November Eastland Board of Education Meeting Moved to EHS
LANARK, IL – The Eastland Board of Education held their Regular meeting on Wednesday, November 14, 2012, at Eastland High School in Lanark. As a first item of business, they approved bills and claims for the month, the Regular Meeting minutes from October 15th, the minutes from the Student Disciplinary Hearing from November 5th, the Treasurer’s Report, and an Application for Building Permit for remodeling of the fitness room at Eastland Middle School into a pre-school classroom. Superintendent Hansen reminded Board members about the upcoming deadlines and requirements for the Board election in April, 2013.
During the Recognition of Visitors, students, parents and members of the public addressed the Board members regarding the Eastland-Pearl City Football Co-operative and Head Coach Randy Asche (See related article, “Eastland Board Hears Public Outcry”). Comments were in support of continuing the co-op and renewing Coach Asche as the Head Coach for the 2013 season. When public comment concluded, President Randy Hasken thanked those in attendance for their comments. Superintendent Hansen informed them that no action pertaining to the co-operative or football coaching personnel was scheduled for this meeting.
As a first item in Old Business, Social Studies teachers Erin Paulsen and Josh Ehlers made a presentation on the Indicators of Success for Social Studies in 2011-12. They reported a 100% success rate for students earning a C or better on the 7th grade Constitution Tests, U.S. and Illinois (98% for the 12th grade test); 100% of eligible students registered to vote; and 100% of students wrote an original essay referencing social studies to address a current issue or historical topic.
Superintendent Hansen reported that attendance for Parent-Teacher Conferences at Eastland Elementary was 100%. Parent comments from twenty-seven completed surveys were all positive. Principal Feltmeyer reported on conferences at Eastland Middle School. Survey feedback was overwhelmingly positive, with a few comments regarding the late start on Tuesday being inconvenient for parents. There was a short discussion on the late start format and how it was used to accommodate previous requests from parents for more evening conference times.
As a final item in Old Business, the Board accepted and approved the financial audit for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2012.
Moving to New Business, Superintendent Hansen shared information from the Carroll County Assessor on equalized assessed value and the impact on taxes to be collected for the 2013-14 school year. According to the Assessor, the total assessed value for property will be dropped significantly for the third consecutive year in Lake Carroll. Hansen estimated that the net result will be a reduction in revenues of $506,184.
The Board of Education was able to balance the current school year (2012-13) budget by reducing $372,000 in expenditures as compared to the previous year. While the closing of the Eastland Elementary building at the conclusion of 2012-13 will help to further reduce costs, Hansen is projecting a $400,000 net deficit for the 2013-14 school year.
The challenge for the district, and for future Boards of Education, will be to balance further budget cuts with the prudent expenditure of fund balances in the manner most likely to support the District Vision and the priorities identified through the school improvement process. He also explained that further reductions to General State Aid and Transportation Reimbursement have already been announced, and that the General Assembly is looking to transfer the State’s portion of teacher pensions to local districts.
Continuing, the Board heard a 1st Reading of the proposed levy for 2013-14 and approved a motion to schedule approval of the levy for the December meeting. Because the levy will actually show a 7% reduction in revenues requested as compared to 2012-13, a Truth in Taxation Hearing will not be necessary. The levy will be scheduled for approval at the December 19, 2012 Board of Education meeting. The preliminary levy for December, 2012 is set at $6,798,594. The December, 2011 levy was approved at $7,252,714.
As a final item in New Business, the Board approved a motion authorizing the superintendent to sign a co-location agreement with iFiber, pending approval of the language in the agreement by the school attorney. The agreement will allow iFiber to house infrastructure in Eastland district buildings in return for cost savings on Internet service for as long as the agreement is in effect.
Superintendent Hansen thanked Principal Burkholder, Melissa McClain, the Veterans’ Day Committee, FCCLA and Student Council members, and the band and chorus students for their work in preparing and hosting the Veterans’ Day ceremonies at Eastland High School on November 8th. He also thanked the Board of Education for the lunch provided for all staff on Monday, November 12th as a kickoff to American Education Week.
The Board went into closed session at 8:06 p.m. to discuss the appointment, employment, compensation, discipline, performance, or dismissal of specific employees; potential litigation.
After closed session, the Board approved the minutes, and the following personnel actions:
Approved the hire of Kathleen Sleezer as a long-term substitute teacher for a high school math teacher maternity leave; Danika Starr as a substitute cook; Reyna Hubbard as a substitute cook; Verlyn Giedd as a substitute bus driver; Kevin O’Keefe as Assistant Director for the Spring Play; Michelle Lessman as Assistant Speech Team Coach for the 2012-13 season; and Kristy Pierce as Head Softball Coach for the 2012-13 season.
After some discussion, the Board issued a statement regarding the Eastland-Pearl City Football Cooperative, saying the Eastland Board of Education supports renewal of the Eastland-Pearl City Football Co-operative for the 2013 and 2014 seasons.