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Sandusky City Schools Reflects on a Successful School Year and Graduation Season

As the school year draws to a close and the warmth of Spring envelops the City of Sandusky, it is a time of reflection, celebration, and renewal. Across our schools, students and educators alike have demonstrated remarkable resilience, adaptability, and dedication, supporting and providing instruction and learning opportunities for our students and creating academic achievement and growth. 

As we bid farewell to another successful school year, we also pause to celebrate the remarkable achievements of our graduating seniors. These young people have worked tirelessly to reach this milestone, overcoming obstacles, seizing opportunities, and embracing the values of scholarship, leadership, and service that define the Sandusky City Schools community.

The graduation season is a time of joy, pride, and reflection, as we witness the culmination of years of hard work and dedication. To the Class of 2024, I extend my heartfelt congratulations and best wishes for a bright and promising future. Whether you are pursuing higher education, entering the workforce or military service, or exploring new horizons, know that you carry with you the lessons, memories, and friendships forged during your time at Sandusky City Schools.  As we celebrate our students' accomplishments and the end of another school year, we also embrace the spirit of springtime in Sandusky. The city comes alive with vibrant colors, blooming flowers, and the sounds of laughter and excitement. It is a time of renewal, growth, and possibility, as we look forward to the opportunities and adventures that lie ahead.

As Superintendent of Sandusky City Schools, I am incredibly proud of our students, educators, staff, and families for their unwavering commitment to excellence, resilience, and community. Together, we have overcome challenges, celebrated achievements, and strengthened our bonds as a school community.

The district is also excited to share information concerning our efforts to increase academic growth of every student.  Reading is the cornerstone of academic success and our district is placing a renewed focus on literacy. We have launched a comprehensive reading initiative that includes a new Language Arts curriculum from Kindergarten through 6th grade, Reading Intervention programs, and Community Reading events. Our goal is to ensure that every student reads at or above grade level. We believe that strong reading skills will empower our students to excel in all subjects and foster a lifelong love of learning.

As we embark on the summer months and prepare for the year ahead, let us carry forward the spirit of unity, collaboration, determination, and hope.  Together, we will continue to inspire, educate, and empower the next generation of leaders, innovators, and individuals ready and willing to make positive changes for our city, country and world.

Board Governance

The Sandusky City Schools’ board members are committed to a two-year effort to impact Board Governance. Board Governance is a framework that gives structure to a board to ensure district leadership is focused on student achievement. The board wishes to connect our district goals to our strategic plans with purpose, accountability, and active direction. Our board members, President, Mrs. Martha Murray, Vice President, Mrs. Jennifer Chapman, and members Mr. Thomas Patterson Sr., Ms. Ebony Sizemore, and Mrs. Shelisa Johnson are passionate about our students, families, staff members, and community members as they embarked on the Board Governance sessions last month.

Education is always evolving to reach the needs of our students, families and community. Mr. Thomas Patterson, Sr., board member, states the following, “We are at a pivotal point in education. Education is changing. Factors involved in this change include how we educate our students with options such as virtual learning; school financing/funding; general issues regarding society and how it affects students and their education. We cannot isolate ourselves from these changes; we need to be proactive in how we address them. While doing this, we must maintain our focus on providing a well-rounded education that will impact our community.” Dedication to the school district is evident in the board members’ actions and their attention to
our district and the needs of our students. Board President, Mrs. Martha Murray states, “The Sandusky City Schools’ Board of Education would like to become the best board possible. We are willing and eager to spend the time necessary to ensure that all of the board’s decisions are focused on student achievement and growth. This is important for both our students and
community. Certainly, our stakeholder’s willingness and active participation will help support and strengthen the students educational opportunities in our district.”

Each board member took an active role in the development of this process and are diligently discussing each topic as we move forward with the meeting agendas. The initial meeting was designed to explain Board Governance, Board Mindset, and Student Achievement. The meeting lasted nearly two hours and included significant interaction between board members
and district staff members. “Being a fairly new member, I found the first meeting very helpful in understanding the proper way to work with my colleagues to achieve a successful outcome. I look forward to the upcoming meetings”, said Board Vice President, Mrs. Jennifer Chapman. “As a board member, I want the community to know that I am doing everything in my power to help the students in their achievement and growth while enrolled in SCS and, hopefully, it will
continue in their many years after graduation.”

