PIQUA – On the heels of Superintendent Dwayne Thompson’s overview of the state report cards, the Piqua City Schools board of education discussed the results at their meeting on Thursday, with Thompson reiterating that low letter grades do not address the progress the district’s students have made in the past year.
For instance, he said, the district’s lowest grade – an F in the Gap Closing component – does not show that PCS went from 16.8 percent on its previous report card to 49.9 percent this year when it comes to meeting expectations for its most vulnerable populations of students in English Language Arts, math and graduation.
“We’ve improved significantly,” Thompson said, citing other improvements between this year and last, such as rising from 33.4 percent to 47.8 percent in K-3 literacy.
Thompson, who has held the superintended position a little over a year, stated that one of his goals for PCS is to “get rid of the D’s and F’s (on the report card),” while noting that it would be difficult to turn those grades around in such a short time.
Board members voiced their concerns about the report card, but remained optimistic about the future.
“It really bothers me to see where we were with our test scores,” board member Bob Luby said, but added that he is “really pleased” to see the improvements the district has made. Luby also mused as to whether the general public fully understands the report card results or is misinterpreting them.
In addition to administrators and teachers, parents need to be invested in their children’s success, according to BOE President Frank Patrizio. Some parents, he said, place more importance on extracurricular activities than on academics and problems like poor attendance.
“They can get them to sporting events, but can’t get them to school on time,” he lamented. “We don’t exist for extracurriculars. We exist for education.”
In other business, the board approved Thompson and Jeremie Hittle, chief financial officer and board treasurer, to conduct a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for an energy service company. Hittle said the purpose of the RFQ is to find projects to decrease the district’s energy usage and save money. He and Thompson, at the suggestion of Piqua City Manager Gary Huff, have been consulting with Honeywell and exploring energy savings options like water conservation and switching to LED lighting.
Various personnel changes were approved, including transportation, custodial and food service, where several of the resignations were tendered because employees were making internal moves, Assistant Superintendent Tony Lyons said.
To fill those open positions, the district will be holding a civil service exam at 6 p.m. Oct. 17 at the BOE offices, located at 719 E. Ash St., where applications can be obtained.
The board of education’s next meeting will be at 6 p.m. Oct. 19 at Piqua Central Intermediate School.
Reach Belinda M. Paschal at (937) 451-3341.