The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.
Board Holds Off On Naming Field To Make Policy
Board President Brent led the West Central School Board discussion last Wednesday during their regular meeting, on the topic of naming district facilities which resulted in a sign to be placed on the field in memory of Brian Hetrick and a special ceremony observed during Senior Night this Friday evening at the Heat's final home football game.
The discussion came about as a result of a request that was made to the board at the September board meeting by Sarah Bigger and Terry Thacker to re-name the football field after Brian Hetrick.
Board President Brent first reviewed with the board and those in attendance the request that was made last month and some things that have happened since the September board meeting. President Brent indicated that the board had asked Superintendent Grimm to prepare a policy regarding the naming of district facilities and that proposed policy was included in their board packet.
He then asked for comments from members of the board relative to the specific request to re-name the football field and the proposed board policy on naming district facilities.
Following those conversations, Board President Brent acknowledged Carl Swan and Jack Weeks who both addressed the board on re-naming the football field after Brian Hetrick.
As a result of the discussion that took place regarding this agenda item, Board President Brent appointed Board members Anderson and Clifton to chair an ad hoc committee to identify ways that the district could honor Brian Hetrick for his accomplishments as a former Union High School athlete and a member of the Monmouth College Football Team.
Asked to serve on that committee were WC Athletic Director Jay Blender, WC Librarian Renee Schneider, and Terry Thacker, Joyce and Jim Hetrick.
The ad hoc committee will prepare recommendations for a ceremony to honor Mr. Hetrick at the October 24, home football game.
The Board took no formal action on the request to re-name the football field or any other district facility.
In other action of business the board, called to order at 7:00 pm, all were present at roll call except for Board member Sams who entered at approximately 7:11 pm. President Brent led the members of audience in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Under good news items, the following items were identified as celebration of success:
¥ Mr. Buss introduced Kayla Carnes who is a new third grade teacher to the district;
¥ Mr. Buss thanked Lowes for being awarded their Lowe's Heroes project for beautifying the Elementary and High School outdoor campuses.
¥ Mr. Nichols congratulated CC Whitemore and Caleb Paulus for being selected to participate in All State Music Festival held at Augustana College;
¥ Mr. Geiser announced that WCHS student Miriam Rutzen was accepted at Harvard and will be attending there next year;
¥ Mr. Geiser congratulated the high school golf team for their many accomplishments this season;
¥ Board member Clark thanked Scott Pullen and Ann Davies for their work on painting the football field and designing and completing the lighted WC logo;
¥ Board member Clifton complimented Mr. Potts and the band for their performances;
¥ Board President Brent announced that the district is currently in an excellent financial standing with ISBE.
The board approved the agenda with the addition of X(I): Consider Approval of Accepting Gifts to the District
Under the recognition of audience request for presentation the board heard an update from CSC envoy, Sam Sudaker. Board President Brent recognized Mr. Carl Swan and Mr. Jack Weeks who had requested to address the board on the agenda related to naming a district facility and the 2008 tax levy.
Board President Brent indicated that these two gentlemen would be allowed to address the board at the time those topics were discussed during the meeting.
The board approved the following items under the consent agenda:
The board approved payment of the October bills, the September activity accounts and the September treasurer's reports as presented.
In addition, Supt. Grimm updated the board on the status of revenue and expenditures actual to budget for the first quarter of FY09.
Superintendent Grimm also informed the board that he and district treasurer had recently invested $5.5 million dollars with the Wells Fargo Bank.
The board was given an explanation of the process used to make the determination to use the Wells Fargo Bank.
It was also pointed out that included in that $5.5 million dollars was the majority of our approximate $3.7 million dollars of local property tax money that the district has received to date.
The board heard a report from Superintendent Grimm from the board policy committee regarding the proposed policy revisions to eight of the current board policies. Following the review of the proposed changes to the existing policies, the board approved the revised policies on second reading and adopted them.
The board heard a report from Superintendent Grimm regarding the FY08 district audit report. It was reported to the board that our independent auditors were extremely pleased with the financial condition of the district and the way the district's financial books had been maintained during FY08.
Supt. Grimm pointed out to the board that there was only one audit finding regarding segregation of duties relative to handling cash and the district's checking accounts.
It was also pointed out that this is a repeat finding and one that is common in a school district of our size due to the lack of resources to hire an adequate number of staff to appropriately segregate the duties as per generally accepted accounting practices.
