Newly Elected Board Members Join the Morrison School Board
By LYNNETTE FORTH | For The Prairie Advocate News
MORRISON – Members of the Morrison Board of Education met in the High School Media Center on April 23rd, 2013 for a regular meeting. Approval of previously held meetings was granted, and immediately following that, reorganization of the board was held.
Newly elected member Wolfgang Schmidt received the oath of office, along with reappointed members Kathleen Vegter and Mike Vegter. Board members then reviewed committee assignments for the year, as well as the board meeting schedule.
Elementary Principal Joe Robbins reported that the recently held Kindergarten Round Up went well, with the anticipation of a more final idea of how many to expect in the fall to come following an earlier registration process. All Pre-School screenings have been completed. Many students have received rewards for their reading progress throughout the year.
Kindergarten Experience Day will be held in May, to give upcoming Kindergarten students the chance to spend a day at the school, and help to prepare them for class.
“Because Children Are Special” was held on March 18th, with Nathan Sandrock of Sinnissippi speaking on child behavior. The PTO is sponsoring a Clothing and Toy Swap for families on May 4th. No money will be exchanged, parents will bring in gently used items to exchange for other donated items.
Junior High Principal Joe Robbins informed the board that Linda Limond and Trevor LaPage are attending the final Common Core transition at Sauk Valley Community College.
Two Junior High students had their art work recognized at the Woodlawn Arts Academy art show. The students won fourth place in the Middle School division.
The Eighth Grade students will be taking a field trip to the Museum of Science and Industry, a tour of Chicago, and Navy Pier on April 26th. Funding for the trip is paid for by student rewards and fall fund raising monies.
6th grade students are setting up a Career Day for students to be held on May 6th. Students will be attending a career seminar at Ashford University, and then going to a Clinton Lumberkings game. Teacher appreciation week is set for May 6-10th.
High School Principal Scott Vance informed members of the school board that 51 students recently attended an Act preparation seminar held at Super Wash Corporate Headquarters.
Morrison High School has begun discussing with Sauk Community College about the possibility of hosting distant learning/dual credit courses on the campus of Morrison High School. The High School and Athletic Boosters will be working together to make improvements in the Fitness Center. Weather has delayed the start of spring athletic events.
Superintendent Suellen Girard reported that BiCounty continues to plan for the possible withdrawal of Sterling from the program. If Sterling withdraws, the cost for Special Education services for the Morrison School District would increase by over $16,000.00.
Finances continue to be disappointing on the State level. End of the year plans are being finalized along with summer staff development. Rather than paying for a staff breakfast this year, Girard is soliciting donations for a barbecue lunch.
Girard will be meeting with IL Representative Mike Smiddy to discuss school funding and the Thomson prison.
A group of staff members, board members, and community members met at Pam Bush’s home to present her with a professionally framed copy of the photograph that was taken in her honor. This was her retirement gift.
Communications/Public Comment included: High School Economic Supplementary Curriculum; Annual Update of Highlights from Morrison High School; Citizens’ Advisory Committee Report; Finance Committee Report; and Public Forum.
Discussion Items included: Financial Report as of March 31st, 2013; Treasurer’s Report as of March 31st, 2013; Financial Comparisons FY11,FY12,FY13; Cash Flow Projections; Bills as of April 23rd, 2013; HS Library Update; March Enrollment Report; High School Schedule; Summer School (6 drops and 3 adds for March)
HS Economic Curriculum; School Board Policy Updates; New Board Member District Training; Legally Required Board Member Training.
Action Items include the Approval of the following items: Classified Staff Handbook; Shared Technology Position (Steve Bechtel will work every other day at each District. Morrison will bill Prophetstown ½ the cost of his employment); Final Calendar; Summer School; Sterling withdrawal from Bi-County Special Education Cooperative; IESA Membership and Dues.
The next meeting of the Morrison School Board is scheduled for May 29th.