The Solon Middle School was nominated for the Ohio Department of Education’s prestigious National Blue Ribbon School award, the Board of Education announced on Monday.

To qualify as an “exemplary high-performing school” under Department of Education Blue Ribbon School guidelines, Solon Middle School student achievement results ranked in the top tier of all Ohio schools, according to district officials. The middle school is one of only 14 in Ohio nominated for the 2020 award.

This marks the second time the middle school has been nominated, previously winning its only other nomination in 2010. Other Solon Blue Ribbon designations include Solon High School in 2008 and 2019, Roxbury Elementary School in 2016, Orchard Middle School in 2013, Parkside Elementary School in 2007, Lewis Elementary School in 2006 and Arthur Road Elementary School in 2005. Schools are only eligible to be nominated every five years. The 2020 winners will be announced in the fall.

“Congratulations to everyone at Solon Middle School for this important nomination,” acting Superintendent Fred Bolden said in a written statement. “The Blue Ribbon Schools application process will provide a unique opportunity for Solon Middle School to highlight its engaging learning environment as well as its breadth of extra-curricular programming, which helps students develop new interests, connect with peers and follow their passions in the arts, athletics, and community service to name a few.”

In other business, the board agreed to have the administration advertise for bids on five school buses for the 2020-2021 academic year. This authorizes the state to order school buses in bulk for multiple school systems, helping drive the cost down, according to school officials.

The board also appointed technology resource teacher Whitney Ames as interim assistant principal while Assistant Principal Antoine Campbell continues on sick leave. Ms. Ames will continue her current teaching role, as well, so the board approved a per diem of $150 per day for the extra duties.

The board also approved advertising for bids for the Parkside Elementary School roof and the high school pool HVAC/desiccant system replacements.

Mr. Bolden advised members that the roof repairs were not working well, and that the original roof from the building’s construction in 1991 was still installed. The system that controls the humidity of the pool building will need to be replaced, as well.

“It is 100 percent necessary,” he said. “The expected life of the [pool] unit is 15 to 20 years and currently it’s in its 19th year.”

The next Solon City Schools Board of Education meeting is 6 p.m. Feb. 24.

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