Piqua BOE gets beginning of school year updates

PIQUA — The Piqua City School District Board of Education held its first meeting since the start of the 2022-2023 school year on Thursday, Sept. 22.

The district’s principals were invited to provide updates on their schools.

“This year has started off on a great note. So, we are very please with that,” said Springcreek Principal Ross Loudenback.

“We are also seeing a high success rate so far with student behavior. Right now we are focusing on the character trait of responsibility and in doing so we are looking for that to be displayed and have noticed students doing that.”

Piqua High School Principal Rob Messick noted, “The mood in the school is, it’s fantastic. It is just fantastic.”

The district’s principals noted the difference between this year — coming off a full year of school — and last year where students were coming off hybrid and remote learning. Differences, they say, are apparent in behavior, attendance, and atmosphere.

Piqua City Manager Paul Oberdorfer attended Thursday’s meeting to give an update on the potential sale and development of the former Wilder Property that has been the subject of many public comments at the last two board meetings.

“It was really apparent at our Commission meeting on Tuesday that there’s a lot of misinformation and not understanding the process,” said Oberdorfer.

“Back in November of last year, I believe, the board entered into an exclusive agreement with Weyland so that it could proceed with doing a conceptual design. That alone was not a sale or a transfer of property or anything of the sort. It allowed them to move forward to the next engagement with the planning commission and that is where the voice of the public is heard.”

He went on to outline the process of how the development would be accepted by the city. It must pass through the Piqua Planning Commission and go before the City Commission. There it would need to be approved before final designs would be drawn up by Weyland. Those final plans would need to go through the Planning Commission and City Commission once again before it becomes official.

“So, there is a lot of engagement along the way. A lot of opportunity for your voice to be heard but I want to make sure it is in front of the right body,” said Oberdorfer.

Also on Thursday, the board approved appropriations for the 2023 fiscal year.

“We’re looking at just around $58 million in all the funds and the general fund is around $40 million,” said Treasurer Jeremie Hittle.

The board accepted donations to the district totaling $4,210.79.

Also approved were changes to the free and reduced lunch policy for the 2022-2023 school year.

“We received extra funds from the federal government other than what they originally allocated,” said Superintendent Dwayne Thompson.

The only noted change was a $0.40 decrease in the cost of All-Reduced lunches.

In other business the board approved:

• Tuition reimbursement totaling $22,418;

• Changes to the Piqua High School AP Policies and Procedures;

• August fiscal reports;

• Fiscal year 2022 appropriations.

A reminder for the upcoming Homecoming Parade, Thursday, Sept. 29, was issued.

“It’ll be downtown Piqua. It will begin at 6:30 and have all the teams from the junior high on up,” said Thompson.

“So, I want to invite the public to come downtown and celebrate with us and really just be a part of the great spirit that we will have next week.”

The next Piqua Board of Education meeting will take place on Thursday, Oct. 20 at 6 p.m. in the Board of Education office.