Piqua BOE approves sale of Bennett property


By Belinda M. Paschal - bpaschal@civitasmedia.com



PIQUA – The Piqua City Schools Board of Education on Thursday evening approved a resolution authorizing the sale of the former site of Bennett Intermediate School. The lot at 625 S. Main St. will be sold to the city for $1, possibly for use as greenspace, according to Superintendent Dwayne Thompson.

Bennett was one of several Piqua schools that were demolished in the past year, along with Favorite Hill, Nicklin and High Street. Thompson said the board intends to retain ownership of the Nicklin and High Street properties “indefinitely” for potential future development.

The board also approved a bid from SecurCom to update the camera systems at the high school and junior high. “The original systems are way outdated, with some not working,” Thompson said.

At $120,000, SecurCom’s was the lowest bid for the project, which will involve the installation of 112 three-megapixel cameras — a step up from the two-megapixel cameras at the three new PCS schools.

Assistant Superintendent Tony Lyons gave a report on bullying incidents, noting that of the nine cases reported as of Nov. 30, only one met the criteria for bullying. To be considered a true case of bullying, the harassment must be “intentional, persistent, ongoing and pervasive,” Lyons said.

“When it meets that definition, it’s very serious,” he added.

Some of the other cases involved students who were merely upset with another student, but even in some of those cases, intervention is crucial to preventing the situation from escalating into something more serious, Lyons said.

A follow-up report on bullying incidents will be given in June.

Lyons also gave a brief overview of the Diversity Committee, noting that the recent naming of the Yuri Willcox Commons at Piqua High School is one of the many efforts the committee is making to honor people from diverse backgrounds.

In his report on the Piqua High School program of studies, Principal Rob Messick listed several new developments for next year. In addition to a new English 9 block, there will be an astronomy course offered. The class will alternate yearly with environmental studies, though an Advanced Placement environmental studies will continue to be offered.

Perhaps the most impactful new development will be a nine-week preparatory ACT course that juniors must take. Messick said exemptions will be allowed for those who have a remediation-free ACT score.

In other business, the board approved its 2017-18 calendar, which sets Aug. 22, 2017, as the first day of the new academic year for students, and June 1, 2018, as the final day. In addition, a full week will be allotted for spring break.

Board members also approved the dates for their meetings during the next year, with the next board of education meeting scheduled for Jan. 25, at a location to be announced.

By Belinda M. Paschal

bpaschal@civitasmedia.com

Belinda M. Paschal can be reached at (937) 451-3341.

Belinda M. Paschal can be reached at (937) 451-3341.