Piqua Board of Education approves employee stipend

By Jordan Green

[email protected]

PIQUA — The Piqua City School District Board of Education met Thursday, April 28, for their regular monthly meeting.

The board approved a one-time 2.5% stipend to all 2021-2022 district employees.

“We thought it was important to recognize the amount of work they have put in the last two years. We have not shut down once due to COVID other than when the governor shut everything down,” said Treasurer Jeremie Hittle.

Association negotiations took place during the beginning of COVID, and staff were set the receive a 0% bonus for this year after considering shared concerns over how COVID would affect the district financially. However, Hittle noted, “We are better than we thought we would be when all that hit.”

In other new business, the board renewed the district’s contract with Rieck Services who support and repair HVAC systems in the district’s buildings. The contract was renewed through the 2024-2025 school year with no increase in the current rate.

“With all of the inflation going on … I think we’re going to keep doing that. We’re getting a great deal,” said Hittle.

The total value of the contract is $155,556.

The board also approved a change to the spending of ESSER funds. ESSER is the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief fund that was intended to mitigate the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the money is provided through the federal government. The new plan shifts the funds to be used for re-carpeting at the Junior High School. Previously, the money was being used to purchase school buses for the district.

During the Treasurer’s Agenda, the Student Accident Insurance was renewed for the next school year. Prices range from $86.65-132.65 per year and provide medical coverage in case of student injury. More information will be available soon on the district website.

The Holiday list was also discussed with the addition of Juneteenth. Juneteenth was made a federal holiday on June 15,2021.

The Treasurer’s Agenda was approved unanimously.

The board also approved the Superintendent’s Agenda by a vote of 4-0, which included accepting donations and grants to the school totaling $10,154.91. School fees for the 2022-2023 year will not be raised and will continue at their reduced rate. However, lunch fees will likely come back starting next year.

“That is not at our discretion… and as a result, we have decided not to raise those prices from what they were before they did away with them,” said Superintendent Dwayne Thompson.

The district will also continue to waive the pay-to-play fee for sports for the 2022-2023 year.

“Our goal is to get as many kids as we can engaged in our activities,” said Thompson.

Board Member Sean Mitchell was absent from the meeting.

The Board later adjourned to executive session by a vote of 4-0 and no further action was taken.

The next meeting will take place May 19 at 6 p.m. in the Board of Education office.