Letter from Superintendent Von Gunten


Dear Firelands Community,

This Thursday, the Ohio Department of Education will be releasing our District Report Card.  As members of our community, I wanted to share with you that we anticipate the results from last year’s report card are not what we have been accustomed to seeing over the past several years. To be completely transparent, I expect grades to range from B’s to F’s.  As some of you might be aware, along with new learning standards, the State has changed the assessments given to our children multiple times over the past four years.  While change can be a positive means to improve, the assessment system that Ohio has implemented has been a moving target.

I want to assure you that our staff works incredibly hard each day to provide our children with opportunities to grow academically, as well as socially and emotionally.  Great things are happening in our classrooms each day, the majority of which cannot be measured on a standardized test administered on one particular day of the year.

Students at our high school can now earn over 50 hours of college credit without leaving our campus, our ACT composite scores are above the State average, our visual and performing arts programs excel in competitions across the region, and our FFA Program is known to be one of the best in the State, not to mention being recognized as National Champions last year.  Further, over the past two months our district has received over $15,000 in grants to add a robotics curriculum and club at South Amherst Middle School and students at our elementary will have greater access to technology and updated curricular materials than ever before.

Moving forward, our district has a plan in place to address the areas of the report card that need immediate attention. During our opening day meeting with staff, I challenged each member with the following question, (known as the three C’s) “How will you Empower and Inspire Character, Competence and Commitment in Our Students?”

In closing, I am confident that our staff will meet the challenges of last year’s report card while continuing to always make decisions based on a “kids first” approach.  If you have questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me at 965.5821 or by email at mvongunten@firelandsschools.org.



Mike Von Gunten