Troy BOE discusses GWOC exit, security

League resolutions due March 31

By Cody Willoughby -

TROY — School safety updates and plans to leave the Greater Western Ohio Conference, or GWOC, were two major items on the agenda at the Troy Board of Education meeting on Monday.

Assistant superintendent Jeremy Miller addressed the board about updated safety training conducted across the district over the last two weeks.

“We’ve been around to every single building in the district to do additional training with each staff,” Miller confirmed. “Mr. Herman worked with Captain Kunkleman of the Troy Police Department, who then worked with our SROs to give an updated version of safety training. I have to say, the support of the City of Troy in terms of the number of SROs we have is astounding.”

Kunkleman and the district’s school resource officers conducted the training in sessions scheduled before and after school hours, allowing the majority of the district’s staff members to attend.

“They reviewed all of our procedures,” Miller confirmed. “We talked about evacuation, barricading, and resisting, and when we would apply each of those strategies.

“I think the staff had a heightened sense of awareness, given the events over the last month in the media. It was good for them to get a refresher but also to ask some questions with the police department right there. Feedback we received was very good from the staff.”

“How are we conveying this process to parents in the district?” board member Tom Kleptz asked. “Is there a plan to put something out to parents that tell them we’ve now completed this process?”

Superintendent Eric Herman explained that after all safety training had run its course, drills would be run with students, and parents would be notified ahead of the drills.

“We’re careful what we put out and when we put it out there,” Herman insisted. “I can say, though, we started this in 1999, and we’ve conducted these procedures with the police every step of the way. We agree we need their partnership just like they need ours. It’s critical that our SROs have our support.”

The board also discussed a motion for Troy City Schools to leave GWOC, effective by the conclusion of the 2019-20 school year, with the purpose of forming a new league alongside Vandalia-Butler, Tippecanoe, Fairborn, Greenville, Sidney, Piqua, Stebbins, West Carrollton, and Xenia, if all join.

“At this point, there’s four parties with their resolutions in,” Herman said. “A lot of them have board meetings coming up this month, so more will be coming in soon.”

Resolutions are due in on Saturday, March 31.

Board member William Overla asked if there was a contingency in the event that all schools in the proposal did not come through with a resolution.

“I think the GWOC itself is changing and evolving as well,” Herman stated. “It wouldn’t be exactly the same no matter what. They’ve already maintained that all schools will stay in the full two years to help scheduling, but that could shift, too, as things change.”

When concerns were put forth by the board about leadership during the transition, director of athletics David Palmer insisted that little would change for the district.

“If you look at who we play for our conference championships, it’s those other nine schools,” Palmer said. “Not a whole lot’s going to change. In something like soccer, we have 16 games, so we’d play those nine schools, and then have a few to fill. Our plan is to look to the schools that we’re going to leave behind in the GWOC to fill those games.

“We still want to play schools like Beavercreek and Centerville, because it’s a good challenge for their kids, and a good challenge for our teams as well. We still need one another. They still have to fill our schedule just as we do.”

Several in attendance agreed the two years left in the district’s contract with GWOC would be necessary to prepare for an exit.

“At our March meeting, it was announced that the ten schools that’ll remain will hold us through the full two years,” Palmer said. “You only have one opportunity to take a blank canvas and turn it into something great. We want to make sure as athletic directors at each school that we’re representing our school well and putting together something that’s going to be great.

“You can’t do that if you get in a hurry and throw something together. Having two years gives us that opportunity.”

In other news, the board approved a bid for roof replacement at Forest Elementary School in the sum of $182,853, as the lowest bid received in accordance with the specifications. Bids were previously published in February.

The next Troy board meeting is scheduled for Monday, April 9. Special meetings were also announced for Monday, April 23 and Tuesday, April 24.

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League resolutions due March 31

By Cody Willoughby