The West Lafayette Community School Corporation is home to West Lafayette Elementary School, West Lafayette Intermediate School, and West Lafayette Jr/Sr High School, serving more than 2,300 students throughout the west side community. The esteemed school corporation has been recognized for excellence on a national scale time and time again for its academics and extracurriculars.
The Russell Company interviewed WLCSC Superintendent, Dr. Rocky Killion, where he shared his thoughts about the corporation.
For a family who may have recently relocated to the West Lafayette community, what would be your “elevator speech” about the corporation?
WLCSC’s mission is to “engage students in a world class educational experiences that prepares them to be well rounded, ethical, innovative, creative, productive, and adaptive citizens who shape our global society.” WLCSC teachers, staff and administration work very hard to ensure that all of our students are academically successful. You can find information about WLCSC’s academic achievements at https://www.wl.k12.in.us/academics/awards-and-honors/file.
WLCSC has been recognized for excellence numerous times. As the leader of the corporation, what does that mean to you personally?
I have always believed in listening to the people who are doing work. WLCSC has been highly successful, in part, because the administration works collaboratively our teachers and staff. We use participatory decision-making to drive decisions that are in the best interest of all students. To me as the school superintendent, I am very proud of the work that WLCSC teachers, staff, administration and school board members are collectively doing to help achieve the greatest success possible for all of our students.
How does WLCSC prepare each student for success?
The administration and I support and encourage educational risk taking. We allow our teachers the autonomy to make curriculum, instructional, and assessment decisions that will in turn help each of the students whom they service. Also, WLCSC teachers, staff and administration provide extra learning opportunities before and after school to assist students.
What are some of the resources available to students to ensure that they are performing to the best of their abilities?
WLCSC is fortunate to have a community that supports public education. The WLCSC community has supported two school referendums that have allowed us to retain teaching positions, manage class sizes, and to keep and expend WLCSC’s arts, music, co- and extra-curricular programs. Although the state has drastically cut WLCSC state funding support, we have been able to maintain and expand the aforementioned educational opportunities thanks to the support of the WLCSC community.
What is an ongoing initiative that WLCSC is focused on right now?
WLCSC teachers, staff and administration are working on various initiatives including improving academic achievement, building partnerships to repurpose Happy Hollow elementary school into an early childhood/Kindergarten center, and advocating for additional public school funding to better serve all of our students.
What are some of the corporation’s goals for the future?
WLCSC administration is working on WLCSC’s academic strategic plan, finishing the construction expansion at the West Lafayette Jr/Sr High School, and beginning discussions about converting Happy Hollow elementary school into an early childhood/Kindergarten center.
How does WLCSC continue to build public support?
WLCSC School Board and administration involves community stakeholders by seeking a representation of community stakeholders to serve on various school committees. Using this process, we have been able to listen to and receive input from teachers, staff, parents, retirees, business owners, city leaders, and Purdue University partners about various major initiatives being considered.
What challenges has COVID-19 posed for the corporation? How have you adapted to those changes?
The best education happens in the classroom where teachers and students work together. Virtual learning does not provide the academic, social and relationship building environment that is better achieved in an onsite classroom setting. The challenge during this time is trying to help virtual students receive the best possible education when they are not in school with their teachers and their peers.