Hilliard City Schools
Board approves three-year, $232K contract for SROs
The Hilliard City Schools Board of Education on Aug. 13 approved a three-year contract to pay the city of Hilliard $232,000 per year to provide school resource officers for the high schools, beginning this school year through 2014-15.
Board member Paul Lambert said, "It sticks in my craw that we have to pay this for school resource officers."
"I would think the $2 million we collect in property taxes should have already paid for these officers," he said. "I don't question the need, but I question whose budget should pay for the officers."
Superintendent Dale McVey said SROs were first placed in the schools during the 1999-2000 school year.
"I think it was an informal agreement back then," he said. "The agreement has gotten more complex over the years, with the cost of the officers' hours broken down and divided up accordingly."
Lambert said he "envisions a city where police would provide this service to the school."
McVey said the program was funded partially by grants in the early years.
"Those grants are not available now," he said.
Lambert voted to approve the contract, as did all the school board members.
Board members also heard a presentation from Mike McDonough, director of secondary education, on the district's new Mandarin course of study.
"We are bringing in Mandarin 1 and 2 and adding Mandarin 3 to bring them all under the district umbrella," he said.
He said the course was formerly taught on a distance-learning basis but will now be taught by an in-house teacher, former Hilliard student Neal Meyers.
"He will broadcast the course from each of the three high schools, starting this fall," McDonough said.
Two music teachers, Stacy Bosh from Avery Elementary School and Kelly Riley from Washington Elementary School, described the new grade 6-12 performing arts course of study, which the district is revising to align with new state guidelines.
Riley said teachers have been studying the best practice, Understanding by Design, which emphasizes "teaching with the end result in mind."
"Our music teachers have been meeting since January to revise the course, which has not been revised since 1998," she said.
Bosh said the major difference in the new state curriculum is an emphasis on "appreciation of the arts."
"All teachers will use an Understanding by Design framework, to think about why we teach, what we teach and what result we want," she said. "We are asking the essential questions and creating a document to address these."
Specific to Hilliard is the Matrix, Bosh said.
"The Matrix will align to the new standards but also help teachers design lessons to help children build upon what they have learned," she said.
Riley said district's sixth-grade music teachers have complained that they end up with some students who have studied certain master composers, while others have never heard of them.
"The study of the master composers will be required at the elementary level," she said.
Board President Lisa Whiting began the school board meeting by expressing condolences for the recent deaths of two current Hilliard Bradley High School students and one former student.
"Since we met last month, we lost Hilliard Bradley students Austin Ratliff and David Phillips and former Hilliard Bradley student Elissa Hatfield," Whiting said. "We want to express the school board's condolences to their families and friends."
Hatfield, 19, died July 22 after being struck by a car while riding her bicycle on Hilliard-Rome Road; Ratliff, 15, died July 23 after crashing his motorcycle into a tree in Prairie Township; and Phillips, 15, died Aug. 8 after a car crash in Brown Township.
The next scheduled school board meeting is at 7 p.m. Monday, Aug. 27, at the Central Office Annex, 5323 Cemetery Road.