A new road that will connect the Hillsboro High School/Middle School campus to SR 247 is nearing completion, but the completion of the new auditorium has been pushed slightly back again, Superintendent Tim Davis reported at Monday’s Hillsboro Board of Education meeting.
He said Everett’s Way has been paved and is close to being complete. He said a sign needs to be finished and the road needs to be striped. The time frame for completion of the auditorium has been pushed back a week to the third week of January. The original plan was for the auditorium to be done in mid to late December.
In other business, Davis said the school district completed its first 43 days, and the first nine-week grading period, without any known cases of COVID-19 among students or staff, but on Saturday it was notified that it had a positive case.
“We had to trace back and see who was in close contact, and those that were were quarantined. We are going to continue with the protocol we have in place,” Davis said.
He said that means in-school instruction will continue five days a week, although a virtual optional is available.
Fall sports were different because of the virus this year, Davis said, with few fans in the stands. Winter sports will likely be the same.
“They are saying we are playing so that’s a positive,” the superintendent said.
Treasurer Ben Teeters presented the district’s biannual five-year forecast. It showed the district with a general fund balance of $7.83 million in fiscal year 2021, but a projection of about $2.8 million in the red by fiscal year 2025.
Teeters said the figures are a conservative estimate of the school district’s financial status over the next five years — a report he is required to provide twice each year. He said funding from the state was reduced by about $400,000 in May, and that no one is sure what’s going to happen to school district’s financially due to COVID-19.
Historically, Teeters said, real estate tax funds, revenue from new construction and funds from the state increase about every two years, but no one knows that for sure.
“It’s just an estimate,” Teeters said. “Going forward we’ll have to control our expenses. That’s the scenario we have here.”
Teeters noted that the district’s general fund balance at the end of September was $8.53 million to compared to $7.21 million a year ago. School district expenses for September were $2.20 million compared to $2.42 million last year, and revenue was $4.06 million for September as opposed to $1.95 million last year. He said the difference in revenue was because the school district received its real estate tax funds later this year.
Davis noted that the school district recently received a glass trophy from the state’s School Breakfast Challenge for its innovative breakfast model. He said that since the school started offering a wide variety of breakfast foods students in grades two and three could grab to eat in their homeroom, the percentage of them eating breakfast jumped from 51 percent to 80 percent.
Previously, he said, the second- and third-graders had to wait in line for breakfast in the cafeteria with fourth- and fifth-graders, and there was not enough time for them all to eat.
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522.