The Tipp City Schools board of education voted Monday, Feb. 27, to implement an advisory period at the start of the day at Tippecanoe High School beginning in the fall.
The board also agreed to have further discussion on a statewide topic of not starting the school year until after Labor Day and to contact state legislators Rep. Steve Huffman and Sen. Bill Beagle with district concerns about Gov. John Kasich’s proposed budget.
Among the purposes of the 18-minute advisory period are to have each high school student have an adult advocate and mentor and to help promote the whole student, said Aaron Oakes, assistant high school principal.
Oakes discussed the program with the board after it heard comments from students participating in a test of the advisory period concept. The students said the period will allow time for students and teachers to get to know each other better, open untapped lines of communication and help students learn life skills such as how to deal with problems.
In other business, board member Frank Maus talked about starting school after Labor Day and the governor’s proposed budget, both statewide discussions.
The pros and cons of a later starting date – including avoiding August temperatures particularly in buildings without air conditioning and cutting into learning time for students before testing begins – were discussed briefly. The topic is expected to be on a board agenda for a work session scheduled March 13.
The proposed budget, Maus said, includes only a 1.9 percent increase in core state foundation funding for the district compared to some other area districts receiving 5 percent or more.
District Treasurer Dave Stevens said the proposed budget still must go through the state house of representatives and state senate.
The board Monday also heard comments from district resident Don Watson. He said he and a fellow resident attempted to attend the stadium construction committee meeting Feb. 9, at the invitation of a committee member, but were asked to leave by committee member and school board President Sam Spano. Watson said he felt the action was “bullying.”
He also questioned district officials’ statements that the operating levy on the May ballot won’t increase taxes. Watson said both his taxes and those of his mother have increased.
Spano said he apologized if Watson believed he was not respected. He explained the meeting was a closed meeting of the construction committee, which has representatives of the city, schools and Tipp Pride citizens’ organization that is working to raise private money for a stadium.
Information on the stadium project was available at a public meeting hosted by Tipp Pride last week, Spano said.
He also said the tax levy before voters would generate the same amount now being generated by two existing levies being combined into one. Depending on property valuations, some people’s taxes go up while others go down, “but the actual amount (generated) doesn’t change,” Spano said.
Superintendent Gretta Kumpf provided a brief update on both the stadium project and the district’s ongoing discussions about a possible classrooms construction project with the Ohio School Facilities Commission.
Kumpf said the committee promoting the operating levy on the May ballot is emphasizing the funding is for operations not construction of classrooms or a stadium.
The board also:
- - Noted it will hold a work session March 13 at 6 p.m. at the board office.
- - Said its next monthly meeting will be March 20 at 6:30 p.m. at the Tippecanoe High School Performing Arts Center.