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The Chrisman School Board began the 2022-2023 School Year with a meeting held on August 15th. The meeting began with approval of the previous meeting minutes along with approval of financial matters that included imprest fund reimbursement in the amount of $1,172.98.
Elementary School Principal Kelly Schluter began her report by thanking Stephanie Mitchell, Randi Tingley and Daniele for helping at registration. “Thank you to the custodial staff for having our building in good shape before registration,” Schluter said.
For the elementary school, grades Kindergarten through fifth grade will have a total of 110 students as a whole. Kindergarten will have 23 students. First Grade-20; 2nd Grade-16; 3rd Grade-16; 4th Grade-19 and 5th Grade-16.
Teachers Institute was observed on August 15th and an Open House for all incoming students was held on the 15th as well from 5:00 p.m to 6:15 p.m. The annual bus refresher course was held on August 2nd. The district is still in need of drivers for extra curricular activities and subs for routes.
Newly hired Junior High/High School Principal Nicole Cox gave her first report as principal. August 16th was her first day with her new students. September 2nd and 3rd will be the Cow Chip Classic. From September 6th to the 21st MAPS Testing will take place. September 6th will also be picture day.
For both the Junior High and High School, a total of 173 students were enrolled for the upcoming year. 6th Grade has a total of 21 students. 7th Grade-33 and 8th Grade-17. In High School, there are a total of 25 Freshman. Sophomores-28; Juniors-22 and Seniors-27.
New Teacher Orientation was held on August 9th. Nicole and Lisa met with five of the new staff members to go over information about the school and answer any questions they had. “Jody Kirby and Shannon Ellis also joined the group to answer questions and go over TeacherEase,” Cox said. “Mr. Acklin was able to stop in briefly and join the group for lunch.”
Fall Sports are already underway. Junior High Baseball had two games this past week on August 10th and 11th. Their first home game will be against Westville on August 17th. Junior High Cross Country has their first meet on August 20th. High School Cross Country has their first meet on August 24th. High School Volleyball’s first match is on the August 23rd at Marshall. High School Golf was canceled this year due to lack of participants.
Three students will be participating in LIFT this year. All three are in the Construction Trades program. They are driving/car pooling themselves this year. One student may have a need for help on tuition. “Miss Pillen and I are looking into ways to financially assist if needed through Academic Boosters, Ministerial Alliance or donations,” Cox said.
For the month of August, a total of $13,357.28 was received in County Sales Tax. Recently, the district received information from the County Clerk regarding the 2021 Levy Numbers. The districts EAV increased over $2.4 million or 3.9% compared to 2020. “This will mean an additional $89,000 in local revenue will be available to the district this school year,” Superintendent James Acklin said. “At the same time, the tax rate has dropped a little over two cents from last year.”
The Junior High/High School parking lot paving has been finished. A portion on the payment will be held back until Open Road Paving addressed the low area at the East end of the North entrance. The HVAC upgrades in the High School gym and Elementary Multi-purpose room are operational. The Solar Project at both campuses is scheduled to start this fall.
The districts attorney confirmed that the district is obligated to go with the lowest bidder for the fuel bids. Acklin recommended the approval of the bid from Effingham Equity, at a fixed margin of .12 cents per gallon for unleaded gas and diesel fuel.
As discussed at the July meeting, the board members were asked to consider waiving the local graduation requirements for the Business/Computer class due to those classes being taught online this year. The requirements will be reinstated if a teacher can be found for those classes in the future.
Currently, the FY23 Tentative Budget was finalized at the board meeting. Per ISBE regulations, the board is required to have a Threat Assessment Team in place along with a Threat Assessment Plan on file. The plan was approved as presented.
The date of Sunday, May 21st, 2023 is the corresponding date for High School graduation this year. A quote has been secured from Beniach Construction to tar and chip the Elementary School parking lot. The quote was in the amount of $7,287.50. “This would be a nice upgrade to that campus and should prevent ongoing issues with potholes,” Acklin said.
One of the two heating/cooling units that serve the cafeteria has been diagnosed with a bad compressor and condenser. The cost of repairing that unit and retro-fitting it to accept EPA approved refrigerant will be more than starting over with the installation of a mini-split system. The board is currently waiting on a quote from Jenness Electric for the mini-split system.
The district has received a quote from S&S Builders to replace all of the classroom doorknobs/locks in the High School for $24,647.68.
This upgrade will not only make the High School wind ADA compliant by switching from door knobs to levels, but it will also add security by enabling the rooms to be locked from the inside without a key.
This upgrade qualifies as a HLS (Health Life Safety) expenditure. At this point, the architect has initiated the approval with the ISBE.
Due to supply chain issues affecting the delivery of new school buses, the district will not receive their newly leased buses until January 2023.
“The buses that we are currently using are in good shape and should get us to January without requiring anything more than basic maintenance,” Acklin said.