Sandusky City Schools’ Director of Curriculum and Instruction, Mrs. Chris Norwell-Fischer, identifies the differences between student achievement and student growth. “Student achievement is based on the student meeting their grade level benchmarks and standards. Student growth is measured over a period of time, by evaluating academic programs, reviewing
the students’ learning cycles, so we may impact each student and adjust practices in a positive manner within our district. Student achievement and student growth also include the areas of social-emotional learning and the ability to collaborate with others around common goals, ensuring we impact the whole child and not limit our collective impact on students to just test scores.”

Mr. Daniel Rambler, CEO and Superintendent, shared the following, “Students are much more than a test score. Each student is unique, they are our future, and we will continue to do everything possible to provide them with wonderful learning opportunities and prepare them for a promising future. We know our students and families very well. As educators we will continue to be a positive force and supportive throughout the students’ educational learning experiences at Sandusky City Schools and beyond graduation. Afterall, these students are our future and our hope is that they all continue to work diligently to change the world for the better.”

The Board Governance efforts will continue to strengthen the board's leadership and form a cohesive team working for our students. Mrs. Shelisa Johnson, board member also shared, “I look forward to the upcoming Board Governance meetings. I see the meetings as important opportunities to solidify and strengthen as an individual member of the board and collaboratively as a school board. I was able to ask pointed questions, receive a deeper understanding of our school district and offer feedback, which aids in steering and decision-making. I believe the meetings will also be useful checkpoints during the school year to help maintain our focus of supporting the achievement of every child as a whole in our Sandusky City Schools family. I look forward to the seven additional meetings over the next two years.”

In closing, board member, Ms. Ebony Sizemore shared the following, “The devotion to our students, families, and staff is evident in the actions of our board members individually and collectively. I am dedicated to SCS & our community. Our Board Governance sessions will help me individually, and our team collectively, grow and continue to make the best decisions
for our district. I look forward to our future sessions. A district with a strong board and dedicated leaders can do amazing work...our students, staff, and district as a whole, will be better because of the work we are all putting in.”
There will be additional topics covered as the process evolves. The on-going conversations between board members, district staff members, and anyone who would like to attend the meetings will help determine the direction of the meetings or addition of any topics. We encourage the involvement of our community within our district and at our school board meetings. These meetings are open to the public. The meeting details will be listed on our district website. The Board Governance sessions are set to occur approximately every three months. The next meeting is May 13, 2024.

Springtime in Sandusky

As we approach the height of springtime in Sandusky and all that this season has to offer, I am noticing more students, families, staff, and community members out and about throughout the city. There is so much to offer during this time. Take time to enjoy the area: take a walk through the city to enjoy our community and your fellow community members, visit the Jackson Street Pier to appreciate the view of Sandusky Bay, catch our young ladies and young men playing softball and baseball, or head out to Strobel Field to see our track and field athletes competing. Springtime represents rebirth, new beginnings, and change. The days get longer, spring flowers appear, and we have opportunities to enjoy sunrises and sunsets throughout the city. I was reading an item on the Shores & Islands Ohio website, and enjoyed this section, “Experience the birds chirping, flowers blooming and the many joys of spring in Ohio at the Shores & Islands Ohio region. Springtime hiking locations, nature parks, regional eateries, outdoor dining locations, and exciting local events happening…” Our fine city offers so much to our citizens and visitors to our community. Be sure to take a moment to explore a new adventure this spring.

Springtime in our schools brings a feeling of the seasonal change as well, similar to mens’ and womens’ March Madness. Our students will have numerous performance measurements taken through this time to determine their level of academic achievement and growth and this can be challenging for them. I invite you to think of this time like a musical performance. As you prepare for a musical performance, you practice, practice, and practice, over many days, weeks and months to perfect your ability. Then performance night arrives and you have butterflies in your stomach, but you take some deep breaths and engage in other mindful activities to be in top condition for the performance. Then you perform and are amazing and the audience responds with ovation and gratitude for your accomplishments. Academic testing is very similar. You practice each day you are in school to prepare for the performance: the springtime test. After you finish, those throughout the district are applauding your effort and ability. All of our students have done so much this year to improve and show their ability. We can’t wait to celebrate your 2023-2024 school year achievements and accomplishments with you.

I have been able to interact with many students during these past few months and want to highlight two of them. I spent some time with Elijah Henson-Stockett, a 6th grader at our Intermediate Building and Sanai Wooten, a 5th grader at our Intermediate Building. Elijah has five brothers and six sisters, enjoys Cedar Point Beach and Lions Park, and his favorite staff
member is principal Mrs. Romano. Sanai has one sister, and is thankful for her mom, who makes a tremendous Thanksgiving Dinner. Sanai enjoys Cobb';s ice cream, has great fun with her friends, and her favorite staff member is her teacher Mrs. Towns.

