Dayton Tech board president Dan Bitler said the school made more progress in the past year than it had in five years.
“I think we’re in a position now where we can start growing,” Bitler said. “We have a marketing plan together to start improving our enrollment. We’re at 150 students, and we’re hoping to be much higher, maybe not next year, but the year after.”
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As a dropout recovery school, Dayton Tech serves many students who are slightly older or have dealt with drugs, pregnancy and other problems. On its 2016-17 state report card, Dayton Tech’s graduation rate was 50.2 percent, better than the state dropout recovery standard. The school also met the state standard for high school test passage rates, but was sub-par on student growth.
Bitler said policies, job descriptions and roles have been clarified, and the school is trying to hire a new principal to replace the departed Gregory Stone. Bitler expressed appreciation for the new one-year deal with DPS, but he said Dayton Tech needs to be prepared to find a new long-term sponsor in case DPS decides not to extend the pact.
“We’re in a much better position to get an external sponsor if it doesn’t work out,” he said. “DPS really worked with us and gave us an opportunity to prove ourselves.”
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Lolli said DPS reviews the school monthly, with a larger annual review in the spring. She said DPS “looks forward to them growing and developing” based on improvements Dayton Tech has started.
Bitler said another long-term focus is improving relationships with Sinclair and career tech centers to provide better pathways for Dayton Tech grads to find high-quality jobs.
“We graduated our largest class ever, with 66 graduates,” he said. “We had a really successful year, and I think things are moving in the right direction.”