PIQUA — With Piqua City Schools having finished the last 10 years in the black, it is essential that the district maintain its current level of funding, according to Jeremie Hittle, board of education treasurer and chief financial officer. Crucial to that maintenance is the passage of the renewal levy on the Nov. 7 ballot, he added.
The district also must continue examining its expenses and “make sure we’re living within our means,” Hittle said during his financial report at the board of education’s Thursday evening meeting. “We’re stable for the next three years, as long as no unforeseen circumstances happen.”
Such circumstances could include new legislation by the governor who succeeds John Kasich, or a new formula to factor state funding, Hittle explained.
In other business, the board approved the hiring of Honeywell as its House Bill 264 energy service company for energy savings options on projects at Piqua High School and Piqua Junior High School. HB 264, which passed in 1985, allows school districts the ability, in one limited instance, to borrow funds without having to pass a ballot issue for the authority to borrow. This limited borrowing authority gives the district the ability to save millions in utility bills and operating costs at no additional taxpayer expense.
An academic update was given by Josh Kauffman and Heath Butler, principal and assistant principal, respectively, of Piqua Central Intermediate School, which hosted the meeting.
Kauffman touched on some of the highlights of the year so far, which include the hiring over the summer of 10 new staff members; extending the length of fourth and fifth grade English Language Arts and sixth grade ELA/math to allow for “much more deeper instruction than we’ve ever had,” Kauffman said; starting the Read 180 program almost one-and-a-half months earlier than last year; and the literacy committee’s recent Literacy Night, which drew more than 450 visitors.
Kauffman said upcoming events planned at PCIS include an Entrepreneur Day and a Celebration of Nations focusing on diversity.
Butler spoke on several subjects including Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports (PBIS), which are proactive ways for schools to encourage good behavior in students. He noted that during a three-month period in 2016, there were 175 referrals to the principal’s office, whereas this year during the same period, there have only been 43 referrals.
Butler pointed to this decrease as proof that PBIS – which teach students how to behave and what is expected of them – are effective.
Reach Belinda M. Paschal at (937) 451-3341