Remember to enjoy the eclipse on April 8, 2024. The moon will completely block out the sun for a rare total solar eclipse. Sandusky is in a perfect location to have an unobstructed view for approximately four minutes of the eclipse. The last total solar eclipse visible in Ohio was in 1806, and the next total solar eclipse in Ohio will be in 2099, so be sure to enjoy this once in a lifetime moment. SCS students have all received a pair of eclipse glasses, and a science activity packet to learn more about this historic event.

Whether you see me at the Sandusky Early Learning Academy Family Math Night, or the GLVPAA Induction Luncheon, or the NHS banquet, or one of our many spring sports events, please say hello and introduce yourself. I am looking forward to meeting you, and celebrating our student successes together.

Embracing Winter

As the holiday break ends and the cold and snow of winter begins, the Blue Streak staff, students, and families are busy enjoying many seasonal activities!  We were interested in learning more about these favorite seasonal activities, so the district decided to create and send out a survey asking just that. The results we received provide a glimpse into our favorite winter pastimes and memories in Sandusky. We wanted to share a few of these results to encourage you to enjoy the wintertime in our community, reminisce on special memories, and potentially experience new opportunities.

We know Sandusky offers many activities year-round, so we asked our Blue Streak Family about their favorite indoor winter activity in Sandusky. A few responses were:

  • Firelands Symphony concerts

  • Playing games with the family

  • Going to the movie theater

  • Indoor golf

  • Basketball, bowling, wrestling, and other sporting events

  • Reading at the library 

  • Watching the freighters break through the ice on the lake


When we asked, “What some favorite outdoor winter activities were?” Participants responded with:

  • Looking at the Christmas lights in downtown Sandusky

  • Sledding with the at Mills Golf Course

  • Ice skating

  • Ice fishing

  • Building snowmen, making snow angels, and snowball fights

  • Hikes at Eagle Point and the Erie MetroParks

We asked, ‘What is your favorite place to ride a sled or make a snow angel?” Responses included the following:

  • Milan

  • Mills Golf Course

  • Edison Hill

  • Mills Creek

  • Osborne Park

  • Playground at Venice

  • Norwalk Reservoir

  • Lions Park

  • My backyard

We also asked, “What is your favorite winter snack or meal?” Responses included:

  • Soup

  • Hot chocolate

  • Chili

  • Frosted holiday cookies

  • Grilled cheese and tomato soup

  • Pizza

Finally, we asked participants to describe a favorite Sandusky winter memory.  Please find the heartwarming responses below: 

  • Taking my niece and nephew to visit Santa at the Santa House downtown

  • I remember ice skating on the Bay as a child.  The ice was so thick you could see fishing shanties as far as the eye could see.  My parents would shovel off a section, and we would ice skate until our fingers and toes were about to fall off!  

  • Walking around seeing the animated dolls in store windows.

  • SNOW DAYS!!!

  • Sledding at Mills Golf Course 

  • Driving around and seeing the Christmas lights

  • Ice skating at Battery Park

  • Getting together with family and playing games, drinking hot cocoa, and watching holiday movies!

  • Playing ice hockey with friends in the frozen swamps in Bay View

  • The forever-long winter of 2013-2014 that lead to ice chunks in the bay. 

  • Tree lighting downtown

  • Downtown Santa and K'Nex Holiday Lights display 

  • Being snowed in and building snow forts

  • Painting windows

  • Santa Hustle at Cedar Point

  • Sledding and having snowball fights with my sisters

  • Singing with the Acapella choir at a tree-lighting ceremony

  • Building a snowman!

  • Blizzard of 1978, lots of time with my dad and helping people get their cars unstuck.

  • Meeting Santa Claus downtown when I was 9 because I got 2 candy canes

  • Walking on the ice along the beach with my boys and mother-in-law

  • Lights at Washington Park

  • Going ice skating with my mom and brother.  We would ice skate then go home and to warm up have homemade popcorn and hot chocolate. 

  • Watching my kid's band concerts.

  • I remember sitting by the radio waiting to hear if school was closed for the day… making plans with the neighbor kids for a sleepover if we were sure school would be closed!  We would play outside, come in and drink hot cocoa, and play puzzles or games. (This was the 80s, pre-cellphone)

  • When we went to snow trails in 8th grade and beat the record for the most students going down the tubing at once.

  • I love to go sledding with my son. We also enjoyed ice skating at the ice rink at Jackson Street Pier.

