Piqua Board of Education prepares for school year

PIQUA — Piqua City Schools were recognized for financial reporting excellence during the Piqua Board of Education’s meeting on Thursday, Aug. 25.

The treasurer’s department was presented with the award from the Association of School Business Officials International.

“I am pleased to inform you that Piqua City Schools has received these certificates of excellence in financial reporting for the fiscal year ending in 2022. This award represents a significant achievement and reflects your commitment to transparency and high-quality finance,” read Superintendent Dwayne Thompson.

This is the third time the department has earned this award.

Also on Thursday, the board approved the purchase of an automated floor cleaner from Brown Supply in the amount of $61,980.

“Due to the new floors that are being put down, there’s a lot more cleaning that has to be done to keep those looking nice,” said Treasurer Jeremie Hittle. “Instead of hiring another person to clean floors, we have looked into having this machine.”

The automated scrubber will operate 24/7 except when needing to be recharged or maintenanced. It will have pre-programmed routes throughout the school and can adapt to new obstacles. Additionally, the unit has safeguards to protect against student “joyrides” and comes with a three-year warranty.

The bid for this unit from Brown Supply Company out of Lima was $14,000 below the next highest bid.

In preparation for the 2022-2023 school year, the board approved the new bus routes and stops with a reminder to parents.

“The first couple of weeks, you know, bus drivers are learning the routes and student’s names and they’re trying to get them to the place safely. As new students get added, they get added to the bus stop. So, the first couple of weeks aren’t going to be the exact same time. We appreciate parents’ flexibility and patience on this,” said Thompson.

The district’s process for identification and service of gifted students was approved.

“No major changes here. Just a few minor tweaks here and there based on numbers,” said Director of Student Services Mindy Gearhardt.

The plan defines gifted students as, “(those) who perform or show potential for performing at remarkably high levels of accomplishment when compared to others of their age, experience, or environment.”

It outlines a three-step screening approach for identification and provides a framework for the education and service of gifted students at all grade levels.

Donations to the district totaling $6,700 in value were accepted.

“We had a really nice donation from the Piqua Education Foundation for the junior high farmer’s market … We also had a number of people that donated meals to our band camp this year which was a fantastic thing,” said Thompson.

In other business the board approved:

• In-state and out-of-state tuition rates for their open enrollment students;

• The annual commercial paper reporting requirement for fiscal year 2022;

• July 2022 monthly fiscal reports;

• Title I building surveys for PCIS, Springcreek and Washington;

• The personal agenda and the attached hires, resignations, and volunteers;

• A shared service agreement with the UVCC for a food service supervisor.

At the end of the meeting, a member of the public spoke on the potential sale of the former Wilder Intermediate School property to a developer that was a subject of controversy at the July school board meeting.

He reiterated his communities’ concerns on the problems of traffic, population density of the potential development, and loss of greenspace.

City Manager Paul Oberdorfer was at the meeting to address these concerns.

“Just to be clear, though, that is a concept. And while the planner may have exuded some interest in what’s going on, she is not the final authority on what goes on at that site,” said Oberdorfer.

He continued, “Those concerns would be properly addressed to the planning commission. Then, after the planning commission, approves or disapproves it, on the third approve it would go forward to the city commission for three readings. So, that means for six weeks, it will be out in the public purview. People can come to these different meetings and either support it or show concerns about it.”

The board then adjourned to executive session and no further action was taken.

The next Piqua Board of Education meeting will take place on Sept. 22, at 6 p.m. in the Board of Education office at 215 Looney Road.