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West Central Board Proud To Recognize West Central Elementary As A Spotlight School

Last Wednesday, March 17, the West Central CUSD #235 Board of Education was very proud to recognize the West Central Elementary staff for their being designated as an ISBE 2009 Spotlight School.

Board President Lonnie Brent presented to Elementary Principal Mr. Dale Buss, a letter from the Board of Education offering their congratulations to the elementary staff.

Mr. Brent presented teacher Elaine Hull with the certificate of recognition that was received from ISBE.

The Board reviewed two power-point presentations from Mr. Blender's high school health class.

Also noted for their success were the following items:

Under audience request for presentation, the board was entertained by the middle school and elementary school improvement teams with their power point presentations of the 2010-11 school improvement plans for each building.

Following the power point presentations the board had brief discussions with each of the two teams making presentations.

In addition, Sam Sudaker, CSC Envoy updated the board on the most recent happenings at CSC. The board also heard from district resident Stephanie Carnes who addressed the board about some concerns she has relative to WCHS. Mrs. Carnes also offered to volunteer to help in any way that she could

The board heard a brief report from Jill Colley and Janine Harkness on the 21st Century Community Learning Centers grant. The purpose of this report was to highlight for the board the activities that have been undertaken as a result of this grant being awarded to the district.

It was pointed out that on an annual basis for the first three years of this grant the district should receive approximately $300,000 to support our improvement activities and that so far this year the grant has provided approximately $150,000 of financial support to the district.


The board heard an update on the district's financial report from Supt. Grimm. At the end of February 2010, Grimm said, our actual revenue and expenditures amounts compared to budgeted amounts should be at 66.66%. West Central's actual revenue received was 76.23% and expenditures compared to budget were at 61.56%. Supt. Grimm also briefly discussed with the board the current district financial position reminding the board that we have approximately 5.6 million dollars in the bank and that we are not undergoing drastic cuts as our neighbors are because we have been making small cuts as we have gone from one year to the next based on student enrollment and staffing needs.

There are further reductions through staff attrition that are being planned for next year, he said, and we West Central will be using district reserves to help cover any short fall in funding for FY11 as compared to FY10. Supt. Grimm is putting together a letter for district stakeholders to be put on the district's webpage in the very near future providing a significant amount of detail about the district's financial condition.

In other business:

The board reviewed and approved the Brian Hetrick Memorial Scholarship and the Megan Shutwell Memorial Scholarship and the process by which the scholarships will be paid as presented.

New: 8th Grade Graduation Date

 Proposed revisions of the following policies on first reading-4:60-Purchases and Contracts, 4:90-Activities Fund, 4:110-Transportation, 4:170-Safety, 5:20-Sexual harassment, 7:50-Transfers to and from Non-District School and 8:30-Visitors to and Conduct on School Property.

With regards to the financial activity, the board approved payment of all bills including three additional bills that were presented to them at the board table.

The board approved the activity account for February as well as the February treasurer's report.

The board approved a quote for cabinets for the high school chemistry lab from Flinn Scientific in the amount of $27,955. It was pointed that we will be using health life safety funds to pay for these cabinets and their installation because this was an item that was designated for action in the ten year health life safety survey that was conducted in the Spring of 2006.

The board approved two health life safety amendments. The first was for the Media sewer system for repair work that needed to be done during the month of February.

This life safety amendment was to finalize the amendment process that started with an emergency amendment. The amount of the amendment for this work was $5280.

The second health life safety amendment was for heat detector work that was made necessary as a result of the Regional Superintendent's annual health life safety inspection.This amendment was in the amount of $3480.

The board approved a two year lease for a 2010 mini bus with a lift from Midwest Bus Sales as presented. The bus we will be returning is two years old and out of warranty. The bus that we will be receiving is a 2010 model that will come with a full two-year bumper to bumper warranty.

The board heard reports from Principal Buss, Principal Nichols and Principal Geiser. They also heard a curriculum report from Mrs. Serven, a technology report from Mrs. Frakes and a special education report from Mrs. Farniok.

In addition, Mr. Blender provided the board with an update on the final statistics from the winter sports seasons for both WCHS and WCMS.

Mr. Dwyer presented the board with some discipline statistics for WCHS through the mid point of the third quarter. There were brief comments made to Mr. Blender and Mr. Dwyer about their reports from the board.

The board briefly discussed the 2010 school improvement plans. The board confirmed that they had no difficulty reviewing the plans electronically; therefore, Supt. Grimm indicated that he would not be sending out paper copies of these plans in next months packet.

There was some discussion concerning the funding of the school improvement plans and it was suggested by Supt. Grimm that those items outlined in the plans that are believed to have the most significant impact on improved student performance will receive the highest funding priority in the FY11 budget.

Supt. Grimm emphasized that the process of determining the school improvement plans involved a considerable amount of man hours, meetings and work on the part of all staff and that obviously the process works as evidenced by the award that the elementary school had received and how close the middle school came to receiving this similar award. He said there are a tremendous number of positive activities going on in each of the buildings in the district and that we must not lose sight of that as well when talking about test scores.

The board reviewed a request by a WCHS student to take college courses during the regular school day during the 2010-11 school year. The board was supportive of this request and this request will be brought back to the board for formal approval at their regular April meeting.

The board reviewed some information from the Henderson County Fair Board Association to use a small amount of district property to construct an equestrian arena on our south campus.

Following a brief discussion of this request, the board directed Supt. Grimm and the board's building and grounds sub-committee to continue dialoging with the Henderson County Fair Association to see if this project can be brought to completion.

The board briefly discussed a new five year proposed agreement with Carl Sandburg College that will continue our partnership for Edunet Services.

Sam Sudaker from CSC briefly outlined what new services the college will offering its Edunet Partners. It was pointed out that our band width will double in size we will have access to the noodle program as well as some other enhancements to the network.

Mr. Sudaker also pointed out to the board that the new five year agreement will be for the same monthly subscription rate of $538.33 per month which is our current rate.

The board was in agreement that this second five year agreement with CSC should be brought back to them at the April meeting for approval.

The board briefly discussed a possible change to Board Policy 8:80-Gifts to the district. It was suggested that the limit upon which the superintendent can accept gifts on behalf of the board be raised from $500 to $2500. The board agreed that this revision should be brought to them as part of the policy revision process.

Under future agenda items, the board clarified that they wished to continue to have dialogue about security cameras for the north campus and the clay trapshooting proposal that was presented to them at the February board meeting.

Supt. Grimm informed the board that both items were originally scheduled to be on the March board meeting agenda but due to his recent illness and some scheduling difficulties neither topic could be brought to the board this month and they would be on the agenda for the April board meeting. It was also suggested that the board would like to meet and discuss with those teachers who are completing the National Board Certification process.

The board took the following action regarding personnel:

The Board was reminded of the special meeting on Monday, March 22, at 5:30 p.m. in the Unit Office Conference Room for the purpose of matters pertaining to student discipline and a recommendation for expulsion of a WCHS student.

The next regularly scheduled W.C. Board meeting will be at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 21, in the elementary cafeteria at rural Biggsville.

The Board meeting was adjourned at 8:45 p.m.