DANVILLE — Progress is being made as the Danville Board of Education decides on an architect firm for the high school renovation project.

The renovation project is to help with safety concerns that occur with students walking between the buildings for classes and lunch. The school put out a request for qualifications last month and received 4 statements from firms to act as the architect for this project. They include Buehrer Group based in Toledo, JBA Architects based in Newark, Garman and Miller based in Lima, and SHP Leading Design based in Columbus.

Jason Snively, superintendent of Danville, recommends that the board select SHP as the most qualified architect firm to serve them on the renovation process.

“One thing that set them apart is a prior history with the school district,” Snively said. “We had a couple of other, I think, very significant applicants (that) would’ve been very talented architects.”

SHP has been involved with the planning and preparation of the renovation project, including last board meeting when they gave a tentative timeline and renovation ideas. The board proposed and accepted Snively’s recommendation of SHP as the architect for the high school renovations.

Robert Miller, curriculum director, gave a brief update about the changing of grading from traditional-based grading to standards-based grading. High school teachers were able to visit Licking Valley High School where standards-based grading has been in effect for seven years.

“It was very interesting because (Licking Valley) started off with the exact same literature and everything that we have,” Miller said. “Teachers came away very excited, very fired up to put that to work in the classroom.”

By looking at a similar school, Miller said that they can look at what Licking Valley went through, the growing pains and changes made, to see what really works. Teachers were given a presentation first and then allowed to shadow various teachers in their fields to see how standards-based grading works at the high school level. Licking Valley K-8 grades also uses standards-based grading and Miller wishes to reach back out to allow teachers in those grades to visit the school as well.

In other news, the board:

•Started discussions around changing the valedictorian and salutatorian requirements and the three graduation seals that the districts are able to set themselves.

•Approved the overnight field trip for the Mock Trial team to go to Miami University on Dec. 14-15.

•Approved the partnership with the Sanctuary Community Action of Eastern Knox County to utilize student success and wellness funds.

•Approved various personnel.

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Jamie Holland: 740-397-5333 or jamie@mountvernonnews.com and on Twitter, @



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