Bowling Green’s Kenwood Elementary has been named an EdChoice school, meaning parents can apply for
scholarship money to attend a private school of their choice.
The Educational Choice Scholarship (EdChoice) Program provides students from under-performing public
schools the opportunity to attend participating private schools. The program also provides low income
students who are entering kindergarten through fifth grade the same opportunity.
Students who are eligible must currently be enrolled at Kenwood and have parents who live within the
Bowling Green City Schools’ boundary, said Superintendent Francis Scruci.
“It’s a little challenging to understand,” he said. “We have shown growth at Kenwood as we have in all of
The EdChoice Scholarship Program provides up to 60,000 state-funded scholarships to students who attend
low-performing public-school buildings.
The first application period ends April 30. Students must first be accepted into a parochial or private
school before applying for a scholarship. The EdChoice scholarship amount is $4,650 for grades K-8 and
pays for tuition only.
The Ohio Department of Education used data from the 2013-14 and 2017-18 Ohio School Report Cards to
designate EdChoice public schools for the 2019-20 school year.
Each EdChoice-designated school must meet one of five criteria. For Kenwood, it was receiving a grade of
D or F for Improving At-Risk K-3 Readers on the 2014 and 2018 report cards.
Scruci said the school earned a D both those years.
“I know that the teachers there are working very hard,” he said. “To arbitrarily pick these years, it
makes it look different than it is.”
He said that he thinks parents are pleased with the education their children are receiving at Kenwood.
“I think most parents understand this is another process of a flawed system,” Scruci said.
He was notified on the designation about three weeks ago. He sent a letter to parents on Thursday.
“I felt it was important to get that information out and explain that our school building is failing in
terms of this data.
“It is not a failing school,” Scruci stated.
He said parents have the right to choose their children’s education.
“This is not a dire situation, but every parent has to make a decision.”
Scruci finds it particularly frustrating since the school system has received a Momentum Award for two
The Momentum Award is presented by the Ohio Department of Education and recognizes schools for exceeding
expectations in student growth for the year. The middle school won the award in 2017 and 2018.
Scruci also said that all buildings are out of the Ohio Improvement Process because of the progress the
district has made in student growth.
The Ohio Improvement Process lays the foundation for sustainable change. Districts must set up the
collaborative teams and processes that districts and schools need to identify, research, plan, implement
and monitor, and examine their improvement efforts.
“We’re doing the right things in those buildings,” Scruci said about working out of the Ohio Improvement
“We continue to look at this report card, and I believe that’s the root of the issues,” he said, adding
that the state has pushed districts to focus on test-taking and not learning.
“I’ve got a lot of problems with that.”