Sophie Bourne sworn in as student representative on Hillsboro City Schools Board of Education | #Education

The Hillsboro City Schools Board of Education welcomed a new student representative to the board Monday, Sept. 21, as district treasurer Ben Teeters administered the oath of office to Sophie Bourne.In introducing herself to the school board, Bourne said that she is a varsity cheerleader for the football and basketball teams and is both senior class president and student body president. She currently works at Uncle Buck’s Barber Shop, and she wants to go to college to be a dental hygienist after graduation.

Board members noted that Bourne’s older sister, Isabelle, previously served as a student representative.

“It’s great to have you on board,” board president Bill Myers told Bourne.

Superintendent Tim Davis also congratulated Bourne during his report to the board.

In that report, Davis gave an update on the progress of the high school auditorium, as he said school board members were given a tour of the construction site Monday.

As previously reported, Hillsboro City Schools has contracted with Woolpert to provide full design services for the new $6 million auditorium, with Universal Contracting Corporation serving as the construction manager at risk for the Hillsboro High School auditorium project. The auditorium will be 23,000 square feet, seat 800 and include flexible space for changing rooms and/or locker rooms.

“We’re really starting to see some different things happening,” Davis said. “It’s really starting to come together inside the auditorium.”

That includes a porch being installed and brick work being done to the exterior, plus HVAC and ductwork performed to the interior, according to the superintendent.

“We have all the interior walls up,” Davis added. “It’s starting to really take shape. We’re starting to come together.”

The completion date has been pushed back slightly from the original plan for the end of 2020, as now Davis said they’re “looking at the second week of January” for the auditorium to be finished.

“I’m just hoping that we’re allowed to have a large gathering by then so we can actually fill it to its capacity and have some events that are in there,” Davis said.

Board member Tom Milbery thanked the superintendent for the tour and said the auditorium will be “quite a treat when it’s done.”

In another contraction-related update, Davis said the district is ready to move forward on “Everetts Way,” an access road being built at the high school and middle school, connecting to state Route 247.

“We had some setbacks dealing with completing our application basically for the tie-in to 247, but that has been approved by ODOT [the Ohio Department of Transportation],” Davis said. “We’re ready to go with that, so the last 15 to 20 feet of excavating to get that ready to go for where we can tie into 247 — they’ll be starting to haul the base in, and hopefully within the next couple weeks, we’ll be able to see where we’re going to be at with putting the pavement on.”

In conjunction with these two construction projects, there will be additional parking added “for not only the auditorium, but for graduation and for athletes for games, so we can have more space up front for the spectators and fans for when we are allowed to get back to full capacity,” Davis told the board.

“It’s going to be really exciting to see, just coming off that hill on 247, the view of the complex,” he said.

In other discussion, Davis announced that through the federal government, the district is able to provide free lunches for all students regardless of income through the end of December 2020.

As previously reported, the United States Department of Agriculture announced in a press release that “USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) is extending a suite of nationwide waivers for the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and Seamless Summer Option (SSO) through the end of 2020, or until available funding runs out,” in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s great for our students and community,” Davis said. “It’s one less stress on the parents, a financial burden that could be coming from that.”

Myers asked if students had to apply to receive the free meals.

“We still need students to fill out paperwork to see if they qualify for free and reduced lunch,” Davis said. “That comes back to some of the housekeeping stuff the state does and the federal government does with our numbers for who’s in the district.

“If you don’t fill out the application, you still get the free lunch.”

Davis also thanked Highland County health commissioner Jared Warner and the health department for their assistance as Hillsboro and other county districts work to maintain safety protocols during the pandemic.

“They’ve been great to work with,” Davis said. “We have weekly meetings with all the county superintendents, with the health department and their staff.

“Not only do they meet with the superintendents, but they also meet with all the school nurses in the county. They’re having a couple different meetings throughout the week to make sure everybody’s on the same page and communicating, so thank you to them for all the hard work they’re doing.”

Davis told the board that the district is providing daily “attendance reports” to the health district, which are reflecting a “pretty good attendance rate,” generally above “93 percent,” thus far.

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During the public participation portion of the meeting, the board heard from a concerned parent who asked to the district to consider permitting an additional bus stop, closer to their house, out of concern for his children’s safety.

The parent said that the children in question have to walk approximately a tenth of a mile, although the bus does stop at a stop sign closer to their house.

The neighborhood where the bus stop is located is “a high-crime area, by the admission of our police department,” the parent said, and there are also several registered sex offenders in the area. One of his children “felt somebody was following her” and hid when walking back from the bus stop recently, he said.

“They have to walk to a bus stop where they don’t feel safe,” he said. “I’m sure that you’ll agree with me that not only are they entitled to a quality education, but they are entitled to feeling safe about it, not having to worry about getting to the bus stop and getting back.

