Piqua City Schools continue to help students reach goals


PIQUA — Piqua City Schools continue to strive to help students reach their success-bound goals, leading them to productive post-graduation pathways, whether in the workforce, further education, or the military.

Superintendent Dwayne Thompson shared that the Piqua City Schools Business Advisory Council once again received a 3-star rating from the Ohio Department of Education.

“We are proud of this work and value the dialogue we have with our community’s business leaders. To be one of 14 schools receiving this honor out of 110 statewide Business Advisory Councils is quite an accomplishment. This is a win-win for our business community and our students,” said Thompson.

Piqua students continue to benefit from career-based learning opportunities at Piqua High School and through the Upper Valley Career Center (UVCC). Thompson said, “We are excited to see that our students continue to enroll in these programs in high numbers. It shows that they are planning a strong success-bound path for post-graduation.”

Piqua City Schools also provide a pre-apprenticeship credential for all freshmen. The Pre-Apprenticeship programs at PHS teach technical and job readiness skills. Students also get the opportunity to participate in local manufacturing days and job fairs. Thompson said, “We truly value these opportunities for our students to learn more about the strengths of our local businesses, hoping they will become vital parts of keeping our community workforce strong.”

Alongside workforce development, Piqua City Schools works hard to support students who have developed a success-bound path that includes post-secondary education. In 2023, 71 seniors accepted more than $2,900,000 in scholarships.

Thompson said, “These scholarship dollars are evidence that our students have challenged themselves and achieved great accomplishments while attending Piqua High School.”

Thompson indicated that four students simultaneously earned their high school diploma and an Associate’s Degree from Edison State Community College while attending Piqua High School. In 2024, the Piqua HIgh School will be increasing College Credit Plus opportunities for students interested in this success bound path.

Academically, Piqua met the State Indicators set for Achievement, Graduation, Early Literacy, and Gap Closing on the State Local Report Card.

Thompson noted, “We have seen a sharp decline in our Kindergarten Readiness Assessment scores since 2020, significantly impacting our work with incoming students.”

This assessment is given in the first weeks of school to indicate a child’s readiness for kindergarten.

Thompson said, “Each year, we have seen a drop in the number of students ready for kindergarten, starting with 2020 where 43% of our incoming kindergarteners demonstrated readiness to now, where only 28% of our incoming kindergarteners are demonstrating readiness.”

Thompson added, “Despite this sharp decline, we worked really hard and were able to meet the state indicator for Early Literacy on the report card this year. We are working on ideas now to partner with some local agencies to find ways to help our future kindergarten students be more prepared for their first year in school so they are not starting school behind their peers.”

On the financial front, Piqua City Schools maintained an impressive streak of 17 consecutive years operating in the black, showcasing a commitment to fiscal responsibility. District Treasurer Jeremie Hittle emphasized the district’s dedication to prudent financial management, earning awards such as the Ohio Auditor of State Award with Distinction in Financial Reporting and the Government Finance Officers Association Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting.

The Association of School Business Officials International also recognized Piqua City Schools with the Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting, underscoring the district’s commitment to transparency and responsible financial stewardship.

Hittle expressed gratitude for the community’s unwavering support, acknowledging it as a pivotal factor in achieving and maintaining financial stability. Piqua City Schools remains proactive in identifying opportunities for efficiency, ensuring quality education without compromising fiscal responsibility.

Looking ahead to 2024, there is optimism and confidence in the financial health of Piqua City Schools, reaffirming its commitment to supporting students on their success-bound paths. Superintendent Thompson concluded by expressing gratitude for the tremendous daily efforts of the district’s staff, support from the board, and the invaluable support from the community. Piqua City Schools remains steadfast in its mission to prepare students for a successful future.

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