Lorain City Schools Launches New Strategic Plan

LORAIN — By 2025, Lorain Schools will look to have all its students on track for college, careers or the military upon graduation, according to a new goal set by the district’s latest strategic plan.

CEO Jeff Graham unveiled the plan at Tuesday’s joint Academic Distress Commission and school board meeting.

Both boards adopted Graham’s plan, which highlights a dedication to improving the schools’ culture and equity. It replaces former CEO David Hardy Jr.'s The Lorain Promise, which was required by the state under House Bill 70.

Students graduating from Lorain Schools by 2025 should enter a job, post-secondary education, or the military within six months of graduation. To reach that goal, the district will focus on its staffing competency and training and an improved, standardized curriculum throughout its buildings to help the roughly 30 percent of students considered transient.

Each building will create a plan, developing student supports and best practices, while falling under an overarching umbrella of the district’s plan, said Executive Director of Strategic Planning, Data and Process Ross May. The district-level team will include staff from throughout the district and will closely mirror the demographics of the district.

An upcoming culture survey will gauge how students, families and staff feel about the district. The family survey will be done annually thereafter, with staff giving input twice a year, according to the plan.

“These are promises we're making to you,” Graham said. “So please hold us accountable.”

Academic Distress Commission member Patty O’Brien questioned if the administration had thought about financial support, as a deficit looms within the next few years without a new levy.

Graham said Lorain Schools recently received $16.7 million in COVID-19 support funds, shoring up the district’s budget through 2024, but it is still examining its spending.