“I understand that the bus stops are already mapped out. I understand that. I am just asking for an exemption up the street. We live two houses from the corner, and they stop there anyway, at the stop sign. Couldn’t we allow for them to board the bus then?”

The parent said his family was “begging” for the district to consider their request. “I think it’s worth it to have our children not fear for their safety before they get to school,” he said.

Myers said the district would look into the request and let the parent know once they’ve “figured something out.” “Thank you for coming and sharing that with us,” he said.

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In the committee reports, board member Beverly Rhoads gave an update on the Great Oaks Career Campuses Board of Directors’ Sept. 9 meeting.

Topics discussed included the start of the new school year; high school enrollment and College Credit Plus enrollment; a partnership with the University of Cincinnati for an Early IT program; the district’s acceptance of a scaling apprenticeship grant from the U.S. Department of Labor; and a recent visit from Attorney General Dave Yost and Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy Executive Director Dwight Holcomb.

In other discussion:

• Teeters reviewed the financial reports, which included a general fund cash balance of $6,715,553, compared to $7,423,647 in August 2019; expenditures of $2,173,280, compared to $2,180,008 the previous year; and revenues of $1,437,907, compared to $3,704,183 in revenues last August.

“The reason there’s so much difference in the revenue comparison is that we haven’t received our real estate tax settlement money yet,” Teeters said. “Last year, we received it in August.”

The board also approved the following motions, each by a 6-0 vote, unless otherwise noted:

• The board authorized a memorandum of understanding to the current Hillsboro Education Association contract, following the cancellation of the spring sports season during the 2019-20 school year. Davis said that the MOU impacts supplemental contracts, which are approved by the board.

Davis said the agreement is:

— If the sports season is canceled before it begins, coaches are paid 33 percent of their salary;

— If the season is canceled after it begins, coaches are paid 66 percent of their salary; and

— If the season is completed as usual, coaches are paid 100 percent of their salary.

“This just basically gives us a chance not to have to pay the entire thing when we haven’t completed a season or didn’t get to play,” Davis said. “If it never happens again, then it doesn’t matter. They’re still going to get the 100 percent.

“It also goes in to some of the yearlong supplementals dealing with student class advisers, National Honor Society, different supplementals we give out that are yearlong. Kind of the same thing, if we get shut down.”

Davis thanked the HEA for their “continued good relationship with us and the board.”

“We’re pleased we got this resolved and taken care of,” the superintendent said.

• After approving the MOU, the board voted 6-0 to approve a lengthy list of supplemental contracts, including all of the fall sports coaches and numerous advisory and committee positions. Several tutor, mentor, volunteer, sub classified and sub certificated positions were also approved. In a separate motion, the board voted 5-0 (with Myers abstaining) to approve Crystal Myers for a DLC supplemental position.

• The board voted 6-0 to approve leaves of absence for custodian Nancy Jennings and cook Terri Smith and voted 5-0 (with board member Larry Lyons abstaining) to approve a leave of absence for aide Donica Haines.

• The following retirements were approved: Paula Barreras, intervention specialist; Gina Earley, kindergarten teacher; Patricia Garrett, HCA aide; Gary Garvie, middle school/high school custodian; and Stephanie Harper, seventh grade teacher. Myers wished these individuals “best of luck in their retirements and continued success as they finish up this year under strange circumstances.”

• A change of status for the following staff was authorized: Jill Barnett, Colleen Barney, Jordan Clark, Debra Duffy, Heidi Fawley, Jason Fox, Alayne Matson, Hilary Montalvo, Susan Rhoads, Megan Wagoner and Shannon Wright.

• The following donations were accepted: Hillsboro House of Deliverance, $82.98 toward water bottles for elementary students; Kit Lowe, $100 toward student school fees and supplies; and Woodmen Life, $500 toward elementary students’ school supplies.

“I’m always amazed by our community and just the people that are willing to continue to help support our kids and students and help those in need,” Myers said. “We’re very appreciative as a board for our community’s continued support.”

• The board approved a transportation contract between Hillsboro City Schools and FRS to transport a student who lives outside the district to and from school for the 2020-21 school year.

• A similar transportation contract between Hillsboro City Schools and Bright Local Schools for two students for the 2020-21 school year was also approved. Davis said that Bright Local transports two Hillsboro students, along with a Bright Local student, to and from Cincinnati for their schooling.

• The board nominated Rhoads as the district’s delegate and Walker as alternate to the Ohio School Boards Association Capital Conference, which will be held virtually this year.

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Also during Monday’s meeting, the board heard a report from Hillsboro High School principal Joe Turner and athletic director Dave Dietrick regarding sports and COVID-19-related precautions. For more on that part of the meeting, see the article at:

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