The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

Meeting of the WC CUSD #235 Board of Education

On Wednesday, October 21, 2009 the West Central CUSD #235 Board of Education conducted their regular meeting. As a result of this meeting the following items took place.

President Brent called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. All board members except Anderson and Clark were present at roll call. Mr. Anderson joined the meeting at approximately 8:10 p.m. Mr. Clark joined the meeting via telephone at approximately 11:00 p.m.

President Brent then led the members of the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance.

The following items were presented under good news items:

The board approved the agenda with the following additions:

2:20 Powers and Duties of the School Board/Board of Education

2:40 Board Member Qualifications

2:70E Checklist for Filling Board Vacancy by Appointment

2:110 Qualifications, Terms, and Duties of Board Officers

3:40 Superintendent

4:30 Revenue and Investments

4:40 Incurring Debt

4:100 Insurance Management

4:110 Transportation

4:140 Waiver of Student Fees

5:30 Hiring Process and Criteria

5:90 Abused and Neglected Child Reporting

5:100 Staff Development Program

5:120 Ethics

5:250 Professional Personnel - Leaves of Absence

5:280 Educational Support Personnel - Duties and Qualifications

5:330 Educational Support Personnel - Sick Days, Vacation, Holidays and Leave

6:110 Programs for Students at Risk of Academic Failure and/or Dropping Out of School and

Graduation Incentives Program

6:300 Graduation Requirements

6:310 Credit for Alternative Courses and Programs, and Course Substitutions

6:340 Student Testing and Assessment Program

7:190 Student Discipline

7:240 Conduct Code for Participants in Extracurricular Activities

7:300 Extracurricular Activities

8:100 Relations with Other Organizations and Agencies

The board approved the payment of all bills, the activity account reports for WCES, WCMS and WCHS, and the treasurer's report for September as presented. The board also heard an update from Superintendent Grimm concerning the financial report.

This report reflected revenue received and expenditures made through September 30th which is the end of the first quarter of the new fiscal year.

Supt. Grimm noted that at the end of the first quarter our revenue and expenditures should be approximately 25% of budget. It was pointed out that at the end of the first quarter, our revenue received compared to budget is approximately at 47% and expenditures made compared to budget are approximately 20.5%.

The board approved revisions on second reading for four board policies. Those policies are now considered adopted and will be included in our board policy book.

The board heard a brief summary from Superintendent Grimm on the FY09 district audit. Supt. Grimm pointed out that the district's estimated financial profile score is to be 4.00 on a 4.00 scale.

Supt. Grimm also reviewed with the board the four audit findings that were included in the audit summary.

Supt. Grimm provided the board for the reasons of the audit findings and the steps that will be taken so that those findings are not repeated. It was pointed out that none of the four findings contained in the audit were of a material nature.

Two of the findings are primarily due to lack of sufficient staff numbers in the central office to conduct the reporting process as required.

The third finding was a result of the state not providing transportation reimbursement in a timely manner and the timing of the investment of funds in the bond and interest fund.

The fourth finding dealt with a change in the auditors' interpretation of how up to date some required sign off sheets in personnel files must be.

The board approved the 2009 district and school report cards as presented. Most of the information contained in the report cards had previously been shared with the board.

The board approved a proposed set of guidelines for student taking Illinois Virtual School courses. It was suggested that these guidelines would result in the need to revise board policy 6:310. It was also suggested that a separate board policy be developed concerning the reimbursement to students who take dual credit or Illinois Virtual School courses. Supt. Grimm indicated that he would work on that and bring such a policy back to the board as soon as possible.

The board approved a proposed lease for 18 - 2011 school buses from Midwest Bus Sales as presented. The proposed lease amount for each bus is $12,550 which is the same lease amount that the district is paying for the buses that they are leasing this school year.

board approved the payment of an overload stipend to WCECC teacher Jessica Burrell.

The board approved certificates of appreciation for Representative Rich Myers and Senator John Sullivan for their work on securing funds in the State Capitol Bill for the Highway 34 project.

The board heard reports from the building Principals Mr. Buss, Mr. Nichols and Mr. Geiser. Reports were also given by Mrs. Serven, Mrs. Frakes, Mrs. Farniok and Mr. Dwyer concerning the activities that they have been involved with since last months board meeting.

The board received a preliminary draft of performance objectives for Superintendent Grimm to work on during his five year employment contract that currently exists.

Board members were asked to review the document and send any additional comments to Board President Brent.

The board will continue to discuss these performance objectives at the November board meeting with the hope of approving this document no later than the December 2009 board meeting.

The board spent a considerable amount of time discussing the 2009 district tax levy. Supt. Grimm presented to the board a summary of the district's tax levy since consolidation.

It was pointed out that since the December 2005 levy was filed, the district's overall tax rate has declined in each of the ensuing four years.

It was also pointed out that the district's EAV has increased significantly since that time.

The board reviewed two possible levy scenarios.

One scenario called for an extension increase of approximately 4.7%, the other scenario projected for the board what the extension increase would be if the board were to levy at the voter approved maximum rate in all funds and increasing the IMRF and Social Security fund to cover necessary expenditures in those two funds.

The board discussed several issues surrounding the tax levy and at the end of the conversation, the board indicated to Supt. Grimm that their preference would be to see a tentative levy presented in November that was something less than a 5% increase in the 2008 extension amount.

The board was given some initial information about some potential changes to the high school and possibly the middle school homework policy. Mr. Dwyer shared with the board some information that he has gathered about the "no zero" homework policy that is currently in use at the Monmouth/Roseville school district. After a brief question and answer session, the board gave permission to the administrative team to begin putting together a similar program for implementation in District 235. There was some discussion that this program might be implemented on a trial basis at WCHS beginning with the second semester of the 2009-10 school year for this years freshman students.

The board reviewed a proposed Henderson County Truancy Ordinance as presented by Henderson County States Attorney Ray Cavanaugh. It was pointed out to the board that there was a little more work to do by the County Board relative to seeking approval of this type of ordinance from each of the Township Boards. Following the approval of the Township Boards the West Central Board of Education can approve this document and it will become an effective ordinance in the county.

Among other things, the ordinance calls for a monetary fine for those parents who knowingly withhold their children from mandatory attendance at school.

The board briefly discussed the Illinois Funds E-Pay Program. Essentially this program would allow parents to pay fees and lunch account balances by credit/debit cards.

The board directed Supt. Grimm to bring a formal proposal for this type of program back to them at the November board meeting for their approval.

There were no future agenda items identified.

The board entered closed session at approximately 10:25 p.m. The board exited closed session at approximately 11:02 p.m. and took the following action:

The next meeting is Wednesday, November 18, 2009 at 7 p.m. rather than 6 p.m. as originally scheduled.

There being no other business to come before the board, the meeting was adjourned at approximately 11:11 p.m..