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La Harpe School's Book Fair Enables Purchase of 204 Books

La Harpe School Dec. Board Meeting

The most recent Book Fair generated enough "Scholastic points" to enable Mrs. Irish to purchase 204 books: 161 for the library and 43 for classrooms. The library earned $1352.71 from the book fair sales which when added to the current balance enabled the purchase of the books.

The Board of Education held a Committee of the Whole meeting and a regular meeting on December 15, 2015 in the school district library. All board members were present.

Dr. Olson led the committee through policy updates. Policy updates are officially approved by board vote in a regular open meeting, then they are sent to PRESS Policy Service and an updated district policy manual will be received for the offices and website.

At the regular meeting, Mrs. Kohl's 3rd grade PowerPoint was shown. Class activities included William's House Timelines (Shakespeare), classroom volunteers helping with small group "vocabulary slap" activity, a "Christmas Around the World" Social Studies unit, math division with videos for each strategy, and science activities.

The board approved the consent agenda, payment of bills and policy updates. The tax levy hearing was held at which no public comments were made.

Spangler mentioned a tax payer had called him asking if the rate was actually a 13.5% increase. Dr. Olson confirmed the rate.

Dr. Olson stated that the levy was unchanged from the preliminary figures presented in November.

The required notice was published and Dr. Olson received no calls or visits regarding the levy.

Olson reiterated that a tax freeze is imminent. The levy was adopted as presented.

The board reviewed the school report card generated by the state, and approved educational support personnel salaries.

Andi Trout was approved for an internship supervising online speech therapy during the speech pathologist's leave, and 8th Grade Promotion will be held Friday, May, 27, 2016 at 7:00 p.m.

Dr. Olson scheduled the annual Health Life Safety visit from the fire marshall and ROE, reported Christmas break dates and information on professional development now required for retired teachers who plan to work as a sub.

The new State Superintendent Tony Smith and his assistant, Jason Helford, are working to eliminating legislation that is counterproductive.

Dr. Olson provided a summary of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which was signed by President Obama on December 10, 2015.

This measure reauthorizes the 50-year-old Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), replacing or adjusting much of the 2002 No Child Left Behind Act.

Principal McKeown gave updates on athletic teams, a 3rd-5th grade Title I parents meeting, 7th grade field trip to the historic Carthage Jail, the elementary school wide morning meeting, and the annual Christmas programs.

The Junior High attended the movie "Heart of the Sea" based on Moby-Dick, and teachers worked on School Improvement December 21st. McKeown listed her meetings and workshops for December.

In January, the school board approved the consent agenda and bills, and reviewed closed meeting minutes.

Superintendent Olson presented information compiled by an energy broker regarding the potential savings the district could have by changing electric energy suppliers.

Dr. Olson reported on a meeting with Secretary of Education Beth Purvis, a Gov. Rauner appointee, who spoke with superintendents about her goal of reducing waste in the government with multiple agencies doing the same thing, but not communicating with each other.

She was asked about education finance-specifically, the state not paying mandated categoricals and districts losing out on some General State Aid.

Purvis had not heard of districts losing any more state aid, and is taking that question back to the Governor.

ROE Superintendent John Meixner will be at the February meeting to hold the hearing for the Summer Food Service exemption.

Meixner will also highlight the services the new consolidated ROE is able to provide. Winter MAP testing results will be provided at the February meeting.

Stall doors are being installed in the boys' restroom in the front foyer.

Principal McKeown provided a report on athletic team progress, December's Christmas-related activities, AIMS web and MAP testing, and Mid-year assessment checks.

A PTO meeting was held to plan the winter Positive Behavior. The January full compliance visit by the ROE went well.

The December Teacher's Institute included technology sessions on Google classroom, apps, and drive, and on formative assessments.

The teachers also received mandated training on suicide, mental illness, and disruptive behaviors in the classroom. McKeown provided updates on teacher observations, a meeting with teachers on evaluations and portfolios, time-on-task and faculty meetings since the board last met.

School board meetings are held at 7:00 p.m. on the third Tuesday of each month in the school library. Agendas and approved minutes are posted on the website at