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Mt. Pulaski , Illinois
February 1, 2010     Times
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February 1, 2010

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School Board Discusses Impact of Outside Finances President David Meister called the meeting to order on January 25. Present were: Mike Toohey, Doug Martin, Kathy Boward, Joe Olson, Diane Deppe, and David Meis- ter. Jeff Haley arrived late. Also present was Superinten- dent Phil Shelton and Princi- pals Gene Newton and Terry Morgan. Motion by Doug Martin, second, by Mike Toohey to appro,be HS Special Ed Aide Cindy Stoll's request for reed- ical leave. Roll call vote. Answering aye: KathyBoward, Joe Olson, Jeff Haley, Mike Toohey, Doug Martin, Diane Deppe, and David Meister. No nay. Motion carried: Motion by Doug Martin, second by Kathy Boward to hire Sue Adams-Snelson as a Special Ed Aide at MPGS on an hourly as needed basis for the remainder of the 2009-2010 school term. Roll call vote. Answering aye: Kathy Boward, Joe Olson, Jeff Haley, Mike Toohey, Doug Martin, Diane Deppe, and David Meister. No nay. Motion carried. Girl's Softball Program Stan Anderson appeared before the Board to present his concerns about the absence of the girl's softball program at the high school and the possi- ble elimination of the sport at the grade school. He realizes the participation numbers are low at the grade school and were low at the high school when it was discontin- ued but thinks it is a beneficial sport for the girls who partici- pate. He volunteered to help create a survey to be taken at both schools to determine interest in the sport for next year and thanked the Board for their consideration. President Meister thanked Stan for his comments. Late Revenues Force Reduction Due to lack of action by the legislators to fix the financial problems of school districts caused by late payments of anticipated revenue, the Dis- trict will be forced to return to reduction in force (RIF) for any grant funded programs. This would be done at the March Board meeting and would include teachers and non-certified staff. Superin- tendent Shelton said virtually every school district will be in this same position. Library Annual Report District Librarian Kathy Miller gave the annual report for the State Library.grant. Inter-library system book transfer requests are up with increased usage of the library by the high school students. Kathy Miller said Library Clerk Jill Siebert has stepped in after the retirement of former Librarian Roberta Ingram and kept things run- ning smoothly at the grade school. Superintendent Shelton com- mended Kathy Miller and Jill Siebert for an efficient job which is a credit to them both. President Meister thanked Kathy Miller for her presenta- tion. County Sales Tax Logan County Superinten- dents will be meeting to dis- cuss the question of imposing a Logan County sales tax which would create restricted capi- tal improvements revenue for their school districts. Even if Logan County voters would pass the sales tax, the County Board would still have the final say on whether or not the tax would be put in place. Contract Extended Motion by" Doug Martin, second by Mike Toohey to extend the bus transportation contract with Hinds Transpor- tation through the 2012-2013 school term with a base con- tract increase of 3 % for 2010-11; 2 % for 2011-12; and 2 % for 2012-13. Roll call vote. Answering aye: Kathy Boward, Mike Toohey,. Doug Martin, Diane Deppe, and David Meister. Answering nay: Joe Olson and Jeff Haley. Motion car- ried. Girl's Softball Discussion The girl's softball program was discussed. The reason there is no longer softball at the high school is due to lack of participation. There were ten softball par- ticipants last year at the grade school; seven were 5 th and 6 th graders; 1 was a 7 th grader; 2 were 8 th graders. To have a team you must havemore than ten participants due to injuries, academic ineligibil- ity, and sickness. You may have enthusiastic support of both students and parents, but you still have to have the participants in the sport. President Meister said he wishes there were .enough finances for all sports to flour- ish, but as a small rural school district in the midst of a finan- cial crisis he doesn't know how that is pQssible if participation in the sport isn't there. Principal Gene Newton said sports surveys are done but are never accurate. Many more students say they are going out for the sport than actually end up going out. The March Board meeting would be a good time- frame to decide about grade school softball. It was also noted that the problem with co-op sports is the high cost of transporting students to the site for practices as well as games. Mike Toohey said if we're talking bout rif.fing teachers, we also need to look at eliminating some sports, unfortunately: Revised Plan Because the AYP for the fed- eral No Child Left Behind law was not achieved by MPHS Math students in 2008-09, a revised school improvement plan was required. Principal Terry Morgan presented the plan to the Board and made recommendations to improve the test scores. The Board thanked him-for his presen- tation and the work done in revising the school improve- ment plan. Motion by Doug Martin, second by JeffHaley to approve the School Improvement Plan as presented. Roll call vote. Answering aye: Kathy Boward, Joe Olson, Jeff Haley, Mike Toohey, Doug Martin, Diane Deppe, and David Meister. No nay. Motion carried. Advantages of Skyward Technology Coordinator Heather Fricke gave a presen- tation on the advantages of using Skyward grade book and family access software instead of the current Edline software used by the School District for the past three years. The Sky- ward software proposal cost for the first year is $9,607. Superintendent Shelton will clarify costs between Skyward and Edline. The Board thanked Heather for her pre- sentation State Finances Superintendent Shelton dis- cussed the problems at the State Board of Education. The lack of payments from the State will have an impact on programs such as Title I, Read- ing Improvement, and Pre-K. Funding for these programs has decreased every year. He said we can't operate a school district with 40% of the money and the use of federal money to cover State payments. March is typically the month for the notice of reduction in force. We'll look at the grant progress, extra-curricular, and transpor- tation costs. 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