With 200 surveys turned in at the open houses, 71% of residents agree that a new school building needs to be built. 

Superintendent Brad Lee thanked the building administrators and faculty for presenting the schools to everyone and thanked the individuals who make up the group, “Bulldog Pride for Future Bulldogs.” The school board now has three options available, the first would be to put a referendum on the ballot in March to see if the whole community agrees to build a new school. The second would be to not put it on the ballot and just take the steps to start building the new school, the final option would be to wait for the possibility of receiving a state fund. The Bulldog Pride for Future Bulldogs will be meeting on Wednesday for further discussion.

Dr. Amy Dixon presented to the School Board on November 18, the district report card. As a district, the attendance rate has been at 95%, with chronic absentee at 18%. ELA 47% and the high school ELA rated 25%. Dr. Dixon informed the board that, “One student group is slightly underperforming and that is the children with disabilities at the junior high level, but we are going to do our best to remedy that.” With the district placing in good standings in the state, the board is granted $60-75,000 over the next four years and they decided to use that money to help the student group in the Junior High School.

Krista McLaren, with Kemper CPA, completed the audit for the fiscal year of 2019, ending on June 30 for the school district. The overall status of the district has been in very good financial conditions.

The treasurer’s report for the Carmi-White County Unit #5 School Board has an educational fund balance of $1,294,677.

Lee stated that he had received $670,000 in revenue from the state, which included $60,000 from the 1% sales tax for the month of October totaling in $730,000.

A resolution was approved for the Authorizing Abatement of bond levy for the bond levy year 2019 with a total amount of $230,000.

The board also passed to base next year’s tax levy on a projected EAV of $150,453,172. The final projected total tax rate of 3.839 is lower than the 2018 tax rate, but Lee said that it could change between now and the December board meeting.

The Chamber of Commerce granted $300 to teachers Melissa Dartt, Hillary Gee, Sarah Richards, Stacy Simon and a sixth grade team at Washington Attendance Center.

Barbara McArthy, Whitney Pearce and Cindy Colman received $500 grants from the White County Retired Teacher’s Association.

The Brownsville Attendance Center was the recipient of $4,125 of donations in support of their programs from: Hawthorne Homemakers Extension, Mr. and Mrs. Lelan Russell Jr, Mr. and Mrs. Dean Colyer, Mr. and Mrs. David Templeton, Ms. Janice Gates and Mr. and Mrs. Joe Kimmell.

In closed session, the board agreed to give a 2% salary increase to: Washington Attendance Center Principal Amy Attebury, Lincoln and Jefferson Principal Dr. Amy Dixon, Junior High Principal and High School Assistant Principal Bart King, High School Principal Jarrod Newell and Brownsville Attendance Center Principal Kathy Price. 

In the Superintendents report, Lee told the board that the parent/teacher conferences were held in October. Kelli Chapman will be the governing board member at the WOVSED fall meeting of the Wabash and Ohio Valley Special Education District meeting on November 26.

Lee congratulated all of the students who participated in the fall sports and to the coaches for their efforts and positive representation of the district and Lee thanked the Booster Club for all they do. A big congratulations went to Ty Barbre for advancing to the State Cross Country meet in Peoria, Barbre placed second at the Sectional.

The Fall play of Cinderella was presented on November 15, 16, and 17. The cast, crew and sponsors were commended for their hard work and dedication.

Lee enlightened the board that the students at Washington Attendance Center participated in a service project leading up to Veteran’s Day. The students learned that veterans in the VA Hospital in marion were in need of items for winter. 1,072 items were donated were donated and included: sweatshirts, sweat pants, socks, thermal underwear, slippers, gloves, hats, pajamas, blankets and tshirts.

This past friday was “School Board Members Day” in Illinois. Lee recognized the members and thanked them for their service to our schools and community.

Each principal updated the board with news from their schools. Lacey Moore, Dean of Students at Jefferson and Lincoln, invited Lee to the annual Kindergarten feast on November 26. Moore also discussed that student mentor Allie Gee has, and will continue, to teach an art class to classrooms at Jefferson every other week. 

Dr. Amy Dixon talked about Mrs. DiMaggio bringing her students to the first grade classrooms and teaching them the colors. A parent at Lincoln, along with her child and some other students, have donated a large basket of food for a needy family for Thanksgiving. The same family have also donated a $50 Little Giant gift card for the same family and for ten other families, they have supplied 10 $50 gift cards.

At the Junior and Senior High School, Bart King discussed that they have recently bought a salad bar for a healthy option for the students. Pam Haywood, U of I Extension, will be going over how the students can help keep it sanitary.

Jarrod Newell informed the board that Mr. Cross and Mrs. Tockstein worked on the landscaping in the front of the building with some of their students. Mrs. Zieren’s STEM class worked on picnic tables and recycling lids, and Mr. Lamp and some of his students poured some concrete for an outdoor classroom area. Newell also told the board that the school has received $25,000 to turn the media center into a STEM lab with 3D printers and other after school options.

Amy Attebury updated the board of what has been happening at Washington. The fifth graders are getting ready to help at the gates for the Christmas Lights of Hope, while the sixth graders have been making fleece blankets for residents at Wabash.

Principal at Brownsville, Kathy Price, talked about the Special Olympics Volleyball team placing third in Rockford. Also, the Junior High students have been lending their services by decorating Brownsville  for their Christmas program.

During the closed session, the board chose to have Mike Zaranti as the fifth grade girls’ basketball coach while Justin Simmons will be the sixth grade girls’ basketball coach. Jonathan Goemaat was hired as the new Building Custodian at the Jr./Sr. High school to fill the vacancy of Jeremiah Downen. Laura Goemaat will be the new District Bookkeeper and Joy McCully was hired to become the new Administrative Secretary at the Unit Office.

The meeting adjourned and the next meeting will be on December 16.