Board Approves Eagle Scout Project at Both High School & Jr. High
Brandon Johnson of Boy Scout Troup 96 presented plans to make new trash receptacles for the Morrison School District for his Eagle Scout Project. (PA photo/Lynnette Forth)
By LYNNETTE FORTH | For The Prairie Advocate News
MORRISON – The Board of Education held a public hearing on the 2012 district tax levy at the November 27th Morrison School Board meeting. The levy would extend the levy with an increase of 4.23% over last year, totaling $5,387.501.00, with the rate still being lower than last year.
Brandon Johnson presented his idea for an Eagle Scout project, consisting of the replacement of trash cans in the front of the High School with new ones, and a recycling receptacle.
“I would like to also put two at the Junior High, as they don’t have any. I would also like to put up recycling signs, to make the kids aware of the recycling bins. I estimate the project to cost around $3500.00. I plan to raise money for this through fundraisers and donations,” Johnson said.
Board member Mike Vegter offered to help Brandon with the use of tools that he will need for drilling into the concrete at no cost to the District. Brandon Shelton congratulated Johnson on achieving the accomplishments to become an Eagle Scout.
Student Jamie Harden also spoke on behalf of the student body with a request for approval of an optional student pass to sporting events that could be purchased and result in a savings for students. Harden reported that student council members had a meeting and went around the school asking students opinions.
“I think it would change the perspective of students, to go to games if they don’t have to pay every time. The overall goal is not to just lower the cost, but also increase student attendance,” Harden said. A sticker would be placed on student ID cards showing that they have paid the price for a pass. If no pass is purchased, the cost to enter would be $3.00.
In the Superintendents report, Dr. Girard stated, “It’s been a month of lots of public interaction. Thank you all for coming to the Finance meeting. We had a group of school district members who presented at the Joint Conference. It talked about technology in the District. We need to be really appreciative of the technology we have. We have been able to do something extraordinary in getting the wireless network up for little money.”
Scott Vance reported, “I am excited that we are unveiling a new homework line, available to parents and students through the high school web page. Schedule discussion for next year has begun.” Staff members continue to implement technology into the classroom in an attempt to increase student engagement and learning.
Winter sports are well under way. “We had some exciting news,” Vance said. “Kaitlyn Finneran recently signed a National letter of intent to attend Drake University on a full athletic scholarship, and Calvin Harridge was recently named to the Illinois Football Coaches Association All State Team for the 2012 school year.”
Darryl Hogue informed the board that he had recently taken about 30 kids to Erie on a fan bus to a basketball game, and the kids did a wonderful job. Hogue also reported that parent/teacher conferences were well attended. BEST night took place on November 16th. All students were invited back to the Junior High for a series of planned activities and games.
Mr. Bonneur took 60 students to Milwaukee for the annual fall art trip. The students viewed the architecture, visited the Art museum, and took a boat tour along the shore of Lake Michigan.
Elementary Principal Joe Robbins excitedly reported that another successful trip had been made to obtain supplies from NAEIR, which is a wholesale supply house. This order had over $18,000.00 worth of items. The PTO agreed to pay for the membership this year. Superintendent Girard noted “It’s a huge savings to the school.”
Assessment forms of the PreK program have been reviewed, showing the need for some areas of improvement. Parent/teacher conferences went well, giving positive comments about the school and teachers. Thanks were offered to many wonderful and gracious donors in Morrison, allowing the assistance for several families in need.
Erin Luckey reported on the Citizens Advisory Committee meeting, stating “Student athletic passes were discussed. It’s going to be interesting to see how many students purchase the optional pass this year, and see how it goes for next year.”
Jim Ridley discussed the Finance Committee meeting, reporting “Sales tax was the most important thing we talked about. The committee supports it. Remember, it can only be used for operations and maintance. $561,000.00 can be used to pay the existing bonds.”
Cathleen Vegeter commented on the Policy committee meeting, reminding board members not to converse among one another, and cannot forward emails. Illinois law states that the Comptroller is allowed to retrieve unpaid school fees from residents by deducting the money from State Income Tax refunds.
Vegter also reported on the Safety/Crisis Planning Committee. “It was a really good meeting with a lot of good ideas. We are considering having a lock box outside each school to hold a key in case police ever need to get in during a crisis situation. We are also looking at getting speakers installed and additional two way radios in case of an emergency during recess. The committee is looking at grants to purchase more portable Automated External Deliberators.”
Financial Report as of October 31, 2012. “It’s been a good news month. We started the year with a deficit of $750,000.00, and have decreased it about $400,000.00. We continue working on things. We received more money, and spent less. We have more in the bank this month than this time last year. That’s really good news,” Girard said.
Treasurer’s report as of October 31st.
Financial Comparisons FY11, FY12, FY13.
Cash Flow Projections
Bills as of November 27, 2012.
October Enrollment (increase noted from last year at this time)
Parent/Teacher Conference survey results
Review of Sessions from Joint Conference
1% Sales Tax. Superintendent Girard stated, “Right now our tax base doesn’t support for buildings, this could help. We do have a high property tax rate. It would bring more sales tax than Morrison makes. With the boards’ direction, I would like to put this on the agenda for the next meeting to vote on.” Girard will put together expenditures and a list of what the money could go to and where it is needed. The sales tax would be effective January 1st 2014.
Steven’s Amendment-requires that the District publicly identify funds received.
Board Member Contacts-Skyward can add board members to get emergency information.
School Safety Plans
Personnel Recommendations (employed Jamie Rodrigues as JH wrestling coach, accepted resignation of Lori Neighbour)
Action Items: (approved)
Board committee membership
Swimming pool management plan-Dean Wallace and Jon Heusinkveld will be doing the maintance duties. The girls swim team will schedule life guards for open swim time, and will also supervise pool parties and organize swim lessons. The entrance fees will cover the cost of lifeguards.
Student entrance Fees(sporting events)
Approval of Eagle Scout project
The next meeting of the Morrison Board of Education is scheduled for December 18, 2012.