By Kendra Hennis
The Tuscola School Board met for their monthly meeting at 7 p.m. on November 25.
The 2019 Tax Levy and Resolution will be voted on at the December 19 board meeting. Due to the fact that there are a lot of unknowns associated with the levy, the board is opting to hold a Truth in Taxation hearing. The hearing necessary since the estimated increase in the levy is over five percent, which requires a mandatory hearing.
The board is also still in the process of going through stacks to fill the vacant seat.
In his Superintendent’s Report, Gary Alexander announced that the budget is in line with what was expected, the heat in the High School weight room was replaced, the air in the East Prairie computer lab was fixed, and that the Board Retreat will be held before the December meeting to discuss policy and procedures.
He also reported that the Schools received a commendable rating on this year’s state report card. State and federal laws require public school districts to release report cards each year. The Illinois Report Card is an annual report released by the Illinois State Board of Education that shows how the state, and each school and district, are progressing on a wide range of educational goals. The full report card is available to view on the School District’s website.
In his Principal’s Report, High School Principal Steve Fiscus reported to the Board that the Blood Drive on November 12 was very successful. They received eleven pints over their goal, and had twenty new donors. He also announced that this year’s Christmas Band and Choir concert will be held on December 8. The event begins at 2 p.m. and will feature both East Prairie and the High School. Finally, he told the Board that the High School will change how they do their finals schedule this year. In years past, there were only two days of finals, meaning that on some days students were taking up to four finals in a day. This year, there will be three days of finals, with first through third period on Tuesday, Dec 17, fourth through sixth period on Wednesday, Dec 18, and seventh and eighth periods on Thursday, Dec 19.
In her Principal’s Report, East Prairie Middle School Principal Carol Munson announced to the Board that the Seventh and Eighth Grade Girls Basketball teams won Regionals, and that the Boys Basketball season has begun. She also gave a big “thank you” to everyone involved with the Veteran’s Day assembly.
In his Principal’s Report, North Ward Elementary School Principal Jason Wallace reported to the Board that the trauma workshop that was attended by some teachers was successful. He also gave a shout out to Jessi Young, for their donation of copies of “Help for Billy”, which was recommended by Kindergarten Teacher Mrs. Porter at a previous meeting. “Help for Billy” is pragmatic manual to help guide educators and parents who are struggling with children who are impacted by trauma. Finally, he announced that the North Ward Christmas Concert will be held on December 12. First and Second Grade will perform at 2:30 p.m. and Third and Fourth Grade will perform at 7 p.m.
In other news, the board is going to look at the previous School Board goals and update them as needed for the coming years. These goals were last updated on October 23, 2018. Board Member Jessi Young suggests that the board create a strategic plan for the goals, and to have Superintendent Alexander evaluate if they are being met, and then the board can revise them as necessary. This would allow the board to see the growth over the years and see what needs changed. The board also discussed the possible addition of subcommittees, which will be on the agenda at the December meeting.
The Board also:
– Approved minutes from the October 28 regular board meeting.
– Approved bills in the amount of $1,377,207.57.
– Approved various donations in the amount of $8,559.38.
– Approved the monthly Treasurer and Bookkeepers report.
– Approved FMLA Leave for Emma Silver.
– Approved going into closed session to discuss personnel, security, student discipline, and student matters.
– Approved the letter of intent to retire from Mary Williams.
– Approved Stacy Lueth’s resignation from JV Volleyball.
– Approved the appointment of Gary Alexander as the IMRF Authorized Agent.
– Adjourned until the December 19 board meeting at 7 p.m.