The Morrisonville Board of Education met on Thursday, March 16, 2017 at 7:00 PM in the Unit Office. The following Board members were present: Ed Goebel, Bob Gowin, Gerry Goebel, Bryan Fesser, Bobbie Harker, Dale Brockamp and Kevin Moomey. Also present were Superintendent Gary DePatis and principals Ann Little and Christy Willman.
Mrs. Derick and representatives from the 5th grade class attended the meeting to tell the board about their upcoming fundraising activity. The funds being raised will be dontated to the Children’s Miracle Network. The fundraising event will be a “Fun Run” held on Friday, May 5th. The students have been working on communication to advertise the event. They also attend a Morrisonville Village Board meeting to get approval to be able to block off some streets for the race. The students have been working very hard on organizing this event and are very excited. They also invited the junior/senior high school students to participate through Principal Ann Little. The fun run will be the Friday before the all town garage sale on May 6th. There is an entrance fee to participate and the funds all go to the Children’s Miracle Network. Board President Ed Goebel asked if they would accept donations even if a person did not want to or was unable to run in the race. The students said that all donations would be greatly appreciated.
Band director Hope Waters was present to request approval for the annual band fundraising dinner to be held on Sunday, April 23rd. She explained to the board that the calendar is very full and the only dates available during the week were Wednesdays and the district is making every effort to stay away from Wednesday night events. The time is yet to be determined but the board approved for the event to be held on Sunday, April 23rd in the afternoon or early evening as to not conflict with Sunday church services.
The board heard a report from Lynn Cina, who is the NHS sponsor on the community service projects the NHS has been doing this year. These events included working in the Kindergarten class to clean toys for the kindergarten student to use and a fundraising for disadvantaged students in Haiti. The NHS is also now the local sponsor for blood drives in Morrisonville with the Community Blood Center in Springfield. They also are planning a trip to work at the St. John’s Bread Line later this spring. Mrs. Cina also announced that the NHS induction ceremony has been scheduled for Thursday, April 27th at 7:00 PM. The board thank Mrs. Cina for the update and for the job she is doing with the NHS students.
The Board heard a report from the curriculum committee. There was discussion at the committee about the possible switch for consumer education and government classes from the senior level to freshmen or sophomore level. This would allow for more electives for the seniors to take. Also since this is a required course for graduation, it would allow students to retake the course in the event they did not pass so they could still graduate with their classmates. The committee agreed with the idea. Due to scheduling issues, this transfer may not happen for the 2017-2018 school year as it would require doubling up on these courses to make sure that all the students would be able to have the required courses for graduation. The committee also discussed bringing back the work coop program that was at Morrisonville previously, but has not been offered in several years due to not having anyone on staff that is certified to teach the course. There is a current staff member that is willing to take the classes being offered this summer so that we could potentially offer the class again. This will be taken under advisement and further discussion will be held at the April meeting with a possible decision made at that time.
The technology committee reported on their meeting, which was held earlier in the day. There was discussion that the elementary lab computers have multiple printing options and sometimes the student end up printing to another printer that is not in the lab. We would like to limit the print options to just the printer in the lab so the students can find what they have printed. It was also discussed to see if the color printer in the high school lab could be limited with a password to allow printing. This would simplify the printing process for the teacher and students compared to what they currently do. The committee also heard that we are on track to install the Wireless Access Points (WAPs) this summer to complete the infrastructure upgrade for the district. This moves us one step closer to the 1:1 program for the students.
Principal Little reported to the board on the attendance for the JR/SR High School. She noted that the junior high attendance was down from the previous year but explained that there was a bought of strep throat going around the students. She also told the board about several requests for trips for different school organizations. These were a trip to Branson, MO for the baseball team, and a behavior incentive trip for deserving students through the Renaissance program to Six Flags. The baseball trip is an annual event paid through fundraising efforts of the players. The Renaissance program is new this year. Both trips require board approval as they are out of state trips.
Ms. Little also reported on the need to approve the renewal of the coops for football and girls’ basketball with South Fork/Edinburg as those expired this year. She also said that she had made contact with South Fork concerning the possible opportunity for Morrisonville girls to be involved with football cheerleading. That information has not come back from South Fork at this time.
Elementary principal Mrs. Willman reported that the Pre-K screening was successful and there were 19 students screened and there were two students that were eligible now and began attending the program that next week. She also reported that there will be another screening in June for those students that could not attend this screening. The preliminary numbers look as though we will have 28 students in Pre-K next year and 17 in Kindergarten.
Principal Willman also reported that the students are getting ready to participate in this year’s Jump Rope for Heart. Last year this event raised almost $5000 and we hope to be at that level again this year. She also told the board that the 5th grade students are working to put together a fundraiser for a program called No Hungry Kid. They are trying to put together a 5K run for this spring.
Superintendent DePatis informed the board that currently the district is owed $147,835 from the State of Illinois for payments that have been vouchered by the State Board of Education but not yet paid by the Comptroller due to lack of available funds. We do continue to receive the general state aid payments but at this time we have not received any reimbursement for the fiscal year for transportation or special education.
Superintendent DePatis also informed the Board that the district finally received notice on the cafeteria equipment grant that was written in the fall. Unfortunately we did not receive the grant. The grant was written in an effort to get a walk-in freezer for the kitchen to be more efficient and allow for better preparation for school meals. Hopefully the grants will be available again next year and we will be successful then.
The following action was taken by the Board during the meeting.
The next regular Board meeting will take place on Thursday, April 20, 2017 at 7:00 PM.
The meeting adjourned at approximately 11:50 PM.