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West Central Meets Candidates; Hears Disaster Plan; Approves Retirements

At the Regular Meeting of the WC CUSD #235 Board of Education on Wednesday, March 16, 2011 Board President Dr. Lonnie Brent called the meeting to order at 6 p.m. with all board members present at roll call except for Mr. Arnold who arrived at 6:01 p.m. and Mrs. Goff who entered at 7:45 p.m.

During the meeting Board President Brent recognized the seven board candidates who were in attendance at the meeting who are running on the April 5th Consolidation Election for the three positions on the West Central School Board. Those candidates were:

Jodi Arnold, Roberta Robbins, Tammy Bundy, Bill Allaman, Dan Bowman, Melissa Wallace and Mark Torrance.

President Brent also recognized Coral Seitz who is the Henderson County Emergency Management Coordinator.

The board discussed a report from Supt. Grimm concerning the flood preparation meeting that he and Sharri Richard attended on Thursday, March 10, 2011. Essentially, Mr. Grimm's report contained the following key items:

The board indicated their agreement with each of these bulleted points and directed Supt. Grimm to continue to work with Mrs. Seitz and Marty Lafary, Co Board Chairman on plans to fight a flood should one occur later this spring.

Under good news items the following successes were highlighted:

The board approved the agenda as amended with the following additions:

XV(A-4). Retirement of Barb Gray, Associate

XV(B-1). Transfer of Richard Roll from Elementary to High School custodian

XV(C-1). Employment of Jessica White as long term sub in the High School

XV(D-3). Approval of Jeremy Pickrel and Kevin Buis as volunteer high school baseball coaches

The board was entertained by the reports from the West Central High School, West Central Middle School and West Central Elementary school improvement teams regarding the 2011-12 school improvement plans.

The consent agenda was approved as presented. Items approved under the consent agenda included:

Under financial activity, the board approved the payment of all bills as presented the February activity accounts and the February 2011 treasurer's report. Supt. Grimm reviewed with the board the district's financial report. He reported that at the end of February our received revenue and actual expenditures should be at 66.67% of our budget.

Mr. Grimm reported that at the end of February the district has received 68.69% of budgeted revenue and had expended 61% of budgeted expenditures.

He also shared with the board that as of March 16, 2011 the State of Illinois owes the West Central School District $607,774.39.

The board approved a bid from Gunther Company from Galesburg, IL for the replacement of the circle driveway at the south campus. The low bid from Gunther Company was $43,641 for the base bid.

The board was reminded that there was an alternate bid also included with this project to include two handicap parking spots that would be accessed from the street in front of the middle school. The board approved the low bid for this work which also was from Gunther Company in the amount of $8,241. This work is scheduled to start on or shortly after June 6, 2011 and be completed by July 15, 2011.

The board heard reports from the Building Principals Mr. Buss, Mr. Nichols and Mr. Bradburn as well as the curriculum director's report from Mrs. Serven and the district special ed report from Mrs. Farniok. Mr. Grimm briefly reviewed the district technology and athletic reports that were submitted by Mrs. Frakes and Mr. Blender as they were unable to attend the meeting.

The board briefly discussed the 2011 school improvement plans. During this discussion item, Mr. Grimm reminded the board that the school improvement plans that they had received would be presented to them at the April meeting for approval. Upon approval, the 2011-12 school improvement plans will be posted on the district's web site.

The board confirmed the date for the school board's reorganization meeting. This meeting will be held on May 3, 2011. It will begin at 7 p.m. and be held in the elementary cafeteria. Mr. Grimm informed the board that in all likelihood there would be a need for a special board meeting of the current West Central #235 board of education on that evening and that meeting would begin at 6:30 p.m.. Mr. Grimm highlighted the items that would be on the agenda for the reorganization meeting.

Superintendent Grimm updated the board on the information that he had collected regarding the possibility of a non-resident student attending school in District #235. Essentially, Mr. Grimm reported that this process can move forward in the manner that the board wished it to last month. Mr. Grimm told the board that the WCATS leadership had given their approval of the board pursuing this. Mr. Grimm also pointed out that he had spoken to the leader of the Waiver Division at ISBE and that he has learned that this action would require a waiver that would be granted from the Illinois Legislature and not the ISBE. Because of this and the timeline that must be followed, Mr. Grimm informed the board that this process would not be completed in time for an out of district student to attend West Central beginning in August of 2011. As a result of the conversation at the board table, the board directed Supt. Grimm to pursue this waiver and to take the steps necessary to submit the appropriate waiver to the State Board in advance of the November 12, 2011 deadline for submitting waivers that must be approved by the Illinois General Assembly. It was also noted that the board would like to extend this option of out of district students attending West Central on a reduced or tuition free basis to all staff and not just certified staff.

The board discussed future agenda items. It was noted that there will be a consent agenda item for approval of some permanent artwork at West Central Elementary. It was also requested that the board discuss in closed session extending the Superintendent's contract and that issue be placed on the agenda as an action item at the April board meeting.

The board entered closed session to discuss matters pertaining to personnel and collective bargaining 8:32 p.m. They exited closed session at approximately 9:52 p.m. and took the following action:

The board was reminded that their next regularly scheduled meeting is set for Wednesday, April 20, 2011. This meeting will be held in the elementary cafeteria and begin at 7 p.m. not 6 p.m. as has been the time of the meetings for the last several months. The board was also reminded that there will be a reorganization meeting of the board on May 3, 2011. This meeting will also be held in the elementary cafeteria and begin at 7 p.m. They were also informed that there will be a need for a special meeting of the current District #235 board on May 3, 2011 beginning at 6:30 p.m. in the elementary cafeteria.

There being no other business to come before the board, the board adjourned their meeting at 10 p.m.