WHEATFIELD – The Kankakee Valley School Board met for its normally-scheduled business meeting on Monday, Nov. 8.

Following the call to order by board president Jill Duttlinger and the reading of the Mission Statement, board member Kristy Stowers presented the KV High School Students of the Month for October.

The students of the month were Colleen Grafton - Business/FACS; William Buskey - CTE Human Services; Brooklyn Musch - Fine Arts; Ava Pearson - Foreign Language; Lily Jones - Health/Physical Education; Chloe Boer - Language Arts; Sarah Biedron – Mathematics; Kaylin Curtis – Science; Danin Richardson - Social Studies; and Brayden Kollada – Technology.

Duttlinger then opened the floor for public comment. Lynnsi Sandonato questioned the current mask protocol and quarantining practice, specifically the recent change from masks required to masks optional. She also questioned why students cannot go on field trips but are allowed to go on buses to other schools for athletic events.

Brianne Dorn stated that during her parent-teacher conferences it was reported to her that her son in first grade is reading below level and questioned if reading standards are being lowered and why.

A public hearing on the superintendent’s contract with a summary of the draft agreement was reviewed. The Kankakee Valley Board of Education did conduct a public hearing on the proposed published contract for the superintendent, in accordance with Indiana Code. There were no patron comments.

The board approved the minutes of the regular meeting and executive session on Oct. 19, 2021 as well as Corporation Claims in the amount of $1,455,023.80 and Cafeteria Claims in the amount of $105,692.61.

Superintendent Don Street reviewed the NEOLA Board policies.

Assistant superintendent Allisa Schnick reported that since the last meeting all of KV's schools have moved to mask optional. She also explained the one percent masking guidance and reviewed the location of the Covid-19 FAQ on the KV website.

The board approved the retirement of Susan Christopher, Kankakee Valley High School Food Service Worker, and the following resignations: Amber Justice, Kankakee Valley Intermediate School custodian; Whitney Coldiron, Kankakee Valley Middle School counselor; Amanda Goggans, DeMotte Elementary School instructional aide; Shawnee Erway, bus driver; and Kara Short, KVMS bookkeeper. Two leaves of absence were approved: Crystal Berg, KVHS science teacher, effective March 28-May 26, 2022 and Sheila Jabaay, bus driver, effective Nov. 9, 2021-Jan. 18. 2022.

Extracurricular recommendations for the 2021/2022 school year were also granted. Amongst these were Carley DeKock as girls' freshmen basketball coach; Aubrey VanMeter as eighth-grade girls' basketball coach, Michael Clark as seventh-grade girls' basketball coach; David DeFries as sixth-grade girls' basketball coach; Zachary Waters as KVMS wrestling coach; Danielle DeFries as KVMS girls' swimming coach; William Oates as KVMS boys' swimming coach; and Brian Culbreth, KVMS wrestling coach.

The KVSC Board of Education received Lane Lewallen’s resignation as KVHS girls’ varsity cross country head coach and stated that they appreciate his 15 years of service to the program.

The board approved the certified hiring recommendation of Shelley Stonecipher as KVMS school counselor effective Nov. 12, 2021, and pending receipt of additional information. They also approved the following classified recommendations: Dawn Zubrenic as a bus driver effective Nov. 30, 2021; Johni Corning as a bus aide effective Nov. 9, 2021; Amanda Gallagher as bus driver effective Nov. 9, 2021; Ethan Hugar as KVHS janitor effective Nov. 9, 2021; Jose Rodriguez as KVIS sweeper effective Nov. 9, 2021; Melissa Matthews as DES sweeper effective Nov. 9, 2021; Taryn Lynn as KVMS sweeper effective Nov. 19, 2021; Maria Scally as KVIS sweeper effective Nov. 9, 2021; and Samuel Sanders as KVHS athletic custodian effective March 1, 2022. Sanders will be filling a new position.

Also approved were the KVSC school board meeting dates for the 2022 calendar year as well as the salary and stipend recommendations of the speech-language pathologists for the 2021-2022 school year and the the salaries of the administrators and directors for the 2021-2022 school year.

Several use of facilities and professional development requests were granted.

Superintendent Street reported that Wheatfield Elementary School received the Jasper County Retired Teacher’s Grant for $150. These funds will be used to purchase equipment to set up a video studio with a green screen. Students will be able to create short, informative video presentations using technology features to add fun, interactive backgrounds.

The KVHS boys’ football team received an Exemplary Behavior Report for their outstanding sportsmanship displayed at the game on Oct. 21, 2021.

Street also extended congratulations to the Clay Target League on its improvement this season. It went from 84.5 points its first week to 173.5 last week. They are coming together as a team, adhering to firearm safety, and respecting the rules of the range.

The meeting was adjourned at 6:26 p.m. and followed by an executive work session.

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