State of the Schools 2023

State of the Schools Recap
Posted on 10/02/2023

Every year, the State of the Schools Address is a pivotal occasion where we, as a community, come together to celebrate our achievements, reflect on the milestones of the past year, and discuss the exciting initiatives and plans that lie ahead. With this address, we embarked on a journey to explore the outcomes of Royal Oak Schools long-range planning process. This journey began over a year ago with a dedicated team of stakeholders, including administrators, teachers, students, and community members.


A Collaborative Effort

The long-range planning process resulted from a collaborative effort involving regular committee meetings, administrative discussions, board workshops, and school staff visits. We also sought valuable input from our students through various activities and employed innovative tools like Thought Exchange for online discussions. The collective goal was clear: to develop a comprehensive Strategic Plan that would guide us from 2023 to 2028, aptly named "Continuing Excellence."


Our Vision: A Community of Excellence

Our vision is simple yet powerful: "A Community of Excellence." Our mission statement encapsulates our commitment to inclusivity, diversity, safety, and putting students first. "Royal Oak Schools is an inclusive, diverse, safe, and student-first environment. Together as a community, we help develop growth-minded students who can adapt in a dynamic world as they learn." As a community, we nurture growth-minded students who can adapt to a dynamic world as they learn.


A Snapshot of Our District

Royal Oak Schools comprises over 650 dedicated personnel, serving approximately 5,000 students with a budget of $72 million. We are one of 28 school districts in Oakland County, and our Board of Education consists of seven elected volunteers from the community who guide and advise our district.


Steady Enrollment and Community Partnerships

One notable aspect of our district is the stability of our enrollment. Moreover, our Latchkey program continues to be a popular service, with plans to expand as we hire more staff. We are also proud of our collaborations with the Salvation Army and the Metro Detroit Youth Club, offering additional after-school program options for local families.


Key Initiatives

One of our critical initiatives is the appointment of new District ELA Leadership. Their role is to engage in professional learning, curriculum review, and piloting to identify the best programs to meet the needs of Royal Oak students. Additionally, we actively encourage community members to consider joining our board committees and contributing to the betterment of our schools.


Points of Pride

Royal Oak boasts several points of pride, including a back-to-school event organized by the PTSA, ROMPA, and PAC, which connected parents with valuable community resources. Our annual "Tools for Schools" event allowed staff to engage with various groups and businesses before the school year started.


Community Support

We are immensely grateful for the support of organizations like the Royal Oak Schools Foundation, Royal Oak Optimists Club, Rotary Club, Royal Oak Youth Assistance, and more.  These partnerships enable us to provide scholarships, food for needy families, and enriching experiences for our students. 


The Gold Card is an exclusive program for senior citizens in our community, offering them free access to our various events and productions. To get one, apply at our Administrative Offices. It's our way of showing appreciation and ensuring that seniors can enjoy our cultural and educational offerings without any cost. This program fosters community engagement and connections between generations, making it a valuable resource for our senior residents.


Investing in Education

The 2023 budget reflects a 5% increase in the overall per-pupil allotment, demonstrating our commitment to investing in education. We have also secured a new $350,000-plus grant from Oakland County for Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) and Mental Health programs, along with district matching funds.


Growing Our Own

In collaboration with Oakland University, our "Grow Your Own" program allows our existing employees to earn special education endorsements, ensuring a high-quality education for all students.


Engaging Our Staff

We prioritize the development and support of our staff with initiatives such as New Teacher Orientation, safety training, and technology workshops.


Stay Connected

We invite you to follow us on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube and subscribe to e-news from the district's main website for the latest updates.


Get Involved

To get involved, keep an eye out for newsletters from building principals and the district, attend parent events, join the Special Education PAC (Parent Advisory Council), participate in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) work through the JEDI Steering Committee or ROMPA.


Expectations Moving Forward

As we progress, you can expect regular sharing of the Strategic Plan and updates to the Board of Education. The Strategic Plan is readily accessible on the District webpage, complete with detailed pages for each goal area and a glossary of key terms to enhance understanding.


In closing, the State of the Schools Address is a time to celebrate the achievements of Royal Oak Schools and plans for an even brighter future. Together, we will continue to build a community of excellence and provide the best possible education for our students.


Thank you for your unwavering support, and here's to a successful year ahead.