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Steve Lumbeck Welcomed to WC CUSD #235 Board

On Wednesday, October 16, 2013, the West Central CUSD #235 Board of Education was called to order at 7 p.m. in the elementary cafeteria and President Lonnie Brent led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag.

Steve Lumbeck was welcomed to the board by Board President Brent. Dr. Brent administered the School Board Member Oath of Office to Mr. Lumbeck and then he was seated as an official member of the West Central CUSD #235 Board of Education.

All board members except Mr. Anderson were present at roll call.

Under good news items the following successes were highlighted:

The board approved the agenda with the addition of Personnel Item XVC-3. Employment, Miriam Rutzen, HS Associate.

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

The board approved the consent agenda. Items approved under the consent agenda included:

The quote from Mark Muhleman for snow removal services for the 2013-14 for snowfall that exceeds two inches for Stronghurst facility at the rate of $250 per 2 inch snow fall; It was noted that any snow removal that would be necessary at the Media campus would be done by district personnel.

Pay Jane Alexander, Melinda Frakes, Adam Boyle, Tammy Rankin, Lisa Miller, Nancy Chandler, and Cathie Smith $1,000 a piece for serving as district mentors for the 2013-14 school year.

Under financial activity, the board approved payment of all bills as presented along with several additional bills that were brought to the board table.

The board approved the September 2013 activity accounts for West Central High School, West Central Middle School and West Central Elementary School. The board also approved the treasurer's report for September 2013 as presented.

Superintendent Grimm reported to the board that this was the first month where the budget numbers could be put into the district's financial report. It was noted that at the end of September actual expenditures and revenue should be at 25% of the budget. Supt. Grimm reported that revenue received as of September 30, 2013 were at 47.78% of the budgeted revenue and the actual expenditures relative to the budget were at 18.42%. It was also noted that as of Wednesday, October 16, 2013 the State of Illinois owed District #235 $300,972.57.

Superintendent Grimm reviewed with the board the FY 13 District audit report.

It was noted that as a result of the audit, the district has several minor things to correct. Those items were reviewed with the board.

It was also noted that the district estimated ISBE financial profile score for FY13 is 3.65 on a 4.0 scale.

This means that the district will receive a designation of recognition which is the highest designation on the financial profile that a district can receive.

Supt. Grimm also pointed out to the board that if the Illinois Legislature is successful in implementing a cost shift of the state's portion of the teacher retirement payment to the local district, it would cost District #235 based on FY13 would be $1,157,492.

Supt. Grimm encouraged the board to keep this number in mind as the pension reform discussion continues in Springfield and to be prepared to contact local legislators about this particular piece of the proposed pension reform legislation. The board then approved the FY13 District audit report as presented.

The board heard some brief comments from Supt. Grimm relative to the 2013 district and school report cards. It was pointed out that the report cards that the board had been given were very similar to what they have approved in the past and that the information contained in the report card is put together by the Illinois State Board of Education.

Supt. Grimm pointed out that a new revised district and school report card would be released by ISBE by October 31, 2013 and that there will be some additional information contained in that new report card but primarily it will be the same information that they were reviewing in front of them.

Following a brief discussion regarding the 2013 District and school report cards, the board approved these report cards as presented.

Due to the resignation of Dr. Roberta Robbins, who was the board's president, Dr. Lonnie Brent assumed the president's position.

The board briefly discussed whether or not they wished to nominate and elect a new vice president and ultimately they decided that they needed to nominate and elect a vice president.

Jodi Arnold was nominated and elected to serve as the board's vice president.

Under reports, the board heard summaries of the written reports submitted by the administrative team. The board briefly reviewed the district curriculum report, the district technology report and special education report.

The board also heard a brief report from the District Finance Committee meeting that took place on October 3, 2013. Dr. Brent reported that the committee reviewed the items that were reviewed by the finance committee during the 2012-13 school year and determined which items needed to be considered on a going forward basis. The conversation then moved in to a discussion of the 2013 tax levy.

The board discussed the 2013 district tax levy.

Supt. Grimm highlighted for the board several pieces of information from the district audit report relative to the district's expenditures which have declined in each of the last three years, the decline in the district's revenue which has occurred over the past three years, and heard comments about the anticipated decline in general state aid if ISBE prorates GSA again for the third consecutive year in FY 15.

As a result of the conversation relative to the 2013 tax levy, the board directed Supt. Grimm to bring to them a tentative tax levy at the November 19th board meeting that would reflect no more than a 5% increase in the 2012 tax levy extension amount.

It was pointed out that the board will then approve the tentative levy and then take final action on the levy at the December regular meeting.

The board discussed the WCHS bowling program. It was pointed out that based on an informal survey of high school students, it appeared that there is somewhere between 20-35 students interested in participating.

The board was also informed that district resident Scott Rhinehart was interested in volunteering his time as the high school bowling coach.

As a result of the conversation, the board asked Supt. Grimm to bring this topic to them at the November board meeting as an action item where they will approve the continuation of the WCHS bowling program and approve Mr. Rhinehart as a volunteer bowling coach.

The board heard a report from Supt. Grimm on the Illinois 5 Essential School Climate Survey. The board was reminded that this was an online survey that the district's teaching staff, students and parents participated in during February of 2013.

It was noted that this survey was required in the reform legislation that was passed a couple of years ago. Supt. Grimm pointed out to the board that overall in terms of the criteria that was being assessed by the survey, the district scored relatively low in terms of how well the district is positioned to help students succeed academically.

Following that information, Supt. Grimm pointed out to the board several things that were wrong relative to the administration and interpretation of the survey and the fact that ISBE State Superintendent Dr. Chris Koch has decided not to release detailed information about any school district's survey responses but rather release just the raw numbers based on each participants response to the survey.

The raw data will be shared with local school districts in the new ISBE state report card that will be released on October 31, 2013.

It was also noted that ISBE will be putting together a committee to review the numerous difficulties that have been highlighted regarding the implementation and interpretation of this survey so that changes can be made in regard to the survey itself on a going forward basis.

The board heard a brief summary of the requirements of the Affordable Patient Care Act that the district will be expected to deal with in the next couple of years.

It was pointed out that the requirements are numerous and will involve a significant amount of time and expertise.

Supt. Grimm asked the board for permission to review different alternatives regarding how the district might best keep up with these new requirements in order to avoid being in a situation in the future where penalties or fines must be paid.

The board gave Supt. Grimm permission to explore some different avenues that might be used to help the district work through these significant requirements. Supt. Grimm informed the board that he will report back to them at an upcoming meeting on any solutions that he has found and possibly with recommendations for the board to approve.

There were no future agenda items offered.

The board did not enter closed session.

The board took the following personnel action:

The board was reminded that their next meeting is Tuesday, November 19, 2013 beginning at 6 p.m.

The board adjourned their meeting at 8:48 p.m.