The Board of Education recognized four RIMSD teachers at the first meeting of the school year on July 24. Dr. Oberhaus and President Cleaver presented certificates to Alexis Andrews (Frances Willard), Alice Lee (RICMS), Amy Moffitt (RICMS) and Susan Lyon (Ridgewood) in recognition of their completion of the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy’s TIPP program. Nicole Hoffman from Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy (IMSA) said that the teachers started the program in February of 2012 and consisted of hands on development sessions for classroom teaching. The program encourages teaching that encourages students to question while learning, which is based on IMSA’s approach to inquiry. A Community STEM Festival is scheduled for August 23 at Frances Willard School from 4-6:30 p.m. and the board is welcome to attend.
Reports from Board
Dave Rockwell attended the Head Start Policy Council last Wednesday. Kim Armstrong attended registration day at Rock Island High School and commended the high school staff on the new process – it was very well organized. Linda Dothard acknowledged an email she received from a school district parent regarding the bus contract. Paula Rummels attended the BHASED meeting on June 28. Jim Bishop also attended registration at Rock Island High School and also commended the high school staff about the easy process and organization of the event.
Dr. Oberhaus reported that Illinois Governor Quinn signed off on the state budget, which resulted in $1.8 million less in state aid for the school district. Therefore, the school district budget will reflect a $3.9 million deficit instead of $2.1 million deficit as originally reported in June. Administration is not going to look into additional staff reductions, the school district will look for efficiencies throughout the year to save money. Also, the State of Illinois assembly is still looking at strategies for pension reform. The option to move the burden to local districts is still on the table and Dr. Oberhaus expects the issue to come up again soon. The Promise Neighborhood grant is being submitted this Friday. It is a great collaborative effort between many organizations and municipalities. Thanks to Lucille Davis, Kathy Taylor, Tim Wernentin and Virginia Jarrett for helping to coordinate the effort on behalf of the school district. School begins on August 3, (full day). Registration was completed last week and enrollments have increased. On August 2, the staff is gathering for Opening Day at the High School, 7:30 a.m. is breakfast. The board is welcome to attend.
2012-2013 Budget Hearing
President Cleaver opened the 2012-2013 budget hearing at 6:28 p.m. Chief Financial Officer Bob Beckwith reported that the general state aid level dropped, and as a result the school district will receive $1.8 million less from the state this year. Now the additional reduction in state aid will result in $3.9 million deficit in the 2012-2013 school district budget. In addition, the school district needs $15 million in reserves to stay solvent, otherwise the school district could be put in a situation to borrow money. Beckwith felt that pension reform is the next issue on the horizon. The discussion is on the back burner in the state legislature at the moment but will be in the forefront again soon. It is not likely that the district would have to implement pension reform in 2012-2013, but could happen for 2013-2014. The board voted unanimously to adopt the 2012-2013 budget.
Education – Teaching and Learning Update
Dr. Jeff Zoul, Assistant Superintendent of Teaching and Learning, is officially on board and happy to be in the Rock Island-Milan School District. He complimented the school board on their involvement with the school district. His “Teaching and Learning” title reflects his philosophy – he is passionate about teaching and students. A high quality teacher is the single most important variable relating to student learning, and his job to ensure teaching Excellence Every Day.
This year there will be a lot of focus on the transition to Common Core State Standards. The district did a lot of work last year to align the curriculum to the standards to get ready for the transition. It is very important for the district to communicate to all stakeholders what the standards are and why they are important for student learning.
The district received preliminary data on ISAT and PSAE scores. The data received show a flat ISAT growth in comparison to the previous year, however the PSAE data did show notable growth from the previous year.
- Board approved revisions to policies 3:40, 4:60, 4:120, 4:180, 5:70, 5:130, 5:280, 6:70, 6:180, 6:235, 7:50, 7:80, 7:140, 7:220, 7:250, 7:275 and 7:340. The policies were reviewed and read at the June 12 meeting.
- Board approved Fall Sports Supplies purchase from several vendors and district forms from Artcraft and Printer’s Mark.
- Board approved a contract for the Leader in Me 7 Habits Signature Program at Denkmann, Eugene Field and Frances Willard Elementary Schools. All costs will be funded through the John Deere Foundation Grant.
- Board approved a contract with Pearson for Work Sampling for the Head Start program.
- Board approved services with Write Tools for Earl Hanson and Rock Island Academy.
- Board awarded a contract to Hawkeye Food Services for the Fresh Fruits and Vegetables grant program.
- Board awarded a contract to Little Caesar’s for pizza service.
- Board approved the purchase of a gas stacked combi oven.
- Board approved the purchase of 25 MacBook Pro Computers.
- Board approved the purchase of 40 iPads for Earl Hanson Elementary.
- Board approved fundraising requests from Edison Jr. High and Ridgewood Elementary.
- Board acknowledged donations from Lynn Rumler ($108 to RI Academy for Trivia Night); Carol Clay ($160 to RI Academy for Trivia Night); Deltas ($40 to RI Academy for Trivia Night); Inspire Giving ($50 to RI Academy); and Gloria and Victor Day Foundation ($632 for Earl Hanson School Carnival).