A trio of Hillsboro Parent Teacher Organization members addressed the board of education Monday about having more access to their children while they are in their respective school buildings.
Paige Satterfield, the PTO president, said that access to students while they are in the classroom setting was originally limited due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but that those limitations have not been removed.
She said she would, “like to enhance the overall educational experience … help those who may not get help at home.” She said she has a lot of people willing to volunteer in classrooms and that they’d like to help with parties, field trips and other activities.
Shianne Wardlow, a 2008 Hillsboro High School graduate and PTO member, said she can’t get in the school building to help her first grade daughter and others students. She said children whose families are involved in their schooling get better academic results, and that she would not send her daughter into a home where she as a mother was not wanted, comparing that to how she feels she’s being treated by the school district.
Jessie Taberski, another 2008 HHS grad and PTO member, said principals are not letting her in the school building to help in her kindergarten and second grade students’ classrooms.
“I feel alienated from my children’s education,” Taberski said. She said the teachers she has met are great, “but I have not been able to meet the children my children are becoming friends with.”
“I do not wish to be a distraction, but I do want to be part of my children’s education,” she added. She said she loves the Hillsboro schools and wants nothing but the best for the students, parents, staff and the district. She urged the school board to allow willing parents to be engaged in their students’ classrooms.
“Make them feel welcome. We are ready,” she told the board.
Satterfield said the PTO meets the second Monday of each month from 7-8 p.m. in the elementary school cafeteria and invited anyone interested to attend.
The school board’s policy is not to reply to visitor comments during public meetings. Rather, its policy is to respond in writing within 10 business days.
Local resident Clyde Hoover also addressed the board, asking questions about what is being taught in the schools, and primarily opposing critical race theory. Among other questions, he asked what kind of protection is provided for students and staff, saying he believes teachers should be allowed to carry guns in the schools, if the Bible is being taught in school, and if the constitution is being taught and honored.
Prior to the regular meeting, the board held its annual organizational meeting. Bill Myers, who is entering his 14th year on the board, was elected to his ninth term as board president. Beverly Rhoads was elected to another term as vice president, and the board agreed to continue to hold its regular meetings, after this month, on the third Monday of the month at 7 p.m. in the board offices.
The board certified that the district had 2,268 students as of Dec. 31, 2022. That’a little more than the 2,246 a year ago. In the years preceding last year the district, in succession going backward, had 2,088 students, 2,316, 2,334, 2,362 and 2,419.
A tentative 2023-24 school year calendar was presented that has students starting classes on Wednesday, Aug. 16 and the last day for students on May 22.
Superintendent Tim Davis said the schedule is very similar to this year’s. There is a week off for the Highland County Fair from Monday, Sept. 4 through Friday, Sept. 8, then the next day off is the Friday after the traditional Thursday trick or treat night.
“We thought that worked out extremely well last year, so that’s just a day off,” Davis said.
Thanksgiving break is Wednesday, Nov. 22 through Friday, Nov. 24; Christmas break is Monday, Dec. 18 through Tuesday, Jan. 2 and Easter break is Friday, March 29 through Monday, April 1.
The proposed new calendar will be voted on by the board at next month’s meeting.
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522.