Troy BOE changes graduation requirements


By Matt Clevenger

For Miami Valley Today

TROY — Following new state guidelines, the Troy City Schools Board of Education has voted to modify high school graduation requirements for the class of 2021 due to challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We want to keep high standards for our graduates, but we certainly don’t want to stop anyone from graduating who has passed the core academic requirements,” Troy City Schools Superintendent Chris Piper said.

The district will lower the number of credits required for high school graduation from 21 to the state minimum of 20 credit hours. House Bill 67, which was passed as an emergency measure by Ohio’s state legislature, authorizes school districts to modify graduation requirements for the 2020-2021 school year in response to challenges presented by the pandemic.

School board members approved the graduation requirement changes during their regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, May 10.

“Basically, it’s saying that we’re changing our units from 21 to meet the state’s 20,” board president Tom Kleptz said. “We’re not going below the state mandates or anything like that.”

“The state board recognizes that this is a very unusual year,” Piper said. “This is the only change, to reduce the credit number from 21 that Troy has to 20, which is the state requirement. It will only catch a few students, but for those few students that’s a pretty important thing, and will allow them to receive their diploma.”

Board members also approved the addition of a new Algebra I support course at Troy High School, and approved the issuance of 332 diplomas for this year’s graduation. In other business, board members also honored the retirement of 17 different teachers and staff members, representing a total of 419 years’ experience.

Board members also approved minor changes to the district’s policy regarding self-administered diabetes medications and approved the renewal of the district’s membership in the Ohio High School Athletic Association.

“We’ve always been members, but this year they are starting to charge $50 per sport,” Kleptz said.

The board also discussed the recent renewal levy passage and the district’s five-year forecast for 2021-2025.

“I would like to commend those people who worked on the renewal levy,” Kleptz said. “It was great to see a pass rate of 71.7%; for those members who spent time, put signs up, or donated money to the campaign, thank you very much.”

“There’s quite a difference between the November/October forecast and this one,” Kleptz said of the five-year forecast. “A lot of things went our way for a change.”

“We didn’t know what to expect a year ago,” district treasurer/CFO Jeff Price said. “We assumed; we prepared for the worst, and a lot of things worked out very well for us. Hopefully, it continues.”

Board members also approved the receipt of several donations to the district, including $580 from AJ McMullen to the Fred McMullen scholarship fund, $528 from Kona Ice of Troy to Troy High School Athletics, $25 from Nancy Cartwright to the Troy High School Band, $3,000 from the Troy Music Boosters to the Troy High School Orchestra, and $500 from the Jerry L. Brown Trust to the Troy High School Band in memory of Connie Schlosser. Board members also approved the receipt of masks and hand sanitizer from Circle K, books from the Troy Kiwanis in honor of Arbor Day, and several graduation gowns donated by Olivia Dietz, Mindy Evans and Susan Montgomery

“We appreciate all of those no matter how big or small,” Piper said of the donations. “It’s just an amazing thing, to receive that kind of support from the community.”

“The donation of graduation gowns, that’s significant,” he said. “There are some students who have difficulty getting those, so those are important to those high school graduates.”

Board members adjourned their meeting to an executive session for the purposes of preparing for, conducting, or reviewing negotiations or bargaining sessions with public employees. The board of education’s next regularly scheduled meeting will be held at 5:30 p.m. Monday, June 14 at Troy Junior High School.

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