Hayner, Troy City Schools seek levy renewals

TROY — Troy City School Board of Education approved the first steps to place two separate levy issues — both renewals — on the May 2021 ballot for the district and the Troy-Hayner Cultural Center on Monday.

The board of education approved the first step for the Troy-Hayner Cultural Center’s renewal of a five-year 0.85 mill levy for the May 2021 election. The estate of Mary Jane Hayner bequeathed the home to the district.

The district also approved to seek the renewal of a five-year 5.8-mills levy for operating expenses for the district.

Board president Tom Kleptz said they appreciated the center waiting to place the levy during its attempt to pass its new construction bond in the spring and then for its attempt to pass an 0.25 percent income tax levy last fall — both of which were defeated by voters.

Mary Jane Hayner left her 1914 Romanesque-style home to the community in the care of the Troy City Schools. Her will specified that her home could be used as a library, a museum, or for other cultural or educational purposes. The mansion was the home of the public library for 33 years. In 1976, a new library was built and a community committee set forth a proposal that the home might be used as a community cultural center, funded primarily by a local tax levy. Voters approved the plan and have renewed the levy every five years since.

• The district will continue its hybrid plan for two weeks following its Christmas break. Superintendent Chris Piper said the district did experience a spike of COVID-19 cases following the Thanksgiving holiday, but has since leveled off.

“We certainly hope we don’t see that again, but we may so we announced (the hybrid plan extension) just to give our teachers and our parents that we are continuing our hybrid learning two-week notice after Christmas break and then reassess where we are at,” Piper said.

Piper reported that about 800 students used the online option the first half of the year. The deadline to switch was Nov. 30. Piper said 70 online students have opted to return to the classroom for the last half of the school year. Piper said the biggest change was in kindergarten and first-grade students to in-person classes. Therefore, two teachers will return to the classroom in those grade levels due to that decrease in online enrollment. A total of 725 students are learning completely online next semester.

“Really much less change than we feared,” Piper said.

• Board members did not express any interest in serving on the Troy Recreation Board in which both former superintendents Eric Herman and Tom Dunn currently serve. Both have expressed interest in continuing their service in which a city school representative can participate.

• Two Ohio CAT school buses were approved for purchase. Each bus costs approximately $99,000, according to officials. The state also granted a $39,000 total stipend towards new bus purchases this year. Treasurer Jeff Price said the buses get better mileage and have had no reported issues. The district has 31 buses for its 31 routes with nine back-up buses, which also are used regularly. The district said there’s still a need for substitute drivers and several people are in the process of being certified.

Facebook Live Chat dates

Troy City Schools Superintendent Chris Piper will offer a series of monthly Facebook Live chats between now and the end of the school year.

These chats can be found on the district Facebook page, www.facebook.com/troy.schools

Piper will host these chats at various times throughout the day to give as many people as possible a chance to participate. Participants may ask questions in real-time or leave questions in the comments section after the chats have ended.

Copies of the Facebook Live chats also will be uploaded to the school website, www.troy.k12.oh.us

The times and chats for the chats are Wednesday, Dec. 16 — 1 p.m.; Jan. 13 — 9 a.m.; Feb. 18 — 7 p.m.; March 18 — 1 p.m.; April 14 – 9 a.m. and May 12 — 7 p.m.