Editor’s Note: There will be a second article on the Piqua City School Board of Education meeting on Saturday.
PIQUA — Piqua City Schools Board of Education member Bob Luby, a member of the Southwest Board of Education, reported to Piqua board members on Thursday about the Southwest board resolution on House Bill 70 that would allow a CEO to run a school district under academic distress.
The resolution expresses the displeasure of the bill passing, as it was passed within the same day on June 24 without any input from educators or the community. An Academic Distress Commission and a CEO is assigned to Youngstown City Schools.
“It’s not the fact that the state did this, but the way in which the state did this,” Luby said. “If you have someone else running your district, you lose control.”
Luby is also a member of the Upper Valley Career Center Board of Education and presented the resolution and report to members as well. Members were in support of the resolution and against the bill.
Piqua board members also showed support of the resolution and will be sending a letter on behalf of the district to local and state leaders, along with the resolution, explaining PCS’ point of view on the matter.
The first four days of school have been successful in the district, with enrollment at 3,597 and students and staff adjusting well to the new buildings and changes.
“We have been enjoying the fact that we are back in session,” Superintendent Rick Hanes said. “It is great to celebrate the investment that our community made (with buildings).”
The new buildings’ classrooms were designed to house 25 students in each room, with Hanes reporting that there has not been any case of overcrowding in any of the classes.
Staff had training in social media and the ALICE readiness program with Piqua Police and took part in the Wellness Fair a few days before school started to prepare for the year. Other prepping that has been done in the summer included moving items into the new buildings as well as the beginning of demolition to the former elementary buildings.
“When you consider all of the changes in the summer prepping for the school year, we have done a tremendous job,” Hanes said.
Treasurer Jeremie Hittle reported the new software that allows the district to scan documents into a database was recently implemented and has been successful, with the program being less expensive than the former program used.
“(Software) has been working out great,” Hittle said. “It’s saving us money, yet providing us with better options.” Auditors are able to easily search for a check in the database if the need arises.
Reach Amy Barger at (937) 451-3340.