The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

Recognizes Mark Irish's Years Of Services On La Harpe School Board

La Harpe retiring school board member Mark Irish of La Harpe, was honored for his years of service to the La Harpe Schools. He received a plaque signifying the time he faithfully served on the La Harpe Board of Education November 2001 through April 2015.

La Harpe- Recognition was given to Mark Irish for his 14 years of faithful service on the La Harpe School Board.

Irish, of La Harpe, received the award at the April 28, 2015 La Harpe Board of Education rescheduled regular meeting that was held in the school library. The following members were in attendance: Dustin Detherage, Mark Irish, Bobi James, Dave Mershon, and Cindy Wear.

Newly elected board member, Darren Spangler was present. and Superintendent Ryan Olson, Principal Lila McKeown, and Board Sec. Jeanne Clayton were in attendance.

Visitor, Brian Sullivan, was welcomed.

The board welcomed newly-elected members Cindy Wear and Darren Spangler, and appointed Pam Campbell and Nate Butler to fill the two vacant positions until the next consolidated election. Wear was installed as president. Vice president and committees will be arranged in May. La Harpe board meetings will continue to be held on the 3rd Tuesday of each month, with exception of August 25th.

Junior High Math teacher, Brian Sullivan, gave a presentation on how he is using LiveBinders© to change over to Common Core this year. Sullivan showed the time per unit, a prioritized list of the Standards, each Standard in-depth, and sample questions. Sullivan's main goal is to prepare students for high school. He has developed a teacher website with each subject and the updated homework due. Sullivan has asked students to record themselves explaining math concepts, and he showed several of these videos. Mrs. McKeown added that Sullivan is building his curriculum to match Common Core since the packaged math curricula available are inadequate.

Mrs. McKeown presented a movie prepared by the Pre-K Special Ed. teacher Carrie Finch and Pre-K At-Risk teacher Coleen McNeil. The movie titled "A Day in Pre-K" showed the variety of "work" preschool students do in a day, and included students at breakfast, the art center, table toys, the sand and water table, the dress-up center, building with blocks, the science center, making cinnamon ornaments, a stuffed animal party, The Mitten play, a Christmas Feast, graphing, and cleanup. Finch & McNeil included slides of a Healthy Choices Parenting meeting.

In other business, the board approved:

The board resolved to support the Vision 20/20 initiatives created by the education community to develop a long-range blueprint for improving public education in Illinois.

Superintendent Report:

Superintendent Olson noted the IASB Western Division Governing Meeting with WCISEC meeting following. Wear, James, and Detherage plan to attend. Olson gave the Board new information on the TRS "cost shift" that the legislators may pass in the near future and what that would mean in extra costs for La Harpe District. They are still waiting on the Supreme Court's decision on the pension bill.

Olson has been investigating other health insurance coverage options due to the increasing rates of the District's current provider. He provided details of what he has discovered so far.

The Dallas City Athletic Director will present an idea at the May Board meeting of forming a parent-funded cross country team. Dr. Olson notified the board of his vacation dates. Cindy Irish provided a report of the profit from Book Fairs and how they are spent on books for the library and teacher rooms.

Principal Report:

Principal Lila McKeown gave an update on track noting that some school records had been broken. The Scholastic Bowl team has won the Hancock County meet. Since the last board meeting, Parent-Teacher Conferences were held; the Boosters sponsored a Spike-Out Cancer night of volleyball with proceeds nearing $2600 donated to St. Jude's and Team Cale; a Shelter-in-Place (tornado) Drill was held; and the 7th grade took a trip to Springfield to tour the Capitol, State Museum, Lincoln's Tomb, and the Lincoln Presidential Museum. Preschool and Kindergarten Screening was held; the IESA Music Festival was hosted; and teachers volunteered to cover some aide duties for

Paraprofessional Day.

Dr. Olson treated the La Harpe and Dallas secretaries and administrators to lunch on Administrative Professional's Day,; the third fire drill was held along with a reverse evacuation and a police drill.

McKeown mentioned the District staff will begin the ALICE active shooter response program training next year. 5th grade attended a Civil War Reenactment; end-of-year PARCC testing (replaces ISATs) will be administered; teachers attended a joint institute on Student Growth; and the special ed. teachers along with McKeown attended another Student Growth workshop. McKeown watched a seminar on Next Generation Science Standards in preparation for school curriculum changes.

The Evaluation Committee met again on Student Growth Assessments, and will continue to meet in May to prepare for teachers for next year's pilot of this new component of teacher evaluations.

McKeown listed her recent meetings for the Board's awareness.

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