  • During Covid 2020 my family and I enjoyed the Jackson Street Pier, New Year's Eve Fireworks. We had so much fun!

  • Ice Skating at the old Boat Basin and Jaycee Park

  • Taking my students outside on the first snow to stick their tongues out and taste the first snowflakes of winter.  

  • Sandusky Bell Choir

  • Going downtown to watch the Christmas lighting the Friday after Thanksgiving with my daughter and aunt. My aunt passed away many years ago, but it was the best memories because she shared this special time with just us two when my daughter was little. 

  • I remember bird-watching along the Lake. We'd go to Sheldon Marsh, Battery Park, and a couple of other areas.

  • When we first took the kids to see the Ghostly Manor Castle light up to the Christmas tunes. 

  • SHS games 

  • Getting stuck in the snow with family and singing until the tow truck came.

  • Winters listening around the radio to hear if school was canceled because of the snow

SCS Celebrates School Employees with Over 30 Years of Service

In the Sandusky City School District there are 19 school employees who have shaped the future generations of Blue Streaks for over three decades. These steadfast individuals, who range from teachers, administrators, custodians and support staff, not only have witnessed significant changes in the educational system, but have played a vital role in transforming the lives of countless Sandusky students. Sandusky City Schools celebrates the careers of the school employees who have dedicated over 30 years to a single district:

  • William Ehrnsberger - 41 years - Customer Service & Graphics Coordinator (BOE)

  • Lee Ann Panzer - 37 years - Paraprofessional (SELA)

  • Gloria Lewis - 36 years - Cafeteria Worker (SELA)

  • Halden Walton - 36 years - Custodian/Fireman (SHS)

  • Elizabeth Herman-Wells - 35 years - Media Specialist (SHS)

  • Thomas Knupke - 34 years - Maintenance (BOE)

  • Andrew Shannon - 34 years - CT: Commercial Arts Teacher (SHS)

  • Tammy Wilke - 34 years - Cafeteria Manager (SHS)

  • David Colatruglio - 33 years - Math Teacher (SHS)

  • Cynthia Souter - 33 years - 1st grade Teacher (SPS)

  • Ann Stauffer - 33 years - Art Teacher (SPS)

  • Christina Norwell-Fischer - 32 years - Director of Curriculum & Instruction (BOE)

  • Vera Smith - 32 years - Administrative Assistant (SHS)

  • Jeffery Walters - 32 years - Custodian/Fireman (Adult Ed)

  • Patricia Kelly - 30 years - Kindergarten Teacher (SELA)

  • Robin Meyers - 30 years - Title Content Area Specialist (SPS)

  • Kimberly Walters - 30 years - Cafeteria Manager (SPS)

  • Barbara Rose - 30 years - PE Teacher (SIS)

  • Leslie Zimmerman - 30 years - Speech Pathologist (BOE)

When asked, “What is your fondest memory of teaching/working in SCS?” the following responses were shared from our exemplary staff members:  

  • I enjoy seeing a smiling face when the student grasps a concept.

  • I have so many fond memories of the great students, families and coworkers I was able to get to know over the years. It is so fun to hear from them and see where they are now.

  • Just working with the SCS family.

  • Being able to get to know the other teachers that work at Sandusky High School. The teaching staff here is truly a talented and dedicated group of people that are very positive and inspiring. I am proud to be in their company.

  • I have many fond memories from my 34 years teaching in Sandusky City Schools. One that stands out is from my first year of teaching in 1990. I was at Osborne School and we celebrated Osborne School turning 100 years old that year. We had a celebration where we dressed in old time clothing and invited members of the community and former students in. They had so much fun reminiscing about their old school! I felt so honored to have been hired by Sandusky City Schools and to have such an involved community.

  • I have many fond memories teaching at SCS. Some of the best memories are of field trips to local farms when I taught kindergarten. On farm field trip day, we would visit a chicken farm, pig farm and a dairy farm. Students gathered eggs, held piglets, milked a cow and rode a horse on this field trip.

  • I got a letter from a parent of one of my students in my early days of teaching. She thanked me for helping her daughter with a transition from an old school. She lifted me up and confirmed that I truly make a difference in the lives of the children I teach.

  • Doing "Sock Hop" with my sixth grades and having parents and students come in and enjoy seeing the students dancing and having a great time.

