The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.
Joy Swearingen, Quill correspondent
Carthage– Illini West High School board joined other school districts in Hancock County, approving a request for the Regional Superintendent of Schools to seek a 1 percent sales tax for schools in the county.
Their meeting Oct. 19, was held in the LaHarpe Elementary School library. Superintendent Jay Harnack explained that the retailers’ occupation and service occupation tax would be used exclusively for school facilities, resource officers, and mental health professionals. The sales tax question would be placed on the ballot for voters in the April 4, 2023, election.
The tax would be imposed on all items now affected by Illinois sales tax, and would not cover unprepared food intended for home consumption; drugs including vitamins and over the counter meds; farm equipment, parts and inputs like fertilizer and seed; and licensed and titled vehicles, boats and RVs.
The tax funds could be spent for Life/Safety and other approved facility expenses on a pay-as-you-go basis or accumulated for future building needs, to abate taxes on bond issues for facility improvements, and for school resource officers and mental health professionals. Interest on the funds can be transferred to other school funds.
The sales tax funds cannot be used for salaries, utilities, supplies, other operational costs, computers, or movable equipment such as buses, trucks or mowers.
Illini West received an invitation to join the Prairieland Conference in all sports. Illini West currently is part of Prairieland Conference just for football. All other sports and activities have been part of the West Central Conference.
Grant Surprenant said he had talked with the coaches, and they were all in favor of the change.
“It wouldn’t change our schedules that much because we play a lot of the Prairieland schools already,” Surprenant said. The Prairieland conference is divided into north and south divisions, and Illini West would be in the south division.
Surprenant said Prairieland wanted this to begin with the 2023-24 season. One advantage would be creating stability for scheduling in the future, it was noted.
The board approved accepting the invitation to put all sports and activities in Prairieland Conference.
The 2022 tax levy hearing was set for 7 p.m. Dec. 21. The tentative levy and levy resolution will be presented at the November board meeting.
Principal Jim Short reported the first quarter PBIS Fun Day will be Friday Oct 28, with a Deliver the Party inflatable obstacle course and games from 12:30 to 3 p.m.
To qualify students must have no more than two tardies, no more than one unexcused absence, 85 percent attendance, no discipline consequences (classroom or office), and passing all classes for the quarter.
Parent/ Teacher conferences were held Oct 20 and 21.
A Veteran’s Day program is planned on Nov 11 in the gym at 9 a.m.
The board received results of a system-wide sex equity evaluation that includes a sports-interest survey. This is required every four years so that the board can assess and plan comparable athletic programs for both sexes.
The board approved hiring Michelle Monroe as bookkeeper, Jeff Clampitt as volunteer FFA assistant, and Brianna Grotts as volunteer girls basketball coach. Resignations were accepted from bookkeeper Shannon Short and custodian Chris Newkirk.?In other business, the board: