Administrators provide reports to MT BOE

By Martin Graham -

Miami Trace Local Schools administrators reported to the district’s board of education members Monday evening to update them on the happenings around the district.

The first to give a report on Monday was Miami Trace Athletic Director Aaron Hammond. Hammond said the district’s athletes are now in a transition period where winter sports are beginning to slow down and spring sports are allowed to begin practices. He said several of the teams Monday decided to wait due to the rain and cold, but he expects them to get into their seasons soon.

“Our boys basketball team went 12 (wins) and 11 (losses) overall and went 6 and 4 in the (Frontier Athletic Conference), which was good for a third place,” Hammond said. “Girls basketball was 17 and 7 overall, sectional champions and went 8 and 2 in the FAC. Our boys and girls swim team showed improvement throughout the season. Our 400 relay team advanced to districts. In bowling we are in a unique situation because we are Division I and there are only five D-1 bowling programs in southern Ohio, so they are combining us with the east district so there are no sectionals and we go straight into districts, which is this Friday at Zanesville. We did have success in bowling as our boys team was FAC champs and we had several bowlers all-league.”

The next to report was Miami Trace Elementary School Principal Ryan Davis. Davis said the elementary recently finished its English Language Proficiency Assessment (ELPA) testing thanks to help from Kim Pittser and Melanie Langley. Davis said it took only a few days to administer the tests.

“The elementary staff also learned more about the S.O.S. or Signs of Suicide program that has gone through the high school and middle school,” Davis said. “Thursday we successfully completed our final round of parent-teacher conferences. Some of those were traditional and others student-led. Those all seemed to have gone well. And this week we are starting “Donuts with Dad,” so the parking lots will be full. Finally into March, we are kicking off Literacy Month. We are connecting our mystery book with random acts of kindness all month.”

Miami Trace Middle School Principal Jason Binegar also started by thanking Pittser and Langley for their assistance with testing at the school. He said it is always a busy time of the year in the building and it was great having Pittser come over and help handle that and remove some of the worry from him.

“We also had our Valentine’s Day dance, and the musical Shrek Jr. was also a big success, we had 90 participants and the directors always put in a lot of work for that. I think they sold around 1,200 tickets for the two nights and they were well-attended. I would like to thank the directors for that work,” Binegar said. “We also had the opportunity — kind of an extension to our Panther Circle — to once again host a Conrad Weiner Holocaust survivor that spoke to our eighth grade. I would also like to say thanks to the high school as the eighth graders this week are going to check out an elective fair, and I haven’t had a lot to do with it, so I appreciate them working to help those students.”

Miami Trace High School Principal Rob Enochs said his report mainly involved the efforts to change the “Prepared for Success” score on the Ohio State Report Card. He said that the entire district is working to improve this score and that they recently conducted an ACT prep course for 50 juniors over two days.

“It was conducted at Southern State, which was kind of cool to use a college setting for that, we put out some evaluations to our students and we got really good feedback,” Enochs said. “Along with that, our teachers have then taken over and used some of the materials and strategies to try and make sure the kids are prepared for the ACT. A big thank you to Mrs. Abbot who has done a lot of work to get that organized.”

Finally, Miami Trace Business Manager Bill Franke spoke about various safety-related meetings he has attended as well as work he and the transportation department are doing to develop a safety plan for the buses. He also said the bus drivers will receive some training on how to defend themselves and how to respond if they were potentially attacked on a school bus, thanks to work from Monty Coe.

“Longer term we are working on putting together a comprehensive transportation safety plan, so that is really going to be one inclusive guide that will have in there incidents of violence on a bus, to how to handle a weather emergency,” Franke said. “We have some of that now, but we want to put together a plan for them and hopefully be able to unveil that for next school year.”

Franke also asked the board to pass a motion for the employment of a sub bus driver, effective immediately, which was approved during the meeting.

Stay with the Record-Herald for more coverage of the Miami Trace Local Schools Board of Education.

Reach Martin Graham at (740) 313-0351 or on Twitter @MartiTheNewsGuy.

By Martin Graham