  • I have many fond memories of working at Adams when it was a 7th grade building. The friendship and comradery built among the staff was incredible. Many of those staff members are still friends today! The fondest memory with this staff was our girls weekends on Kelley's Island. It began as a night out and after a few years, we were spending the whole weekend together. The fondest memories I have with my students were the overnight field trips to Gibraltar Island with our 6th grade students from Mills. It was a joy to see students outside the classroom trying new experiences, learning in real life settings, and being (successfully) pushed out of their comfort zone.

  • I really liked Open House at Madison and Osborne Schools. It was fun to see past students and their families.

  • Attending Camp Lazarus to build trust with co-workers and the students.

  • My fondest memory happens over and over every year. It’s watching a student shine with pride when achieving a skill we have worked on for weeks or longer.


When dedicating 30 or more years to any profession, you have valuable advice to share.  When the staff members were asked, “What advice would you have for the students who attend Sandusky City Schools?” the responses were as follows:  

  • Try your best at all times.

  • Get involved in different sports, activities and opportunities as you never know where you will find your passion and meet a lifelong friend. Take advantage of all the wonderful options Sandusky Schools has to offer.

  • Get your education, SCS has a lot to offer.

  • Try to attend every day and always strive to do the best that you can and you will be amazed at what you can accomplish. Smile and shine-showing a positive attitude, your attitude gets you farther in life than your abilities.

  • My advice for students is to always try your best, ask for help when needed, and believe you can do anything you set your mind to do. If you have a question or challenge, always ask for help. Your teacher believes in you and wants you to do your best!

  • Everything worth doing takes time and effort. Work hard. Never give up. You are never too young to make an impact.

  • Never give up! Life is hard and you may have adversities to overcome but you can do it! You have a lot of people at SCS who believe in you!!

  • Treat others the way you want to be treated. Be kind to one another.

  • Do hard things. You can do it and your effort will pay off in numerous ways!

  • With hard work and good character you can achieve your dreams.

  • Make education your #1 responsibility.

  • When you aren’t successful the first time, don’t give up. Take a break, try a different way, or ask for help. Learning happens in the mistakes. 


Our veteran staff also shared some wonderful advice for new staff members.  When asked, “What advice would you have for a new staff member in Sandusky City Schools?” the following responses were shared:

  • You get as much back as you put in.

  • Teaching is not an easy profession and you need to have many skill sets to do it effectively. Sometimes it may seem as if your efforts are in vain, but I assure you, one day someone will reach out to you and tell you what a positive difference you made in that person's life. Those moments are what make this profession so worthwhile.

  • Do your best and welcome to a great Sandusky City Schools family

  • Like Benjamin Franklin said, "Well done is better than well said".  Do the work to make it easier for your students to succeed. Be that Positive Role Model and show that you care as often as possible in ways that are meaningful to them.

  • Remember you can be a better educator tomorrow than you are today. Things will be tough, years will be tough, but remember that we teach for the students. It is so important to meet students where they are and to instill a love for learning in them. Accept their differences and make sure that your students know that you care about them and that they feel valued in your class.

  • Teach with passion, love, grace and patience. Remember that students are not the only learners in the classroom.

  • You must be structured and consistent! In this crazy world it's nice for the students to know they have a constant in the classroom.

  • Love what you do everyday and it's never a job.

  • Focus on building relationships with your staff members. You'll learn so much from them about what works in the classroom, you'll have professionals to give you feedback on your classroom practices and you'll find a lot of support on those difficult days.

  • Build positive relationships with students and their families. Believe in your students' ability to grow and learn.

  • Everyday is a new day!

  • Become a positive part of the building culture. Team with coworkers to build a network of support. 


School employees who have dedicated over 30 years of their lives to a single district are an invaluable asset to the world of education.  The Blue Streak community thanks each of these individuals for their hard work and dedication over the years.  Truly, we are better together. 


One Plan - October 2023

In an effort to increase our educational achievement outcomes, the Sandusky City School District’s Focus Team developed a comprehensive strategic plan, titled the One Plan.  The One Plan promises to shape the future of education in our Blue Streak community. The plan, a result of extensive collaboration among educators, administrators, parents, and community stakeholders, lays out a roadmap that aims to increase academic achievement in English Language Arts and Mathematics, increase attendance, and decrease incidents of misconduct.  I believe this plan will not only elevate the district's academic achievements but also nurture well-rounded individuals who are prepared for life beyond the classroom.


The strategic plan is organized around several key priorities:


1. English Language Arts:  Teachers and paraprofessionals in the elementary grades will be trained in the Science of Reading, and will implement the newly adopted reading series.  Parents and community members will be afforded the opportunity to learn more about the Science of Reading and how to engage their students in literacy at home through online community forums.  


