PIQUA — The Piqua Board of Education received the Auditor of State Award with Distinction during its regular meeting on Wednesday. The award recognizes and commends the school district’s clean audit report.
Joe Braden, the Auditor of State’s west regional liaison, was present and presented the award to treasurer Jeremie Hittle on behalf of Ohio Auditor of State Keith Faber.
“The auditor of state’s office audits nearly 5,900 entities and only about four percent of the entities are even eligible for this award,” Braden said. “This award represents the hard work of all school employees here who make an effort each day to achieve accounting excellence.”
Braden recognized the school board members and superintendent, as well as highlighted Hittle’s “exceptional commitment to fiscal integrity.”
Hittle thanked the board and all district employees for their part in the fiscal responsibility of the Piqua City Schools.
“It’s not just me who makes this happen,” Hittle said. “Everyone here who has been harped about all the rules we have to follow; this is why. We need to make sure we’re good stewards of money, and it takes everyone following the rules to make that happen.”
The board also celebrated the last payment made on the junior high building, which was officially paid off on Dec. 1, 2019, as well as board appreciation month.
A “thank you” video was presented, which included several elementary students showing their appreciation for board members, with a theme of “Planting Seeds of Success.”
Springcreek Elementary School Principal Ross Loudenback shared a building update on student achievement.
Loudenback shared the school’s focus on “success bound” initiatives, which includes a goal to improve and nourish students’ social, emotional, and behavioral health, among other things.
Loudenback mentioned the implementation of clubs for students to join and said it’s going well.
“This is a really cool component to our building,” he said. “Every other Friday afternoon, we have clubs happening.”
Students had the opportunity at the beginning of the year to select clubs of their interest, Loudenback said, with each student being placed into one of their top three clubs. Club subjects include running, salon, robotics, and others.
“This provides students with high levels of engagement,” he said. “It’s very hands-on, and they get a chance to work with peers who have similar interests.”
Principal Rob Messick gave a brief overview of new developments at the high school.
“We’re excited that we’re going to be offering more Edison courses at Piqua High School,” Messick said. “We currently have 40-plus kids who are enrolled in those classes, so those students who would potentially be over at Edison will be back in our building.”
New courses to be offered include English composition I and II, service learning, a digital editing class, medical terminology, mechatronics 1 and 2, introduction to healthcare, law enforcement pre-apprenticeship, ECC quantitative reasoning, launching into aviation, and exploring aviation and aerospace.
The board accepted the following list of donations:
• Main Street Piqua to PHS Show Choir: $150
• Paul and Rosemary Gutmann to PHS Music Department: $50
• US Bank Blood Drive Donation to PHS: $1,000
• Piqua Fortnightly Club to PHS Show Choir: $200
• Piqua Rotary Club to PHS Show Choir: $200
• Thomas and Brenda Hill to PHS Show Choir: $500
• The Valley Church to PHS Show Choir: $300
• Mike and Jane Pitcock to PHS Athletic Department: $500
• Scholastic Books to Washington Primary: $561
• Class of 1979 to PHS Music Department: $100
The board accepted the following list of grants:
• Piqua Community Foundation/French Oil to Glen Helen Trip: $500
• Walmart Grant to PHS Student Renaissance: $1,000
• Walmart Grant to PJHS Girls Night Out: $1,850
In other business, the board:
• Approved the Piqua High School 2020-2021 Program of Studies.
• Approved a two-hour delay for PHS for the purpose of spring 2020 AIR testing on the following dates: April 14, 15, 21, 22, 28, 29 and May 5, 6, 2020.
• Approved a list of textbooks for disposal and removal from inventory.
• Approved a list of personnel leaves, resignations, volunteers and substitutes.
• Approved the first read for revisions to board policy regarding procurement of federal grants/funds.
“This policy was approved previously in the year, but there are some numbers that did not match our other board policies,” Hittle said of the revision. “This is just updating those numbers.”
The next regular board meeting will be held Feb. 27 at 6 p.m.