Hilliard's newest high school will fully open its doors to students and staff for the 2009-10 school year, with a projected enrollment of 1,043 students in grades 9-11. As was done before with the opening of Darby High School, high school seniors will be able to finish their studies at one school, while juniors and under will have more time and opportunity to help establish their own high school. The expected enrollment breakout for Bradley's first year will be 335 juniors, 384 sophomores, and 324 freshman. That's a nice balance to allow students plenty of space (literally and figuratively) to grow into things. And keeping things in the "Cats" family, with the choice of "Jaguars" as mascot, is right in line with the long-time and long-run approach to planning in the district...just as the Bradley facilities mirror those that have come before it (and saving plenty of tax dollars, by the way....)
The effort to gain approval for Bradley High School was certainly not without controversy, but Davidson and Darby High Schools simply could not accomodate what enrollment was requiring. Most importantly, even if the existing buildings could have somehow been expanded, significant numbers of students would have been excluded from participation in various curricular and extracurricular activities....by the numbers. The district went through this same sort of logic when Darby was planned.
If you'd like to take a quick look of how things are progressing, here's a link to a Visual Tour of Hilliard Bradley High School as of mid-to-late March. Additional links follow below, providing more information sources about Hilliard City School District's newest addition. Having read through the various updates on the Hilliard Bradley Web site, it appears that planning is about all it can and should be and then some.
As a former Hilliard school board member, and a member of the political action committee known as CAGH (Community Advocates for Greater Hilliard): which worked to counter opposition to the plans for a third high school in 2004, I admit to a specific perspective on where the school district has been, and where it's headed...and it's a most positive view.
And I want to specifically recognize and thank the somewhat limited but incredibly dedicated membership of CAGH: Tom Trimble, Julie Righter, Bill Righter, and Karen Joslin, along with Brian Parish and Brenda Hampel. As I review the old newspaper clippings about the levy and CAGH efforts, it's important to also thank the various community members who took significant time to write such thoughtful and persuasive letters to the editors.
The Hilliard School District has long benefitted from outstanding administration and oversight from paid staff and volunteers....folks who didn't suffer from agenda-itis. In my mind, that's the primary reason the district has remained stable, successful and attractive to outstanding educators....not to mention those of us who just moved to Hilliard (or stayed there) because of what we knew about its schools. It's truly been about the kids, for decades. Oh, and did I forget to mention that Hilliard City School District is "Rated Excellent with Distinction"...it's been that way since well before the state of Ohio created the rating system.
Hilliard Bradley High School Fight Song! (performed by TBDBITL)