Licking Heights served 4,921 students as of Dec. 3, 2021 and is still growing. The student population has more than doubled since 2003. Licking Heights’ school boundaries encompasses portions of eastern Franklin and western Licking counties in central Ohio. In 2020, Licking Heights opened a new high school, and in autumn 2021, began the process to further expand the high school to meet increasing enrollment growth.
Certificated teaching staff: 299, with an average 15 years' experience; 75 percent of LH educators have Master’s degrees or higher. (This includes guidance counselors, media specialists and intervention specialists.)
Principals and assistants: 12
District administrators/supervisors: 14
Classified support staff: 167
Licking Heights offers traditional college prep courses, Advanced Placement (AP) courses and the College Credit Plus program. Students are also eligible to graduate with an honors diploma, or elect as juniors to attend Licking County C-TEC. Any student who completes one of these curricula will meet all academic requirements necessary for graduation. The District launched the new college and career pathways in Fall, 2021, to coincide with the new high school. Under the pathway plan, or “3-E” concept, every Licking Heights graduate leaves with an “E”: Enrollment in a higher education program, Enlistment in the military, or Employment in a post high school job placement.
Historically, Licking Heights Local Schools has offered Spanish and Mandarin Chinese foreign language programs. The district has offered Mandarin Chinese since its initial pilot in 2012. It currently serves more than 277 students in grades 7-12. The program became a Confucius Classroom at the 2014 National Chinese Language Conference in Los Angeles, and has led four student trips to China in 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018. The District recently added a third language, American Sign Language (ASL) that is expected to expand with Spanish and Mandarin.
Licking Heights High School features a Facebook/META-sponsored STEAM Lab, as well as a State Tested Nursing Assistant Lab offered in conjunction with Career and Technology Education Centers of Licking County.
Licking Heights provides self-contained gifted classrooms to meet the needs of gifted students in grades 2-5, and provides advanced coursework for middle and high school students. Accelerated placement is an option available to all students.
A number of student clubs, activities and organizations are available, such as Art Club, DECA, National Honor Society, Quiz Bowl, Student Council, Model UN, Chess Club, and Environmental Club.
As a proud Hornet Nation, Licking Heights offers 16 varsity high school sports and 10 competitive sports for middle school students.
Licking Heights’ fine arts program provides students with opportunities to experience both the visual and performing arts, with various performing opportunities throughout the school year. Students’ unique and creative thinking is fostered to develop knowledgeable, self-disciplined, inquiring and motivated individuals. Band and choir programs begin in sixth grade and students often participate in Ohio Music Education Association (OMEA) competitions. Students can audition for marching band as early as eighth grade. The Licking Heights High School choir performed at New York City’s Carnegie Hall in both 2014 and 2016. The theater program presents both an annual fall play and spring musical.
The District has an ongoing partnership with the Cleveland Browns Foundation to increase student attendance and graduation rates. The District is one of 19 schools in Ohio to partner with the National Center for Rural Education Research Networks and Proving Ground, focusing on school improvement. The District has partnered with Columbus State Community College and the Educational Service Center of Central Ohio on multiple grants and initiatives: i3 College and Career Readiness Grant, Striving Readers Grants focused on literacy in grades 6-13 and an Expanding Opportunities Career Pathways grant. The District has also partnered with Facebook/META that provided Chromebooks to LH students during the pandemic. Facebook also sponsored the District’s first STEAM classroom at the new high school.
Battelle for Kids awarded the district a SOAR Award for Significant Progress in 2014, 2015, and 2016; the State of Ohio named Licking Heights High School to the 2014 Schools of Promise list.
In 2021, South Elementary was honored by the Ohio School Board’s Association for a virtual career program organized by the school. South was also declared a 2021-24 “Purple Star” recipient by the Ohio Department of Education for its commitment to serving and supporting students and families connected to the U.S. armed forces and Ohio National Guard.
Licking Heights West Elementary was recognized in 2021 with a Bronze Award from the Ohio Department of Education for Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS).
U.S. News and World Report declared Licking Heights High School to be among its top 200 “Best Schools” in its 2021 survey of the nation’s high schools.
On May 3, 2022, District voters adopted a $66 million bond. Facilities to be paid for by that issue include:
• A new elementary school (Summer 2024)
• New athletic complex (Fall 2023)
• New board office (Date to be determined)
• New bus garage (Summer 2023)
• Contribute toward a 300-350 student high school expansion, with 12 additional classrooms
Fact Sheet - Licking Heights 2022 Bond Issue Updated 3.18.22
Similar to refinancing a home mortgage to receive a more favorable interest rate, because of careful District planning, and strategic refunding and financing practices, District officials believed Licking Heights Local Schools would be able to offer residents a millage reduction and renewal bond issue with the May 2022 ballot issue.
However, while the November 2021 five-year forecast projects that Licking Heights will maintain a positive end-of-year cash balance through fiscal year 2025, Ohio’s school funding cap still poses significant financial challenges. Such past challenges have been marginally surmounted by the District’s focus on managing residential growth and stimulating economic development.