COVINGTON — As required by the state, Superintendent Gene Gooding updated the Covington Board of Education on possible incidents of bullying at Covington schools during their meeting Wednesday evening. According to Gooding, there were no confirmed incidents of bullying during the first half of the school year.
“Every half a year, we are required to update our bullying incidents on our website and speak about them at a board meeting,” Gooding said.
Every school in the state is required to make those reports. Gooding added that “all of the teachers take bullying very seriously.”
For the first half of this school year, there were six possible incidents reported at the junior high and high school, none of which were verified as bullying, Gooding said. There were also four incidents reported at the elementary school, which were also not verified as bullying.
“It doesn’t mean that the kids in those incidents weren’t picked on or teased, but it didn’t rise to the definition of bullying,” Gooding said. “Whether it’s labeled as such, it doesn’t matter … every incident is extremely important.”
Gooding commended the student body for their good behavior.
“We are doing a very good job of treating each other nice,” Gooding said.
He also commended the Character Counts program that Principal Josh Long implements at the elementary school for being “fantastic.”
“Bottom line, we have great kids,” Gooding said.
Also during their meeting, the board approved going out to bid for a couple purchases.
The first purchase coming up will be for a new school bus through the Southwestern Ohio Educational Purchasing Council. The district is on a two-year rotation for replacing their aging school buses, according to Gooding. “It’s serving us well,” he said. “We feel like we have a nice, safe bus fleet.”
The new school bus will replace the oldest school bus in their fleet, which is from around 1999.
The board also authorized the solicitation of bids for new entrance doors at the high school building. This will replace all eight double doors, excluding doors to the gym. Gooding said that the purchase of the new doors was for energy efficiency and safety reasons.
The estimated cost will be around $50,000. Gooding said that the district will use funds from the $52,000 rebate that they received from DP&L for this project.
The board also approved graduation requirements for the class of 2018 in response to changes approved by the Ohio General Assembly.
Students must take all end-of-course examinations required and retake any end-of-course examination in English language arts or mathematics for which the student received a score of lower than three at least once, as well as complete the district’s required units of instruction.
Graduating students must also meet two of nine possible conditions that refer to attendance, grade point average, participation in community service or an internship, participation in the College Credit Plus program, passing advanced placement (AP) or international baccalaureate (IB) courses with a score of three or higher, earning at least a three on job skills assessments in certain areas, obtaining industry-recognized credentials, or meeting all requirements for the OhioMeansJobs Readiness seal.
There were other requirements noted for students participating in a career-technical program to receive a high school diploma.
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