Superintendent's Message

Superintendent's Message

Dr. Baker's Message ...
Welcome to the website of the Zanesville City Schools. I hope you find it both informative and helpful. As you explore the pages of this website, I am confident that you will clearly understand why Zanesville City Schools is the best choice for your family.
 
Our students have many opportunities academically, athletically, and in the visual and performing arts. From preschool through grade 12, there are numerous possibilities for our students to explore areas that interest them, including nationally recognized academic programs such as 13 Advanced Placement (AP) courses, Gateway to Technology, Project Lead the Way Biomedical, and Project Lead the Way Engineering. Our families enjoy the five state-of-the-art campuses and athletic complexes.
 
Like most organizations, it is the people that make our district special. Zanesville City Schools has a rich tradition of faculty and staff members who strive to make the experiences of children beneficial, rewarding, and memorable. We, as a district, are dedicated to passionately pursuing our mission to provide all students the opportunity to reach their full potential, and ultimately become responsible, productive, life-long learners, and contributing citizens of the United States of America in a global society.
 
We are fortunate to belong to a community that recognizes, values, and supports the quality educational experiences for children. A long-standing motto and truism of the Zanesville City Schools is, “Once a Blue Devil, always a Blue Devil.” It is our hope that you, too, are a Blue Devil family.
 
– Dr. Doug Baker

DR. BAKER'S BLOG


Hello, and welcome to the superintendent’s website and blog. It is my hope to make this an area where readers can come to learn more about Zanesville City Schools and educational issues of interest. As always, should you have a question or need more information, please send me an email at: baker@zanesville.k12.oh.us
subscribe
Join us for an EdChat!
Posted 12/3/2018 at 3:14:48 PM by Jim Rudloff [staff member]
Plan to be part of our first #ZanesvilleEdChat on Twitter. It will begin at 8 p.m. Thursday, December 6th, and it is open to all employees of Zanesville City Schools, parents, students, and community members.
 
EdChats are a good forum to discuss educational topics or to share educational information. Our Twitter hashtag will be: #ZanesvilleEdChat.
 
If you do not have a Twitter account, this may be a good time to start. You can join the conversation on Thursday by following me at @DawkBaker, or to do a hashtag search that evening for #ZanesvilleEdChat. Keep in mind that if you need assistance in starting a Twitter account, or how to use a hashtag, check with a colleague or one of our "tech-savvy" students. You will be able to participate from a phone, a tablet, or a computer.
 
I will facilitate this first #ZanesvilleEdChat. However, I would like future editions of #ZanesvilleEdChat to be facilitated by other members of our school community – this could even include students. If you have a topic idea, or would like to facilitate the next #ZanesvilleEdChat, please send me an e-mail to discuss.
 
How does an "EdChat" work? I will ask a series of questions. Participants will respond to these questions, as well as to the responses of other participants.
 
This first #ZanesvilleEdChat will be an opportunity to get comfortable with the forum and develop confidence in using the platform (no hard questions) – this will be a learning experience for all of us. As an example, I will provide one of the questions now so that you can be thinking about it. We will use the “Q1: A1:” format. So, question #3 on Thursday evening will be: “Q3: Over the years, what teacher made the most positive impact in your life; and, why/how?” You would start your response in Twitter with “A3:”. This keeps the responses tied to the appropriate questions during the chat. Also, don't forget to end each of your responses with #ZanesvilleEdChat so that your response is connected to our hashtag.
 
