Safety, class size and gym access were among topics heard at the Hilliard City School District's "Coffee with the Board" open house last week.

Safety, class size and gym access were among topics heard at the Hilliard City School District's "Coffee with the Board" open house last week.

School board members listened to a handful of parents' concerns on April 21 in the annex behind the District's central office on Cemetery Road.

Parent Kelley Arnold said she was concerned about the lack of a traffic signal or reduced speed zone at Hilliard Crossing Elementary School on 3340 Hilliard Rome Road.

"I went around to all 14 elementaries this morning," Arnold said. "We are the only school that does not have any signals, with the exception of Norwich, but they have an alternate entrance that has signals. Every single elementary has something."

It was pointed out that the school is across from a park, and that property is not considered a school zone.

She said Chapman Elementary on Saw-mill Road had a similar situation, and following a fatality, they now have a light and school entrance sign. She said there have been at least two accidents at Hilliard Crossing.

"We just want something that indicates that we're here," Arnold said. "I don't know how much sway you guys have, but we're not getting anywhere through regular channels. We're gonna kill somebody before something gets done."

School board president Andy Teater said to send him an e-mail stating the problem, and he'll send it to city council and engineers.

"I'd love to look into that for you. Safety's so important," Teater said.

Arnold also asked the board to repair the school's parking lot, which she described as a "war zone."

Parent Karen Joslin asked the board to look into gym access for traveling basketball teams instead of using playgrounds. Board member Lisa Whiting said the facilities have a first-come, first-served policy, but they will re-examine building usage.

Parents also expressed concern about classroom size, asking the board if they can change the student-to-teacher ratio.

Teater said the superintendent's office sets the numbers, and that it was a complex matter.

"We've got some buildings that are out of whack right now and we're looking at ways to adjust," Teater said. "The school board sets the direction for the bus, but we don't drive the bus and you don't want us driving the bus, just to let you know. We want the professionals that we hired over there to drive the bus."