REYNOLDSBURG, Ohio — Dr. Tracy Reed knows it’s only been two weeks since she’s taken office. She knows she’s the fifth person to sit in her seat in less than a year.
She also knows that doesn’t change her plans.
“My goal has been the same,” she said. “Making sure I provide and address the needs of children.”
The Reynoldsburg City Schools Superintendent has three goals: Listen and learn, address district priorities and build relationships.
“What will you bring to this position to help get things back on track and to help [parents] feel confident again with this district,” 10TV’s Bryant Somerville said.
“Having open communication, being honest and transparent,” Dr. Reed said.
Melvin Brown left at the end of the 2022 school year. Garilee Ogden was hired to take his place, but she resigned weeks before the fall semester started.
Dan Good was named interim in July 2022, but stepped down in October. He was replaced by Jocelyn Cosgrave who served as interim before the hiring of Dr. Reed.
This school year has been riddled with staffing vacancies from substitute teachers to cooks to bus drivers. Currently, the district’s website lists upwards of 40 open positions.
Last month, RCS added a fifth busing tier that, while taking students off a remote schedule and putting them back in class, adjusted start and end times to school days.
The district also announced it will close Hannah J. Ashton Middle School at the end of the year.
The school being closed, as part of a district realignment, is because of the cost of repairs. The district says ending schools of choice and returning to neighborhood schools K-8 will allow it to have fewer bus routes and shorter route times.
“That will help us with our staffing so it will help with some of our challenges with transportation,” Dr. Reed said.
Whereas the district tries to give parents a timely heads up on changes, it’s been difficult.
Last week a notice was sent to parents, Tuesday evening, saying the next day 29 bus routes would be canceled due to not having enough bus drivers. The district also informed the parents it was their responsibility to get their children to and from school, Wednesday.
“Was that enough of a heads up,” Somerville asked.
“We try to make decisions as quickly as possible,” Reed said. “All I can say is we’re doing our due diligence on making sure that we communicate in a timely way for addressing any of the challenges that we may see.”
Reed says communication and transparency are the pillars of her administration while hoping to move RCS forward.
“I just have to keep doing what I’m doing,” she said. “Being out here. Talking to people, making sure they understand and just creating an atmosphere of, I call it, teamwork.”
The district is also getting ready for a virtual job fair in March and teachers interested can register right now.