Don't hesitate to contact me should you have additional questions on getting started, the chat process, or a future #ZanesvilleEdChat.
We're ready to begin anew
Posted 8/8/2018 at 1:47:50 PM by Jim Rudloff [staff member]
The start of each new school year brings with it excitement and anticipation as our students imagine and then follow their dreams. Fall athletics and the ZHS Band have already begun their August practices; the Kindergarten “Jump Start” program has started to orient our newest Blue Devils to their upcoming academic setting; many teachers and administrators have attended professional development opportunities over the summer to “sharpen the saw;” and, the building and grounds and custodial team members have done a fabulous job preparing the facilities for the start of the new school year. I encourage you to visit with us over the course of the school year as we are proud to showcase our students’ achievements, our state-of-the-art facilities, and our welcoming nature. I wish you all a wonderful and safe start to the 2018-2019 school year.
"Once a Blue Devil, Always a Blue Devil" – Students Today, Alumni Forever!
Spring brings growth
Posted 5/8/2018 at 8:37:28 AM by Jim Rudloff [staff member]
Spring is one of my favorite times of the year; we have been and will continue to celebrate the many successes of our students, both inside and outside the classroom, as we conclude the 2017–2018 school year. I am proud that Zanesville High School will be awarding more than 190 diplomas in just over a week, on Saturday, May 19, 2018. Congratulations to our graduates and to everyone who has helped them successfully navigate the pathway to this benchmark period in their lives.

 

Looking ahead to next year, we will continue to enhance and refine our pacing guides and common assessments; we will continue to explore curriculum opportunities for our students; and, we will continue to provide students with high quality aspects outside of the classroom that enhance their time and experience with us.

 

This summer, we will begin work on three major projects: the remodel to the synagogue property across the street from Zanesville High School so that the facility can be utilized for both academic and extra-/co-curricular activities; the move of the bus garage and bus storage from its current location to a more central location; and, the remodel of Zanesville Community High School and construction of a vocational building via an Ohio Facilities Construction Commission grant.

 

Later this week, on Friday, May 11th, we will be officially celebrating the 200th anniversary of Zanesville City Schools. One of Zanesville City Schools’ favorite sons, Mark Dantonio, will be the featured speaker. This event will raise funds to be utilized for additional scholarships for the students of Zanesville City Schools.  

 

So how did it all start from the “History of Muskingum County Ohio.” At the time the town of Zanesville was laid out, the proprietors, Jonathan Zane and John McIntire, set apart and appointed the west halves of lots fifteen and sixteen, in the tenth square, for the use of schools. In 1818, after the death of John McIntire, Jonathan Zane, the surviving proprietor, executed a deed for these grounds to Daniel Convers and others, authorizing them to enter upon, and take possession of the same for school purposes.

 

As “testing” concludes and this school year comes to a conclusion, I offer my deepest thanks to our dedicated faculty and staff for the daily encouragement and motivation that you provide to the students of Zanesville City Schools.

 

The upcoming 2018–2019 school year is assured to be a wonderful academic year filled with opportunities for abundant learning and innovation. Thank you for your commitment to a future that will be sunnier as a result of your tenacity and passion.

 

I hope you have a relaxing and joyous summer with family and friends.
JROTC comes to Zanesville
Posted 4/3/2018 at 5:50:57 PM by Jim Rudloff [staff member]
Zanesville City Schools is proud to announce that we have been selected to open a Junior Reserve Officer’s Training Corps (JROTC) on the campus of Zanesville High School with the start of the 2018-19 school year.
 
JROTC programs focus on citizenship, leadership, service to the community, personal responsibility, developing a sense of accomplishment, self-esteem, and self-discipline. Students in grades 9-12 who select JROTC as one of their class electives are not required to join the military and they are not required to be in the JROTC program all four years of high school. Rather, this is an opportunity for students to develop the focus areas listed above. However, should a high school student choose to join the military following graduation, they would enter the military at a higher rank (following successful completion of basic training) by having completed JROTC at the high school level.
 
Students in the JROTC program will be exposed to many learning activities that are not found in other academic coursework. Students in JROTC tend to have a higher GPA, have better attendance, have better discipline, and complete high school at a higher rate than their non-JROTC peers.  Should a student wish to continue in ROTC at the college level, there are multiple scholarship opportunities to help cover the costs of a college degree.
 
I encourage you and your child to explore the JROTC program in more detail to determine if this class will fit your academic aspirations and goals. Additional information can be found here.
What happens next?
Posted 11/21/2017 at 1:36:18 PM by Jim Rudloff [staff member]
Have you ever wondered about what happens to our students once they have graduated from Zanesville High School? I do. I recently received information from the National Student Clearinghouse (an organization that tracks students who enroll in college following high school) regarding students from Zanesville City Schools. The latest Zanesville High School graduating class data in this report is in relation to the ZHS Class of 2016. 
 
