LEWIS CENTER, Ohio (WCMH) – In recent years, the Olentangy School District has seen a lot of growth. For the 2023-2024 school year, the district welcomed 23,500 students.

Since February of this year, the New Student Welcome Center has enrolled over 2,400 students. Olentangy is now the 4th largest district in the state. The newly appointed Superintendent, Todd Meyer, said the main reason the district continues to grow is because Delaware County is a great place to raise a family.

“I’ve talked to hundreds of families over my time here in Olentangy as a high school principal when families used to come visit our schools when they were selecting an area to move to now,” Meyer said. “A common theme is people move here because of the schools, we have great community support, we have great teachers and we have great students in our schools. So, our brand is really really strong. We have a great reputation out there and we continue to provide a high-quality education for all of our students.”

Meyer has been in education for 33 years now and has been a part of the Olentangy School District since 2007. When he joined Olentangy nearly 15 years ago, there were 13,500 students enrolled. In 2008, he became the principal of the newly built high school, Olentangy Orange.

In addition to the growth the district has seen in terms of enrollment, Meyer is also dedicated to providing safety as well.

“We are increasing from 7 SRO’s [school resource officers] to 10 SRO’s this year in collaboration with the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office. Again, it’s critical that we provide that resource within our building and moving forward we do have plans to expand our security presence in our elementaries. Currently we have 16 elementaries and next year we will open our 17th. So, we do have plans to take a look at what that might look like in the future by putting a dedicated security person in all of our schools,” Meyer said.

The district’s 6th middle school, Berlin Middle, opened its doors for the first time this school year. In the fall of 2024, the 17th elementary school will open. There are now 28 schools in the district, one of which is the STEM academy. 

According to the superintendent, the schools get built on the same blueprint, which saves millions of dollars. However, as these new schools pop up, new things are added based on the needs. For example, Berlin Middle has collaborative spaces and a makerspace in the library.

“[I’m] so fortunate that we have a community that continues to support our schools by passing bond issues that give us the money to build new buildings and at the end of the day, provide great experiences for our students here in Olentangy,” Meyer said.

There is also a facility committee that is in charge of updating enrollment projects every year and based on those projections, the district can forecast what the next 10 years will look like in terms of enrollment.

“Our mission is to facilitate maximum learning for every student, and we want to continue to do that. We want to continue to provide welcoming, caring environments where all students are valued here in Olentangy and we’re going to continue to do that,” Meyer said.

Meyer adds that one of their values is “we can always get better,” and he’ll continue to adapt to the needs of the students to better serve them.