The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

West Central School Board

At the September 20, 2023 Board of Education Regular Meeting, the following took place:

Board members present for the hearing were: Brendan Schaley, Mindy Clark, Lauren Chockley, Sarah Bigger, and Josh Higgins. Board members absent: Dillan Vancil and Karl Gullberg. The hearing was called to order at 5:32 p.m. No members of the public were present to comment on the FY24 proposed budget. President Schaley adjourned the meeting at 5:33 p.m.

In between the Budget Hearing and the Regular Board of Education Meeting new staff members were introduced to the board and a ‘meet and greet’ time was held for the new staff members to talk with board members.

The Regular Board of Education Meeting was called to order by President Schaley a 6:01 p.m., leading the Pledge of Allegiance.

Board members present were: Brendan Schaley, Mindy Clark, Lauren Chockley, Sarah Bigger, Dillan Vancil, Josh Higgins and Karl Gullberg. Also present for the meeting were: Superintendent Stacey Day, District Administrators: Kathy Lafary, Jason Kirby, Sara Ryner, Joe Peters, Joel Zaiser, District Technology Coordinator Jeremy Hennings and Recording Secretary Jaime Shultz. Others in attendance were: Kevin DeMent, Ashley Hahn, Dustie Liggett, Bethany Nannen Miller, Addison Webster, Ann Webster, Scott Boughner, and Clinton Stimpson.

The following items were presented as Good News:

  1. Our partnership with the Farm Bureau is appreciated. They sponsor events such as Safety Day and Ag Days for our elementary students
  2. Our partnership with the Stronghurst Lion’s Club is appreciated. They provide vision screenings at our early childhood screenings
  3. We had an anonymous donation submitted to ABC Containers to pay for moving the storage unit out of the greenhouse space as we prepare for that project to start.
  4. Paige Torrance (School Nurse) wrote for a grant and our Elementary and Middle Schools have been selected as recipients of the Delta Dental of Illinois and Illinois Children’s Healthcare Foundation’s H2O on the Go Water Bottle Filling station grant.
  5. Jill Colley won a $750 scholarship from the Illinois Retired Teachers Fund for supplies for her classroom.
  6. Mrs. Nannen gave a shout out to the band students for getting off to a great start this school year.

The board recognized the 2022-2023 Board of Education Academic Excellence winners.

In order to be awarded this recognition, high school students must earn a 4.0 GPA for the previous school year. Kevin DeMent and Addison Webster were present to receive their recognition and plaque. Additional award winners unable to attend were Shelby Bowman, Addison Seitz, Carla Box, Delaney Endress, and Teegan Rodeffer.

The following items were approved as part of the consent agenda by a 7-0 vote:

  1. Minutes of the Regular Meeting, August 16, 2023
  2. Minutes of the Closed Session, August 16, 2023
  3. Payment of Bills
  4. Approval of Activity Accounts
  5. Approval of Treasurer’s Report
  6. Approval of 2023-2024 Bowling Agreement with Tombstone Bowl
  7. Delabar CTE Agreement

One FOIA request this month was received asking for the name and email of any certified school librarians working as a school librarian.

Sixth Day Enrollment numbers were shared with the board. The enrollment increased by 17 students from last year’s 6th day enrollment number. The overall enrollment is up 8 students from what was predicted last year. The five year prediction is starting to show a slow decline in enrollment. As of the 6th day of school, our enrollment is 758 students,

PreK-12th Grade.

They discussed a plan to provide additional food for students who need it during lunch.

They will provide a sandwich to any student who would like one at no cost. They will rotate the type of sandwich (ham, turkey, peanut butter/jelly, etc). Students are still able to purchase second servings of the entree served for lunch, if they have money on theiraccount. This program will start later in October, once the final logistics (ordering, preparation, etc) are completed.

Superintendent Day has worked on creating job descriptions for the following positions: School Nurse, School Psychologist/Special Education Coordinator, School Social Worker, Speech-Language Pathologist, Elementary Counselor and High School Counselor. These new job descriptions have been shared with the appropriate staff and were shared with the board for initial discussion. The final drafts will be presented in October for approval.

The board originally had a Facilities Work Session scheduled for Saturday, September 23 at 8:30 a.m. Due to the Middle School Softball team qualifying for the state tournament, we will reschedule the Work Session for Saturday, October 7, 2023 at 8:30 a.m.

