This past week’s Olentangy School Board meeting commenced with a poignant moment of silence, honoring the lives tragically lost in the recent bus accident involving Tuscarawas Valley Local Schools’ students.
The meeting swiftly transitioned to uplifting updates from the OASIS program, a beacon for 6th to 12th graders thriving in non-traditional educational settings. This initiative, blending in-person and virtual learning, has embraced community service, with students engaging in various projects like crafting wooden stars for veterans and creating heartwarming greeting cards for children at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
Olentangy High’s Baseball Turf Project
A major highlight was the presentation by Ryan Lucas, Olentangy High School’s varsity baseball coach, detailing the proposal for a new turf baseball field. This project, championed by the Olentangy Diamond Booster Club, aims to boost the school’s baseball program by providing optimal playing conditions and reducing maintenance costs. With substantial financial backing and a partnership with Astro-Turf, the project is set to commence post the spring 2024 baseball season.
Energy Savings and Infrastructure
Jeff Gordon, the Chief Operations Officer, shared a promising report on the district’s energy initiatives. Since 2013, efficient energy management in Olentangy buildings has resulted in significant cost savings, amounting to $13.38 million over nine years. Additionally, the House Bill 264 project, initiated in 2016, has furthered this agenda with substantial upgrades like LED lighting and mechanical equipment replacements, presenting a forward-thinking approach to energy and financial stewardship.
Superintendent Todd Meyer’s report centered on the upcoming 2023-2024 Quality Profile, a comprehensive review of the district’s educational value. Key announcements included the unveiling of elementary attendance boundaries and the mascot for Peachblow Crossing Elementary School. Meyer also highlighted the formation of a Superintendent Student Advisory Committee and strategic plans for internal audits and communications.
Tax Relief and Financial Planning
The meeting also covered significant financial developments, particularly regarding property valuations in Delaware County. The board’s decision to request a millage reduction from the County Auditor exemplifies a balanced approach to managing increased district valuations while providing tax relief to residents. This move, coupled with the explanation of the upcoming March 2024 levy, reflects the board’s commitment to fiscal responsibility and transparency.
The Policy Committee, led by Deputy Superintendent Dr. Jack Fette, presented crucial updates on district policies. Key policies undergoing revision include those related to immunizations, facility security, and equivalent education outside traditional schools. These updates signify the district’s dedication to aligning with current legal standards and ensuring a safe and compliant educational environment.
Source: Olentangy Local Schools