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Villa Grove school Board of Education holds meeting

By Kendra Hennis 
The meeting of the Villa Grove Board of Education was called to order at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, February 18. 

The first order of business was an FFA presentation from Mrs. Parr and Ag Education and FFA students about what is currently happening within the FFA program. Mrs. Parr also talked about the benefits of the program and the possibility of eventually expanding to younger levels. 

Mrs. Hannah King then presented on the benefits of branching into a multi-tiered system of support. The system would assist with kids struggling behaviorally and academically and about the process of creating a multi-tiered system of support for them. 

The Athletic Committee Met on February 12 to discuss the topic of tryouts and cutting in sports. The board noted in the current state of Villa Grove athletics in their merge with Heritage for sports, that the teams are normally composed of mostly Villa Grove players. The subcommittee decided on the topic of tryouts that for junior high cheer, there will be a tryout held if more than twelve students tryout. Twelve is the maximum number of cheerleaders allowed on the sideline per IESA so the top twelve students will make the team. They noted that during play, the sideline or end line at one time provided the space can safely accommodate only twelve cheerleaders. A game official may always ask for the sidelines and or end lines to be kept clear and this number may be reduced for the safety of the players. In regards to high school football cheer, there will be a tryout to determine fourteen varsity travel squad members, these members will travel to away varsity games and preform at varsity home games. Twenty total cheerleaders will make the team, the remaining members will make up the JV squad. Members of the varsity squad may be designated to cheer for JV home games. For junior high and high school competitive dance, there will be a tryout held to determine varsity members and alternatives. Twenty-eight members max as permitted by IDTA and IHSA. Alternatives will be told of there position as soon as possible per IHSA. Their final note from the meeting was that sixth graders will be used as a supplement to the seventh grade team only if needed due to low number as determined by the coach, AD, and principal collectively. Once these players are moved up, sixth and seventh graders will be one team and seventh graders will not receive preference. 

In an update on construction, the construction on the bridge over the Embarras River has begun setting up traffic control in February 2020. This project will remove and replace the structure carrying IL Route 120 over the Embarras River to include a shared use path on the west side of the structure and roadway that will connect into the existing sidewalk and there is a proposed sidewalk along the east side of the structure and roadway for pedestrian accommodations during stage construction of the bridge. 

In his Superintendent’s Report, Superintendent Mr. Tracy reported to the board that he would be attending the Illini Division Dinner Meeting on February 25 at Urbana High School. He also gave a report on the updates provided by IDOT on the bridge repairs. They hope the project to take around one year. He also discussed with the board the 2020 State Financial Profile as well as the 2020-2021 school calendar. 

In her Principal’s Report, Junior High and High School Principal Mrs. Jones noted on the Junior High side, that Freshmen orientation had a great turn out and sent a shout out to Mr. Sims for his work for the night. She also sent a congratulation to everyone who made in the spelling bee and a thank you to Mrs. Olson for assistance with judging. 

On the high school side, she noted that the Math Team competed on February 22, the High School Science students went to FebFest, the Science Festival held at EIU on February 14, and that the Winter Dance was held with Heritage on February 22. She sent congratulations to the WYSE team for winning regionals and a thank you to Mrs. Werts for her help with hosting the competition and to the girls VGH basketball team for getting second place in their Regional Tournaments. She also noted that the date for High School Graduation is being discussed due to some issues with the date. 

On her end, she reported that she presented with Mr. Beck at the Rotary Meeting about what is happening at the school, attended the ROE Admin breakfast in Arcola, and met with the Athletic Committee. 

Finally, she announced some upcoming dates at the school. She noted that the Student Council and Yearbook to Josten’s Event was held on Feb. 27, the FFA Appreciation Breakfast would be held on Feb. 27, the Educator’s Event for Jostens will be held on Feb. 28, the Polar Plunge will be held on March 1, Parent Teacher Conferences will be held March 12, and that IEP and 504 Updates will be posted March 13. 

In his Principal’s Report, Elementary School Principal Mr. Beck congratulated students of the month Zella Lindsey (1st Grade), Isabella Anderson (2nd Grade), Anna Craig (3rd Grade), Aubrey Jones (4th Grade), Madalyn Alvis (5th Grade) and Isaiah Kelsel (6th Grade) and Jeana Block who was named teacher of the month. 

He noted that the PTO Inflatable and Movie Party day was held on February 1 and the school celebrated their 100th day of school on January 31 with a lot of fun classroom activities. He also announced that he and other administrators attended the ROE breakfast on January 28, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Conference, and that Elementary Data Day was held on January 29 and teachers were able to see their students growth. 

He also sent a thank you to Mrs. King and Mrs. Jones for their help with Maps testing and making this testing cycle run so smoothly. 

He then sent a congratulations to their district winners Gabbie Metheny (1st), Maddie Wicklander (2nd), Allison Eisenmenger (3rd), and Michael Green (4th). He also sent a thank you to Mrs. Olson and Mr. Reno for pronouncing and judging the district bee. 

Finally, he announced some upcoming dates at the elementary school. At March 2, there will be a Job Fair at EIU, on March 3, there will be a Job Fair at ISU, on March 5, PTO Family Reading Night will be held, March 6 marks the end of the third quarter, on March 12 there will be parent teacher conferences, and on March 26 and 27, the Preschool Round Up will be held. 

The council also:

– Approved the minutes from the January 8 Special Board Meeting. 

– Approved the minutes from the January 21 Regular Board Meeting.

– Approved the closed session minutes from the January 21 meeting. 

– Approved a resolution to abate working cash funds to the O & M Fund. 

– Approved setting Eighth Grade Promotion for Friday, May 21 at 7 p.m.

– Approved setting High School Graduation for Saturday, May 22 at 7 p.m.

– Approved moving to closed session to discuss the appointment, employment, compensation, resignation, discipline, performance, or dismissal of specific employees of the public body or legal counsel for the public body or legal counsel for the public body, including hearing testimony on a complaint against an employee of the public body or against legal counsel for the public body to determine its validity.

– Adjourned until the March meeting. 

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