2.  Mathematics:  Students will have the opportunity to participate in adaptive math programs that identify their strengths and weaknesses and focus on the needed skills.  Two math coaches that can assist teachers in analyzing data and focusing their core instruction were added to the Blue Streak team to achieve this goal.


3. Attendance and Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports:  The SCS District has created a team of professionals to organize a multi-tiered attendance strategy behavior that begins with prevention and early intervention.   They will also use data to look for trends, patterns, and identify the function of the behaviors and reasons for not attending school.  


The One Plan is not just a document but a commitment to continuous improvement. It includes mechanisms for regular assessment and adjustment to ensure that the district remains responsive to evolving needs and opportunities. Community feedback and input will play a crucial role in shaping the plan's implementation.  As the One Plan is rolled out, the SCS District encourages parents, teachers, students, and community members to get involved and contribute their ideas and expertise. Success in achieving these ambitious goals will require collective effort and a shared vision for a brighter educational future. Truly, we are better together. 

Sandusky City Schools Shares Results from the Fall 2023 Parent/Staff/Community Survey

The results of a recent parent/staff/community survey conducted by the Sandusky City Schools illustrated an overwhelmingly positive response for the beginning of the school year activities and Sandusky Aquatic Center.  In the comments and suggestions to the Superintendent Daniel Rambler, the dedication and expertise of the staff were frequently mentioned as factors to the school's success. The survey results also expressed satisfaction with the school's curriculum, resources, and the overall learning environment.   Additionally, there were numerous insights into additional opportunities for improvements and suggestions the district will review to continue to strengthen the district.  


Nearly 75% of the parents who responded were satisfied with the Open House and/or Back to School Orientation.  On August 28, students in grades Pre-K through 8 had individual appointments with teachers during the Orientation Day, and the high school hosted an Open House.  The parents reported positive remarks concerning the communication about the back to school activities.  One parent remarked, “I love the open and honest communication.”


Another finding from the survey was the majority of the respondents are excited about the construction of the Sandusky Aquatic Center (SAC).  The Blue Streak community is looking forward to swim lessons, lifeguard training, water polo, water aerobics, and volleyball.  The community members are looking forward to more communication about the SAC as the year progresses.  


The survey shed light on areas where improvements could be made. Some respondents suggested increasing timely communication between the school and community, and improving the parking flow before and after school to avoid congestion.  I appreciate the overwhelming support, positive feedback, and numerous suggestions we received.  I am thrilled to see such positive feedback from our parents, staff, and community. The community recognizes the hard work and dedication of our staff, as well as the strong partnership we have built with our community.  Truly, we are better together.


August 2023

School districts in Ohio utilize a Five-Year Forecast document to budget our use of taxpayers' support to provide students with learning opportunities, highly qualified staff, strong learning environments, extra-curricular opportunities, and specialized programs.   We believe strongly in our students’ ability to achieve and make an incredible impact in our community.  We know the incredible in school learning and out of school learning opportunities we provide prepare our students for the dynamic world they will change as our students enter the workforce, post high school learning, and the armed forces.  


The Five-Year Forecast is a document driven by numbers and calculations, based on costs and driven by assumptions.  The Forecast was completed both in November, 2022 and May, 2023.  The Forecast is used as a tool and completed twice a year.  It is continually monitored to ensure the district is being good stewards of taxpayers money and utilizing the funds to support the growth and achievement of our students.  Upon completion of the Forecast it is submitted to the Board of Education and the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) for review and approval.

  

Revenue Overview: 

The District's largest revenue sources are real estate and state funding.  These revenues account for nearly 90% of our total revenues.  The District will have an emergency renewal levy on the ballot this November.  This levy is not a new tax and will continue to support the infrastructure of our district, including our buildings, buses, technology, and learning materials for our students.  The last renewal levy was passed in 2019 and generated roughly 1.5 million dollars.  Beginning in 2022 Ohio adopted the Fair School Funding Plan (FSFP).  Funding is calculated on a base cost methodology that utilizes four components determined necessary to the education process.  The district continually advocates for our district through many avenues including the Department of Education, the Governor's Office, and the State Legislature.  Our efforts this school year have enabled us to positively impact our pathway forward but with rising costs, we will need to consider future levy options within the next year.  


Expenditure Overview: 

As the effects of the pandemic have lessened, the impacts continue to still be present today.  The financial environment for all individuals is difficult today.  Costs continue to rise, supply chains have decreased, and high inflation has continued to impact each and every one of us in Sandusky.  This environment has also impacted the district significantly.  Our costs have increased during this time as well and continue moving upward each day.  Salaries and benefits account for approximately 80% of our total expenditures.  We are a people business.  We invest in individuals who invest their time, experience, and talents with our students, so that all of our students have the opportunity to grow, achieve, and reach their full potential.


