The Hillsboro City Schools are planning a graduation ceremony this year.
At Monday’s board of education meeting, superintendent Tim Davis said a meeting was planned later this week to further discuss the graduation ceremony. He said it will likely be held at the football field on the former school site and that social distancing will be observed.
“For our seniors, it has been very difficult. We will have some sort of a graduation to celebrate your success. I don’t know when yet. We’re looking at some dates later in the summer,” Davis said. “I think with the social distancing and it being outside, I think we can pull off a graduation on our football field, and that is something we would like to do to celebrate our seniors.”
He said more details will likely be available by the end of the week.
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced Monday that Ohio students will not return to school for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year.
In a separate matter, the school board unanimously approved 3 percent salary increases for 2020-21 school year for the administrative and supervisory staff and the exempt classified, or teaching, staff.
The board also approved a new 215 days per school year clerical secretary position. Tim Davis said the new position is being created due to the retirement of Joann Davis, who was paid for 260 days a year. He said the district does not believe it currently needs the 260-day postion, and that the new position will cover the school year and three or so days a week during the summer.
During his report to the board, Tim Davis said work continues on the new auditorium at the middle school/high school. He said two exterior walls have been completed and that work has started on some interior walls that need to be finished before work can begin on the mezzanine.
Work is also progressing on a new access road that will lead from the right side of the Barnhouse Center, over top of a hill and to SR 247. Davis said the district is waiting on the results from a traffic study to determine if a traffic light or any turn lanes are needed on SR 247.
The superintendent said the district’s food truck continues to operate during the COVID-19 pandemic and that the number of those receiving food from the truck continue to be strong.
“We’re glad that we can provide that for our community at this difficult time,” Davis said.
He also reported that the district is planning to purchase baffles to improve the acoustics in the high school gym. He said the baffles will lay flat and be placed between the trusses on the gym ceiling, and that other baffles will be placed on the gym walls.
He said a MARKS radio system the district started working on at the end of last summer to give the district better communication capabilities with police and firefighters has been completed.
Also noted was the donation of two banners by the family of Gladys Hiestand Uible, a 1911 Hillsboro High School graduate, which evidently come from the time she was attending the school. One of the banners is purple and white and the other is purple and gold. Davis said they will likely be placed on some sort of plaque in the board office or high school office.
Board member Jerry Walker asked Davis if there are any positives that have come out of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Davis said there have been several.
“Our staff misses our kids just as much as some of the kids miss coming to school,” Davis said. “We do have a lot of great teachers in our district going above and beyond every day to reach out and communicate and to make sure their kids are getting the things they need. That’s been a great positive to see for our community and for our staff.
“We also know there’s places you don’t get high-speed internet in our county and in our school district, so that has been the challenge, getting them paper copies. We’ve mailed out a lot of things. We have realized that yes, we can do a lot of great things technologywise, but there’s also a lot of people in our district that don’t have it.”
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522.