The profile from this report indicates the following regarding these students in relation to college attendance and persistence:
 
Students from ZHS (Class of 2016) entering college the Fall immediately after completing high school was 53%; the national average was 54%. Of that 53%, 43% attended public institutions and 10% attended private institutions. Of that 53%, 40% attended 4-year institutions and 13% attended 2-year institutions. Of that 53%, 49% attended in-state institutions and 4% attended out-of-state institutions.
 
From the ZHS Class of 2016, those returning for a second year was 70%, the national average is 75%. Another statistic that is examined is completing a degree within six years; for the ZHS Class of 2011, 29% completed a degree, which is equal to the national average of degree completers at 29%. 
 
The top 25 most attended colleges (most enrolled to least enrolled) by Zanesville City School students are the following:
1. Ohio University
2. Zane State College
3. The Ohio State University
4. Muskingum University
5. University of Cincinnati
6. University of Akron
7. Ohio Dominican University
8. Kent State University
9. Bowling Green State University
10. Capital University (Columbus)
11. Miami University
12. Hocking Technical College
13. Columbus State Community College
14. Marietta College
15. Otterbein University
16.  Walsh University
17.  Wright State University
18. Ohio Northern University
19. Central Ohio Technical College
20. Marshall University (Huntington)
21. Ashland University
22. Shawnee State University
23. Tiffin University
24. University of Kentucky

25. West Liberty University

Congratulations ZHS Class of 2017
Posted 5/8/2017 at 1:37:02 PM by Jim Rudloff [staff member]
The month of May is a busy time in the life of a school district: end-of-the-year testing; planning the next school year; closing out the current school year; end-of-the-year activities; interviewing and hiring; evaluating programming and personnel; and, many other important and time critical tasks. However, the month of May is also a time of celebration in the life of a school district as we honor and recognize our Zanesville High School graduates and their families that have supported their children throughout their PK – 12 school years.

For this month’s blog, I would like to share a couple "graduation" quotes that I have heard over the years. I hope that you find these quotes interesting and insightful.

"Life is not about warming yourself by the fire, life is about building the fire. And generosity is the match ... If you want happiness for an hour, take a nap, but if you want happiness for a lifetime, help somebody."
— Larry Lucchino

"That diploma you hold in your hands today is really just your learner’s permit for the rest of the drive through life. Remember, you don’t have to be smarter than the next person, all you have to do is be willing to work harder than the next person."
— Jimmy Iovine

"It’s harder to build than destroy. To build is to engage and change. In jazz, we call progressing harmonies changes. Changes are like obstacles on a speed course. They demand your attention and require you to be present. They are coming ... they are here ..... and then they are gone. It's how life comes. Each moment is a procession from the future into the past and the sweet spot is always the present. Live in that sweet spot. Be present."
— Wynton Marsalis

"You can Google for an answer. You can Google for a mate. You can Google for a career. But you can’t Google to find what’s in your heart — the passion to lift you skyward."
– Joe Plumeri

"You will find the key to success under the alarm clock."
— Benjamin Franklin

Thank you to our Zanesville City Schools teachers and staff for a job "well done." Congratulations and best wishes to the Zanesville High School Class of 2017 — you are the best!
Exciting Happenings at Zanesville City Schools
Posted 3/6/2017 at 1:38:12 PM by Jim Rudloff [staff member]
Exciting things are occurring in the Zanesville City Schools!

In an earlier post in this blog, you may have read about the Project Lead the Way (PLTW) Engineering and Bio-Medical programs at Zanesville High School; and, the Gateway to Technology (GTT) Engineering program at Zanesville Middle School — a video was created to provide students, parents, and community members more information about these new academic programs.
 
