SPRINGFIELD TWP.  Springfield Local Schools Treasurer Chris Adams reported during the Aug. 15 Board of Education meeting that the district's bond ratings have improved, pointing out that in most areas, the district was rated in the highest quality.

"We have increased in every category for finances at Springfield Local Schools," Adams said.

The total score in all economic and non-economic categories is an AA3, which is three categories above where it was when the new junior and senior high schools were being built in 2014.

"We are considered a high quality school, which makes me very comfortable when it comes to refinancing and funding," Adams said.

In other business, the board:

- Heard from David Ships from Safe Routes to School about the school travel plan which is a requirement for funding requests. The organization looks at how kids get to school: where they are coming from, what travel mode are they using, and why they use those modes. Business Manager Dustin Boswell conducted a school survey to get that information.

The organization focuses on making safer ways for students to get to school. The plan includes continuing Safety Town and Girls in Gear bike education. It also includes walk and bike to school days event, free bike helmets through the Put A Lid on It program and student safety patrol programs.

A map was shown to the board and recommendations were made including the installation of bike racks at schools, usomg the Roosevelt site and JEDD Park as remote pickup and drop off locations and extending school zone limits.

- Heard from Boswell, who said he had the opportunity to give tours of the new building to alumni during reunions.

"I wanted to pass along the excited responses I receive," he said. 

Barnwell also said the Spring Hill parking lot repaving is almost complete, the district is finished with repainting at Young Elementary and there has been some touch up at other buildings and varnishing the gym floors.

- Approved a service agreement with Southeast Security to provide monitoring service at district property at 2141 Pickle Road and the administration building at 2410 Massillon Road.

- Approved a service contract with Vicki Segers Consulting to provide speech/language screening and intervention services to students at Chapel Hill Christian School Sept. 5 through May 17, 2018. The cost is paid from Ohio Department of Education Auxiliary Funds.

- Approved a contract with Parkway Enterprises for services provided as an independent contractor. Such services required and requested to the Chapel Hill Christian non-public school from August through June 30, 2018. The cost is paid from Ohio Department of Education Auxiliary Funds.

- Approved a contract with The Blick Center to provide speech/language therapy services to students at the Super Learning Center for the 2017-18 school year. The cost is paid from Ohio Department of Education Auxiliary Funds.

- Approved using Action Taxi to transport students as needed for the Special Services Department.

- Appointed board member Dave Hofer as the delegate to the OSBA's annual business meeting in November. Mary Lou Dodson was appointed as the alternate.

- Approved bus routes and authorized Superintendent Chuck Sincere, or designee, to make changes as necessary. 

From the superintendent

Sincere said Safety Town was an outstanding event for kindergarten students and thanked Linda Lohr and Dan Rafferty for organizing the event. He also thanked Roechling for donating 24 backpacks and Springfield Cares for more than 500 backpacks and the many community organizations that helped fill the backpacks. He thanked the Church of the Brethren for holding its Back to School Blast and donating 96 backpacks filled with school supplies to Spring Hill students. The church also provided free haircuts, games, prices, face painting and food.

"All these folks are dedicated to supplying children in need with the tools necessary to be successful in the classroom," he said. "On behalf of the Board of Education and the Springfield staff, we thank all that helped and donated. We are very fortunate to have the supplies for our children and all of the people that come together to make sure we have a successful start to the school year."

The board went into a work session to consider the purchase of land to build a bus garage. Adams made a presentation that showed how building a garage would save the district with a return on its investment within 10 years with a low interests due to the high bond rating that Adams had reported on.

The next meeting will be held at 6 p.m., Sept. 19 at Spring Hill Elementary.