The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

West Central Has New Home Course For Golf

At the regular meeting of the West Central school board on Wednesday, May 15th, a report was given by Supt. Grimm on the responses that have been received from three area golf courses regarding the district using their facility for the WCHS golf team beginning in August 2013. After discussing the three proposals, the board voted to approve a proposal submitted by Spirit Hollow Golf Course in Burlington, Iowa to be the home course for the WCHS golf team beginning in the fall of 2013.

In addition to the conversation regarding the use of an out of district golf course, the board also discussed transportation issues relative to students traveling to and from Spirit Hollow for golf practice and meets.

The board also discussed transportation issues relative to students traveling to the south campus for baseball and softball practices as well as to transportation to Burlington for bowling practice. Supt. Grimm informed the board that he had spoken with the district's insurance carrier about additional liability that the board might be incurring as a result of having student travel to these off campus sites to these events. It was reported that the insurance company in general terms did not feel that there was any additional liability issues to be addressed at this time but certainly the district should pursue some type of written documentation that parents give students permission to drive and/or ride in a vehicle with someone else. The board directed Supt. Grimm to work with the district's attorney to create such a written permission document. This document will be brought back to the board for approval upon its completion by the district's attorney.

The meeting was called to order at 7 p.m. by Board President Robbins, with all board members present at roll call except Anderson, Brent and White. Board member Brent arrived at 7:02 p.m.

President Robbins then led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag.

Under good news items the board heard a report from the Elementary Enrichment Sponsors Mr. Hart and Mr. Freiley regarding the activities that the students were involved with during this past school year. Following that presentation these items here highlighted as good news items:

The board approved the agenda with the following additions:

There was no one present who wished to address the board on any agenda items.

The board approved the consent agenda with the agenda item of student fees being pulled for further discussion. Items approved under the consent agenda included:

  • The recommendation to limit the size of the WCHS Cheerleading squad beginning with the 2014-2015 to 12 participants;
  • Waive first reading of the proposed revision to Board Policy 2:250 -Board of Education - Access to Public Records and approve the proposed revision to Board Policy 2:250 - Board of Education - Access to Public Records on second reading;
  • The board reviewed a list of proposed student fees for 2013-14. A question was raised about fees being charged for certain high school classes. It was noted that the fees charged is for consumable materials that must be purchased on an annual basis. Following a brief discussion the board approved the student fees as presented.

    Under financial activity, the board approved payment of all bills as presented. The board approved the April 2013 activity accounts for West Central High School, West Central Middle School and West Central Elementary School. The board approved the treasurer's report for April 2013 as presented.

    Superintendent Grimm reviewed with the board the district's financial report. The board heard that as of the end of April actual expenditures and revenue to budget should be 83.33%. It was noted that actual expenditures were 74.39% of budget and actual revenue received was 79.97% of budget which is better than this time last year. Supt. Grimm informed the board that the State of Illinois has paid District #235 five transportation payments this year as well as five special education payments which is a much better position that the State was in last year in terms of paying for these reimbursable expenses. It was also noted that it appears the County will not be making an early distribution of property tax money this Spring as has been done the past two years. Supt. Grimm informed the Board that he had budgeted $1,135,000 in revenue in anticipation of an early property tax distribution. It was pointed out that if the early distribution is not made the revenue projection will be short by that amount but the district has in essence has already received this year's money and will be able to operate without any issues.

    The board approved submitting an additional FY13 school maintenance grant to ISBE. This additional grant opportunity is available to the district due to extra funds being available for this purpose at ISBE. The district will submit a school maintenance grant in the amount of $125,520. If funded the State will reimburse the District $50,000 towards these expenditures. These expenditures were called for in the 10 year life safety survey and deal primarily with school security issues.

    Board President Robbins made assignments to board committees that were approved as follows:

    The board briefly reviewed the renewal quote that was presented for approval by the current district insurance carrier for FY14. Following a brief discussion, the board approved the renewal quote with the Unland Insurance Company for the district's insurance package in the amount of $148,489. This renewal quote includes a couple of additional coverage items that were not covered in package previously.

    The board approved a life safety amendment in the amount of $31,800 to complete work needed to repair the north campus septic sewer system.

    The board briefly reviewed the monthly principal reports as presented by Mrs. Lafary, Mr. Nichols and Mr. Schneider. Mr. Grimm gave a brief update on the curriculum for the district and Mrs. Farniok briefly reviewed with the board the activities that are going on in the special education department. Supt. Grimm informed the board that Mrs. Farniok had conducted a study of the feasibility of creating a new special education program here at West Central to deal with the needs of some of the studetns who are currently sent out of district to an offsite location. It was determined that as a result of that study it is in the best interest of the students to continue sending them to the offsite locations for their educational program.

    The board discussed two issues relative to the district's technology program.The board reviewed a handout from district technology coordinator Melinda Frakes regarding the district's one to one initiative for 2013-2018. During the discussion, Mrs. Frakes outlined for the board how the district will accomplish its goal of having some type of "tablet"device in the hands of students and staff grades 3-12 by the 2017-2018 school year. Following the discussion of the handout and review of the outline for implementation of this initiative, the board indicated that they would like to have this item on the June board meeting agenda as an action item.

    Following that discussion, the board heard a report regarding the creation and installation of a fiber optic line being run into the district. It was noted that the administrative team feels that the creation of this fiber optic line into the district is necessary if we are going to be able to have the necessary bandwidth and internet speed to conduct all of the activities that will be introduced to our students as part of the one to one initiative as well as to meet the requirements for the new PARCC testing program that the State of Illinois is requiring all school district to be prepared for during the 2014-2015 school year. Following discussion of the fiber optic project and the engagement letter for consultant services to assist the district in putting this fiber optic line into place, the board directed Supt. Grimm to have this item on the June board meeting agenda as an action item also.

    The board was reminded that it is time for board members to indicate whether or not they will be participating in the School Board Conference in Chicago in November. Board members were encouraged to contact Sharri as soon as possible if they are interested in attending the conference.

    Supt. Grimm briefly outlined some of the maintenance needs and things that will be addressed in terms of building needs during the summer of 2013.

    The board was informed that it does not appear that there is a need to amend the FY13 district budget.

    There were no items noted under future agenda items.

    The board took the following personnel action:

    The board was reminded that their next regular board meeting will be held on Wednesday, June 19, 2013. This meeting will also be held in the elementary cafeteria and begin at 7 p.m.

    There being no other business to come before the board, the board adjourned their meeting at 8:43 p.m.