Unit #249

The board of education of Crescent-Iroquois Community Unit School District #249 conducted a meeting Monday, Feb. 10. The meeting, conducted in the board room at Crescent City Grade School, was called to order at 7 p.m.by board president Steve Massey. Secretary Jody Niebuhr took roll call with the following responding: Candi Butzow, Becky Dirks, Brock Johnson, Tim Kollmann, Massey, Niebuhr and Christi Pheifer.

The meeting opened with all present reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.

There were no additions or deletions to the agenda and no one took the opportunity to speak during the time for public input. There was no board correspondence to share.

The superintendent’s report was shared. The boiler at Crescent-Iroquois High School has been having problems but Dennis Ritzma has been working with Precision Piping to keep it going. In regards to cameras and security for the grade school, Rod Grimsley had met with a company and will get with a representative of Heart Technology in the spring to see what may be needed to upgrade security.

In the department of transportation, Grimsley questioned the board as to the condition of the white activity bus at the high school. He suggested maybe the bus could be repaired or a new one purchased so it can be used to transport students to and from school, plus it could be used for extracurricular activities after school hours. As per new regulations in Illinois, the bus would have to be operated by a licensed bus driver when transporting children to/from school, but it could be driven after school hours by someone with just a driver’s license.

Board members received a financial profile handout and Grimsley reported the district had the highest financial profile rating, which is 4. The title audit was completed Jan. 22 and there were some procedural items which will need to be changed in the future; however, there were no financial penalties.

Principal James DeMay’s report was discussed. It began with grade school enrollment, which stood at 70 as of Friday, Feb. 7. The boys’ basketball season has concluded and the girls’ volleyball season is underway. It was noted the Iroquois County 8th Grade Volleyball Tournament is taking place at CIHS this Friday and Saturday, Feb. 14 and 15.

Victoria Legan, Heather Johnson and DeMay attended a Student Safety Assessment System workshop at Kankakee Community College on Jan. 27. This program explained the concept of recognizing students who are communicating through verbal, written, posted or other legitimate threats to the safety and security of themselves or others. The three were given information which will be shared with the rest of the staff on how to recognize students in need. This training, along with ALICE training, will continue to give CCGS staff the opportunity to keep students and themselves safe from harm. It is intended to add video cameras to areas of the school – outdoors, gymnasium, cafeteria and hallways – so students can be observed and monitored. As of now, there is just one camera at the front door.

DeMay offered a time and date of 7 p.m. Thursday, May 21, for 8th grade graduation. It was noted the Essentials Survey link will be shared with staff, students and parents at the junior high level, so the Five Essentials Survey can be done.

Several non-action items were discussed. The first item was regarding school fees – registration fees and food program prices. Currently, high school students pay $55 for registration, 5-8th grades pay $60, and K-4 students pay $25. The current food program prices are: $1.85 for breakfast, $2.60 for lunch and 35-cents per carton of milk. Grimsley suggested food program prices stay the same for now.

Secondly, the 2020-21 school calendar was discussed. It was noted the school calendar for District #249 was put together using the tentative calendars from the three receiving high schools (Cissna Park, Iroquois West and Watseka Community). With the tentative calendar, all four districts will have the same Thanksgiving, Christmas and spring breaks. The schools will be out of school Friday, Oct. 9, and Monday, Oct. 12 also. Monday, Nov. 11, which is Veterans Day, Watseka and Crescent City will be in session, but Cissna Park and Gilman will not.

The third item of non-action points was in regards to the sports co-op between CCGS and St. Paul’s Lutheran School, Woodworth. A tentative agreement has been written up, with CCGS providing the athletic director. It was suggested, as per booster club request, two people from each school work the concession stands. The schools have until April to agree and set the agreement.

School board meeting dates for the 2020-21 school year, which runs July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021, were discussed. Grimsley asked if there was another day of the week members preferred. It was decided by the board to keep dates the third Monday of each month, with meetings in January and February to be rescheduled due to holidays.

The wellness committee met Feb. 5 to go over the template for creating a Wellness policy. Committee members were Kristin Marquis, Grimsley, Jessica Rabe, Jane Daniels, Jody Niebuhr, Becky Dirks and Rachel Pueschell.

The sixth item of non-action concerned board of education committees. The negotiations committee will need to be ready at the beginning of March or April. Massey and Niebuhr gave a report on the most recent Iroquois County schools meeting they attended. All schools, except Milford, were represented at this meeting. One of the main topics discussed was that of dual credit classes where, perhaps, students could meet before regular classes began, but also open to the possibility of after-school classes. The dual credit classes would provide junior college credit to high school students. Also discussed at the meeting was the 1% sales tax – the goods it would be charged on, who pays for it, the people/businesses which would be exempt, how the monies could be used, etc. The sharing of each district’s resources with other districts was also discussed. Another meeting will take place April 1 to get a better idea of how each school board in the county feels about the ideas. It was noted the discussion of a regional high school was brought up, but Massey noted there is not full support or interest in this issue at this time.

The board then approved the minutes of a regular meeting conducted Jan.13, the treasurer’s report dated Jan. 31, the payment of bills dated Feb. 10, the Imprest Fund and the petty cash reports of January, 2020. The graduation time/date of 7 p.m. Thursday, May 21, was then approved.

The board adjourned the regular meeting to enter an executive session. This session was to discuss the appointment, employment, compensation, discipline, performance or dismissal of specific employees of the district or legal counsel for the district, including hearing testimony on a complaint lodged against an employee or against legal counsel for the district to determine its validity. However, a meeting to consider an increase in compensation to a specific employee of a public body that is subject to the local government wage increase transparency act may not be closed and shall be open to the public and posted and conducted in accordance within this Act 5 ILCS 120/2© (1), amended by PA 99-646; and the placement of individual students in special education programs and other matters relating to individual students.

Once the board reconvened in regular session, the meeting was adjourned. The next meeting will be at 7 p.m. March 9.