Officials see positives following recent bomb threats
Following recent disturbing incidents, officials at the Rolling Hills Local School District, say they have found some positives.
The district has been the victim of three bomb threats within three weeks, while all false alarms, the incidents have concerned school officials, parents and students alike.
During tonight's board of education meeting, Meadowbrook Middle School, the site of the threats, Vice Principal J.P. Wray says that there, in fact, have been some bright spots. Wray reported that the school staff and students handled each incident in a calm and efficient manner, with safety being the primary goal. Wray added that it's unfortunate that the actions of a few have overshadowed the "good work being done by 99% of the students". Superintendent Ryan Caldwell echoed those comments, pointing out Rolling Hills many positive achievements including programs which offer college credit and the district's high marks on the recent state report card.
Along the lines of college credit, it was reported the district is applying to become part of the Race to the District. This program is offering a total of $30 million, divided upon a number of districts nationwide. Partnering with other school districts in Ohio, if awarded, the Rolling Hills--Appalachian Collaborative grant would help fund higher education opportunities at Rolling Hills. This would include free college credit and Associate Degree programs, and enhance partnerships with businesses. Officials say students will graduate truely ready to enter college or the business world.
Superintendent Caldwell pointed out that Rolling Hills already offers nearly two dozen college credits, with likely twice that next year.
In other matters, the board approved a two year contract with the district's OAPSE group. The union agreement runs from July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2015. Superintendent Caldwell thanked all that were involved in the negotiations, praising all for their professionalism and cooperation.
The board tonight also approved a lengthy list of personnel items, including classified and certified contracts. Also approved were four FFA trips to Carrollton Ohio, Louisville Ky,. Columbus Ohio and to Union Local High School.
It was also reported to the board that pending one final adjustment, the district's school bus route has been finalized. In addition, officials expect to get bids next week on permanent repairs to the pot holes at Secrest and Byesville School's parking lots.
The board gratefully accepted a trio of donations tonight. Included was a a donation of $452.06 from Byesville Home and School for Byesville Elementary yearbook and student council advisors, $300 from the Rotary for Brook Intermediate School to purchase a computer program, and $11,500 from Appalachian Ohio for science clubs and an educational computer program. In addition, a number of school officials tonight thanked not only those who have donated to the district, but for those that have made current technology such as i Pads, lap tops, computers and smartboards available in the classrooms.
During the Race to the Top update, it was reported that RTTT was funding two literacy programs in grades K-3, giving each participating teacher $1,000 for supplies and books. Race to the Top funds are also making available computer upgrades for the dual enrollment lab, and funding is also ready for infrastructure upgrades for online testing for next year.