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  • Fairbury News staff

Return to Learn plan approved




A new “return to learn” plan was approved by members of the Prairie Central Board of Education during the group’s regular August meeting in Fairbury.


At this point, the district must revisit the plan every six months per the newest guidelines.


“We are basically back to pre-pandemic,” said Prairie Central Superintendent Paula Crane.


The district is going with CDC and Illinois State Board of Education guidelines with mask use optional regardless of vaccination status. Antigen testing will be offered to those who choose to be tested due to the presence of symptoms. Crane reminded those who are sick to stay home and noted masks may be encouraged if there is an outbreak in school.


Crane said air filters are changed out during breaks and windows will be opened on buses when the weather allows. Visitors will be welcomed back but must follow all of the procedures in place.


“We will continue to collaborate with the Livingston County Health Department.”


The return to learn plan will continue to be reviewed, possibly just one more time, according to Crane.


Board members also approved using up to three E-learning days for the coming school year in lieu of emergency days. The Prairie Central Education Association wants the days used when classes can be called off well in advance, such as the day before with no consecutive E-learning days.


Crane reported the data will be tracked for this learning method to make sure it is successful.


“This would be enrichment activities,” explained Caren Appel from PCEA. “This would not be new material.”


“I think any connection you can make with a student at any time is a bonus,” said board member Lori Schahrer.


The E-learning can be revisited at the end of the year to see how it went, and the biggest challenge could come with the younger grades.


“I’m not too concerned about the junior high and high school to be honest,” stated Brian Quam, director of curriculum, instruction and technology.


At least 300 minutes of instruction must be included with an E-learning day to be counted as a school day. Attendance would be taken and work must be made up for those not in attendance. Data collected would include attendance of identified groups of students along with homework completion and grades.


Superintendent Crane updated the board on various projects. The high school roof will take longer than expected due to metal arriving late. Ladders will also be delayed so the project could have a mid-September finish. Surveys have been completed for the new gym and ag projects. Crane had a productive meeting with the high school ag and industrial technology teachers about the addition.


“They had really looked over the plans,” she said.


The high school window project is finished for now as they are waiting on the operable sashes. Some brick may need to be tuck-pointed due to moisture damage behind the brick. Areas which were caulked some time ago may need to be redone. Nov. 28 is the new date for football field lighting as crews hope to have all materials in by then and football season will be over.


Recent institute days were summarized during the curriculum director’s report. Monday featured faculty meetings and building level activities with work time for teachers to prepare rooms. Staff members heard Chase Mielke present “Reignite: Avoid Burnout, Increase Outcomes and Learn to Love Education Again.” Smaller groups heard a presentation on “Science of Stress Resilience.”


In another matter, the board will review the current block schedule at the high school. They requested Quam compile data regarding success compared to other schools.


Following an executive session, the board:


· Appointed Tiffany Custer as freshmen volleyball coach effective the 2022-23 school year.

· Appointed Clay Pinkham as HS cross country coach effective the 2022-23 school year.

· Appointed Brittany Bell as PCHS paraprofessional effective the 2022-23 school year.

· Appointed Will Tatro as aux HS cross country coach effective the 2022-23 school year.

· Appointed Josh Creek as HS aux softball coach effective the 2022-23 school year.

· Appointed Raelyn Payne as JH aux softball coach effective the 2022-23 school year.

· Appointed Paula Robinson as Payroll/HR technician effective September 6, 2022.

· Appointed Emily Wenger as PCE Dean of Students (Principal) effective August 1, 2022.

· Appointed Ben Klekamp as PCUE Dean of Students (Principal) effective August 1, 2022.

· Appointed Jason Whitfill as PCJH Dean of Students/AD effective the 2022-23 school year.

· Accepted the resignation of Danielle Battles, JH math teacher, effective the end of the 2021-22 school year.

· Accepted the resignation of Stephanie McClure, JH math teacher and JH math coach, effective the end of the 2021-22 school year.

· Accepted the resignation of Stephanie McClure, JH softball coach, and effective the end of the 2022 season.

· Accepted the resignation of Shannon Wheeler, café worker, effective the end of the 2021-22 school year.

· Approved a transfer of Pam Kilgus from PCE café worker to PCE paraprofessional effective the 2022-23 school year.

· Approved a leave of absence for Gina Gomez, bus driver, from August 29, 2022 through September 16, 2022.

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