TROY — Troy City Schools Board of Education approved the first step to seek a renewal of its existing five year, 5.9-mills property tax levy for the Nov. 5 general election.
The levy was renewed on May 5, 2015. The funds are for general operations. The levy generates approximately $1.1 million, the majority of which is paid for by Troy businesses, industries and utilities, according to previous levy information.
The board also approved to hire Ruetschle Architects as its architect of record. The Dayton firm will assist the district to develop a comprehensive facility and site utilization master plan in coordination with the Ohio Facility Construction Commission program. The firm has designed the K-12 building at Milton-Union Schools, Northmont High School, the Fairmont High School Performing Arts Center and Oakwood High School projects, according to its website.
The board also approved the district’s strategic agreement and its five goals, including building new elementary buildings, communications (internal, external and student communication), student achievement, fiscal responsibility and developing a high quality staff.
“It’s going to drive our efforts for the next five years in our budgeting and our learning and I’m excited for that’s going to mean for our district when, not if, we get these things done,” Superintendent Chris Piper said.
The plan utilized community surveys, focus groups and informal and formal discussions, Piper said.
“I’m thankful for all the feedback that I’ve gotten. I feel like its been a good process for the district and good process for the team to get to this point,” Piper said. Piper said some of the goals may seem “lofty” and bar has been set high, but “there’s no danger in setting a high goal and missing it, there’s a great danger in not setting high goals.”
The plan will be shared as a finished document at a later date.
President Doug Trostle said the plan will serve as a “road map” to prioritize the district’s goals and objectives.
“It gives us some guidance on what our core focus should be, our priorities should be,” Trostle said.
Board member Sue Borchers requested the document feature some priority designation for the community to understand not everything will be complete immediately.
Student-athlete social media agreement
The board also tabled the district’s athletics department policy manual. The board has not taken action or approved the policy in the past, but Piper said it would a good practice to do so.
Athletic Director David Palmer addressed the board and noted the language of the policy has been cleaned up and includes vaping added to alcohol and drug policy. Consequences for violations were “stiffened up a little bit,” Palmer said. The new policy adds a fourth step to the former three-step policy. Palmer said he surveyed the district’s conference schools as well as schools similar in size to make the revisions. Palmer said some districts were more strict in some areas and others more relaxed during the review process.
“It was a good starting point on how we stack up to other schools that are similar to us,” Palmer said.
The policy manual also includes a social media student/athlete agreement. The agreement includes language that students agree to take “responsibility for my online profile, posts, photos and videos posted by others in which the student appears,” “not to degrade opponents before during or after a game,” and “to post only positive things about teammates, coaches, opponents and officials.”
“Social media has become a big thing, kind of like vaping has. Not that we’ve had huge problems with social media, but there’s always that possibility that someone could misuse social media,” Palmer said. “Kids have been on social media way before adults. We wanted to make sure we had an agreement that we put together in place that wasn’t necessarily punitive, but was more positive reflection of what our expectations are of our student athletes and coaches.”
The agreement also states the student athlete will only use social media “to promote abilities, team, community and social values and for the student athlete to consider, “Is this the me I want you to see” before anything is posted. Other points include to “ignore negative comments and not to retaliate” and if a teammate posts something potentially negative online, to talk to the teammate or coach. The final point is the student athlete is “aware that I represent my sports, school, team, family and community at all times and will do so in a positive manner.”
Palmer said the policy and handbook includes a sign off sheet for parents to accept the code of conduct and the social media agreement.
Reach Melanie Yingst at firstname.lastname@example.org
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