Capital improvements are made possible due to the Emergency Levy passing in 2019.  These funds enable the Sandusky City School district to purchase many things such as new textbooks, buses and transportation equipment, 21st century upgrades for technology and technology equipment. It also allows for the district to update and maintain all school buildings/facilities, parking lots, roof repairs, Strobel Field, and many other capital improvement projects in order to best provide our students with the state of the art environments to learn, practice, and perform.  


The district’s May Five-Year Forecast holds a positive balance through the year Fiscal Year, 2025, Beginning the 2024-2025 school year deficit spending will begin.  Deficit spending is the amount by which spending exceeds revenue.  This will erode the district’s financial stability over the next few years, which is why we are continually reviewing our expenditures, and options to limit expenses and reduce costs while still maintaining strong and diverse offerings for all students.  This pathway of increasing expenses, will cause us to consider future levy options with the community in a very short time period.  We appreciate your continued support of our district, students, staff, and each other.  We are fortunate to have you on our team making us better together each day.  


Sandusky City Schools Five-Year Forecast: May 2023 

May 2023 Financial Forecast


Forecast Summary: District expenses will continue to increase through fiscal year 2027, while  district revenues will decrease through fiscal year 2027.  The district is anticipating a decrease to our reserves resulting in a decrease to the cash balance beginning in fiscal year 2024. The anticipated cash balance is negative $1.1 million in fiscal year 2026. These figures are based on the emergency renewal levy passing. If the emergency renewal levy does not pass, the cash balance in fiscal year 2026 is anticipated to be a negative $3.2 million. 

The full forecast report can be found at https://www.scs-k12.net/Downloads/Sandusky%20CSD52023.pdf

If you have any questions: please contact:

  • Treasurer Yvonne Anderson at [email protected] 

    • You can also call Treasurer Yvonne Anderson at (419) 984-1006

  • Superintendent Daniel Rambler at [email protected].  

    • You can also call Superintendent Daniel Rambler at (419) 984-1000

July 2023

Have you noticed all the activities happening in Sandusky City Schools this summer?  We have had numerous summer school activities and programs for students, athletic camps, professional development for staff, and our maintenance department has been busier than ever getting the buildings ready for the students in August!  Our bus drivers are transporting students to various summer activities, and our Human Resources Department is still busy interviewing and hiring employees.  Below are just a few of these district-wide activities, programs, and projects:  


SCS’s maintenance department has been hard at work with school building improvements.  The Aquatics Center site preparation efforts will begin this August in the parking lot behind the High School.  You can follow the progress of the Aquatic Center online at:  https://www.scs-k12.net/SchoolFacilities.aspx  The floors in the school buildings were cleaned, stripped, and waxed.  The fire alarm, fire extinguishers, sprinkler systems, and kitchen hoods were inspected in every school building.  Trees in the front of Strobel Field were removed as the trees were dying out and the root structures were impacting the outside structure of the stadium.  A new shed outside of the Sandusky Early Learning Academy was built by SHS Career Tech, and installed by the SCS District Maintenance.   


The Transportation Department also has been very busy this summer.  As stated, providing those summer programs with safe, reliable rides and deep cleaning our entire fleet inside and out! We also have some very exciting news concerning busing in the fall. Through a grant, we were able to add GPS units to our entire fleet. This will allow parents, if they choose, to download and register with the free app giving them the ability to know in real time where the buses assigned to their students are. This app will be available for our public school students and the private and community school students that we transport!  We will also be able to improve accuracy with times and stops. If the bus is delayed, possibly due to a train, the office will be able to send a push notification (text) to all the parents that the delay will affect. This will be reassuring on rainy or snowy days when we don’t want our kids standing at corners any longer than necessary!


This summer SCS hosted many student and staff learning opportunities.  Our SCS employees were able to attend many different learning sessions spanning multiple grade levels.  Topics included crisis prevention, Dyslexia training, new curriculum training, writing projects, math alignment, and gifted training to name some of the topics.  



Our Sandusky City School employees have been busy providing food, bussing, and instruction to our students.   SCS offered sessions to all grade levels spanning  from preschool through high school throughout the months of June, July, and August.  Over 600 student registrations were received to take advantage of more than 30 learning sessions.  Some of the sessions included robotics, STEAM camps, third-grade reading tutoring, academic recovery, career discovery, swimming, Arts experiences, summer musical, basketball, football, tennis, cheer, and volleyball to name only a few. This year bussing was provided for most of the summer sessions, which allowed more of our students to participate and we hope to expand that service next year.  


