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La Harpe Community School District #347

LA HARPE SCHOOL BOARD News Release - November 19, 2013

On November 19, 2013 a regular meeting of the La Harpe Board of Education was held in the school library with the following members in attendance: Pres. Cindy Wear, Vice Pres. Nate Butler, Pam Campbell, Dustin Detherage, Bobi James, and David Mershon. Supt. Ryan Olson, Prin. Lila McKeown, and Board Sec. Jeanne Clayton were also in attendance.

La Harpe teachers Sherry Beals and Ashley Cox presented first grade activities from their classes. The Board enjoyed Mrs. Beal's demonstration of the Ten Frame to teach arithmetic in visual and tactile ways. Mrs. Cox presented books she uses to teach students cause-and-effect and the impact of kind rather vs. harsh words. The Board thanked Mrs. Beals and Mrs. Cox for their presentations.

The Board approved Lisa Trout as head volleyball coach with Andi Trout as assistant coach, approved the FY 2015 preliminary tax levy and set a tax levy hearing for Dec. 17th at 7:05 p.m. The Board reviewed and approved the District risk management plan, reviewed the State Report Card (linked on the school website), agreed to coop Scholastic Bowl with Dallas City, and approved the consent agenda and payment of bills.

Supt. Olson commended the Board for functioning well as a unit, and suggested scheduling a "Committee of the Whole" prior to Board meetings, as needed, for policy, finance, etc., which would help eliminate extra committee meetings, and would provide for input from every member. The Board agreed to try out the Committee of the Whole format. Dr. Olson spoke with the Board members attending the III Conference about planning their session schedule ahead with the online conference tool. Dr. Olson visited with the Board about the Lions Club, and about arranging visits to the school from Daisy Mae, certified comfort dog, and her owner, Laurie Myers. Dr. Olson also provided the Board with a recent "Capitol Watch" published by the State superintendents association with information on pension reform.

Principal McKeown gave updates on girls' and boys' basketball. The Western Illinois Regional Council-Community Action Agency Victim Services Program gave a presentation to the students on Safety Awareness and Erin's Law (State-mandated sexual abuse prevention education for students). The Fall Book Fair, Red Ribbon Week, PBIS, and Fall Festival activities were held. Nearly 100% of elementary parents attended Parent Teacher Conferences in October. Students are writing letters to soldiers again this year, and held a food drive for Hunger and Homeless Week to benefit the local food pantry. Prin. McKeown and the teachers are meeting to gear up for the new Teacher Evaluation Plan, and have attended workshops on Common Core, Guided Reading, Technology, as well as preparing for the new State testing for students. Kindergarten, Pre-K and Speech classes were each provided an iPad for instruction use. The iPads were purchased with technology grant funds. Mrs. McKeown also reviewed the mission of La Harpe School with the Board.

To view online agendas, news releases, and approved minutes, visit the School Board link at