The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

La Harpe Community School District #347 Meeting


At the October 16 meeting of the La Harpe Board of Education, Illini West Supt. Kim Schilson explained the High School building referendum and answered questions about it. Science teacher Chris Schwarz presented an example of the lessons he is using in Junior High science class to creatively engage the students in learning.

Schwarz demonstrated to the Board how he taught the metric system and reinforced it with activities in a Mini- Metric Olympics lesson. Schwarz also praised Principal McKeown's positive influence and support in his first years of teaching.

Schwarz expressed his love of teaching the La Harpe students as being worth the 40 miles he drives from his home each day.

Superintendent Campbell's report included information on Core Curriculum, State Pension Shifting and Ed Reform. Principal McKeown gave updates on athletics, the start of an elementary Reading Club, a 5th grade trip to the Safety Fair, Miles of Smiles dental services, and the activities and drills of Fire Prevention Day.

McKeown noted that our local firemen do and excellent job with the fire prevention activities, and mentioned we are so fortunate to have such a dedicated group of individuals serving our community. McKeown spoke of Bus Safety activities, a Positive Behavior celebration with a "community connection", and Red Ribbon Week. New teachers have been trained on the Nonviolent Crisis Intervention program, developed by the Crisis Prevention Institute (CPI), which teaches staff to respond effectively to the warning signs that someone is beginning to lose control.

Teachers who have previously attended the training have a refresher course on the subject. Six teachers are set to attend the Illinois Technology Conference, and three will go to Common Core Standards Elementary Math workshops.

The Board reviewed the Annual Financial Report and approved the Annual Application for Recognition of Schools, Administrative Compensation Report, the amended Classified Staff Salary Schedule, the LEA Contract, and the purchase of a staff Christmas gift for each district employee.

The HVAC controls for the south wing of the main building have been updated, the new sidewalk south of the cafeteria, and the guttering extensions have completed using grant funds.

The Board accepted with regrets the resignation submitted by Dr. Ruth Kelly who will continue to provide psychologist services on an as-needed basis.

The Board hired Amanda Palmer as Assistant Head Cook, Chris Altgilbers as Junior High Girls Basketball Assistant coach, Ryan Hopper and Matt Melvin as JH Boys Basketball Head and Assistant coaches respectively, and Chris and Krissy Altgilbers as 5th 6th Boys Basketball head and assistant coaches respectively.

November 2012

At the November 20th meeting, 3rd Grade Teacher Emily Kohl presented a Social Studies lesson on Communities her students had completed. Each child had chosen a com

munity, gathered specific data to report and presented it in a PowerPoint page format. Kohl used the Promethean board to show each child's PowerPoint slide.

Junior High Math Teacher Brian Sullivan gave the Board background information about himself and presented a lesson on measurement the 7th grade had completed.

Sullivan showed data displays, graphing on the Promethean board using Excel, folders with student writing and work, and spoke of his Response to Intervention group, a normal day in Math class, and the ways the Promethean board is used on a regular basis by students. Sullivan gave a special thanks to Principal McKeown for allowing him the flexibility to do spreadsheets with the class. Sullivan also mentioned working with Illini West to prepare current students for the high school Common Core Standards as well as for Algebra.

Dr. Campbell's Superintendent's report included information from a presentation by Diane Ravitch on the impact of No Child Left Behind and high stakes testing. Prin.

McKeown gave updates on the athletic teams and mentioned recent activities such as Parent Teacher Conferences, the semiannual Book Fair, and a food drive during Hunger and Homeless Week.

Certified Staff received School Improvement Day training on the new Teacher Evaluation process, Teacher Web Pages, and an annual CPI Refresher. McKeown's first round of teacher observations is completed. McKeown gave the Board a copy of the new teacher evaluation plan and a list of positive comments gathered from staff members about the school climate. McKeown listed 5 webinars she has completed regarding implementation of new standards.

The board approved the preliminary Tax Levy, reviewed the District Risk Management Plan, appointed Laura Claassen as additional local election official, approved the a fund transfer from Working Cash fund to Fire Prevention and Safety fund, approved a bid to replace the expansion tanks in the boiler room, and discussed QNS technology services.

The Board approved Ralph Todd as a head custodial substitute, Minnie Lahar as a sub cook and sub custodian, and Cindy Fry as a sub paraprofessional. The board also approved the FY2013 Principal's Contract and revisions to the psychologist contract and Support Staff Salary Schedule.

December 2012

At the December 18th meeting the Board of Education observed a moment of silence and approved a resolution in sympathy and support of the students, staff, and community of Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Several ways to improve school security were discussed. The board adopted the FY2014 Tax Levy and earmarked $40,000 in Johnson Estate funds to abate taxes. The Board approved an agreement with Quality Technology Solutions to provide technology management services to the school district, and approved updates to policy 5:330. The next regularly scheduled board meeting will be held on January 15, 2013.

To view agendas, news releases and approved minutes, please visit the school board section of the La Harpe Eagles website at We apologize for any inconvenience or unavailability of documents on the district website while it is being reformatted for greater ease of access.