January 10, 2023
To the Board of Education, DPS Staff, and the Dayton Community,
As I finish the final year of my contract, which ends on July 31, 2023, I wanted to take a few moments to reflect on my six years as Superintendent of Dayton City Schools.
I want to thank the board, staff, students, families, and community for helping DPS to finally raise its state rating above an F before the COVID-19 disruptions and again, after the pandemic in 2021-22. We have made key steps for systematic change and lasting progress. As I have said before, the Ohio Superintendent of the Year honor, just bestowed on me, recognizes not only my previous administrative work but also the road DPS is taking to quality. It’s a team award.
Together, with the support of the board and community, we have done important things for our DPS children, all of which help lead to better performance. It begins with teachers. Recent years have been hard, yet DPS teachers have stepped up. As a former professor, I’m proud we developed strong professional development that our educators embrace and use to improve student achievement daily.
Our educators have become innovators to face the challenges ahead: starting our new International School for ESL students; nearly doubling Career and Technical Education options; shaping River’s Edge School as a genuine Montessori School; initiating the Double Teaching model to help students catch up; and increasing the number of DPS College Credit Plus students by fifty percent.
With student health and mental health pressures increasing, DPS opened our first school-based health clinic with Five Rivers Health Center, created resiliency coordinators and added mental health counselors with Dayton Children’s, put nurses in every school, and deployed more counselors to every middle school. These are vital supports, proven effective in cities across the country, and working here.
As a former music teacher, I’ve been excited to see quality music education increase in every building and to field the All-City Marching Band at football games. And speaking of sports, we have completed a reorganization of the athletic department, added new sports programs and intramural options, improved athletic fields, and high school weight rooms.
All this requires the best use of local and state funds, and the appropriate allocation of pandemic assistance from the federal government and other outside sources. I am proud to say we have worked within budget and the financial state of our schools is strong because DPS is fiscally accountable.
As a result of all this, DPS is gaining statewide respect. With several superintendents, I was asked to help the Ohio Department of Education and Governor with state budgeting, COVID-19 recovery plans, and to provide advice on other educational matters. This work, as a representative of our students, educators, and community, is vital for students, and reflects well on our Dayton image. We now have a voice at Ohio’s education table.
When I came here, the mandate was to get DPS back on the right track. It is. Together, we have built a strong foundation for progress, and for new leadership to continue the DPS turnaround. The community owes our educators and partners in progress a debt of gratitude, and they certainly have mine. The DPS Board of Education now has sufficient time to choose our next leader.
It has been an honor of my career to serve this community’s children and staff. The work and relationships will always be dear to my heart, I wish everyone well, and will forever be a Daytonian.
Dr. Elizabeth Lolli
Superintendent of Schools
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