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By Cynthia Haggitt
The Calhoun Unit 40 School District Board of Education held its regular school board meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 19. COVID is still a hot topic in the educational system and Superintendent Andrea Lee had some important news to report to the school board.
“COVID-19 cases and quarantines have dropped since the start of the year. Test to Stay protocols are up and running and seem to be really saving any unnecessary quarantines by the health department. As I stated at the August board meeting, I have joined a coalition to help bring back local control to school boards. This group isn’t just about the topic of masks, but allowing elected officials to make decisions they were elected to do. The superintendent coalition Make It Local now has 157 superintendents involved,” Lee said. “The group is represented at every Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) meeting, recently created a Facebook Page, and is starting to join forces in the newest lawsuit being filed against the Governor and Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). The Appellate Court in Bond County recently overturned a temporary restraining order for a district but not because of the legality behind it. It was because the Governor and IDPH (the source of the mandate) were not named in the suit. Now a large number of districts including Chicago school districts and teachers are filing a suit together against the districts, Governor, and IDPH.”
In other news, Lee said she is continuing to seek out the information necessary to meet all of the ROE and ISBE requirements for new bleachers.
“In addition, I have scheduled a time to go to Nashville, Ill., to see their new bleachers. Right now what we are trying to figure out is the most economically responsible way to include the crow’s nest as required,” Lee said. “The overall project will cost around $250,000. Funds will be used from Tort and the money already collected for the project. While this seems like an incredibly large amount of money, the bleachers continue to deteriorate and need to be replaced.”
She also explained that there was a mixture of meeting types for Family Conferences this year.
“A quick survey is also scheduled to be sent out to families and staff asking about conferences. This information provides us with valuable feedback when planning in the future,” Lee said. “The new tractor/mower was delivered last week. Thank you to the PI program for helping make this possible. The equipment will allow us to mow and also have a loader for projects in the district.”
Before going into the executive session, the board proposed to consider approval of moving the December school board meeting to one week earlier to Dec. 14. According to Lee this decision was made due to the audit being later than usual, an extension had to be filed becuase the last day for the AFR to be submitted is Dec. The auditor can make the meeting to review the AFR.
After moving on to the next topic and before the executive session meeting; the board then discussed:
■ Consider Resignation of 1. Elementary Tech Coordinator. Jeannette Johnson has asked to resign but has agreed to stay on until areplacement is found. No action taken at this time.
■ Consider Approving Hiring of Assistant CHS Boys Basketball Coach. Hired Eric Weber
■ Hiring the Volunteer Assistant CHS Boys Basketball Coach Tony Caselton
■ Personnel. No action under other personnel.
The board also made some announcements:
■ On Nov. 11: No School Veteran’s Day.
■ On Nov. 16: A school board meeting was held and they had some correspondence to go over and then adjourned the meeting for the night.