Benefits of community support outlined at Zionsville State of the Schools address


By Sara Baldwin

Members of the Zionsville community gathered at the Educational Services Center Aug. 22 for the second Zionsville Community Schools State of the School Address, presented by the Zionsville Education Foundation and Zionsville Chamber of Commerce.

ZCS Supt. Scott Robison presents the State of the School address. (Photo by Sara Baldwin)

ZCS Supt. Scott Robison outlined the core mission of ZCS – student growth – and discussed past victories and highlights as well as the goals and challenges of the 2017-18 school year.

Robison’s presentation focused on creating a support system for students through various avenues. He noted the value of a strong community and the need for employers, mentors and coaches to play supporting roles to the school system.

“Multiple structures in the community must come together for the common good,” Robison said. “We are part of a bigger ‘we,’ and we are in this together.”

One component of community support is taxes and referendums.

ZCS Chief Financial Officer Mike Shafer discussed the importance of fiscal stewardship. He said the Zionsville community is sustaining tax rates at a level approximately 30 cents below the 2014 rate. A visual comparison of 2015 tax rates showed that Zionsville’s taxes are lower than Avon, Noblesville, Westfield, IPS and Washington Township, among others.

Shafer and Robison explained that Zionsville needs referendums for school funding because it is the least funded school system in the state. All referendum funds go to teacher and staff salaries. ZCS will hold a budget hearing at 6 p.m. Oct. 9 p.m. in the Educational Services Center. It is open to the public.

Because of development in the Anson area and other rural areas in the district, Zionsville schools are growing fast, Robison said. ZCHS enrollment this year surpassed 2,000.

Following the financial portion of the meeting, Amanda Slonaker presented “Strong in Every Way,” an integrative youth development strategy. This plan uses “webs of support” to develop students’ anchors, resources and cultural understandings.

Robison closed the address by reiterating the importance of student growth and the goal of making social-emotional learning a priority during the academic year.

“We want all ZCS students to experience connected, safe, high-relationship learning environments that develop their social-emotional strengths,” Robison said.


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