PIQUA — The Piqua City School Board of Education voted to have a policy against the use of drones during PCS athletic events and activities under the auspices of the Ohio High School Athletic Association.
The OHSAA has a policy banning drone use during OHSAA tournament activities, as stated in their release, the 2015-16 General Sports Regulation. It was suggested by the OHSAA for Ohio school administrators to reevaluate drone use and come up with their own policies. Board members voted to have their own policy during the monthly meeting on Thursday.
The district’s policy states drones are prohibited on school premises during district-sponsored contests (including scrimmages and previews), practices, and activities under the OHSAA. District officials have the authority to deny any person with a drone into any of these events.
“It’s a good policy,” Superintendent Rick Hanes said. “Other districts have had issues of people at practices with drones.” Treasurer Jeremie Hittle said this policy could potentially keep insurance interest rates down for the district.
The board conversed about the high school track that is in need of a renovation or replacement, with Hanes more in favor of a replacement. The track was patched three years ago and patching came off, Hanes said.
“We should have enough funding for track replacement,” Hanes said. “We have been saving funds specifically for that track.”
The goal would be to start the track remake project after the 2016 track season and for it to be installed before the football season.
Rob Messick, director of curriculum for science and math, reported a need to improve algebra instruction, and has implemented Algebra Block as a pilot program involving 60 students and three teachers. The program includes 15 modules that apply real-world applications using algebra.
“It’s pretty impressive,” Messick said. “In the first week, (students) have created a math blog and have some pretty quality teachers.” Students stay in the program for entire school year.
Summer school was reported as having 40 PK-8 students involved. Curriculum Director Dwayne Thompson reported students putting in 380.5 hours of teaching time. Four students would have been retained in their current grade level without intervention, with three of the four promoted by the end of course. It cost the district $4.70 per hour per student.
Summer programs for high school included the high school credit recovery program, which reported to have 14 students with only 2 dropping out, and the OGT intervention program. The OGT program reportedly had 16 students, with students passing at 30 percent or above for each subject.
The Ohio Graduation Test will be phased out within the next two years, and the district will no longer need the program.
Business Coordinator Curt South gave a report on school building constructions, with the project nearing completion.
“We are getting close to being finished, but we are still tracking to be on time and on budget,” South said.
All three new elementary buildings are in place. Grass feed is being planted at both Springcreek Primary and Piqua Central Intermediate and are scheduled to be finished in the near future.
South said Washington Primary is in a “warranty” phase. During this phase, the district is to notify contractor of anything that is not right with the building.
Demolitions are nearly complete with Favorite Hill Primary and Nicklin Learning Center buildings. Abestos abatement is complete with Wilder Intermediate, Bennett Intermediate, and High Street Primary buildings and demolition is to start in a few weeks.
The goal is to have building demolition projects and grass feed planted by the end of December.
The new bus routes have been implemented in the district and have gone smoothly thus far. A minor issue has been some buses being late, but those are improving.
“A thank you to everybody that has helped bus drivers, parents, and students (during first week of school),” South said. “We are cutting minutes off our afternoon routes every day.”
Reach Amy Barger at (937) 451-3340.