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  • Fairbury News staff

Board hears of student return




Prairie Central High School is shown in Fairbury this summer.

A week of trial and error is expected as students return to school in the Prairie Central school district.


Superintendent Paula Crane told members of the Prairie Central Board of Education Thursday evening that getting students in the building safely each morning could be one of the most important factors to problem solve.


“If I could find a bus monitor for every bus, we could do it in a hurry,” said Crane, referring to the newly-required health certification process for kids entering schools.


Crane noted the need for everyone to remain patient and flexible, as the first several weeks of school could seem “crazy” but it should eventually become easier. Each grade level will have a teacher dedicated to instructing those students who choose the remote learning option.


“I am kind of excited to see it all in motion really,” Crane added.


Also during Thursday’s regular board meeting in Fairbury, Tonya Dieken, director of curriculum and instruction, reviewed the recent teacher institute days. Everything was done virtually this year and Dieken said it was fun to get to know the new teachers.


“We went tech heavy just because we needed to,” explained Dieken.


The board received an update on building and grounds projects. Heating coils have been cleaned and the high school bleacher project is done, although the scoreboard is not yet hooked up and the sidewalk is not complete. Water bottle filling stations have been placed throughout the district and roof work was done at the Junior High.


A 10-year life safety report was approved which includes a plan of items to address in the next several years. Windows at Prairie Central Elementary and Primary East need to be re-caulked and one of the most problematic buildings is Primary West. Door replacements are underway and non-urgent jobs like labeling fire extinguishers still need to be done.


“We needed to put them on a timeline so we don’t spend all the money at one time,” noted Crane.


Toward the end of the meeting, Board President Mark Slagel expressed his appreciation for all of the staff members with everything they had to do over the summer to prepare for students returning.


“They’ve done way above and beyond what their duties are,” said Slagel.


Slagel has full confidence the staff will get through these times. Board member Brian Plenert echoed Slagel’s comments, acknowledging these preparations for the new school year took a lot of work.


Following an executive session, the board accepted the resignations of Phyllis Krippel, PCJH paraprofessional, effective immediately and Kindergarten teacher Kelly Honegger, effective immediately.


The following appointments were made:


-Ashleigh Miller as café worker at PCE.


-Rhonda Lamberth as head custodian at PCP East.


-Dan McMullin as PCHS business teacher.


-Tracey Devine as interventionist at PCJH.


-Nicole Fehr as paraprofessional at PCE.


-Joseph Kaufman as PCHS custodian.


-Kim Parent as district bus driver.


-Michelle Curl as co-winter cheer coach.


-Shawna Coffey as paraprofessional at PCJH.

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