professional development.

The school year begins Thursday, Aug. 15.

 
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