Finally, be sure to register to vote for the November Election.  You can visit the Erie County Board of Elections for more information:  https://www.boe.ohio.gov/erie/voter-registration-information/how-to-register/



You are qualified to vote if:

  • you are a citizen of the United States

  • you are at least 18 years old on or before the day of the general election. If you will be 18 on or before the day of the general election, you may vote in the primary election for candidates only, but not on the issues

  • you will be a resident of Ohio for at least 30 days before the election

  • you register to vote at least 30 days before the election


The district will have our Renewal levy on the ballot in November.  It is important you know this is NOT a new tax.  Thank you for your continued support of Sandusky City Schools and each of our students.  



May 2023

Sandusky City Schools is wrapping up another great school year, and I am honored to complete the year as the superintendent. As I reflect on my first year as the superintendent of Sandusky City Schools and the days spent in the district to date, I continue to be grateful for the Blue Streak community and the warm welcome that you all have given me this year. I appreciate your guidance, support, and continued dedication to the students and staff. I have been honored to become part of the community and district and develop relationships with each of you.

We have so many positive things happening in our area that we all should be very proud of each day. Our students, from preschool to graduation, fill me with pride in who they are and what they do each day to demonstrate the future they will make for us. Our students are a joy to be around, and I am grateful for the time I have been able to spend with all of them throughout the school year. Truly, we are better together, and our students, through the hard work of our families, community, and staff members, are poised for success and a future without limits.

The 2022-23 school year was a successful one in all aspects of the school district. Sandusky High School had two students score over 30 on the ACT, and the SHS band celebrated a centennial anniversary! We had students honored in music and art competitions, and one student was honored as the Boys and Girls Club Youth of the Year! The boys’ basketball team was the SBC Lake Division Champions, Sectional Champions, District Champions, and recorded the most wins in school history for a single season, with a final record of 24-2. One senior graduated in May with 89 college credits, which will save her $68,817 in tuition dollars. Our students created and performed in an assembly honoring Black History, which motivated us all to continue to change the world. We had two students take part and lead our efforts with Special Olympics and Unified Students representing us all in Columbus, Washington, D.C., and in Germany. This is a small sample of our students’ achievements this year. We are proud of all our students, and their accomplishments!

The district is currently aligning our goals for academics, positive school climate, and attendance through the Ohio Improvement Process.  District enrollment has increased in the past year, social and emotional support and precise programming are positively impacting our PBIS efforts. The entire district is working together to continue to improve our already excellent educational programs.

We are prepared to increase our academic achievements and learning outcomes for students. We will continue to provide unique enrichment opportunities for our students, celebrate our students’ and staff members' achievements, support the social and emotional needs of both our students and staff members, and continually work together with all students, families, and staff, so we may continue being better together.
 
Aquatic Center update

During this past school year, we spent many months working with the community, the Sandusky City Schools District Aquatics Core Team and Then Design Architecture to develop a pool design that is true to the core values of:

1. Supporting the district’s aquatic programs,

2. Community programming, and

3. Swim lessons and water safety

The Sandusky Aquatic Center has gone through a number of phases, including schematic design change, design development, and bidding, to attempt to keep the project within budget and at reasonable operating costs.  Construction bids were opened on May 5, 2023 and no bids were received for the project.  Our architect and consultant budget was under what the potential bidders projected the actual cost to be by 20-30%, which would be approximately two million dollars.

Sandusky City Schools plans to keep the promises we made with the community, and we went back to the drawing board. To remain on budget, the new proposed pool must be built within the existing pool space, with a potential addition added to the existing pool. The addition will be less than 30% of the previously planned new pool space, which will reduce the impact on the high school parking lot.

Our goal is to begin the bidding process this August with a projected completion of the project in December 2024.

We would like to answer any questions you may have about the Sandusky Aquatic Center Project. Please plan to attend a Blue Streak Connect meeting, where I will be happy to discuss this topic or any topic desired. You can attend at 6 p.m. on June 13 at Toft’s, and at 6 p.m. on July 11 at Central Park. Questions can also be sent to us by emailing [email protected].

Sandusky City Schools and the Sandusky Education Foundation are thankful to the entire community for your support and patience with the Sandusky Aquatic Center project.

Daniel J Rambler

Sandusky City Schools Chief Executive Officer and Superintendent
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