The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

Board Considers Future Of Eighth Grade Promotion

At the regular meeting of the West Central CUSD #235 board, held on January 15, 2014, it was discussed whether or not to continue the eighth grade promotion ceremony.

After discussing this topic and hearing a report from Mr. Nichols on what 10 area middle schools or Junior High Schools do with regard to this issue, it was the consensus of the board to conduct an eighth grade promotion ceremony in May of 2014 and then discontinue this program after that. The board will vote on this issue at their February board meeting.

The board meeting was called to order at 6 p.m. by Board President Brent, with all board members present except Mrs. John and Mrs. White.

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

Under good news items the following items were highlighted:

Items approved under the consent agenda included:

Under financial activity, the board approved payment of all bills as presented including several additional bills that were presented at the board table.

They also approved the December activity accounts as presented. It was reported that as of the end of December actual expenditures and revenue to budget should be 50%.

It was noted that actual expenditures were 40.31% of budget and actual revenue received was 79.34% of budget as of the end of December 2013. Supt. Grimm reported that as of January 15, 2014, the State of Illinois has vouchered but not yet paid District #235 $171,544.

The board discussed and approved proposed policy revisions to the following board policies on second reading:

Policy 3:60 - General School Administration - Administrative Responsibility of the Building Principal, Policy 4:100 - Operational Services - Insurance Management, Policy 5:50 - General Personnel - Drug and Alcohol-Free Workplace: Tobacco Prohibition, Policy 5:90 - General Personnel - Abused and Neglected Child Reporting, Policy 5:100 - General Personnel - Staff Development Program, Policy 5:120 - General Personnel - Ethics and Conduct, Policy 5:200 - Professional Personnel - Terms and Conditions of Employment and Dismissal, Policy 6:60 - Instruction - Curriculum Content, Policy 6:250 - Instruction - Community Resource Persons and Volunteers, Policy 6:130 - Instruction - Credit for Alternative Courses and Programs, and Course Substitutions, Policy 7:185 - Students - Teen Dating Violence Prohibited, Policy 7:300 - Students - Extracurricular Activities, Policy 8:30 - Community Relations - Visitors to and Conduct on School Property

The board discussed the proposed district fiber project. Superintendent Grimm reviewed the results of the bids that were solicited in December of 2013 for the creation of a "last mile" fiber connect to district buildings as well as internet services.

After reviewing the submitted proposals focusing specifically on the apparent low bid proposal, the board authorized Superintendent Grimm to begin negotiations with MTC Communications, Inc. of Colchester, IL for these services.

Mr. Grimm informed the board that he would present the necessary contracts for this work for the board to approve at their February, 2014, meeting.

It was stressed several times during the discussion that if the federal government's E-Rate program does not subsidize these projects; the board is under no obligation to go forward with these projects.

Reports from the building Principals Mr. Schneider, Mrs. Lafary and Mr. Nichols were heard.

Mr. Grimm highlighted a few comments that were made in the district curriculum report.

Mrs. Frakes reviewed her report. During this time, the deployment of the Chromebooks to our eighth grade and third grade students was highlighted. It was noted that approximately 120 devices have been added to our network and at times, the upper limits on available bandwidth are being reached.

The board briefly reviewed Mrs. Farnioks report regarding the district special education program.

In other business:

After discussion it was indicated that it would be appropriate for Mr. Grimm to begin preliminary discussions with the two districts about ways the three districts might be able to save money by working together on certain issues.

There were no items identified under future agenda items.

The board entered closed session to discuss matters pertaining to personnel at 7:47 p.m. They exited closed session at approximately 8:30 p.m. and took the following action:

There being no other business the board adjourned their meeting at approximately 8:37 p.m.