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Superintendent's Message

RKHeadshot2014Dr. Rocky D. Killion

Winter 2018/2019 School Year

The West Lafayette Community School Corporation (WLCSC) continues to excel academically.  Just recently the College Board announced that WLCSC was among 372 school systems from the U.S. and Canada to be named on its Advanced Placement (AP) Honor Roll. Here’s some information about this:

For at least the past seven years West Lafayette Schools have been recognized by the Indiana Higher Learning Commission at the statehouse each June for both the high percentage of students who take AP examinations as well as the number achieving at least 3 (out of 5) on a test.  Student participation in and success with APtesting continues to grow. 

* In 2011, 158 students took a total of 237 exams with 88% scoring a 3 or higher. 

* In 2018, 242 students took a total of 540 exams with 89% scoring 3 or higher. 

* In May 2019, 268 students are registered for 608 exams.

Here’s the College Board’s media release dated December 6, 2018:  College Board announced that West Lafayette Community School Corporation is one of 373 districts across the United States and Canada that have been selected for the 9th Annual AP Honor Roll. Districts on the AP Honor Roll have simultaneously increased access to Advanced Placement coursework while maintaining or increasing the percentage of students earning scores of 3 or higher on AP exams. Honor Roll districts defy the expectation that expanding access automatically results in a decline in the percentage of exams earning 3 or better. 

WLCSC was named the “Best School District in Indiana” by a variety of sources including Niche.com, 24/7 Wall Street and Business Insider, and was just recently ranked by Niche.com as the third best school district in the nation. This is a testament to our students, parents, staff,and community.  However, we cannot rest on our laurels.  WLCSC’s Board of Trustees, administration,and staff must continue to provide all of our students, present and future, with a world-class public education system.  This work not only includes academics, but also award winning arts, music, athletics,and co-/extra-curricular programs.  To accomplish this, the school district has embarked on a five-year academic strategic plan and a five-year facilities plan. Both are in operation and both will continue to guide the direction of our school district.

The 2018/2019 school year continues to be a year of many transitions and improvements.  From academics to facilities, the West Lafayette Community School Corporation (WLCSC) staff, administrators,and School Board are working hard on many fronts.

The West Lafayette Intermediate School (WLIS) opened on October 16, 2018.  The school opened nine-weeks ahead of schedule.  Construction work continues at Cumberland Elementary School. The new classrooms are ready and the south wing has been completely remodeled.  Throughout the school year, the additions to the west side of the school will continue.  Next summer the north wing will be totally remodeled.  It is my hope by the beginning of the 2019/2020 school year, Cumberland Elementary School’s construction/remodeling will be complete.

The Richard Wachs Aquatic Center  (RWAC) construction and the remodeling of the old pool have started at the Jr/Sr High School. The anticipated date of completion is August 2019.  

The Board of School Trustees and administration are working on the next phase of construction projects at the Jr/Sr High School that includes the Robert Kelly Performing Arts Center (RKPAC) and the James R. Guy Education Wing (JRGEW).  Additional bonding is necessary to complete these projects.  

This past year the administration and School Board were surprised with a drop in assessed valuation of 5%, thus the bonding capacity of the school district is directly impacted. To finish these projects at the Jr/Sr High School the West Lafayette Schools Education Foundation (WLSEF) is seeking additional contributions/revenue to offset the reduction in assessed valuation.  To date, the WLSEF has raised nearly $2 million in donations.  Also, the temporary West Lafayette City Hall will be located at Happy Hollow Elementary for at least two years.  The additional revenue received from WLSEF donations and from the City for the use of Happy Hollow will help offset for at least four years any impact to the WLCSC tax rate caused by the loss of the 5% in assessed valuation.

As we continue our journey, I hope you will become involved with the school district in some capacity. As Mrs. Schott states in the education documentary Rise Above the Mark, “if you don’t like the way something is being done, get involved.”  WLCSC is stronger and better when we all work together to do what is best for students, present and future.

Respectfully,

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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