Superintendent Loy acknowledged the Board of Education with special certificates in recognition of School Board Member Day, November 15, 2009, in Illinois. “School board members serve countless hours working to make public education the best it can be for every child,” said Loy. “They bear responsibility and oversight in District 41 for an annual budget of $70 million, over 6300 students from Pre K to High School, and more than 500 employees throughout 17 buildings. Your steadfast devotion to this community and its children are very much appreciated. Thank you for a job well done.”
Board Member Reports
Earl Strupp, Linda Dothard and Dave Rockwell attended the Denkmann ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday, November 5. Ms. Dothard commended the staff and construction crew for their hard work on the new addition and front office reconfiguration. Mr. Rockwell thanked the school district and community for supporting the Rock Island-Milan Boosters Annual Raffle and Dance last Saturday. The event netted about $6,000 that will be put back into the school district through grants.
Student member Zavier Clark said that the high school wrapped up the Food Drive last week and gathered about 31,000 pounds of food for the cause. Board President Bill Cleaver, a war veteran himself, spoke at Earl Hanson Elementary for their Veteran’s Day program. He thanked all veterans for their dedication and service in this time of war. Superintendent Loy also conveyed a special thank you to all veterans who have made a difference in the lives of citizens.
Mr. Loy announced that the Rock Island County Health Department is setting up an H1N1 vaccine clinic at the high school on Tuesday, Nov. 17 from 3:30 – 7:00 p.m. The vaccine is for children and other priority groups. There is no cost for the vaccine. More information >>
At the last Board of Education meeting on Oct. 27, Associate Superintendent Mike Oberhaus reviewed five year projections with the board. The Administration is recommending the district consider using surplus funds to cover a half of the potential 2010-11 budget deficit of $4.3 million. Currently there are $29 million in reserves. Revenues for the district are down and and the board committed $8 million in reserves for the Building Excellence plan. The board agreed to move forward to construct the 2010-11 budget with a deficit of no more than $2,150,000, anticipating the rest of the $4.3 million to be covered by surplus funds.
Administration anticipates bringing a $2.15 million deficit budget to the board with recommended cuts sometime in January.
School Improvement Plan Presentations: Edison & Washington Jr. High
Principal Gary Flecker of Edison identified that his building met 2 of 4 goals set last year. The school achieved A.Y.P. in all categories except students with disabilities. Co-teaching, implemented last year, is anticipated to help that sub-group of students perform to standards. Action plans include bell-to-bell instruction, improved expectations with Building Intervention Team and monitoring ISAT data throughout the year. Mr. Flecker is very proud of the staff and students at Edison Jr. High and the building “is full of energy and knowledge.”
Principal Mark Hepner of Washington Jr. High is pleased with the school making A.Y.P. this year in all areas and commends his staff for putting in time above and beyond the normal school day to help meet the students academic achievement needs. The school has increased supplemental classes and after school instruction with the implementation of Lights on for Learning. Both Edison and Washington have been collaborating with programs and plan to continue to work together to prepare students for high school.
Building Excellence Update
Greg Larrison of Larrison & Associates presented a design plan for Earl Hanson Elementary. The design would expand the north west side of the school to include a new cafeteria, common area and small paved playground outside the cafeteria. The project originally budgeted for 1,950 square feet, however it was determined that the expansion would need about 3,000 square feet. Projected budget: $400,000. Mr. Larrison also presented the Edison and Washington Jr. High remodels. At Edison he proposed to move offices to west side of building where the library is currently located, and create a media center where the current main office location is. Centrally locating the offices near the entrance will allow for a secure entrance feature to be installed. A new re-purposed administration area at Washington Jr. High would allow the entrance to be located near current main office and not near gym/cafeteria. Additional science rooms will be constructed on the second floor to accomodate additional classes.
In anticipation of the 2010-11 budget deficit and overexpentidure of other projects in the Building Excellence plan, administration recommended that the Jr. High projects be tabled and completed at a later date. That will save the district approximately $825,000. The board approved to move ahead with the Earl Hanson project to complete all of the elementary school construction/renovations of the Building Excellence plan. The District plans to break ground at Earl Hanson sometime March 2010.
Rock Island High School Attendance Incentive and Finals
The high school perfect attendance incentive allows a student to opt-out of finals if they have had no absences (sickness or other) during the semester. In light of the current pandemic with the H1N1 flu virus, Principal Robert Mason has been aware of concern relating to a students attendance and coming to school sick in order to prevent an absence. As this can be a threat to the health of the high school population, if there is an issue of student absences that correlate with the pandemic flu outbreak, the perfect attendance incentive at the high school will be suspended. Principal Mason and his staff are monitoring illnesses & absences and will continue to do so.
- Asst. Superintendent Kay Ingham and S.K.I.P. Principal Mike Russell are working on details to move the Special Kids in Preschool program from Moline to the Horace Mann building in Rock Island. The building could also have room for the district’s E.D.R. program (currently at Earl Hanson) and also some Head Start programs.
- Ken Jaeke, Director of Instruction and Assessment, reported on Building Transitions protocols as it serves students who are moving from Pre-K to Kindergarten, 6th grade to Jr. High, Jr. High to High School and then after graduation. The priority is to move students seamlessly through levels while providing support for academic and social needs. Transitioning not only impacts students, but parents as well, and the district provides opportunities and information to help guide families along throughout the students academic career.
- Board Policy Revisions – as changes in legislation and newly passed laws take effect in the State of Illinois, the board policies are updated to reflect changes. Policies 2:20, 2:40, 2:70E, 2:110, 3:40, 4:40, 4:100, 4:140, 6:340 and 7:190 were recommend for update by administration.
- The board agreed to acknowledge and appropriately honor Robinson Woods at the Rock Island Center for Math & Science and further discussion will ensue as school construction nears completion.
- Board approved a contract to S.J. Smith, Davenport, IA for welders at Rock Island High School.
- Board approved contract to DEPCO, Pittsburg, KS for the Modular Technology Lab at Rock Island High School
- Board approved contract to Center Stage, Monmouth, IL, for replacement of sound system in the Field House at Rock Island High School.
- Board approved contract to RK Dixon, Davenport, IA for switches for computer network upgrade at Eugene Field, Longfellow and Primary Academy.
- Board approved contract to Macintosh Computers to purchase computers for student use and for four staff members pending ARRA IDEA grant from Illinois State Board of Education.
- Board approved contract to Dell Computers for computers for student use at Edison, Washington and Thurgood Marshall pending approval of ARRA IDEA grant from Illinois State Board of Education.
- Board approved contract to Promethean Active Classroom to purchase five interactive whiteboards for special education classrooms at Earl Hanson, Edison and Rock Island Center for Math & Science pending approval of ARRA IDEA grant from Illinois State Board of Education.
- Board approved contract to Dukane Company to purchase carts to be shared by special education teachers at Thurgood Marshall Center pending approval of ARRA IDEA grant from Illinois State Board of Education.
- Board approved to award a contract to Advanced Brain Technologies to purchase listening kits for use with students under direction of Autism Facilitator pending approval of ARRA IDEA grant from Illinois State Board of Education.