Pope County Community Unit School District 1 Board of Education met Sept. 19.
Here is the minutes provided by the board:
Meeting was called to order by President Hansen at 7:00 p.m. The following members were present: Walker, Aly, Schuchardt, Wallace, Hogg, and Hansen. Simmons was absent.
A motion was made by Schuchardt and seconded by Walker to approve the agenda. Roll call vote: all ayes.
A motion was made by Hogg and seconded by Wallace to approve the consent agenda including the following items; 1) Approve Minutes of Board Meeting on 8/15/19 and 8/29/19; 2) Approve Closed Session Minutes; 3) Approve Bills for Payment; 4) Accept Financial Reports; and 5) Accept Resignation; Jan Garner as cook. Roll call vote: all ayes.
President Hansen recognized the Hometown Heroes committee to the meeting. The committee comprised of Ella Aly, Cori Vickery, Ethan Jarvis, Jazmin Williams, and Connor Shults, presented their Hometown Heroes project idea to the Board. The project they have chosen this year is to upgrade the signage on the outside of the high school and inside the gymnasium and add a marquee type monitor in the gym lobby for announcements, upcoming events, student successes, and snack shack menus.
President Hansen stated how well the students did on the presentation, thanked them for giving their time, and encouraged them to continuing mentoring each other. He added that the success of the project depends on the students and their ability to work together as a team to accomplish their goals.
Under Administrative reports, Mr. Blankenship reported the following: 1) School pictures have been scheduled for September 27th; 2) Aimsweb testing for the Fall benchmark is finished; 3) Progress reports for the 1st quarter went out this last Friday, September 13th; 4) Boys basketball try-out dates are September 26th and 27th. Girls basketball try-out dates have yet to be scheduled, waiting on the outcome of the softball regionals; 5) Student Council elections are over and the members have been selected; 6) The fall pre-school screenings took place today, only had 6 or 7. Looking at promoting the spring screening more heavily; 7) The Jr. High softball team will be playing a “Pink Out” game September 20th. The money raised will go to a parent with cancer. They will start their regional next Tuesday, when they play Cypress-Buncombe. Our team received the 7th seed in the tournament; 8) The baseball team will be starting their regional tomorrow. They will play Galatia at home. Our team received the number 3 seed in the tournament; and 9) Current enrollment is 335 as of September 19th.
Mr. Fritch reported the following; 1) All clubs and organizations have had their first meetings; 2) Cross Country has kicked off their season and have been performing very well; 3) Boys Fall Baseball season is in full swing; 4) FFA organization has been participating in several activities already; and 5) Enrollment is at 167; Freshmen 53; Sophomores 44; Juniors 26; and Seniors 40.
Mr. Climer commended Mr. Fritch on the handling of the threat situation and thanked him, the Pope County Sherriff’s Department, and the Illinois State Police on the quick response and the timely manner in which they handled the situation. President Hansen added he appreciated the quick call out to the parents and students informing everyone of the situation versus hearing it on the news.
A motion was made by Hogg and seconded by Schuchardt to enter closed session for the purpose of personnel performance, procedures, and employment. Roll call vote: all ayes. Board entered closed session at 7:31 p.m.
A motion was made by Hogg and seconded by Schuchardt to return to regular session. Roll call vote: all ayes. Board returned at 7:56 pm.
A motion to approve the FY 2019-20 District Budget made by Walker and seconded by Wallace. Roll call vote: all ayes.
A motion to adopt the PRESS Policy updates as presented by Mr. Fritch was made by Hogg and seconded by Wallace. Roll call vote: all ayes.
A motion to approve the FFA overnight trip to BUILD Conference in Decatur, IL October 14-15 was made by Hogg and seconded by Schuchardt. Roll call vote: all ayes.
A motion to approve the FFA overnight/out-of-state trip to National Convention in Indianapolis, IN October 29 – November 1 was made by Hogg and seconded by Walker. Roll call vote: all ayes.
A motion to hire Sandy Hanson as bus driver was made by Wallace and seconded by Walker. Roll call vote: all ayes.
Motion to post for cook position was made by Wallace and seconded by Schuchardt. Roll call vote: all ayes.
