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Proposed Reduced Budget Reviewed By LH School Board

$40,000 Deficit Reduction Shown in Amended Budget

As Olson works toward a balanced budget for 2017

The Board of Education of La Harpe Community School District #347 gathered for the regular June 21st meeting in the school district library.

At this time the amended budget hearing was held and Supt. Olson provided an overview of the proposed amended budget which shows a deficit reduction from $50k to about $10k.

Two less teachers, fuel prices down, and a change in energy provider in September should show a good amount of savings as Olson works toward a balanced budget for 2017.

The amended budget was approved and has been posted on the website at the School Board/Required Reporting link.

Detherage asked how long the school district can run if the state doesn't pass a budget, to which Dr. Olson replied that we could survive it.

Dr. Olson expects a state budget to be passed at the last minute. Olson also mentioned legislators were recently discussing a small percentage trade tax that, if passed, would generate a lot of new revenue.

Board members present included Pres. Cindy Wear, V.P. Bobi James, Nate Butler, Pam Campbell, Dustin Detherage, Dave Mershon, and Darren Spangler.

The board approved the consent agenda and payment of bills, received Michelle Fryrear's resignation, and approved Leah Shumaker as science teacher, Cindy Pollock as a sub cook, and Donna Nell for summer custodial work.

The board adopted the prevailing wage ordinance and fuel service for the coming fiscal year.

Dr. Olson reported that the 30-year old HVAC system in the Pre-K room will be replaced this summer.

Dr. Olson also noted his summer vacation days and upcoming volunteer firefighter training. Olson outlined primary class sizes and teachers per grade level for the coming year. He also provided a Triple I flyer for board members attending this conference in Chicago in November.

Dr. Olson reviewed an ISBE letter stating that our special education and related services meet the requirements.

He also provided information about property taxes which will be billed in a lump sum in September due to the quadrennial reassessment which means district tax revenue will be received later than usual.

Mrs. McKeown reported that twenty-five 8th graders participated in the promotion ceremony. She thanked

Darren Spangler, Dustin Detherage, and David Mershon for their assistance in handing out diplomas. Jason

and Carrie Finch are teaching summer school and Ryan Hopper held a basketball camp May 31-June 3.

Mrs. McKeown attended two days of PBIS training in June and is looking forward to implementing the strategies she learned during the next school year.

The administrators and board discussed ways to motivate the junior high students and reinvigorate the program with a kick-off for teachers and aides.

McKeown provided examples of the unit plans completed by the teachers in June using a template for uniformity. The unit studies allow the evaluator to see the whole teaching process including assessment, resources, and materials.

McKeown's goal is to have unit plans developed for every class, grade, and subject. This project is the follow through of the curriculum committee discussion. She also mentioned a lead she had on replacement science textbooks.

McKeown provided updated student and faculty handbooks and went through each of the updates with the board.

The disciplinary policy wording changes are significant this year in order to match recent legislation and the board policy manual.

The handbooks will be approved at the July meeting. McKeown's summer book study is on The Power of ICU by Dr. Jayson Nave and Danny Hill, an "intensive care unit" for educators on ending student apathy and reviving engagement and responsibility.

McKeown gets inspiration for the August Teachers' Institute activities from the summer book study.

The board discussed homeschool student participation in athletic coop activities. Dr. Olson reported the IESA guidelines school administrators and homeschool parents must follow in order to regularly assess

eligibility for sports participation.

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