Meeting the needs of every student, every day — that’s the foundation for success at Solon Schools, which, for the seventh year, tested better than any other district in Ohio, according to the performance index component of the 2022 Ohio school report cards.
“It’s not just a measure of how well the district is performing, but how many kids are performing and at what level,” says Superintendent Fred Bolden.
Bolden attributes the district’s success to a variety of factors, including the pyramid of strategies, which assesses the strengths and weaknesses of struggling students and creates personalized programs to ensure their success; a dedication to balancing academics, arts and athletics; and quality teachers and strong family support.
The district also prides itself on preparing students for life after graduation. That means presenting them with opportunities to discover their interests and explore various career opportunities.
“It’s not just about being book smart. It’s also about working and collaborating with people, and the only way to achieve that is through practice,” Bolden says.
Students have access to more than 60 clubs, some of which take trips to give them hands-on experiences. Prior to graduation, students participate in a senior project where they engage in on-site shadowing. Tamara Strom, the district’s director of communications, says Solon Schools partners with a variety of industries, including manufacturing, health care and local universities, to provide learning opportunities.
“The No. 1 ranking goes beyond just the narrow definition of the academic No. 1,” Strom says. “From drama, band and show choir to athletics, speech and debate teams and much more, everybody works to put those supports in place so our kids can excel and be involved in so many things. That’s what that No. 1 ranking is all about — it’s all encompassing.”