HOUSTON — The Hardin-Houston Local School District enjoyed a successful 2018-19 school year in the areas of academics, FFA, athletics, updated facility projects and solid, fiscal growth.
“Although both the elementary and junior high/high school have performed well, in order to further enhance the Elementary K-4 academics, the district completed the second year of the state awarded five year 21st Century Grant,” said Superintendent Larry Claypool. “With only five such grants awarded in 2017-18, in the state, the Elementary K-4 continues to add one million dollars over five-years to further develop student learning through after school academic instruction.
“Staff members have implemented a newly created Earthlab (STEAM instruction) model which has proven to be very successful in promoting higher level academic skills and collaborates with the Kindergarten programing to better prepare those K-3 grade level students for the Third Grade Reading Guarantee,” said Claypool. “The Young Five’s All-Day Kindergarten program, in its third year and has continued to successfully demonstrate outstanding individual student growth, through the specially blended curriculum for those young five year olds who qualify. The Young Five class continues to build a strong foundation for young learners and parents are now requesting their students be considered for the program.”
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The JH/HS also has academic programs in place that enhance student learning, such as HouSTEM and a combination of our CATS program and Intervention Class time, as well as adding a new seventh-grade ELA/Math Flex Class. This year the high school transitioned to Edison State as our College Credit Plus Partnership School and the new parent/student/university relationship is working out great.
Celebrating our student’s academic success in all K-12 grades is important and we do it in a variety of different ways. One tradition the District continues to celebrate for the last 8 years is the “All A’s Night.” That evening is for those students in grades three through six who receive all A’s for the first semester of the school year and are introduced before a cheering home crowd and honored at one of the final home varsity boys basketball games of the season. We enjoy FFA recognition banquets, grades 7-12 student athletic participation and award programs, Spelling and Geography Bees, Art Night, grade level music programs, band concerts and the list goes on and on.
The district completed another major facility project this year. Due to EPA mandated requirements, the district saw the need to update the aging sanitation plant and replace damaged decades old drainage tile running from outside the district through and beneath the baseball field. Since the baseball field is about 70 years old with dugouts, bleachers and fencing in disrepair, the board elected to upgrade both sanitation plant and baseball field with all new dugouts, bathroom facilities, storage, fencing and a much needed access driveway for the sanitation plant. The budget for this project came from the Permanent Improvement Fund.
Hardin-Houston’s Technology Department implemented a new online student registration program this year. This allows parents to easily register their students and also update any Emergency Medical Authorization forms throughout the year. With the switch to Google Chromebooks for student computers, the district continues to increase the number of machines available to students.
The FFA Chapter had another successful year in 2018. The Houston FFA Chapter was recognized as a Top 10 Chapter in the state of Ohio (over 350 chapters in Ohio) and a 3-Star Chapter in the nation (Top 10 percent). The chapter consisting of 114 members had nine State Degree recipients, one American Degree recipient, and seven State Proficiency Finalists for their Supervised Agricultural Experiences. The Agricultural Communication CDE team and the Food Science & Technology CDE team both placed second in state.
During the 2018 track season, the district had several events qualify to the state meet. Those were the 1600m and 800m run. The boys’ 4×800 meter relay team also made it to the state meet. In addition, we had two individuals qualify to the state cross-country meet.
Fiscally speaking, the district remains financially stable. Our school district has been proactive in its financial planning and we have faithfully added to our carryover to ensure a solid financial future for the community, as well as providing security for staff and a full array of student services. Adjustments have been made to both staff and purchases, and we continue to evaluate our financial position throughout the school year. Our staff, administrative team, and Board Of Education, wish to thank every parent and student for making Hardin-Houston their school of choice.