Regular Board of Education Meeting

Eastland CUSD #308

January 16, 2019 President Heeren called to order the Regular Meeting for January, 2019. Members approved the minutes of the December 19 Regular Meeting. They also approved payment of all bills and claims, the Treasurer’s Report, and a motion to keep closed executive session minutes from January, 2017 through May, 2018.

Eastland School Nurse Brittany Becker Shares Information, Board Discusses Plans to See Demonstration Clorox 360 Machine

During Board input, members discussed plans to see a demonstration of a Clorox 360 machine used to clean rooms or spaces using electrostatic technology to disinfect and sanitize surfaces in a short amount of time. The idea to research this technology came from School Nurse Brittany Becker and information she shared from the Freeport Schools. The Board also discussed an offer from the Illinois Association of School Boards to provide a free board training. Dr. Hansen will see about scheduling the training for August or September.

School Resource Officers See First Two Weeks of Work, Will Arrange ALICE Training for Staff and Students

As a first item in Old Business, the Board heard a report on the initial implementation of School Resource Officers. Superintendent Hansen reported that the officers have dealt with an incident in each building that he would describe as “requiring or benefitting” from the presence of law enforcement. He described the first two weeks of implementation as mostly learning: the officers, staff and students all learning together how SRO’s can best be utilized. Administrators, SROs and local police chiefs have met together twice so far to foster communication and planning. Among the first tasks will be getting familiar with building schedules and protocols. The SROs have also been charged with arranging for ALICE (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate) training for staff and students and the establishment of Threat Assessment Protocols.

Board Approves Alignment to Standards-Based Grading: Curriculum, Courses, and Procedures

The Board approved the Eastland Jr/Sr High School Curriculum Guide for 2019-20. Included in the revisions were changes to the math course sequence and other changes necessary to align curriculum, courses and procedures to Standards-Based Grading, which is scheduled for full implementation in 2019-20 for grades 9-12.

Dr. Hansen Reports – School Has Not Received State Funding for Transportation Costs

The Board received a second quarter financial report. Dr. Hansen reported that some end-of-year budget amendments will be necessary to account for purchasing the services of School Resource Officers and employing a part-time special education teacher at Eastland Elementary the second semester of the year. These costs were not anticipated and not included in the original budget approved in August. He reminded the Board that the District had not filled a posted vacancy for a special education teacher in August because no qualified candidates applied, so although that expenditure was not included in the 2018-19 budget, it was in the previous year’s budget. He noted that the mid-year hire was going to be very helpful. State revenues have been generally on time, with the exception of revenues for Pre-School and Transportation. Although transportation payments have been vouchered by the Comptroller, Eastland has not yet received any of its state funding for transportation costs. Hansen noted that revenues are still projected to meet aggregate expenditures for the year.

Board Discusses Eastland Elementary Secure Entrance/District Office Relocation

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Continuing, the Board approved a motion to let bids for one (1) zero-turn lawn mower and one (1) new pickup truck, less trade-in of the existing truck. Members also discussed the timeline for soliciting, accepting and approving bids for the Eastland Elementary Secure Entrance / District Office Relocation Project.

Board Approves Soliciting Public Bids for Selling Surplus Athletic Lockers

In New Business, the Board approved declaring as surplus twenty-five full-sized athletic lockers currently stored in the bus garage. The lockers were exchanged for smaller lockers to facilitate the move of 6th grade to Eastland Jr/Sr High School. The lockers are blue and constructed of steel mesh. They are joined in units of 2-3 lockers. Superintendent Hansen will be responsible for advertising and soliciting public bids for the purchase of the lockers, as required by law.

2019-2020 School Year Calendar Gets First Reading

The Board also heard a first reading of the proposed 2019-20 School Year Calendar. The proposed calendar starts with the first day of student attendance on Wednesday, August 14th. Two full weeks are provided for Christmas Break, and 1 full week for Spring Break, March 23-27. It reduces the number of all-day Institutes from 4 to 3, and adds two (2) half-days for School Improvement Planning. The last day of student attendance would be May 18, unless emergency days are used during the winter. If 4 or fewer emergency days are used, the school year would conclude by Memorial Day. Action to approve the 2019-20 Calendar will be scheduled for the regular February meeting.

Eagle Point Solar Proposal – Possibility of Installing Solar Arrays to Provide Electricity to Eastland Elementary and Eastland Jr./Sr. High School

Dr. Hansen shared information that was presented by Eagle Point Solar to the Board Facilities Committee about the possibility of purchasing and installing solar arrays that would provide electricity to Eastland Elementary and Eastland Jr/Sr High School. Because of Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SREC), it is estimated that 85% of the total capital costs would be paid through these private funds over five years. Because the life of an array is about 25 years, the District could bond out for 5 years, using the SREC payments and energy savings to pay on the bonds so that no increase in taxes would be necessary. The bonds would be paid off in 5 years and the District could reduce electricity costs by as much as $122,000 annually. Over 25 years, the District could potentially save more than $3,000,000 in electricity costs. Hansen asked the Board for direction as to whether to pursue the project further. Members generally agreed that more information was needed. They also discussed whether it would be wise to start project of this scale with a Board election scheduled for April and a new superintendent hired to start on July 1. Dr. Hansen was directed to do some initial work to gather information only.

The Board adjourned to closed session at 7:43 p.m. to discuss “the appointment, employment , compensation, discipline, performance, or dismissal of specific employees of the District or legal counsel for the District, including hearing testimony on a complaint lodged against an employee or against legal counsel for the District to determine its validity,” and “student disciplinary cases”.

They exited closed session at 7:51 p.m. and approved the following personnel actions: 

  1. approved the hire of Michele Kindberg as a substitute bus driver pending successful completion of employment paperwork and IL bus driver license.
  2. approved the hire of Jessica Rodriguez as a substitute cook or kitchen assistance effective immediately.
  3. approved the hire of Bonnie Heckman-Foust as a part-time elementary special education teacher for the remainder of the current school year.
  4. approved the hire of Nicole Olson as 7th grade girls’ basketball coach for the 2019 season.
  5. approved posting a vacancy for a High School Physics/Chemistry teacher for the 2019-20 school year.
  6. approved posting a vacancy for an .5 Elementary Special Ed Teacher / .5 Elementary Intervention Teacher for the 2019-20 school year.
  7. approved posting the following non-certified summer vacancies:
    1. Summer Crew (custodial) – 2
    2. Summer Crew (technology) – 1
    3. Summer Crew (data entry – clerical) – 1
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