With the new school year officially starting the next day for district students, members of the Jasper County Community Unit School District #1 tied up some ‘loose ends’ including the hiring of four teachers, two bus drivers and a volunteer during their regular monthly meeting held on August 18th.

With the new school year officially starting the next day for district students, members of the Jasper County Community Unit School District #1 tied up some ‘loose ends’ including the hiring of four teachers, two bus drivers and a volunteer during their regular monthly meeting held on August 18th.

By a 6-0 vote, the board confirmed the employment of the following teachers: Sheryl Brummer, Amy Cummins, Lynette DuSablon and Blake Davidson. Also employed by the District were Joan Galloway and Vicki Rubsam as bus drivers and Cullen Chesnut was approved as a volunteer in the District.  These were all approved following closed session.  

Also after closed session, the board granted additional sick leave days to an employee; accepted the resignation of Tanya Pfeifer as a business teacher at the high school, Glenda Arndt as a teacher aide for the District, and Stacey Johnson as math teacher at the junior high.

The board also accepted the resignations for the purpose of retirement from Shirley Gable, Linda Borries, Linda Chapman, Debby Dougherty and Sue Volk.

Earlier in the meeting during Positive Comments, Unit One Superintendent Ron Alburtus gave a report on the beginning of the new school year.  He told the board that as of that day it appeared that the enrollment for the District would be six fewer students than last year, however the projected enrollment indicates 54 fewer students this year.  He said that they have enrolled several students who are new to the District but added that they have lost some of their former students.

Alburtus also expressed his appreciation to Phil Benefiel, Director of Buildings and Grounds and Roger Swick, Transportation Director, and their staff. 

He said, “I believe that Phil’s work and that of all our custodians and maintenance people is commendable.  I am grateful that they are part of our District.  I would like to express appreciation and thanks to our maintenance and custodial teams for all their work over the summer in the buildings and on the grounds in spite of the numerous health issues some have had to deal with.  The buildings and grounds look outstanding and we are ready to go for school.”

He went on to say, “Roger Swick, Director of Transportation, and his team, also have been very busy over the summer getting busses and routes ready.  They also do exceptional work and take pride in what they do.”

Besides Alburtus’ comments, Ste. Marie Elementary/Willow Hill Elementary Principal Dave Parker expressed appreciation for all of the district custodial and maintenance staff during the summer to prepare the buildings and grounds.

Swick also expressed appreciation for his staff for all of their work during the summer to prepare the busses and routes.

Also during Positive Comments, Craig Carr was commended for his preparation of the District summer workshops for the District staff.

In Board Reports, Alburtus informed the board members that the Illinois Association of School Boards (IASB) Resolution Committee had met and discussed the resolution for mileage reimbursement.  He said that at this time no decision had been communicated to him.  He asked the board members to notify the Unit Office of their plans if they are going to attend the IASB Wabash Valley Fall meeting.  This meeting will be hosted by Lawrenceville on September 9th.

The board members decided to set up a site visit to the various schools on September 12th.

Also during this part of the meeting, it was mentioned that board member Gordon Millsap will represent the board at the South Eastern Special Education (SESE) Governing Board meeting which will be held on August 28th. 

Director of Buildings and Grounds Phil Benefiel reported on the District’s summer projects.  He told the board that all projects have been completed or are near completion. 

Also during the monthly meeting, Alburtus gave a presentation on the proposed 2008-2009 budget.  He told the board that the majority of the expenditures are for salaries and benefits - with more than 83% in the Education Fund and 77% in the three operating funds: Education, Operations and Maintenance, and Transportation. 

He said that the District’s revenue last year experienced some decline due to State and Federal funding.  He said that in addition the State was late on payments for the FY08 school year of over $408,000 which arrived after July 1st.   Alburtus said that the operating funds, in the 2008-09 proposed budget, will see an approximate loss of $650,000 in the fund balance over last year, mainly due to expenditures in Education and Transportation.  He added though that however, the end of the year fund balance should again be in the black.

The budget hearing is scheduled for 8:05 p.m. on Monday, September 15th at the Board of Education Office.

Also during the Superintendent’s Report, District Grant Director and Grove Elementary Principal Craig Carr gave a report on the District NCLB and Illinois Block grants.   He told the board that the state has eliminated the After School Program funds in the grant effective this year.

Travis Wyatt, Principal at Newton Elementary/Jasper County Junior High, Ruth Kerner, Principal at NCHS and Ginger Robins, Special Education Coordinator, presented a report to the board on student interventions and services that are offered in the District schools.

Also during the meeting, the board approved to place on first reading a list of proposed policies form the IASB; approved a gate admission increase for all freshmen, sophomore and JV games at NCHS to be commensurate with the varsity gate admission of $2 for K-12 students and $3 for adults; approved the family pass at JCJH to be increased from $25 to $30; and declared old textbooks as surplus and authorized their resale.

The board also accepted, with thanks, a donation of $236.39 from Follett Educational Services for the NCHS volleyball account and a donation of $100 from the First National Bank of Dieterich for the NCHS Student of the Month Breakfasts.