Last updated: May 16. 2014 5:11PM - 355 Views
Rick Hanes

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Our local school district is founded on a family-school-community partnership commitment which once again was successfully reflected at the ballot box on May 6, 2014 with the renewal of our five year permanent improvement levy. On behalf of the Piqua City School District I want to extend a huge “thank you” to our community for your continued support of our partnership. The passage of the permanent improvement levy will support maintaining our community assets.

The permanent improvement levy will continue to be used for maintaining Piqua High School and Piqua Junior Highincluding: 1) Paying the $302,000 annual payment on the interest-free Qualified School Construction Bond which we acquired to replace the Heating/Ventilation/Air Conditioning (HVAC) system at Piqua High School. This loan has thirteen (13) years left. 2) Purchase two school buses per year currently at $90,238 each to replace our fleet of thirty (30) buses to insure the safe passage of our students. 3) Respond to those unexpected facility needs including parking lot and driveway resurfacing and repairs, boiler malfunctions, roof faults, brickwork, plumbing issues, and updating safety/security equipment. Using the permanent improvement levy funds to support our school district facility assets allows for general operating funds to be focused on our students and classrooms. We will continue our conservative fiscal course to live in the black financially while providing great opportunities and experiences for our students. We will stand firm to the Piqua Taxpayer Bill of Rights as a daily reminder of our commitment to be quality stewards of the community dollars earmarked for our district. I am happy to report that we are currently projected to finish this year in the black on June 30, 2014. This will be the seventh year in a row in which we have lived within our budget and finished the year in the black.

Understanding our partnership with families and community, our staff has been a significant part of this financial stewardship by employing district energy conservation measures in classrooms and around the district, promoting recycle/reduce/reuse, working within “basic need” ordering and spending strategies, searching and applying for outside resources through grants and fund-raising, and experiencing wage freezes and benefit concessions during these past seven years.

Another aspect of our partnership includes my Superintendent’s Executive Advisory Council, comprised of independent community leaders including business and finance experts, which meets on a quarterly basis to review district operations and discuss local, state, and national economic trends in correlation with Piqua City Schools. Our latest meeting just occurred on May 13, 2014 focused on strategic planning along with financial and building project updates. This group of individuals continues to serve our district as a great resource for me in the business side of our operations. Like my advisory council, I want to extend an invitation to all of our community member partners to help provide input for the annual review and revision of our strategic plan which can be found on our district website at www.piqua.org under the tab District Communications. Our strategic plan serves as the foundation for every decision made at Piqua City School District. The plan is developed on five areas including: student academic performance, facilities, staff, school/community relations, and finance. We have already received great input on our plan from students, parents, staff and community members and we welcome more. Please contact me with your input.

As I have shared before, public schools do depend on citizens for the support necessary to educate our children. We are fortunate at Piqua City School District to have a community aware and understanding of this concept! Great schools are a reflection of the community and we strive at Piqua City Schools to work hard to reflect our great community! 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.

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