Superintendent's Message






August 2015


Dear JA Parents and School Community,


Welcome to the 2015-2016 school year as a Jonathan Alder Pioneer!  For many, it’s difficult to believe that summer is coming to an end and the “routines of school” will again take priority over days at the pool, summer sports, vacations and time away from distractions and busyness.  It’s my hope that you’ve had a summer of restoration and rejuvenation with family and friends and are ready for the arrival of the coming school year.


It is with great excitement, future-focused and student-centered planning that we prepare to welcome your children to our schools and classrooms on Wednesday, August 19!  


As we’ve planned and prepared for the coming year, we are focused on answering the question of “how are we preparing your child for his or her future?”  As a school district, “how are we providing our students with greater opportunity, flexibility and accessibility so that they can define their own destiny?”  With this in mind and as a result of the work of many dedicated leaders, teachers, staff, parent teacher organizations, athletic and music booster groups, Jonathan Alder is:


  • Blessed to have received a second 21st Century Grant that will now bring a total of $2.2 million of expanded opportunities for students and families at Monroe and Plain City Elementary over the next three years.  With this funding, both elementaries will continue to provide expanded programming for students: increased early childhood education programming; improved access to technology; increased intervention, enrichment and personalized learning programs in reading/language arts and math; family engagement activities; and targeted professional development for staff.

  • Thrilled to be providing All Day, Every Day Kindergarten.

  • Proud to be utilizing our district facilities to expand community outreach and service through the partnerships of Daily Needs Assistance and before and after-school YMCA Latchkey Program at the “old” Plain City Elementary building.

  • Excited to be implementing a new math curriculum in Kindergarten through 5th grade.

  • Pleased to be expanding our partnership with Tolles to provide our students with Engineering and Information Technology education at the Junior High and High School (4 Full-Time Tolles teachers placed at Jonathan Alder).

  • Engaged and mobilizing with area churches and mental health agencies, Plain City fire and police forces, village administration, medical groups, school board, student services and JAHS student leadership in building mental health and suicide prevention capacity, education and awareness for our staff, students and community.


As I’ve prepared for the start of the school year, I’m often reminded of our namesake - the Pioneers!  Pioneers define their own destiny - follow paths that look different than those of peers or colleagues - develop a plan or “roadmap” for their journey - embrace the uncertainty of exploration, growth and expansion - build friendships and work collaboratively - practice flexibility and adaptation - seek support and assistance from others - think creatively and problem-solve frequently.  As a Jonathan Alder Pioneer - I am confident in our foundation, proud to be a part of our community and excited for the future of our district and our students!


I would welcome any opportunity to talk with you about your child’s experience at JA. If you have a question or concern, please give me a call at 614.873.5621 and/or email at  You can also connect with me at one of your child’s events or performances.  




Gary Chapman


Follow me on twitter @aldergchapman