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La Harpe Community School District #347


April 19, 2016 Meeting

The Board of Education of La Harpe Community School District #347 held a regular meeting April 19, 2016 in the school district library.

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, payment of bills, IESA membership renewal, and approved an increase in meal prices for the school year 2016-17.

The Board will hold the FY2016 Budget Amendment Hearing for 7:15 at the June 21st regular meeting.

Prior to the regular meeting, the Board held a Committee of the Whole to review policy updates which were then approved at the regular meeting.

The Board received with regrets Emily Kohl's resignation letter, approved Susan Bray as Title I teacher, and authorized the non-reemployment for part-time personnel.

The following athletic co-op coaches were approved: Baseball - Ryan Hopper, head coach and Peyton Porter, assistant coach; 7/8 girls' basketball - Jason Finch, head coach and Dave Clover, assistant coach; 7/8 boys' basketball - Ryan Hopper, head coach and Matt Melvin, assistant coach; and 7/8 volleyball - Andi Trout, head coach and Lisa Trout, assistant coach.

Brian Sullivan showed a video of his junior high math classes. Students were shown working with the Pythagorean Theorem, solving algebraic equations using shape diagrams, and making videos to improve their test-performance. Sullivan updates his teacher website every day so parents may see what their children are working on. Sullivan uses videos from Khan Academy's website to prepare students for high school algebra. Junior high language arts teacher, Carrie Faul sent a Promethean board presentation for Mrs. McKeown to show the Board. The slides included her daily schedule, a list of writing units and writing topics, specific books and activities covered by each of the junior high grades. Faul also provided information about spring MAP testing and her sponsorship of the annual spelling bee and the student council.

Mrs. McKeown also shared junior high science teacher, Lee Ann Lambert's presentation. Lambert used the Ecology unit of a two-week trial of Discovery EducationTM TechbookTM in the science classroom, which provides a complete curriculum already aligned to the Next Generation Common Core science standards. Lambert provided a day of the curriculum and shared her assessment of the program.

The Board discussed cost and technology upgrades needed to implement 1-1 computing and asked for Mr. Sullivan's thoughts on the topic. McKeown mentioned that the computer lab and netbooks are regularly scheduled due to all of the testing. McKeown mentioned the success of the 1-1 Initiative in Mendon. Detherage brought up West Prairie's young entrepreneur program, encouraging fellow members to seriously consider implementing 1-1 at La Harpe. Mershon initiated discussion about the life-span, maintenance and replacement of the necessary Chromebooks.

Detherage and the other board members who attended the recent IASB Western Division meeting shared information about West Prairie's 1-1 computing program and ways to garner support from area businesses to generate the funds needed to initiate a 1-1 computing program at La Harpe. Spangler and Detherage visited with the Board about the presentation by the Statewide Terrorism and Intelligence Center, and Wear mentioned WIU professors whohad tracked the progress of students in an effort to identify those with high-ability and working to keep them engaged.

Superintendent Report: Dr. Olson gave reports on the State budget impasse and issues with the new formula for State Aid. Olson provided an article from Brent Clark, IASA's executive director, on the issue. The Board heard Dr. Olson's upcoming schedule of meetings, including an administrative roundtable with Ralph Martire, Executive Director for the Center of Tax and Budget Accountability. Dr. Olson showed the Board projected class numbers for PK-5th grades next year and the Board discussed pros and cons of splitting 5th grade next year.

Principal Report: Mrs. McKeown gave updates on track and Scholastic Bowl. Band students have completed the fundraiser for their Six Flags trip. Easter parties were celebrated and Parent-Teacher Conferences were held. Pre-K held another Family Night. Deputy Josh Smith and Chief Wes Woolson held an active shooter student training and performed a mandated police safety drill. Several students performed in the IESA Solo and Ensemble Contest. The students participated in a School-wide Morning Meeting and a K-2 Title I night was held. Safety drills, Fire Drill, and Tornado Drills have been completed as were Preschool and Kindergarten screening. 7th grade students went to their Springfield trip and spring MAP testing has begun.

A recent Teacher In-service was on unit planning with a goal to have all unit plans in every subject in binders at everygrade level. Teachers are signing up for slots to work on unit plans this summer. Mrs. Vershaw received an Illinois Agriculture in the Classroom project grant on Multicultural Agricultural Books. McKeown has completed nearly all of the teacher evaluations. She provided a list recent interviews, meetings and trainings. 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