President Randy Hasken called to order the Regular Eastland Board of Education Meeting for March 20th at 6:33 p.m. After roll call, the Board approved the Treasurer’s Report and the payments of all bills and claims for the month. They also approved the minutes of the February 19, 2013 Regular meeting and renewal of Eastland’s membership in the IHSA for the 2013-14 school year.
During Board Input, members agreed to sponsor $525.00 in scholarships to graduating seniors.
Can you spell Cecilia?
Eastland 7th grader Cecilia Guerrero shared information about advancing to the National Spelling Bee. She and her family will be traveling to Washington D.C. in May to participate in the competition. Cecilia is the first Eastland student to advance to the National competition.
Four members of the public addressed the Board about a proposed reduction from four (4) to three (3) physical education teachers for the 2013-14 school year. Concerns focused on how the cut would affect class sizes, the safety of students in physical education and the importance of having both male and female teachers for physical education.
After public comment, the Board approved a motion to enter closed session at 7:10 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. 5 ILCS 120/2(c)(1).
The Board exited closed session at 8:28 p.m. and approved the following actions:
1. Approved and accepted the resignation of full-time certified teacher Amy Ruch effective at the conclusion of the 2012-13 school year.
2. Approved and accepted the irrevocable notice of intent to retire of full-time certified teacher MaryBeth Landherr at the conclusion of the 2015-16 school year per the terms outlined in the currently effective collective bargaining agreement.
3. Approved the non-renewal of non-tenured, full-time certified teacher Michelle Lessman effective at the conclusion of the 2012-13 school year.
4. Approved the honorable dismissal of non-tenured, part-time certified teacher Keri Heeren effective at the conclusion of the 2012-13 school year.
5. Approved a resolution authorizing the honorable dismissal of the following non-certified employees effective May 24, 2013 (or the last day of student attendance) for the purpose of making reductions in force: Amy Dobish,
Cook at Eastland Elementary School; Amy Folk, Part-time Kitchen Asst. at EES; Sheila Wyeth, Head Cook, at Eastland High School.
6. Approved a resolution authorizing the honorable dismissal of the following non-certified employees effective June 30, 2013 for the purpose of making reductions in force: John Prowant, Facilities / Maintenance Director at Eastland High School; and John Lindsay, Transportation Director for Eastland.
7. Approved re-employment of First Year, Part-time, Non-Tenured Certified Staff, Kim Haverland, for the 2013-14 school year.
8. Approved re-employment of First Year, Full-time, Non-Tenured Certified Staff, Erin Lower, Cynthia Feltmeyer, Stephanie Lamoreux, and Bonnie Dertz, for the 2013-14 school year.
9. Approved re-employment of Second Year, Full-time, Non-Tenured Certified Staff, Joshua Ehlers and Sarah Spears, for the 2013-14 school year.
10. Approved re-employment of Fourth Year, Full-time, Non-Tenured Certified Staff, Ayn Coleman and Kevin O’Keefe, for the 2013-14 school year. This renewal will result in the Board granting status of “continued contractual service,” otherwise known as “tenure.”
11. Approved a resolution authorizing renewal of all other certified teachers (not previously listed) for 2013-14.
12. Approved the re-assignment for 2013-14 of the following teachers: Stephanie Lamoreux, 7th-8th Gr. Literature/Language Arts; Josh Ehlers, 7th-8th Gr. Social Science / Language Arts; Erin Lower, 5th Grade; Renee Fink, 8th Gr Math / H.S. Math; Diann Cassens, .5 English / Interventions, .5 EJ/SHS Librarian; Carol Andersen, K-12 Special Education; Lou Ann Wilkens, 5-12 Computers / Interventions; Kevin O’Keefe, Gr. 7-12 Band / Chorus; Ayn Coleman, Elementary Music / Beginner Band; Kim Haverland, .5 Family and Consumer Science; MaryBeth Landherr, 7-12 Business; Mike Geerts, 7-12 Industrial Arts; Cynthia Feltmeyer, Agriculture; Rachel Todd, Art / Computers K-6; Jean Matheson, Art 7-12; Colleen Henze, P.E./Health 7-12; Tony Dunlap, P.E. 7-12; Kristy Pierce, P.E. K-6; Erin Paulsen, .80 Social Studies / .20 Media Specialist, 7-12; and Bonnie Foust, Special Education K-6.
13. Approved posting a vacancy for a high school English/Language Arts Teacher for the 2013-14 school year.
14. Approved posting a vacancy for a Director of Operations for the 2013-14 school year.
15. Approved posting vacancies for two (2) Head Custodians for the 2013-14 school year.
16. Approved and accepted the resignation of Jim Pierce as Assistant High School Volleyball Coach for the 2013 season.
17. Approved and accepted the resignation of Clair Lathrop as Head High School Scholastic Bowl Coach for the 2013-14 season.
18. Approved a motion to post a vacancy for an Assistant High School Volleyball Coach for the 2013 season.
19. Approved a motion to post a vacancy for a Head High School Scholastic Bowl Coach for the 2013-14 season.
President Hasken thanked all of the visitors for their attendance and input. As a first item in Old Business, Dr. Hansen recommended that the resolution to affect the sale of the Eastland Elementary building be tabled until the regular April meeting. The school attorney needs more time to finalize the legal description of the property.
Continuing, the Board approved the sale of the Eastland Middle School Fitness equipment to On the Move, CFC of Lanark for a total bid of $23,000. They also approved the bid from Engel Electric in the amount of $62,800 to make upgrades to the Eastland Middle School server room to facilitate the co-location agreement with iFiber. Superintendent Hansen reminded Board members that iFiber will be reimbursing the District for these costs. Finally, the Board approved the bid package from Freeport Industrial Roofing to replace the flat roof at Eastland High School, including new gutters and downspouts, for a total contract price of $349,842. This work will be scheduled for the summer of 2013.
Superintendent Hansen made a brief presentation on student gains on measures of student math proficiency. Since 2007, Eastland has implemented a new K-5 curriculum based on the Singapore Math instructional model, invested in extensive professional development, implemented a dual-math option for 10th graders, added AP Calculus as a course option, and aligned its curriculum to the Common Core State Standards.
During the last three years, the percentage of 3rd through 8th grade students exceeding the 50th national percentile rank on the spring administration of the math concepts and applications test has increased from 46% to 76%. During that same period of time, 1st and 2nd grade percentile rank scores on the Iowa Test of Basic Skills have also improved. At the high school level, the average score on the ACT Explore test for Math has improved each of the last three years, from 18, to 19.5, and last year to 20.
Hansen credited the teachers and the students. He also credited the organizational focus, from grade K-12, and the Board’s allocation of resources to support teachers in implementation of the new curriculum and standards.
Continuing, the Board approved amending the 2012-13 school calendar to re-schedule the March 8th non-attendance day to be made up at the end of the school year. The Board then directed the administrators to work with Pearl City to revise the 7th-8th grade football co-operative agreement to mirror the high school co-op agreement adopted in December.
In New Business, the Board approved a recommendation from the Transportation Committee to seek bids to trade in buses #7 and #17, and to lease-to-own two (2) new 72-passenger buses for 2013-14. Quotes will be solicited and action scheduled for the April 17 meeting. They also approved FFA and 6th grade field trips, and renewed with the Guarantee Trust Life Insurance Company to provide voluntary student accident insurance for Eastland students in 2013-14.
As final items, Dr. Hansen shared a draft of a 3-year deficit reduction plan to be approved by the Board in April, and a first reading of a resolution approving Sterling CUSD #5’s withdrawal from the Bi-County Special Education Cooperative, effective July 1, 2014.