Belleville District 118’s monthly board meeting took care of matters large and small in a quick meeting.
▪ The board approved hiring three paraprofessionals: Jessica Anthony as a full-time response-to-intervention paraprofessional at Westhaven Elementary; Charity Hairston as a part-time individual paraprofessional at Central Junior High; and Courtney Hasenstab, who will split the full-time position between Westhaven and Washington Elementary.
▪ Because a grant was finalized, District 118 continues it’s parent mentor program that concentrates on families with children aged birth to 3 years. The two parent mentors help about 30 families, including hosting play dates at Washington Elementary.
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The board approved October claims in the millions of dollars as is typical of the district. They also approved the closure of a fund at Jefferson Elementary.
“This activity fund at Jefferson hasn’t been used in a year and will never be used again,” said board member Aaron Snively, who heads the finance committee.
“The balance of $1.12 will be transferred into the Jefferson latchkey activity fund.”
The suggestion passed without discussion.
School report card
The Illinois State Board of Education will not have the annual school report cards soon, Klosterman reported.
“It’s kind of tough to have the school report card when you don’t have the test data,” Klosterman said, referring to the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers test. Those results are now expected by December.
The board held a moment of silence for two members of the 118 “family” who died this week.
▪ Carsen Boner, 6, of Freeburg, attended Freeburg Grade School. “He had a lot of (medical) issues but his passing was unexpected,” Klosterman said. “He was the kid who always had a smile on his face, loved coming to school.”
▪ Pat Konya was “a longtime member of the 118 family,” Klosterman said. She was a counselor at West Junior High.
Jamie Buss, principal of Washington and Henry Raab Elementary schools, provided some highlights of the start of the year.
Two students and several mentors from Kaskaskia Engineering Group spoke to the board about what the mentors and children do together, including lunch dates and playground time. It’s the second year Kaskaskia has been part of the program, and owner Geri Boyer says they have no plans to end it.
Several teachers said the one-on-one attention students get in the program is valuable, and some child-mentor pairs are “best of friends.”
“I go diligently every Tuesday... for me I think it’s a great experience,” said Becca Boyer, director of business development for Kaskaskia. She said this year she mentors “the two Emilys” who were disappointed that she was not there at the start of the year.