February 11, 2014
Our district has been approved by the Ohio Department of Education for three alternative calamity days also known as “E-days.” This approval couldn’t have come at a better moment because we have used our five regular calamity days and are now looking at make-up days in June. Fortunately, we now have three additional alternative calamity days before the days in June will need to be utilized. If another day is canceled because of severe weather, students need to complete the on-line lessons which can be found on our district website, www.piqua.org, which has the link to the E-day lessons developed by our staff members. E-day lessons for each course/class require an amount of time equal to or greater than the amount of instructional time the student would receive for a school day in the teacher’s course/class. Students are granted a two-week period from the date of posting to complete the lesson. If the student does not complete the lesson within this time period, the student will receive an incomplete or failing grade. Students without technology at home will be provided access to district computers before, during, or after the school day or may receive a substantially similar paper lesson “blizzard bag” as an assignment.
Winter continues to be hard on our buildings! Thanks to our maintenance, transportation and custodial staff members we are keeping up with the unexpected weather related maintenance to keep our buildings maintained and safe so students don’t miss additional school days. This winter has been a good reminder of the importance of how our permanent improvement levy is used in protecting our community assets. The Piqua City Board of Education has placed this five-year permanent improvement renewal levy request on the May 6, 2014 ballot. The renewal levy will not bring additional dollars to the district; it will maintain the current funding levels. This is not a new or additional tax. Funds from this renewal levy are used for maintenance and capital improvement projects, including upkeep for roofs, boilers, floors, plumbing, brickwork, sidewalks, security equipment, parking lot resurfacing, and bus purchases.
Piqua City School District is committed to excellence by providing good schools at a good value. The renewal levy is a five-year levy, which was originally passed by Piqua voters in 1994 and expires Dec. 31, 2014. The Piqua Board of Education will need to cut an additional $692,986 from the operating budget if the May 6, 2014 Permanent Improvement renewal levy fails. That means $692,986 taken away from our classrooms!
This renewal levy will help maintain our facilities including the 33-year-old Piqua High School and 15-year-old Piqua Junior High, while allowing the great work by students and teachers in our classrooms to continue.
Like any homeowner, our district needs to set aside dollars to maintain our community school facilities. The permanent improvement fund is our set aside dollars for these maintenance expenses, both expected and unexpected. During the past six years we have kept our promise to our citizens by operating our budget in the black. Renewing the permanent improvement levy will allow us to continue to offer good schools at a good value for our citizens. Thank you for your continued support!
Rick Hanes is the superintendent of the Piqua City School District. Rick continues to ensure that the Piqua City Schools show residents the “Good Schools, Good Value” that they are each day. You can follow him directly on Twitter @raheducator.