Under Old Business, President Hanson stated he wanted to explain the time line of events for the Safety Officer and clear up some misinformation that has been posted on social media. He stated that State Attorney, at that time; Mrs. Presser invited him to attend a Safety Meeting on March 20th along with the Pope County Sherriff’s Office, City Police, our administration, County Commissioners, and several other people in the county. The meeting was to discuss the safety of our children in the county should an emergency take place. This is when the idea of a Safety Resource Office was born. Everyone was supportive of this idea. From that meeting, the Board formed a Safety Committee which met several times agreeing that an SRO was needed. On December 20th, members Wallace, Schuchardt, and Hansen went to the Village of Eddyville to gauge support. February 4th, members Hogg, Hansen, and our administration went to the City of Golconda to gauge support. Another school incident that occurred on February 12th, which happened to be right before the County Commissioner’s meeting that, we went to ask for help. The commissioner’s showed support at that time. On February 28th, Mr. Fritch, Mr. Climer, and Hansen met with Commissioner Wallace and learned that the commissioners would prefer us to go about getting an SRO on our own, and prefer not to be involved, but if we hit a block they were open to help. Hogg, Fritch, and Hansen met with Commissioner Wallace on March 26th. Wallace stated that the County couldn’t afford it and Hansen, once again explained that the District would take care of the liability and cost. He said it was ok to proceed. April 10th was a special called meeting with County Commissioners, once again said we would take care of liability and cost. They said give us an agreement and we would look at it. In early May we sent our contract over for review. Hansen received correspondence from Commissioner Wallace that they had concerns on the contract. Hansen asked to please have the state’s attorney mark it up and send back. There was no activity from the Commissioners and the school administration asked several times to mark it and send back. Hansen made the comment in the July Board meeting about not being acceptable that was in the paper in August and got the Commissioners stirred up. There was a statement in the last Board meeting that they rejected our contract but to my knowledge they still hadn’t voted. Mr. Climer and Hansen talked in early August about getting the states attorney and our lawyer together and when they talked it seemed the new state’s attorney hadn’t been in the loop. The County Commissioner’s meeting on August 23rd was attended by Hogg, Wallace, and the school administration to discuss the contract. Hansen stated the responsibility lies on all of us to protect our children.
There was a post on social media that a deal has been made but an email from our attorney dated 9/12/19 stated that there was no deal made. There has been nothing in the County Commissioner’s minutes of any action taken on the SRO. Hansen asked if a call could be made to the courthouse to ask if the SRO was on the agenda for their next meeting. A couple Board members are planning on attending the next meeting.
Mr. Fritch stated the building permit has been signed for the doors and windows project at the elementary. They will be here this month to take measurements and the construction is scheduled to begin in October. He added that the Maintenance Grant has not come through yet.
Mr. Climer stated we received one bus bid from Central States Bus for the same type of bus we received last year. This one came in at $82,000, up from last year due to the tariffs and 3% bump on price. Mr. Climer stated he has already contacted Banterra Bank for the leasing, which will be the same terms as the other buses. There was some discussion on bidding a handicapped accessible bus, since our other bus was totaled. The Board authorized superintendent to get bids on a handicapped accessible school bus. They would look at the bids at the next meeting.
Mr. Fritch stated a van has been purchased from Linwood for $19,500. He also shopped at Jim Hayes and Absher but went with the lowest priced. They are working on getting the camera installed. Kevin Graham drove the van with the students today.
Other School Business, Member Wallace stated there was some concern with the cross country uniforms and the lettering coming off. Member Hogg asked about the procedure of filling up the activity bus with fuel now that we have the new tank. Member Aly asked about textbooks and Member Walker asked about ebooks as a possibility. President Hansen stated that we appreciate everything Mr. and Mrs. Hosfeldt do, with giving their time and all they are involved in with the students. He also commended Patrick Presser for his work with the sports program and all his efforts in coaching three different age groups.
With no further business, a motion to adjourn the meeting until the next regular meeting to be held on Thursday, October 17, 2019 at 7:00 p.m. in the J.H. Hobbs Memorial Library was made by Schuchardt and seconded by Wallace. Roll call vote: all ayes. Meeting adjourned at 9:04 pm.