Clinton Stimpson and Athletic Director Joel Zaiser presented information about starting a Bass Fishing Team for high school students. The team would be open to any student who wants to participate. They would fish at local ponds and use volunteers for boat captains and sponsors as they get the program started. IHSA offers a state series in May. The board asked Superintendent Day to research any insurance/liability concerns and present back to them before formal action is taken at the October Board Meeting.

A discussion was held on the behavior of students at athletic events. The plan is that Superintendent Day will send a ConnectEd message to all families about expectations at events and principals will discuss/teach these with their students as well. For our football games, students will still be able to play football off on the side, but not tackle and will be reminded that if an adult/administrator asks them to do something, they need to follow directions or they will face consequences at school and may be asked to leave.

Superintendent Day shared that school districts throughout the area are handling this in a variety of ways, some similar to our plan (reminding/reteaching expectations), not allowing students to play football at all and some requiring students to be with a parent at all times. They are hopeful that by reteaching/reminding of expectations, they are able to allow students to still enjoy being with their friends at games and we will not have to enact stricter procedures.

A short discussion was held to update the board on how the new cell phone policy is working out this school year. Both high school and middle school administrators stated they felt like there has been significant improvement in the enforcement of cell phone usage in their buildings. It’s been a learning curve for students, but improvement has been made and staff are continuing to follow the policy.

Building Principal (Kirby, Ryner and Lafary), District Technology Coordinator and HS Athletic Director presented their monthly reports.

In other business the board:

The board voted to go into closed session at 7:31 p.m. to discuss Personnel and Negotiations. The board returned to open session and approved the following personnel assignments on a 7-0 roll call vote.

  1. Volunteer - Lindsey Higgins - WCMS Girls’ Basketball
  2. Volunteer - Nicole Ebert - WCMS Cheerleading Coach
  3. Volunteer - Kim Thompson - WCMS Cheerleading Coach
  4. Volunteer - BJ Kelly - WCMS Football Coach
  5. Employment - Ariel Dillard - WCMS Cheerleading Coach
  6. Employment - Nick Allen - WCHS Assistant Baseball Coach
  7. Employment - Henry Sutton - WCHS Science Club Sponsor
  8. Employment - Robert Fleming - WCHS Rotating Sophomore Class Sponsor
  9. Employment - Stephanie Allaman - WCHS Rotating Senior Class Sponsor
  10. Employment - Amy McGowen - WCHS Permanent Freshman Class Sponsor
  11. Employment - Ross Parcel - WCHS Rotating Freshman Class Sponsor
  12. Employment - Tom Williams - WCHS Rotating Junior Class Sponsor
  13. Employment - Sara Dittner - WCMS Assistant Speech Sponsor
  14. Employment - Jenny Ford, Emily Klossing, Laura Lewis, Julie Ricketts, Patricia Thompson, Jessica Winters, and Kendrah Ruebush - WCES SIP Team Members
  15. Employment - Judy Kelly, Laura Lewis, and Amy Wolf - WCES RtI Members
  16. Employment - Stacie Anderson, Dylan Brooks, Jacque Clark, Trisha Forquer, Loren Fox, Rhonna Hand, Michelle Johnson, Bonita Johnston, Kara Keating, Laura Lewis, Julie Ricketts, Karri Wallace, Jessica Winters, Amy Wolf, Jalynne Young, and Kayla Johnson - WCES After School Tutoring Members
  17. Employment - Natalie Ensminger, Byron Helt, Ariel Dillard, Lisa Miller, Tammy Slater, Heather Davis, Sara Dittner and Lisa Lox - WCMS SIP Team Members
  18. Employment - Adam Boyle, Tiffany Ouellette, Thomas Williams, Stephanie Allaman, Robert Fleming, and Jackie Biggs - WCHS SIP Team Members
  19. Resignation - Kim Thompson - WCMS Cheer
  20. Resignation - Robert Fleming - WCHS Science Club
  21. Resignation - Stacie Anderson - WCES Enrichment Sponsor
  22. Resignation - Ross Parcel - WCHS Rotating Sophomore Class Sponsor
  23. Retirement - Peggy Shutwell - District Cook

The board approved a resolution for closed session minutes listed in Exhibit A to be declassified, minutes listed in Exhibit B to remain classified and the verbatim recordings listed in Exhibit C to be destroyed per 5 ILCS 120/2/06 (c).

The next regular board of education meeting will be on Wednesday, October 18, 2023 at 6:00 p.m. in the Elementary Cafeteria.

The board adjourned at 8:12 p.m.