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Board Meeting Recap for June 2024

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Board Meeting Recap for June 2024

Jun 28, 2024
Graphic that reads Board Recap, June 26, 2024 Regular Meeting

Forest Hills School District is utilizing these articles as a way to communicate specific action taken at regular Board of Education meetings throughout the year. The Board of Education met on Wednesday, June 26, 2024 at Mercer Elementary School to discuss a variety of topics relevant to students, staff and the community.

The official agenda and related attachments for this meeting can be found on the FHSD BoardDocs page here. You can watch a full recording of the meeting on YouTube here.

Superintendent Update

Superintendent Larry Hook began his portion of the meeting by recognizing Tia Straus, who has served as FHSD’s food service supervisor for more than two decades. Tia is preparing to retire from her role, but has generously agreed to remain with the district through August to facilitate a smooth transfer as Karla Butler, current administrative assistant for food service, steps in to take over for the department. Mr. Hook congratulated Tia on doing a fabulous job providing nutritional services for all students in FHSD and establishing a long history of efficient and sustainable financial management.

With the upcoming resignations of Shane Hartley, director of secondary teaching and learning, and Ericka Thompson, assistant principal at Ayer Elementary School, Mr. Hook expressed his sincere gratitude to both administrators for their service to students and wished them well as they move on to new roles in other school districts.

Mr. Hook also took the opportunity to introduce Dr. Chuck Ogdan as the new director of secondary teaching and learning. Dr. Ogdan is a talented educator and administrator, with extensive experience as a teacher, building administrator and central office administrator. He has recently served as the Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources and Operations at Mt. Healthy City School District, and he has also spent time as a Human Resources Director and Middle School Principal at Loveland City Schools.

Joining FHSD as the new assistant principal at Ayer Elementary is Mr. David Haluga. Superintendent Hook welcomed Mr. Haluga to the district, and shared with the community that his enthusiasm for serving and supporting younger students stood out to all members of the interview team for this position. Mr. Haluga has recently served as assistant principal at Milford High School and a social studies teacher at Woodward Career Technical High School.

Additionally, Mr. Hook announced recent news that the school district surpassed its gap closing goal on the Ohio state tests for students receiving special education services. This is a significant achievement, as the state sets those goals individually for school districts. The superintendent recognized Betsy Ryan, director of special education, and the countless intervention specialists, teachers, aides and other employees who help support students with special needs.

Mr. Hook also took time to update the board on a recent meeting FHSD participated in regarding school funding. A group of 53 public school districts, made up largely of districts above the 20 mill funding floor, without an income tax and including areas with relatively strong property values, met to discuss the state funding formula. The purpose of the meeting was to connect with similar districts and begin the very early stages of considering how best to advocate for appropriate school funding with state leaders. 

John Eckert, director of business operations, joined this portion of the meeting to provide an update on the status of summer maintenance and construction projects. Ongoing roof repairs at Mercer and Anderson look to be nearing completion, and work on portions of the Turpin roof should be starting soon. Cleaning, painting and refurbishment of Turpin’s pool is also underway, which will include specific branding and signage for all three district schools that utilize the pool for athletic competitions. The turf and track replacement at Anderson is making good progress, with a large portion of the football field laid down at this point in the summer.

To learn more about some of the projects taking place this summer, you can read this article on the district website. You can also visit a dedicated page to the Five-Year Capital Improvement Plan and see plans for upcoming school years here:

Board Action

The Board of Education often reviews and votes on a variety of actions that impact different departments throughout the school district. The following action items presented by department representatives were voted on together as part of the “consent agenda.” For specific information about any of the following items, you can find the meeting agenda and attachments here.

The following items in the consent agenda were approved by the Board of Education.

Human Resources

  • 7.1 Human Resources Report
    • The report covers a variety of topics including retirements, resignations and appointments of different staff members. You can view the report here.

Business Operations

  • 8.1 Certification of Standards Governing Types of Food and Beverages Sold on School Premises
    • As of July 2011, Ohio Revised Code 3313.814 requires each school district board of education and each chartered nonpublic school governing authority to adopt and enforce nutrition standards governing the types of food and beverages that may be sold on the premises of its school and specifying the time and place each type of food or beverage may be sold. The standards specified in 3313.816 and 3313.817 are minimum standards and do not preclude the adoption of more stringent standards by the Local Educational Agency (LEA).
    • The Forest Hills School District, under the authority of Tia Straus, Food Service Supervisor, and John Eckert, Director of Business Operations, is in compliance with Ohio Revised Code 3313.814.
    • You can view the report here.
  • 8.2 Resolution Authorizing Purchase of School Buses
    • This resolution approves the purchase of three school buses at a cost of $360,828.00.
    • You can view the resolution here.
  • 8.3 Resolution Authorizing Advertisement and Solicitation of Bids
    • This resolution authorizes the administration to advertise for and solicit bids for the stated project: Asphalt Resurfacing Project - Operations Center
    • You can view the resolution here.

