Focus 2: Student Voice & Involvement
TPS believes that student voice and involvement are important as they empower and involve students to be part of their education experience. Student involvement also improves school climate, helps schools meet the needs of all students, and prepares students for civic engagement. There are many ways to encourage student voice and involvement, such as student advisory councils, conducting student surveys, and giving students opportunities to give feedback on school policies and practices. By providing opportunities for student voice and involvement, schools can create a more equitable learning environment for all students. TPS strives to be a leader in the state when it comes to involving and empowering students to make decisions about their education.
See below for some highlights related to student voice and involvement from the 2022-23 school year.
Student-Driven Improvement at TPS: Students Making Achievements Right This Second
Toledo Public Schools leadership established the Students Making Achievements Right This Second or “SMARTS” program as a way to engage high school students by empowering students to identify and improve their schools and communities.
SMARTS students are often asked to participate in surveys and focus groups, attend conferences, speak at Board meetings, represent the district at events, and more. For example, SMARTS students were integral to the development of the district’s new strategic plan! SMARTS students from all over the district attend fun but educational team-building events at venues across Lucas County like the Toledo Museum of Art and the Toledo Zoo. While together they devote time surfacing improvement ideas, brainstorming possible solutions, implementing the chosen solutions, and evaluating impact. TPS loves that SMARTS students drive improvement at TPS and make the community a better place for everyone to live and learn!
During 2022-2023, SMARTS students were asked to present at the Ohio School Boards Assocation Conference at the Columbus Convention Center. There they answered the questions of many sitting school board members from across the state about their experiences with SMARTS!
TPS Athletics: Building Confidence. Building Strength.
Currently, TPS offers a wide variety of athletics options for boys and girls in grades 9 through 12. In the future, TPS will continue to assess OHSAA sports to provide the latest offerings to students.
2022-2023 TPS 9-12 Grade Sports Offerings
Post-COVID, the district has re-implemented 7th and 8th grade sports, offering many options for student participation. 2022-2023 TPS 7th and 8th Grade Sports Offerings
TPS continues to assess OHSAA upcoming sports, to provide the latest offerings to our students.
Arts Education at TPS: Expanding Horizons
Arts education is an essential part of a well-rounded learning experience. It provides students with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in school, in the workplace, and in life. In addition to academic and social-emotional benefits, arts education can also help students to develop their cultural literacy and appreciation for the arts.
A number of recent studies have shown that arts education can have a positive impact on student achievement in all areas of school. For example, a study by the National Endowment for the Arts found that students who participate in arts education are more likely to graduate from high school. They are also more likely to be civically engaged as adults.
During the 2022-2023 school year, TPS offered 21 different arts courses. Some of the courses offered can be seen in the list below. Courses vary by building.
Drawing and Painting
K-12 Visual Art
Photography and Film Making
Photography and Film Making
TPS values arts education and provides more fine arts courses than any district in Lucas County. TPS is tied for third in comparison to the Urban 8 and the list of the largest districts in Ohio. See how TPS ranks below:
Comparison of Fine Arts Courses Offered
TPS Compared to other Lucas County Districts
TPS Compared to other Ohio Urban Districts
TPS Compared to the Ten Largest District's in Ohio
While the largest district in Ohio were at one time the districts classified by the Ohio Department of Education as "urban", areas in the state surrounding Columbus and Cincinnati have experienced unprecedented growth. Now, suburban districts outside of Columbus like Olentangy Local Schools, Dublin, Hilliard, and South-Western City as well as Lakota Local in Bulter County, outside Cincinnati are close in size to Toledo Public Schools. The ten largest district comparison can also be found in this section. Districts are listed in the chart in size order from largest (Columbus City) to smallest (Hilliard City).
Enrollment data from Ohio Department of Education, 2022 Student Enrollment Counts.
TPS Choir and Band Perform at 'Expanding Pathways to Better Futures' Luncheon Benefiting the United Negro College Fund
In May 2023, an estimated 500 people attended Toledo Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz Second Annual Luncheon to benefit the United Negro College Fund (UNCF). In addition to hearing from Toledo Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz, the audience enjoyed performances by the Rogers High School Ensemble Choir and the Scott High School Marching Band.
UNCF seeks to increase educational opportunities for minority students and increase the educated workforce pipeline in our nation. The luncheon brought together Toledo area business, civic and education leaders to support UNCF and provide students with the support they need to get to and through college.
As a result, more than $100,000 was raised by the Toledo community for UNCF scholarships! TPS is proud that students and staff were able to take part in this important event.
TPS Clubs and Student Organizations:
There's something for everyone!
Student Activities and Organizations are provided for the engagement of students within their schools and community. Currently, TPS provides a variety of clubs within the high schools to promote student engagement and involvement. In addition, each high school has the opportunity to propose a club, based on student interest. Currently, TPS has over 100 clubs across all high schools! Elementary school buildings also have the opportunity to propose a club based on student interest. Currently, TPS has over 60 clubs across all elementary schools!
Below is a sample list of Student Activities and Organizations offered during the 2022-2023 school year. Opportunities vary by building.
Bowling Green State University Educational Talent Search
Girls Who Code
Mu Alpha Theta
National Honor Society
Tae Kwon Do
Teen Outreach Program
The Ohio State University, Young Scholars Program
University of Toledo Upward Bound
Various Career Technical Education clubs
Various foreign language clubs
Young Educators Club
Young Executive Scholars
Young Men of Excellence
Young Women of Excellence
TPS Students Recognized at Ninth Congressional District High School Art Competition
Four students were recognized at the Ninth Congressional District High School Art competition. Awards were selected by a jury composed of art educators, local artists, and representatives from institutions sponsoring awards. The goal of this program is to honor artistic excellence demonstrated by area high school students. Students had their artwork displayed and were honored at the Awards Ceremony on March 12, 2023, at the Toledo Museum of Art.
Ana Gonzalez, Bowsher Student: Grade 11, received the Art to Market Award for a work titled, Moody. Teacher: Amy Martinek
Chris Parker, Bowsher Student, Grade 12, received honorable mention for a work titled, Dark Coke. Teacher: Jim Foos
Iyana Arnold, Rogers Student: Grade 11, received honorable mention for a work titled, Let’s Cross Over (The Bridge). Teacher, Ann TenEyck
Omar Jones, Bowsher Student: Grade 10, received The Spengler Nathanson Award for a work titled, Break of Day. Teacher: Amy Martinek