A brief update on building projects was presented during the regular February meeting of the Prairie Central Board of Education last week.
Superintendent Paula Crane noted the football field lights are up and working and planning continues for the agriculture/industrial technology addition to the high school and is nearly ready to go out for bids. This building project will be separated from the drainage and parking lot projects which the district has dealt with for some time.
“This will give us a clear indication of the cost of the actual addition project independently,” said Crane.
The most recent project cost estimate is $4 million with funds coming from the County Schools Facility Tax, currently held bond money and ESSER grants.
A special meeting was scheduled for Feb. 23 at 5 p.m. in the PCHS library to approve bid letting for the addition and to discuss high school gym floor bids with architect Craig Wright. Bids will be opened on Wednesday.
Also at last week’s regular school board meeting, a report on the Advisory Council was presented. The council was given a presentation on the Schoolwide Writing Curriculum that is new to the grade schools. The group has reviewed several different options for a new science curriculum at the 6-12 grade levels. A decision could be reached by April.
During the curriculum director’s report, Brian Quam discussed progress with block schedule research and has been meeting with high school staff to create a three-year goal setting plan. This includes staff looking closely at their current instructional practices and time usage in the block schedule.
Kindergarten through 8th grade winter benchmarking data was presented to the board. Students have shown growth in reading and math since the start of the school year. PC students have shown significant growth during the past few months.
Under old business, the board approved the 2023-24 school year calendar which was proposed in January and formally changed the March meeting date from March 14 to 16. The meeting will start at 8 a.m. with the group visiting each school in the district to look at facilities. The business portion of the meeting is expected to start around 3 p.m. in the high school library.
A concussion oversight team was appointed under new business. The district must create the team to comply with Illinois school code. This includes the junior high athletic director, high school athletic director, school nurse assigned to the high school and the high school athletic trainer.
Clover Leaf Farms was once again chosen to supply milk for the food services department as they were the only company interested. This renewal is for the 2023-24 school year with a total estimated increase of $3,000 to the district.
Following an executive session, the board approved a five percent stipend for a T4 Club at PCHS. T4 stands for “Tomorrow’s Teachers in Training Today,” with the idea of encouraging and preparing PC students to choose a career in education. The group will meet regularly for club activities and students can take two dual credit courses during their junior and senior years which will get them started on their education degree.
The following personnel matters were addressed following the executive session:
·Appointed Caren Appel as T4 Club Sponsor effective immediately.
· Appointed Clint Stephens as auxiliary junior high softball coach effective immediately.
· Appointed Jacob Nowicki as Custodian I at PCJH effective immediately.
· Appointed Jose Tellez as auxiliary high school baseball coach effective immediately.
· Appointed Lee Reinhart as Head Custodian at PCE effective immediately.
· Appointed Rose Medina as paraprofessional at PCP East effective immediately.
· Accepted the resignation with intent to retire of Katherine Cavanaugh PCJH paraprofessional, effective the end of the 2022-23 school year.
· Accepted the resignation with intent to retire of Karen Steidinger PCJH paraprofessional, effective the end of the 2022-23 school year.
· Accepted the resignation with intent to retire of Robin McPherson PCHS paraprofessional, effective the end of the 2022-23 school year.
· Accepted the resignation of Olivia Weber, high school auxiliary girls’ basketball coach, effective January 25, 2023.
· Accepted the resignation of Zach Tjarks, PCE custodian effective January 27, 2023.
· Terminated Jonathan Puttkammer, PCE custodian, effective immediately.
· Accepted the resignation of Dan McMullin, PCHS Business Teacher effective the end of the 2022-23 school year.
· Transferred Martin Pasakarnis from district bus driver to district bus monitor, effective February 1, 2023.
· Transferred Karen Schaffer from PCP West Kindergarten teacher to PCP West 1st grade teacher, effective the 2023-24 school year.
· Transferred Amber Aberle from café worker at PCJH to café worker at PCP East, effective immediately.