Teaching and Learning

  • 9.1 PK-6 and 7-12 FHSD Student-Parent Handbooks for 2024-2025
  • 9.2 Textbook Adoption for Mathematics - Grades 9-12
    • This item approves the use of the following textbook that has been on review at FHSD Central Office in the Teaching and Learning Department since the May 22, 2024, Board of Education meeting.
      • Grade Level: 9-12
      • Publisher: Bedford, Freeman & Worth
      • Copyright: 2021
      • Course: CP Statistics and Probability
  • 9.3 Overnight Field Trip Requests
    • This item approves an overnight field trip request, which you can view here.
  • 9.4 Foreign Exchange Student - Turpin High School
    • This item approves a foreign exchange student to attend Turpin High School for the 2024-2025 school year.
  • 9.5 Child Focus, Inc. Service Agreement 2024-2025
    • This memorandum of agreement (MOA) between FHSD and Child Focus, Inc. provides for mental health services including prevention, consultation, assessment, therapy and professional development to FHSD students and families.
    • The agreement runs from August 1, 2024 to July 31, 2025 at a cost of $15,000.00 per month for eight full time equivalent (FTE) positions with a potential increase of $1,875 per FTE if additional providers are hired.
    • You can view the MOA here.
  • 9.6 Hamilton County Educational Service Center-Head Start MOU 2024-2025
    • This memorandum of understanding between FHSD and Hamilton County Educational Service Center Head Start will serve up to 16 children ages 3-5 who qualify for services due to low income. The Head Start early learning preschool program is held at Mercer Elementary School.
    • You can view the MOU here.
  • 9.7 Special Instructional Services - Clermont County Educational Service Center 2024-2025
    • This item approves an Itinerant Hearing Impaired Supplemental Support Teacher (SST) to provide direct services, per the IEPs, to our students who are deaf and/or hearing impaired. This will cost FHSD $620 per day of service and $310 per half-day.
    • You can view the agreement here.
  • 9.8 SJO Kids, Inc. dba NewPath Child and Family Services Agreement 2024-2025
    • This agreement between FHSD and SJO Kids provides mental health and educational services through a residential interventions program.
    • The cost of the agreement is $74,565.10 for two educational aides.
    • You can view the agreement here.
  • 9.9 Hamilton County Educational Service Center Service Addendum 2024-2025
    • This addendum provides additional service for psychologist support for the preschool program four days per week at a cost of $93,461.60.
    • You can view the addendum here.
  • 9.10 Cincinnati Center for Autism
    • This agreement with Cincinnati Center for Autism is for the assignment of a BCBA/Behavior Specialist for consultation for the district at a cost of $80,000.
    • You can view the contract here.
  • 9.11 Resolution to Contract with Clermont County Education Services Center - CEC South 2024-2025
    • This agreement with Clermont County Education Services Center supports the placement (per IEP) of a special education student at a cost of $40,729 ($234.19/day).
    • You can view the resolution here.
  • 9.12 Resolution to Contract with Ohio Valley Voices 2024-2025
    • This agreement supports the placement of two special education students for services from August 2024 to June 2025 at a cost of $42,000 per year per student.
    • You can view the resolution here.
  • 9.13 Resolution to Contract with Applied Behavioral Services - Madison 2024-2025
    • This agreement supports the year-round (12 months) placement (per IEP) of a special education student at a cost of $65,153.
    • You can view the resolution here.
  • 9.14 Resolution to Contract with Applied Behavioral Services West Chester 2024-2025
    • This agreement supports the year-round (12 months) placement (per IEP) of a special education student at a cost of $120,283.60.
    • You can view the resolution here.
  • 9.15 Resolution to Contract The Children’s Home of Cincinnati (dba Best Point Education and Behavioral Health (Provider) - Day Treatment/Education
    • This agreement supports the placement (per IEP) of a special education student at a cost of $150 per day.
    • You can view the resolution here.
  • 9.16 Resolution to Contract Cincinnati Occupational Therapy Institute, Inc.
    • This is an agreement between FHSD and Cincinnati Occupational Therapy Institute, Inc. (COTI, Inc.). COTI will provide appropriate Occupational Therapy Services, per the students’ Individualized Education Plans, at Mercer Elementary and Wilson Elementary. The contracted time in the school will include a full-time therapist (OTR/L and/or COTA) at 60 hours per week to service both schools.
    • The cost of these services is $84.00 per hour for a total of $176,400.
    • You can view the resolution here.


  • 10.1 Hamilton Clermont Cooperative (HCC) Contract July 1, 2024 - June 30, 2025
    • This agreement between HCC and FHSD provides network and software services to the school district at a cost of $252,427.02.
    • You can view the contract here.

Treasurer Update

  • 11.1 Treasurer's Report
    • Treasurer Alana Cropper’s June report provided information on the following items:
      • Donations
      • Five-Year Forecast
      • General Fund Revenue
      • General Fund Expenditures
      • General Operating Cash Balance
      • Permanent Improvement Fund
      • Investment Income Snapshot
      • Past Month Reconciliation
      • Travel Allowance
      • Board Service Fund
      • New Fund
      • Final Permanent Appropriations 2024
      • Amendments to Permanent Appropriations 2024
      • Temporary Appropriations Fiscal Year 2025
    • You can find the May Cash Position Report here.

Committee Reports

Board Members provided updates on the committee meeting listed below.

  • Finance Committee
    • Committee Chairperson Jason Simmons provided an update on the March 12 meeting. This meeting was held to discuss general financial topics and provide an overview of school finance to members of the Board of Education.

Board Discussion

Board Members had an extended discussion regarding the state’s Educational Choice Scholarship, also known as the EdChoice voucher program. You can watch that full discussion on the district’s YouTube stream beginning at 2:03:50.

Approved Minutes

The Board of Education approved minutes for the following meetings, which you can view by clicking the link associated with each meeting. After clicking the appropriate link, you will need to then click “View Minutes” under Agenda Item Details, next to the category titled “Minutes.”

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