Moving forward, Zanesville High School will be adding the PLTW Computer Science to their offerings for the 2017–2018 school year. You may interested to know that Zanesville City Schools is working in cooperation with Zane State College, Ohio University–Zanesville, and Hocking College on these new programs so that students can have a “seamless” program from middle school through college whether that college experience is a certificate program, a two-year degree, a four-year degree, or beyond. There are many colleges across the country that are in the PLTW partners network and provide PLTW students with incentives such as preferred admittance and college “credit” for high school PLTW courses.

Zanesville City Schools is the “sponsor” for the Zanesville Community High School (ZCHS). Zanesville Community High School is designed as a “Dropout Prevention and Credit Recovery” school and is open to students throughout Muskingum County and surrounding counties. Should you be aware of a non-traditional student who needs a different educational setting to complete high school, please contact Zanesville Community High School.

Zanesville City Schools is also in the early stages of “sponsoring” another community school: the Southeastern Ohio School for the Arts. This community school will be designed as a Visual & Performing Arts school that will enhance the academic experience for students who would like to concentrate on an education in the “arts.” Additional information on this project can be found at here.

Each spring, parents and students begin to discuss their educational options — it is my hope that you will consider Zanesville City Schools as your school of choice for the 2017–2018 school year. Zanesville City Schools has five state-of-the-art campuses with engaging student programs from Pre-school through Grade 12 presented by highly qualified staff; and, some of the best athletic facilities in the region. Imagine how well your child(ren) can perform through the opportunities provided by the Zanesville City School District.
Snow Days & Delays
Posted 1/6/2017 at 1:38:58 PM by Jim Rudloff [staff member]
Happy New Year! I hope that your new year is off to a wonderful start.
 
This time of year, I am usually asked at least three or four times, “How do you decide to call a 'snow day' or delay the start of school due to inclement weather?” This is a really great question. I sometimes ask the question back, “How do you think the process is done?” And, I typically get a response that goes, “You wake up, look out the window, see snow, make a call and go back to bed.”
 
Actually, the process takes place months prior to poor weather even arriving. The district and various news media (radio, TV, print media, social media, etc.) review phone numbers, passwords, and contact information so that they can be officially informed of cancelations and delays. Internally, alternative schedules and calendars are created to make adjustments — you may know that students have to be in school for a specific number of hours per year; additional hours are built into the school calendar to account for “snow days” and delays so that we are always over the minimum required academic hours of instruction regardless of whether we have “snow days” or not during the course of the school year. In addition, superintendents and transportation directors from across the region exchange cell phone numbers to coordinate in the event of an inclement weather day or other emergency.
 
Moving closer to the actual “snow day,” we typically start to follow approaching bad weather fronts a couple days in advance of a potential school closing or school delay forecast. If the potential is high, we work with building principals, teachers, and athletic directors to start making contingency plans should the weather result in a school closing or delay. These school closings and delays typically result in after-school academic and athletic programs being adjusted or canceled as well. However, just because the weather is terrible at 6:00 a.m. does not necessarily mean those same conditions exist at 4:00 p.m.
 
Unfortunately, it seems that most of our major weather events occur late evening or early morning — or at least it feels that way. Obviously, student safety is the major concern; so the “timing” of the weather event can be just as important of a decision variable as the actual weather hitting the ground. For example, two inches of snow at 11:00 a.m. would most likely not impact the school day; however, two inches of snow at 4:30 a.m. may very well result in a delay or closure. In addition to timing, the “type” of snow plays a role as well — big, wet snowy flakes at 32 degrees is not as bad as a layer of ice with just a light coating of small icy flakes at 20 degrees.
 
On the day (most likely late evening or very early morning) of the weather event, starting around 3:30 a.m. calls and text messages begin between the school district and the Ohio Department Transportation, the City Transportation, the Townships Transportation, and other school districts while online weather radars are being checked. Buildings & Grounds personnel, transportation directors and some superintendents begin to drive the roads that are the most notorious on those inclement weather days to check each road’s current status and to obtain information regarding the future status of the road. Information is shared both internally and externally — what is happening just west or just south of here. Questions are asked based upon the information we have at the time a decision is needed: “Can a school bus make it down/up this hill and around the curve safely?” “Can a 16-year-old new driver successfully navigate this road safely in these types of conditions?” Again, student safety is the main concern. At that point, a decision is made, notifications are made to delay, to close, or to go on time; if closing or delayed, contingency plans are implemented. Sometimes we get the decision right and sometimes we get it wrong — but we make the best decision we can with the information we have from multiple sources at the time we have to make the decision. You may recall that old adage, “If you don’t like the weather in Ohio, just wait ten minutes.”
 
