Monroe Schools: 5 things to know for back to school

Monroe Local Schools starts a new school year Wednesday, Aug. 16. In this 2012 file photo, kindergartners at Monroe Primary School use an iPad to learn letters and words. NICK GRAHAM/2012
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Monroe Local Schools starts a new school year Wednesday, Aug. 16. In this 2012 file photo, kindergartners at Monroe Primary School use an iPad to learn letters and words. NICK GRAHAM/2012

Here are 5 things to know as Monroe Local Schools starts a new school year Wednesday, Aug. 16:

1. Mark these important upcoming dates:

  • Wednesday, Aug. 16: First day of school
  • Friday, Sept. 1: First home football game, Madison at Monroe, 7 p.m. at 220 Yankee Road
  • Friday, Sept. 15: No school for students (teacher work day)
  • Explore MORE: 5 things to know about Monroe Local Schools

    2. Tax hike considered for new building

    Monroe residents could see a school tax hike on the ballot next year for a new school to replace one of the oldest schools in Butler County.

    The Monroe Primary School first opened its doors in 1954, and officials in charge of the growing school system said the 63-year-old school has in recent years proven to be too expensive to repair or expand and too small to handle the district’s rising enrollment.

    Explore MORE: Bond issue on 2018 ballot would replace aging Monroe Primary School

    Monroe school officials are now considering two options:

    • Constructing a new school on the field adjacent to the Primary School that used to be the campus and football stadium for the former Lemon-Monroe High School, which was demolished last year.
    • Another option would be to expand Monroe's other school — the grades 2-12 Monroe School complex about a mile away off of Yankee Road at the school's expansive, hilltop campus.

    3. Superintendent retiring at end of school year

    Monroe Superintendent Phil Cagwin, who began his career in public education in 1975, will retire at the end of the 2017-2018 school year.

    Explore MORE: Retiring Monroe Schools superintendent blasts education officials

    A decade-long superintendent for Talawanda Schools before retiring and then taking the top Monroe Schools’ job in 2012, the 64-year-old Cagwin said he wants to spend more time with his family.

    “I have many fond memories of serving as a teacher, coach, special education director, principal, assistant superintendent and superintendent,” said Cagwin.

    4. Finances are in order

    Monroe Local Schools, which in 2014 was released from state financial supervision for fixing its previous financial disarray, was cited earlier this year as having some of the best fiduciary standing among the state’s 612 public school districts.

    The 2,800-student district was included in Ohio Auditor David Yost’s most recent listings for “Auditor of State Award,” which is earned by school systems — and other taxpayer-funded, local entities — for having a “clean” audit report for 2016.

    Explore MORE: State audit lauds Monroe Schools for financial turnaround

    The district was included in Ohio Auditor David Yost’s most recent listings for “Auditor of State Award,” which is earned by school systems — and other taxpayer-funded, local entities — for having a “clean” audit report for 2016.

    It’s quite a turnaround from 2012, when unexpected budget deficits put Monroe Schools under state supervision as part of falling into “fiscal emergency,” which included the Ohio Auditor’s and Ohio Department of Education’s supervision of the school district.

    5. Complete athletic forms online

    The Monroe Jr./Sr. High School Athletic Department has partnered with FinalForms, an online forms and data management service.

    Parents will now be able to complete and sign athletic participation forms online for their students.

    Explore MORE: Hornets ‘committed’ to getting back to postseason

    FinalForms saves data from season-to-season and year-to-year, according to the district, saving families times from having to re-fill forms each school year.