Superintendent Tim Davis said at Monday’s Hillsboro City Schools Board of Education meeting that all the district’s schools have tentatively been rated “independent,” and a school board member said the district is exploring plans to build a new auditorium.
Davis said that while it is not official yet, a state representative recently contacted the school saying that Hillsboro Middle School would join the other schools in the district by receiving the “independent” status.
He said it is a three-year distinction that, “means the state is recognizing we are doing what we need to be doing and the direction we are going.”
He said that the staff has not been told of the distinction because it is not yet official. He said that once the distinction is official, the school can hopefully scale back on a lot of paperwork. He also said the school has made the most of staff and curriculum changes, and how things are grouped.
During committee reports, board member Jerry Walker said he recently attended a granddaughter’s school program in Kankakee, Ill. where there was an 1,800- to 2,000-seat auditorium with cameras controlled from overhead and two large screens to its sides that gave him a lot of ideas.
“It reminded me of how exciting the prospects are in Hillsboro,” Walker said. “We’re working on a plan to develop a stage where our talented students can perform.”
After a special school board meeting in June, Davis said the priorities for the district’s next large building project include a possible auditorium, the cost of placing baseball and softball fields at the high school/middle school campus, and renovating the Cassner Building at the former school site near Richards Memorial Field, which serves as a football locker room. Davis said a field house, which past plans called for being placed alongside the concession stand/restroom facility at the track/soccer complex, was also discussed.
“We just kind of wanted to get estimates of the costs, get some ideas and look at priorities for our next big building project,” Davis said in June. “We’re just trying to get some information for our next plan for things we need.”
The superintendent said at then that for the time being, there is no specific order of what projects might get done first, no timeline for when the work might be done, and no complete cost projections.
In a related topic, Davis and most other board members said they attended the school’s performance of the play “Clue” last weekend.
“It’s kind of amazing how talented our kids are,” Davis said, also giving credit to co-directors Jeff and Jenna Horick. “I’m just proud of the product we put out there.”
During treasurer Ben Teeters’ report, Walker asked if the school district has enough substitutes to fill its needs.
Davis said a few extra subs have been needed lately due to some staff training requirements with a new reading series. He said that on any given day, the district usually has about 15 to 30 subs on the job for around 300 positions that require them. Teeters said the district spent $32,241 on subs a year ago.
Davis also noted that the district recently received a bronze award from the School Breakfast Challenge for getting its students to eat breakfast.
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522.