You may do as I do, fondly reminisce about those occasional “snow days” sledding with your friends and enjoying the moment of just being a kid. We encourage our students to “shovel a neighbor’s sidewalk and/or driveway” if they happen to get a “snow day,” before they go out sledding.
 
As always, I wish you the best for 2017.
Co/Extra-Curricular Survey Results
Posted 12/2/2016 at 1:39:41 PM by Jim Rudloff [staff member]
The holidays are upon us; what a wonderful time of the year as we watch the change of seasons, find time to fellowship with family & friends, and create the memories of a lifetime that we will fondly reminisce in later years.
 
You may recall from an earlier post in this blog that with the help of teachers, staff, parents, and community members, Zanesville City Schools was able to develop a 3-year strategic plan. Under Goal 6: Co/Extra-Curricular Activities of this strategic plan, one of the data points to be developed was to survey students and parents as to their interests of both internal and external activities available to students in Zanesville as well as identifying any barriers that may exist that prevent student participation in these activities. What we know from the research and from our own observations is that students, who are engaged in these types of activities, whether school based or community based, are more likely to: have better grades; have better attendance; have better life skills and leadership skills; have a higher level of positive curiosity; have a higher level of satisfaction; and, be more likely to graduate from high and enter college or the workforce with continued success.
 
This survey was administered and available to students, parents, and the community during the month of October; we had 50 parent/community member responses and 831 student responses to the survey. It was interesting to note from the survey results that we have a very “well-rounded” student body with multiple and diverse interests; however, our students have also indicated that they have many more interests than what are currently being offered at school or in the community. Some of the barriers to participation that were identified in the survey included: transportation, financial, and knowing who to contact or how to get started. A full detail of the survey results can be read here.
 
Zanesville City Schools will continue to work with our stakeholder groups, both internal and external, to address these needs and barriers in order to increase our students’ ability to participate in these positive activities.
 
Wishing you and yours a happy holidays and fantastic start to the New Year.
Project Lead the Way
Posted 9/30/2016 at 1:40:06 PM by Jim Rudloff [staff member]
Students are purposeful. Students want to know “why” as in the statement, “Why do I have to learn this?” This is both a good question and a question that educators need to answer in order for students to fully engage in the learning process. Providing these clear connections between “content” and “purpose” give students the rationale and background to orient their thoughts toward the “bigger picture” of course content.
 
One of the ways Zanesville City Schools is assisting students with this “why” question is to focus on the 3 P’s: Problems, Projects, and Products. In short, students identify a problem; design a project to resolve/solve the problem; and, produce a product that can be used as a tool/method in the problem-solving process. You may have heard of the acronym, “STEAM,” which represents the combination of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, & Math. We are asking students to identify and solve problems using STEAM and then be able to clearly articulate their thoughts, in written and oral format, throughout the process.
 
Through Project Lead the Way (https://www.pltw.org ), Zanesville City Schools is providing our students the platform to do the above. At the high school level, ZCS has implemented PLTW Engineering and PLTW BioMedical Science programs. Students in the PLTW program typically take one PLTW course each year throughout their high school years which culminates in the student becoming a PLTW completer. At the middle school level, ZCS has implemented the Gateway to Technology program (middle school version of PLTW) to provide students with this similar type of experience.
 
As we move forward, we will be exploring adding PLTW Computer Science to the high school offerings and adding a second level of GTT to the middle school. ZCS has developed relationships with Ohio University-Zanesville and Zane State College so that our PLTW students will transition smoothly into their engineering and medical programs. ZCS has developed relationships with the Muskingum County Engineers, Zanesville City Engineers, and Genesis Healthcare System to open up additional opportunities for our students.
 
