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By Carissa Sitki
The Brussels Community Unit School District 42 met for their monthly board of education meeting last Tuesday, May 16, where they discussed several items of note, including the possible acquisition of a short bus for students with accessibility considerations.
According to Superintendent Mark Martin, the district is in the market for a small bus to help transport two students who use wheelchairs.
“We’ve been transporting the students in a Dodge minivan with a lift, but they’ve outgrown it so we’re looking into getting a small bus,” said Martin.
New buses carry a high price tag and leased buses are expensive and hard to find as well. Martin said that even “old beaters are going for a high price right now.”
Currently, the district is looking at a bus that holds 23-passengers and is equipped with a wheelchair lift. According to Martin, the bus is about to come off of a lease at another district and the district will get a chance to look at it in mid-June.
“I’m really hoping this bus will work out,” said Martin. “These kids need a way to get around.”
The board also discussed SIUE’s summer STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) classes which are being offered on their campus for high school and grade school students.
“A letter was sent out to district parents telling them about this opportunity,” said Martin.
ESSER grant funds have made it so that the district can pay for students to attend. The program will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day from July 17-28 and students are asked to bring their own lunches. According to Martin the district has a bus driver who agreed to transport students to and from SIUE each day during the camp.
“This is a great way for students to get some summer enrichment,” said Martin. “Since it’s at the end of July, the initial summer break excitement will have started to wear off and a lot of kids will be ready to start learning again. This is also an opportunity for students to get exposed to a college campus and see how things work there.”
One high school student and seven grade school students have signed up so far.
In other business, the board approved a new board policy which will allow junior high students to take high school level classes for credit. State Policy 6:315 will give seventh and eighth grade students the chance to enroll in, and receive credit for, high school level courses. Martin said the policy is anticipated to be adopted at June’s meeting.
The board also approved the renewal of their insurance contract as well as the annual district audit. In their executive session, the board discussed contracts of Brussels support staff (cooks, custodians, etc.).
Finally, Martin mentioned that the district is trying to find a way to give back some of the property tax money that was received from Winneberg Subdivision which appealed the property tax assessment and won the dispute. According to Martin, the district is doing their best to pay back those funds without impacting the schools.
The Brussels CUSD 42 Board of Education meets on the third Tuesday of every month at 7 p.m. in the grade school cafeteria. They are scheduled to meet again on Tuesday, June 20.