The Board of Education of Crescent-Iroquois Community Unit District #249 met Nov. 16 in the Crescent City Grade School gym. The meeting was called to order around 7 p.m. by board president Steve Massey, who led the Pledge of Allegiance. Secretary Jody Niebuhr took roll call with the following present: Christi Pheifer, Tim Kollmann, Candi Butzow, Brock Johnson, Niebuhr, Massey and Becky Dirks.
Superintendent Rod Grimsley led the board in discussion of some items which were not acted upon at the meeting. The first discussion was on the tax levy, with Grimsley distributing a sheet containing a tentative tax levy. In going over the previous year’s tax rates, his tentative proposed rate was 5.974, which is about 12.5 cents down from 6.0829 the previous year. He noted the finance committee will discuss the tax levy and present its proposal at the December meeting. He said he felt comfortable with the numbers he presented but it is up to the board to decide the tax levy.
The next discussion was in regards to remote learning. He asked the board if they had thoughts on the issue and it was suggested to let the teachers decide the way instruction would take place over the next couple weeks. (Note: In an email sent to all parents/guardians of CCGS students Tuesday morning, it was decided to continue remote learning through Nov. 20.) The email advised parents homework packets picked up Nov. 16 would need to be turned in to the school on Monday, Nov. 23. Monday and Tuesday, Nov. 23-24, will be used for remote planning, with some students conducting remote learning in order to catch up on lessons. Wednesday-Friday, Nov. 25-27, were already scheduled for Thanksgiving break, so there will be no classes during that time. As of now, students are set to return to in-person learning on Monday, Nov. 30. In addition to remote learning on Nov. 23-24, parents were advised meals will be available for those two days, with pick-up on Nov. 23. Families who want to use meals from the school need to call CCGS at 815-683-2141 by 2 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 19.
In the last matter of non-action items, the job postings for an elementary teacher, PE teacher and junior high ELA/SS teacher will be posted to the IASA job bank. Grimsley then presented the superintendent’s report, which gave credit to the bus drivers for keeping up with all the changes at the schools. He noted there may be some budget cuts this year due to the fair tax not passing. He said the state is relying on $6.5 billion from the federal government and if those funds don’t come in, cuts may need to be made. He finished by noting state and federal reporting is ongoing each month. Jim DeMay’s principal’s report noted there are 60 students enrolled at CCGS with 56 in the building and the district has 34 students attending the three accepting high schools. Due to the pandemic, there are currently no open gyms taking place. DeMay’s report noted a new power line has been installed at Crescent-Iroquois High School and the new sump pump was installed. There were no structural issues for the grade school this month.
Students observed Red Ribbon Week Oct. 26-30, and the K-5th graders were able to have their annual Halloween parade around town. DeMay noted staff worked very hard to get remote learning up and running, with credit going to Rachel Pueschell and Tori Legan for the communications with parents and their ability to be flexible with the changesand schedules. The staff was commended by DeMay for their efforts to make remote learning a positive experience. Heart Technologies completed the installation of cameras at the school, with some cameras having the ability to record when no one is at the school. Present for the meeting were Emily Schunke, a representative for the Crescent City Historical Society, and Mayor Mark Rabe and his wife, Crystal. A letter from Miller, Tracy, Braun, Funk and Miller, Ltd., a law firm, was distributed to those present. The letter addressed three ways in which the district can transfer/sale the high
school. Schunke talked about grants the CCHS would like to apply for and Mayor Rabe shared some of what the village board had discussed at past meetings. Minutes of the Oct. 19 regular meeting, the October treasurer’s report, payment of November bills, the Imprest Fund and petty cash reports for October were motioned for approval, with the motion carried. The board also approved leaving the closed minutes closed and the destruction of audio tape older than 18 months.
The renewal of insurance from Health Alliance was approved, which will run Dec. 1, 2020 through Nov. 30,2021. The board then approved the purchase of regular education social work from the ISEA. The board adjourned into an executive session 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 for 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 held in accordance with this Act. While in executive session, the board was also planning to set the price for the sale or lease of property owned by the district 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. Dec. 21.