By Kendra Hennis
The meeting of the Villa Grove Board of Education was called to order at 6 p.m. on Monday, March 15.
Following approval of the consent agenda, the board began discussion of the co-op structure with Heritage. They will continue to co-op for football, girls basketball, and track. They noted that they needed to work out the details on that with Heritage and hoped to have those soon.
The board then moved discussion of extracurricular participation of homeschooled students. When Superintendent Munson joined Villa Grove schools, she found the official school policy stated that homeschooled students could not participate in extracurricular activities. A family had requested the board to consider a change in the policy for this year due to the recent findings. They had previously been told that this would not be the case and that their child would be able to participate. However, due to the policy in place, the board was unable to make any changes in the policy.
Superintendent Carol Munson then began her report. She said that PRESS Plus 107 was being worked on, but not quite ready for release. She noted that she received an official Guarantee/Warranty letter from Dave Ortman with Dukane regarding the precast panels. In the letter they are guaranteeing the structural integrity of the panels for ten years and the panels aesthetics (cracks, etc.).
She then noted that the Douglas County Health Department will be conducting a vaccine clinic for staff on March 17 at 2:45 p.m. They will receive the Moderna vaccine and the department will return to administer the second dose.
Muson ended noting that she had received a letter from Moody’s Investors Service in regards to the school’s issuer rating. Villa Grove School District 302 received a A1 issuer rating that reflects the district’s general credit quality and ability to repay debt and debt-like obligations without consideration of any pledge, security, or structural features. Moody’s noted that they do not generally assign outlooks to local governments with this amount of debt. They did however note that factors including growth of the district’s full value per capita and resident incomes, continued growth in reserves, and improved financial reporting could potentially lead to an upgrade.
Villa Grove Elementary School Principal Bobby Beck began his report by congratulating Villa Grove Elementary Students of the Month: George Weyhrich (Kindergarten), Elisa Krause (First Grade), Elijah Carroll (Second Grade), Lily Chambers (Third Grade), Kenna Koberlein (Fourth Grade), Max Kneer (Fifth Grade), and Lyndsay Zoch (Sixth Grade).
He then announced that the deadline to submit in the 5Essentials Survey is April 2. Parents currently have completed 14 percent and 20 percent is needed for results. The link can be found on the Villa Grove schools website. Beck then noted some upcoming dates at the school, March 18 and 19 will be Pre-K Round Up; Kindergarten will have a walk-in registration on March 24 from 6 to 7:30 p.m.; Parent Teacher Conferences will be held March 11; April 7 through 20 will be IAR testing; a blood drive will be held on March 16; and spring break will be March 29 through April 2.
Junior High and High School Principal Sara Jones began by congratulating Erin Shunk for being named the March Senior of the Month, the HS Scholastic Bowl team for being invited to Nationals, as there were only 30 teams in the country that were invited, Kyleigh Block for being named the News Gazette Player of the Week, the ACES team (Academic Challenge) for placing third at Regionals at EIU, and to the junior high Devilettes who came in first place at their state competition.
Jones then thanked Ms. Parr and the FFA for their $886 donation to the snack pack program as well as all of the teachers and parents for their work in Parent Teacher Conferences. She noted that junior high track practice has started and that high school football and volleyball games would be starting soon. Jones announced that some upcoming dates at the school included a blood drive on March 16, Easter Break March 29 through April 2, Band and Choir Solo and Ensemble on April 10, April 13 is PSAT/SAT Testing for freshmen through juniors, the Homecoming Parade on April 23, Mid-term on April 23, April 23 is the last day to compete the 5Essentials Survey, and April 24 would be homecoming activities.
Additionally, the high school play will be held May 1, Honors Banquet on May 4, Ag Field Day on May 6, Prom on May 8, May 14 is the last day for seniors to attend classes, finals are tentatively set for May 19 and 20, May 21 will be a remote planning day, Teacher’s Institute on May 24, eighth grade Promotion is set for May 27 at 7 p.m. and high school Graduation is for May 20 at 2 p.m.
The board also:
* Approved the minutes of the February 16 regular board meeting.
* Approved the closed session minutes of the February 16 regular board meeting.
* Authorized the payment of bills.
* Approved the monthly treasurer’s report.
* Moved to closed session.
* Approved the tenute of Katie Smith, Wendy Brown, and Sondra Burwell.
* Accepted the resignations of Blake Swan, Junior High cheer coach; Heath Wilson, HS track coach; and Kim Conn, special education teacher.
* Approved the hiring of Jacob Griffith, HS boys track head coach; Mary McGarigle, HS girls track head coach; Gavin Gunter, JH boys basketball head coach; and Karen Wells, part-time permanent cafeteria staff.
* Approved the extended FMLA leave for Lee and Sharon Hoffman.
* Accepted notice of intent to retire for Lee and Sharon Hoffman.
* Adjourned until the April board meeting.