Looking ahead at another school year


Commentary by Scott Robison

School is in session once again behind eight of the most important front doors in the whole community. These schoolhouse front doors have served as magnets for more than nine out of 10 residents who have settled here in Zionsville. We are both proud of our successes and always striving for improvement. It’s true for all of our students that the road through life begins here – in our town and in these schools.

Educational success matters a great deal to almost every family in this town. Students’ achievements in ZCS rival the best K-12 public and private institutions anywhere. It works so well because ZCS parents are their children’s first teachers, and educators here get to work with students whose parents care about and pay attention to students’ progress. As a result, we regularly celebrate outstanding AP scores, college scholarships that gain our students admission to outstanding institutions of higher learning, winning academic teams, music performances of the highest caliber, athletic and club successes both on the playing field and in service to the community, and so much more.

This year we continue our exciting work in the all-important STEM fields at all levels. Among other important continuous improvement efforts, elementary schools will deepen focus on developing young writers, middle schools will continue leadership in digital learning experiences, and our high school will remain a model of excellence while working to build in more digital learning experiences. Additionally, our schools are part of the life force of this community in so many other ways – providing swim lessons, enrichment courses for young and old, performing arts experiences, and volunteerism in so many venues.

The school year start was smooth, but virtually every school had at least one subject area or grade level with class sizes larger than we would like. Class sizes were smaller at the beginning of last school year, but new students continue to move to Zionsville for its great schools, and we continue to face the challenges of ever-shrinking state funding per pupil.

Almost all ZCS students come from homes where expectations for good behavior and school success are very high. This bodes well for student success even when class sizes are elevated, but I’ll share honestly that my teacher, parent, principal, and superintendent experiences lead me to want lower class sizes for our children wherever possible so that each student can benefit from the teacher time and attention that leads to being known well and challenged to realize potential.

We will continue to fight for change in the school funding formula so more local tax dollars remain in the community. As promised, we will continue to spend every penny of the referendum on teachers to serve our students’ learning needs. Finally, we will continue to open these eight important front doors every day to exciting “road through life” experiences for the children of Zionsville.


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