With an Illinois statute requiring boards of education to adopt fiscal year school budgets by the end of the first quarter for fiscal year 2017-18 (Sept. 30), O’Fallon and Shiloh school boards have set their respective budget hearings for next month.
The O’Fallon Community Consolidated School District 90 Board of Education set its district budget hearing for 6:45 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 19, prior to the board meeting at the district office, 118 E. Washington St.
After a long stalemate, the General Assembly and Gov. Bruce Rauer came to terms on an education funding bill earlier this week. Political pressure had been mounting from local school districts that faced cash shortages and possible closures without funding from the state.
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O’Fallon District 90 produced a video and posted it to its Facebook page explaining what’s going on, and how people can help by contacting their local leaders in government.
In an effort to “communicate that frustration,” further the board also sent a one-page letter to legislative leaders.
“While our district is not as reliant on state aid as some districts in Illinois, we still face critical hardships due to the stalemate on this issue of how to deliver the approved funding,” the letter said. “If we are forced to go without our general state aid and mandated categorical payments, we will have no choice but to quickly burn through our few reserves in a similar way that our working cash were used to cover the lack of transportation mandated categorical payments last year.”
In regular business at its August meeting, the District 90 board passed all agenda items, with one board member, Jason Boone, absent. Resignations, reassignments and rehires were all unanimously approved.
With over 20 years experience under her belt in a variety of roles for school districts in Illinois and Missouri, the board welcomed its new curriculum coordinator, Jill Lyons.
Carrie Hruby, District 90 superintendent, said, Lyons was previously employed as a kindergarten through grade 12 district assistance team coach for the Illinois Center for School Improvement and the American Institutes for Research.
“(Lyons) comes to us with strong and varied leadership and teaching experiences, as well as an extensive literacy background, including supporting administrators and teachers with implementing new instructional practices, analyzing data, developing district improvement plan goals, writing curriculum and providing staff development,” Hruby said.
In her previous positions, Lyons worked alongside district administrators to identify trends from the data in order to reduce gaps in achievement, Hruby said.
Other new hires included:
▪ Heidi Angermeier, Schaefer noon supervisor;
▪ Allyson Defosse, Carriel girls varsity softball coach;
▪ Corrie Donelli, Carriel program aide;
▪ Olajawon Dunn, Carriel night custodian;
▪ Janora Jones, Kampmeyer before- and after-care worker and Carriel noon supervisor;
▪ Michele King, Schaefer part-time early childhood aide;
▪ Jacqulyn Liebig, Schaefer program aide;
▪ Karen Pahnke, Kampmeyer instructional aide;
▪ Cassandra Pace, Evans noon supervisor;
▪ Danielle Schnable, Fulton dance team sponsor;
▪ Susan Soloman, Schaefer instructional aide;
▪ Nicole Thomas, Carriel dance team coach;
▪ Kelly Williams, Moye program aide.
Resignations approved were:
▪ Ellen Clayborn, Evans tuition pre-school assistant;
▪ Soja Conrad, Moye program aide;
▪ Jennifer Grant, Kampmeyer tuition pre-school assistant;
▪ Dana Martin, Schaefer instructional aide;
▪ Isaiah Parmer, Kampmeyer part-time custodian;
▪ Dana Weisenbach, Moye program aide.
The board also approved and posted an available position for an Early Childhood Block Grant Family Resources Specialist, which will be 100 percent funded by the ECBG, also called the pre-school grant, Hruby said.
O’Fallon Central SD 104 school board member Chris Monroe resigned after 10 years of service.
“We thank him for his service and all his years service and for all he did for the district and the students of Central 104,” said superintendent Dawn Elser.
The vacancy on the school board has been posted on to the district’s website. Anyone interested in filling the seat may submit a resume and cover letter to Elser.
All items on the agenda were approved by the board during its August meeting.
An agreement with Integra Therapy was passed to outsource some of the district’s therapy services, like occupational, physical, music and speech therapies.
“In the past, we’ve used Belleville Area Special Services Center, but we found there may be some savings to the district if we use Integra Therapy for some services,” Elser said.
This year marks the implementation of the Standards Based Report Card for kindergarten through second grade. It will allow teachers to plan for instruction interventions based on data and learning goals and targets from the state standards, Elser said.
“We are gonna take a look after the first year,” Elser said. “Kindergarten and first grade didn’t use the typical traditional A-F rankings, so we thought it would be an easier transition for those grades,” Elser said.
The board set its budget hearing for before the 7 p.m. board meeting on Monday, Sept. 11.
“We are able to start and end the school year. We rely more and local money, like property tax money, than state aid,” Elser said.
Since 2015, the district’s deficit spending has decreased, according to Elser.
In fiscal year 2015-16, the district was at about $700,000 deficit spending, with the following year that number dropping to $500,000. For 2017-18, the district expects to make cuts to some staff, two buses and other items given the projected $200,000 deficit spending, Elser said.
“We will be revisiting the strategic plan and making goals for the district and me as (new) superintendent,” she said.
In other news, the school board passed a memorandum of understanding with Central teachers and support staff to add a before school latch key position.
New hires approved were:
▪ Clare Rodenberg, district secretary;
▪ Kristin Borgstand, administrative assistant and latch key supervisor;
▪ Stanley Dunlap, before-school band program instructor;
▪ Brock Conley, boys basketball coach;
▪ David Miller, assistant boys basketball coach;
▪ Kevin Johnson, chess coach;
▪ Tiffany Owens, assistant student council sponsor;
▪ Brock Conley; non-certified aide;
▪ Kevin Johnson, non-certified aide;
▪ Angela Gilbert, non-certified aide;
▪ Tomarra Isaac, non-certified aide;
▪ Kayla Tresnak, non-certified aide.
The O’Fallon Township High SD 203 board set its budget hearing for 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 21 in the IMC at the Smiley campus.
All agenda items up for consideration at its August meeting, including final vote on board policies, passed 7-0.
The board just received the tentative budget with little discussion and no concerns were raised by members.
The Finance Committee will meet in late August or early September to review the budget in detail prior to the budget hearing on Sept. 2, said Superintendent Darcy Benway.
All action items received 7-0 votes.
Board member Brandt House expressed interest in looking into going digital with board documents and agendas during the board’s July meeting because he noted the extraneous efforts made by the administration to print and assemble meeting packets for board members and visitors. Since, the administration, staff and board members have discussed and reviewed coming to a final vote of approval to join their contemporaries, like O’Fallon SD 90, in “going digital” by using Board Docs: Your Paperless Governance Solution.
“The savings will be minimal, but efficiency and ease for public access will be increased,” Benway said.
The Shiloh SD 85 board set its district budget hearing for 7:30 p.m. Sept. 18, the same night at the board meeting at Shiloh Middle School, One Wildcat Cross.
All items passed unanimously with one board member, Ted Schaal, absent.