Piqua BOE approves field house sale

By Belinda M. Paschal - bpaschal@civitasmedia.com

PIQUA – Ownership of the Roosevelt Field House soon will be changing hands, as the Piqua City Schools Board of Education voted unanimously to enter a purchase agreement with the city of Piqua during their meeting on Thursday.

Roosevelt Field House, located at 401 E. Ash St., and the property adjacent to it will be sold to the city at a cost not to exceed $280,000, after which the city will resell the property to the Piqua Improvement Corporation, a nonprofit, for that same cost of $280,000.

The school board also said goodbye to Piqua High School Assistant Principal Lori Sexton, who left for a position in Tennessee, where her husband’s job was transferred. She will be succeeded by Jonathan Shoftstall, who previously served as assistant principal of Springcreek Primary School.

“(Sexton) has been great for us,” said District Superintendent Dwayne Thompson. “And we have another outstanding administrator in our midst,” he continued, referring to Shoftstall.

In his report, Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer Jeremie Hittle shared that the district’s annual audit is now available to the public. He also reported that casino tax revenues for the district are $49.73 per student, or $172,612 total. In addition, $4.6 million has been generated in income tax revenue during the first three quarters of this fiscal year, Hittle said, and the district is “on target” to meet its goal of $5.8 million.

The greater portion of the meeting was devoted to a building update on student achievement by administrators from Piqua Central Intermediate School. Principal Josh Kauffman, along with assistant principals Ross Loudenback and Jennie Gearhardt, shared a wealth of academic improvement measures and programs being implemented at the school.

Among the programs Kauffman listed was “The Elite 8s,” which focuses on students belonging to subgroups of the population, which includes minorities, gifted students and economically disadvantaged students. “The Elite 8’s” consists of each teacher selecting eight students with whom to work on targeted academic areas.

“Our subgroup data was not good on the (state) report card,” Kauffman said by way of explaining the specific focus on these students.

Other measures include building-wide plan books; monitoring library circulation; and an array of activities under the umbrella of the “Indian Initiative” including Thoughtful Thursday, Indians of the Month, Dress for Success and various competitions.

Kauffman also said he has been holding “Principal’s Powwows” during which guidance staff, the school nurse, custodians, secretaries and principals meet weekly to discuss the efficiency of operations throughout the building.

Gearhardt shared some changes that have taken place in the master scheduling at PCIS. For instance, fourth and fifth-graders now have 60-minute periods of instructional time vs. last year’s 45 minutes. She said this cuts down on transition time for students, which translates into fewer behavioral issues in the hallway. The school also has adopted the Read 180 program for sixth grade, allowing a 90-minute block for language arts.

Another step PCIS is taking to help its students improve academically is using MobyMax, an intervention tool that finds and fixes learning gaps with customized lessons, Loudenback said.

Many other tools for success were discussed during the meeting, which can be viewed online at www.piqua.org/Boxcast.aspx.

The Piqua City Schools Board of Education’s next meeting will be at 6 p.m. March 30, at Springcreek Primary School.

By Belinda M. Paschal


Reach Belinda M. Paschal at (937) 451-3341

Reach Belinda M. Paschal at (937) 451-3341