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VG BOE approves budget; presents new program

By Kendra Hennis 
The meeting of the Villa Grove Board of Education was called to order on Monday, June 21 at 6 p.m. with member Charlie Midsdarfer absent. 

The board began with an open public hearing at 6:01 p.m. for the final Amended Budget Hearing for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2021. Superintendent Carol Munson noted that the school had received no questions or comments on the matter, and there were no comments at the hearing. The board then closed the hearing at 6:02 p.m. and voted to approve the final amended budget. 

Following the public hearing, visitors Rudy McCollum and Ms. Parr greeted the board and discussed the School That Works summer school program. The program was paid by a EFE grant and allows students that struggled with attendance and participation to get back on track before the next school year by using a business structure and learned concepts in real life application. Parr explained that the students created a teleflamation printing shop with the help of Mr. Kestner, and fill various roles within the buisness to create and produce their products. Currently, the students are working with different organizations within the school for shirt sales. Parr said that the program is going very well and that students are really enjoying the opportunity to integrate their classes and the buisness during The School That Works program. 

Parr also presented on behalf of the Villa Grove FFA program, announcing to the board that the FFA would be holding their kiddie tractor pull and corn eating contest at ag days. And that the corn eating contest would have an extra-special contestant, FFA alumni and WCIA meteorologist Jacob Dickey. 

During the consent agenda, the board also approved junior high handbook changes. Principal Sara Jones noted that the changes made in the junior high handbook consisted of a language change that now says that students are expected to pass all classes (instead of the previously stated 5 of 6) and the provision that students who do not master the basic skills of reading, math, writing, and organization may be expected to attend MTSS/summer school. Jones said that both of these changes were being made for clarity and to encourage student success. The board also approved Consolidated District Plan and Resolution Establishing Prevailing Wages. Munson explained that both of these are a formality and allow the school to be eligible for grants while agreeing that they will follow all legal requirements. As well as renewal of Property/Casualty/Liability Insurance and Selective Insurance with Bushue HR. 

Superintendent Munson followed by giving her monthly report to the board. She noted that those interested had been registered for the Triple I Conference, that it was time that the school purchase a new internet server, and that construction at the school was wrapping up. DeCain will be visiting the school on Tuesday to evaluate cracks and repairs on the bridge were set to be completed in the next couple of weeks. 

Principal Beck then announced that TCI refresher training had been completed at the school on May 25, with he and Angie Schable as trainers. The training allowed for staff members to get recertified. He also noted that the SOAR program was held June 2 – 18 led by Ms. Barnes, Ms. Campbell, Mrs. Smith, Mrs. Schable, Mrs. Brown, Mrs. Morrow, and Ms. Wells with almost 40 students participating. Beck said that online registration for next school year will be available from June 23 to July 2, with times available for families without internet access. He noted that extracurricular selection and payment could also be done on the website. Beck reported that there would be no handbook changes on the elementary side, but that he was ensuring all legal terms were up to date with the IPA handbook. He ended saying that they were making progress on the new app and website. They have picked out a design and set up a calendar and are working on transitioning all pages over. 

Principal Jones followed thanking Ms. Parr, Mr. Kestner, and Mr. Skinner for all their help with the School That Works Program, noting that the nine students currently participating are doing very well. She also thanked all involved for their hard work with junior high promotion and high school graduation. Jones ended congratulating multiple VG students who placed at the IHSA state track meet last week. 

The board also: 

* Approved the minutes of the May 17 regular board meeting.

* Approved the closed session minutes of the May 17 regular board meeting.

* Authorized the payment of bills. 

* Approved the monthly Treasurer’s report.

* Approved the food bid with Kohl Wholesale, bread bid with Aunt Millie’s, and milk bid with McCormick. 

* Approved the registration, meal, sports, and technology fees for the 2021-22 school year. Superintendent Munson noted that there were no increases in fees since last school year.

* Moved to closed session at 6:36 p.m.

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