Board President Brent praised the administrative team and the central office staff for earning the ISBE's school district financial profile designation of Recognition.
It was noted that this in an improvement from the two previous audits and the highest recognition a school district can earn.
Board member Sams encouraged Supt Grimm and the central office staff to do all that they can to see that the audit finding regarding segregation of duties is eliminated in the next fiscal year.
Following that conversation, the board approved the FY08 district audit report as presented.
The board briefly reviewed the 2008 district and school report cards. Following a couple of comments from Supt. Grimm and Mrs. Serven, the board approved the 2008 district and school report cards as presented. Those report cards will be available to district stakeholders on the district's web page and copies of each building and the district's report card will be available in each building office.
The board briefly discussed proposed new board policy 8:85 - Naming of District Facilities. This policy was being presented on first reading. The board agreed to make two minor modifications to the proposed policy and directed Supt. Grimm to make those changes and to bring this proposed policy back to them at the November 2008 meeting for second reading and adoption.
The board accepted a gift of approximately $5250 from the Brian Hetrick Memorial Fund. Proceeds from this donation will be used to benefit the West Central High School football team and other programs as the district sees fit. The second gift that the board accepted was from Helen Gibb who donated two treadmills to the district. These treadmills will be identical to the ones that the board approved last month that will be used for the personal fitness physical education class.
The board heard reports from the Building Principals Mr. Buss, Mr. Nichols and Mr. Geiser. The board also heard an update from District Curriculum Director Mrs. Serven, District Technology Director Mrs. Frakes, and District Special Education Director Mrs. Farniok. The board also heard an update from WCHS Dean of Students Jay Blender regarding the number of types of discipline issues that he has dealt with during August and September of the current school year.
The board heard a preliminary report from Superintendent Grimm on the 2008 tax levy. Following a brief presentation by Supt. Grimm, the board heard comments from Mr. Swan and Mr. Weeks relative to the tax levy as well as the district's budget. Supt. Grimm informed the board that he will be presenting to them a tentative 2008 tax levy at the November board meeting. The board was encouraged to offer their thoughts or suggestions for that tentative tax levy to Supt. Grimm between now and the time the November board meeting packet is finalized.
The board conducted a discussion of the current high school schedule. Present to lead that discussion were high school counselors Lanie Hultgren and Karen Starbuck. Ms. Hultgren and Mrs. Starbuck reviewed with the board several pieces of data that they had collected relative to scheduling conflicts, schedules of area schools, as well as certain recommendations that could be considered if the board deemed any changes need to be made relative to the high school schedule. During the conversation the idea of moving the classroom portion of the driver education to a summer program was discussed. The board encouraged the administrative team to seek feedback from parents on the impact of this move before bringing that recommendation to the board for action. It was the decision of the board to continue this item as a discussion item at the November board meeting.
The board continued the discussion that was started last month regarding providing additional space for the north campus, specifically the high school. District architect Bill Phillips was in attendance to review with the board the proposed addition of several classrooms to the existing high school building. Following that presentation, the board discussed several things relative to how this space would be used, the need for additional space, and how to pay for that additional space. The board decided that this topic also should be brought back to them in November for continued discussion.
The board briefly reviewed a summary of the actions that have taken place to date relative to the goals that were identified at the Spring 2007 board planning retreat. As the board had not had a great deal of time to review this document prior to the meeting, it was requested that this item also be brought back to the board in November for continued discussion.
The board heard a very brief report from Supt. Grimm and Sharri Richard regarding the upcoming 2009 school board election. It was noted that the first day to circulate school board candidate's nominating petitions is Tuesday, October 28, 2008. There will be four seats up for election in the April 7, 2009 school board election.
Under future agenda items, board member Sams asked that the administrative team look into a non college bound student certificate for basic employment skills through the ACT test and bring back a report to the December board meeting.
The board did not feel there was a need to enter closed session and took the following action regarding personnel:
The board was reminded that the next meeting will be on Wednesday, November 19, 2008 beginning at 6:00 pm. This meeting will be held in the elementary cafeteria.
The meeting was adjourned at 11:02 pm.
Brian Hetrick #35, former Union football star will be highlighted in a memorial tribute Friday at halftime of "The Heat" football game against South Fulton.