A short meeting of the District 90 Board of Education was held in the District Office on Monday at Pontiac Township High School. With few action items on the agenda, discussions were mostly brief.
However, Supt. Jon Kilgore announced, just as he had expected, the board had unofficially kept a balanced budget throughout Fiscal Year 2018.
Also during the meeting, Principal Eric Bohm discussed pass/failure rates for the year as well as attendance and graduation rates.
During the finance report, Kilgore informed the board that the cash flow through the end of June, which wraps up FY18, means that the board unofficially met its balanced budget goals.
"It's not official until the audit takes place and there are always a few tweaks here and there, but I feel confident to say that we met our balanced budget for the year,” he said. “The audit will take place July 25 and 27 and then the auditor will give the board his report in October."
Kilgore commended the board for staying under its expenditures in operating funds. Although the district overspent in the Operations and Maintenance category, he also said that operating funds consisted of the education fund, which was under budget and the transportation fund, which was also under budget.
"Those offset the overage in the (Operations and Maintenance) category," the superintendent said. "So, overall we had another strong year and had another balanced budget.”
During the Principal's Report, Bohm provided a handout outlining the passage and failure rates for the previous school year. The handout also included data regarding attendance and graduation rates for the past four years.
Bohm began by discussing passage/failure rates for the year. Last fall, the passage rate for the semester was 98 percent with a total of 99 failures out of 4,946 grades during the semester. The data went on to show that 20 students accounted for 60 of the failures.
Then, last spring, the passage rate jumped slightly to 98.15 percent with 89 failures out of 4,785 grades throughout the semester. The data showed that 13 students accounted for 49 of the failures.
Over the year, the data showed, PTHS had a total of 188 failing grades for the year.
"This is quite an accomplishment when you compare it to the fact that we used to have well over 600 failing grades during the school year," Bohm noted on the handout.
Although the numbers are an improvement, Bohm said he and his staff are looking at these numbers to consider what they are doing currently and how these failing students have been helped in the past.
"I feel very confident in saying that everyone in this building has done everything they can," Bohm said. "We share names and have conversations. Not just with the administration, but also with our teachers. So, we're paying attention to our list of potentially failing students and intervening with them early."
Bohm also discussed the high school's continuous improvement goals. Bohm said the goal is for the school to have a 95 percent attendance rate and a 92 percent graduation rate. However, last year the district was at 93.1 percent attendance rate for the year.
"We continue to have conversations about that with Assistant Principal Ryan Bustle," Bohm said. "We are also looking at our peer mentoring programs and things that we have going on to try and increase that attendance rate."
But Bohm was proud to report that the district had exceeded its graduation rate goal with the class of 2018 reporting at 95.92 percent. Bohm noted that last year's class had the highest graduation rate for PTHS since 2008, which was prior to the institution of the cohort system that is overseen by the State.
"When you look at the class of 2014, which had a graduation rate of 76 percent, that was my first year,” he said. “The 76 percent graduation rate is alarming to me. So, we have been working since then to increase our graduation rate. That has been a goal of the board and two years ago we had 92 percent and we felt really good. Then last year we got to almost 96 percent and I feel great because now we're going to start this pattern."
Also in board business, the board approved its annual transportation resolution, which states that it will continue to bus students who reside in excess of 1.5 miles of the school.
The board also approved the renewal of the Blue Cross Blue Shield health plan and Delta Dental plan for the 2018-19 school year.
The board also approved an OSF Services and Sponsorship Agreement to provide athletic trainer services for the district.
The board also approved the hiring of girls head basketball coach Tom Garriott.