I would encourage any student to explore these types of programs to enhance their educational experience. I have never heard a PLTW student ask the question, “Why do I have to learn this?” –some experiences are just naturally evident.
District Goal-Setting
Posted 9/1/2016 at 1:41:53 PM by Jim Rudloff [staff member]
One of my most favorite times of the year is the start of September. School has begun for all grade levels, the band is performing, athletic schedules are in full swing, the choir and orchestra groups are beginning their preparation for fall and holiday concerts. This is my annual reminder that we have really great students with multiple talents and abilities.
 
In order to address the needs and wants of all of our students, the Zanesville City School Board of Education developed six goals for the district:
 
Goal 1: Academic Achievement – Curriculum, Instruction, Assessment, Learning Environment (Climate) & Technology
Goal 2: Safety & Facilities
Goal 3: Finances (includes grant writing)
Goal 4: Human Resources – Attract, Retain, Develop, & Evaluate Qualified Candidates for Employment (includes Wellness)
Goal 5: Communication, Parent Engagement, Community Engagement & Partnerships
Goal 6: Co/Extra-Curricular Activities 
 
With this direction, a strategic planning committee was developed to design a 3-year strategic plan for Zanesville City Schools. This strategic planning committee was comprised of both internal and external stakeholders in the district; and, worked throughout the spring and summer to develop the district’s strategic plan. The final draft of this 3-year strategic plan was approved at the August Board of Education meeting. The board approved version of this strategic plan can be viewed here, and then click on the link to the strategic plan.
 
I encourage you to view this plan; and, the periodic updates to this plan benchmarking the progress toward achieving the identified goals. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank both the internal and external stakeholders on this strategic planning committee who volunteered their time to develop this vision of excellence for Zanesville City Schools.
Thank You ZCS Team
Posted 8/8/2016 at 1:42:31 PM by Jim Rudloff [staff member]
The Muskingum Valley ESC sponsored the 2016 – 2017 Administrators Meeting that was hosted at our own Zanesville High School on August 8th. At this meeting, area administrators are honored for their years of service; aspiring administrators are recognized and provided with scholarships; and, exemplary educators from each school district served by the MVESC are honored.
 
The Zanesville City Schools honorees were the following: Steve Foreman – 20 years in administration; Kevin Appleman – 25 years in administration; Chad Grandstaff – new administrator; Lynn McNutt – aspiring administrator; and, Diana Donahue – exemplary educator. We are fortunate and honored to have such wonderful individuals in our school district that have dedicated themselves to working for the parents and children in our community.
 
I can think of no better way to begin the 2016 – 2017 school year than to not only recognize those individuals listed above, but also all the educators and staff members who consistently place the betterment of children above their own interests—all you have to do is peek into the classrooms around the district to find educators and staff members “working off the clock” to get things “just right” for the return of our students.
 
Thank you ZCS, your efforts are greatly appreciated.
College & Career Interest Exploration
Posted 7/25/2016 at 1:43:08 PM by Jim Rudloff [staff member]
I am sure you have all heard the expression, “Time flies when you are having fun.” It is hard to believe that just a few short weeks ago the senior class (Class of 2016) participated in the 160th Commencement of Zanesville High School; and, in just a few more weeks, the ZHS Class of 2029 will be entering John McIntire Elementary School, National Road Elementary School, or Zane Grey Elementary School as Kindergarten students. I often ask myself, what will be different for the new students as opposed to the students that just graduated—the answer will most likely be “a lot” and it may be hard to predict exactly what those changes will be. I recently watched a video on how determining one’s college and/or career interest plans plays a major role in a student’s future success. The video can be viewed here.
 
A great place to start exploring career interests, even with younger children, can be found here.
 
However, one thing that will not change between these two groups of students is the caring staff at Zanesville City Schools. Keep in mind, even though there appears to be “many” years between that Kindergarten start and Commencement, it goes by fast — at Zanesville City Schools, you are a student today, but alumni forever.
View text-based website