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Board Meeting Recap for March 2024

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Board Meeting Recap for March 2024

Mar 20, 2024
Graphic that says "Board Recap, March 20, 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, March 20, 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. Please note, the district experienced technical difficulties with the audio on the livestream. Please check back here for a link to an audio recording for the beginning portion of the meeting once that becomes available.

Students and principals pose for a photo.
AHS Principal Kyle Fender (left) and THS Principal Andy Jados (right) pose with students Jade O'Brien, Anjali Raman and Richard Carraway (left to right).

Special Recognitions

Anderson and Turpin High Schools both recognized students who were recently named finalists in the National Merit Scholarship Program. This is a significant accomplishment for these students and Forest Hills School District congratulates them on this prestigious recognition. Jade O'Brien, Witten Pan and Tyler Suhre were named finalists from Anderson High School. Anjali Raman and Richard Carraway were named finalists from Turpin High School.

The Forest Hills Foundation for Education celebrated the kick off of its annual FH5K. The organization invited community members to register for the community-focused event, which you can do here, and consider donating to FHFE or fundraising as part of the FH5K.

FHFE will also host a pre-race party on Thursday, April 18 from 5:30-8:30 p.m. at Wandering Monsters. The restaurant is graciously donating 10% of food sales to the Foundation during this event.

All funds raised through the FH5K will be used by FHFE to directly support student wellness initiatives throughout the school district. FHFE also announced that $16,629 in PTO Community Grants will be awarded to various programs next week. You can learn more about FHFE and find ways to donate here.

Superintendent Update

Superintendent Larry Hook introduced Mr. Thomas Robinson as an assistant principal at Nagel Middle School. Mr. Robinson is a resident of FHSD and has experience as an assistant principal at Norwood High School and principal at Norwood View Elementary School. Mr. Hook welcomed Mr. Robinson to the school district, and Mr. Robinson will assume his role at Nagel Middle School at the start of the 2024-2025 school year.

Mr. Hook offered congratulations to the five students who were named finalists in the National Merit Scholarship Program and acknowledged the hard work that went into their qualification for this well-earned distinction. He also celebrated the Forest Hills ESports team that recently won a regional championship! The team is excited to move on to the State Championship competition that will be held at Akron University on April 12-14, 2024. Mr. Hook wished the team good luck in their pursuit of a state championship.

Additionally, Mr. Hook provided an update on information shared by Dr. Bill Daggett with both staff and community members this week. The district invited Dr. Daggett to lead a professional development session for all staff members to discuss the changing educational landscape in an increasingly digital world. He also delivered an informational presentation on the same topics for the public at the most recent FHSD Parent Academy evening. With the increasing impact of artificial intelligence in the workplace, home and society, it's crucial to think about how to approach the technology responsibly and with caution.

In light of some questions that the Board of Education had recently received related to the Anderson High School pool, Mr. Hook shared a brief update for board members and the community. He explained that he has been working with an architecture firm to provide an updated rough estimate of potential costs associated with renovations or improvements to the swimming pool. Although that rough estimate is not complete, Mr. Hook explained that this project would be similar to work that was recently completed at another school district for a cost between $10-11 million.

Mr. Hook also explained that the recent permanent improvement levy did not include any plans to repair or renovate the Anderson pool. The district shared those tentative plans online throughout the duration of the levy discussions and that information was updated on the website after last month’s meeting with more detailed information for the upcoming years. You can find the updated plans here. While continuing to gather information and explore options related to the Anderson pool, the district intends to continue appropriate maintenance on the existing pool at Turpin High School to support swim and dive programs across FHSD. Mr. Hook said the athletic directors are in discussions to include branding and signage for all schools at the Turpin site.

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

  • 8.1 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

  • 9.1 Resolution Declaring Impractical Transportation for Certain Non-Public Schools (Revised)
    • This resolution lists certain non-public schools where transportation has been declared impractical. Families of students attending those schools will be offered payment in lieu of transportation, pursuant to state law. You can read the resolution here.
  • 9.2 District Insurance
    • This item approves the renewal of district insurance carriers through the Berry Insurance Group at a cost of $497,975 for the period of April 1, 2024 through April 1, 2025. You can view the premium summary here.

Teaching and Learning/Curriculum

  • 10.1 Overnight Field Trip Requests
    • This item approves several overnight field trip requests for students. You can view the proposed trip here.

Teaching and Learning/Student Services

  • 11.1 Clermont County Educational Service Center
    • This Agreement supports the placement (per IEP) of a special education student for the remainder of the 2023-2024 school year at a cost of $228.33 per day. You can view the resolution of intent here.

Technology

  • 12.1 Amended HCCA Contract
    • This first amendment provides that the Internet bandwidth per the HCCA contract is to be increased from 2G fiber connection to a 5G fiber connection beginning July 1, 2024. You can view the internet services agreement here.

Treasurer Update

  • 13.1 Resolutions to Authorize the Filing of the Board of Revision Complaints
    • This item approves multiple resolutions to authorize the filing of the Board of Revision complaints. You can view those resolutions here.
  • 13.2 Treasurer's Report
    • Treasurer Alana Cropper’s March 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
      • Permanent Appropriations
      • Amendment to Permanent Appropriations
      • Approval of Certification of Funds
    • You can find the February Cash Position Report here.

Committee Reports

Board Members provided updates on the committee meeting listed below.

  • Human Resources Committee
    • Committee Chairperson Dr. Wendy Strickler provided an update on the February 26 meeting. This meeting touched on efforts to streamline maintenance staffing, a cost-neutral change to support initiatives from the Communications Department, notification that the district is entering contract negotiations and other routine updates.

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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