South Central CUSD 401 Board Actions for August 2021
The Board heard a presentation and powerpoint presentation by the South Central High School FFA.
The Board approved the minutes, bills, and treasurer’s report.
The Board approved the district’s commercial insurance renewal.
The Board approved the second reading of the Press Policy updates from June 2021.
The Board approved the tentative 2021-2022 budget as presented.
The Board approved the depositories for the 2021-2022 school year.
The Board heard a very positive report from district principals on the recent STAR 360 program. This will be used to assess students and create the best possible plan for them to improve in any area they may be behind and also could work to challenge or accelerate instruction for them. It will be a great guide for teachers to use the guide instruction as well. Principal Sara Rose explained the potential to help students in detail to the Board.
The Board heard a report from District Superintendent Kerry Herdes that the district had been following the Return to Learn Plan that was approved by the board on July 21, 2021. This plan recommends face coverings but still makes them optional for parents and students. The district had reverted to this plan after the Special Board meeting on August 12, 2021. This week the district was contacted by the Illinois State Board of Education to place the district on probation for recognition status. The district has a conference scheduled with ISBE to discuss and possibly remedy the situation with the state board. South Central School District was made aware they were not following the mandatory mask rule. The district has 60 days to comply with the face covering mandate after the meeting on Tuesday, August 24th. If the district comes into compliance with the face covering mandate it will be taken back to Full Recognition status. If the district does not come into compliance at the end of the 60 day probation period its recognition may be revoked or other action taken. Recently Governor Pritzker and ISBE State Superintendent have talked about the dire consequences that will be placed on schools for non-compliance with the face covering mandate. Those severe consequences including having district funding frozen, which means losing the districts ability to fund itself, losing accreditation or recognition from ISBE when seniors graduate from South Central High School, not participating in athletics which includes IHSA or IESA, possible loss of service credit for the time period without recognition for TRS and IMRF employees as well as having several other consequences. Loss of these privileges could be devastating to the district.
Superintendent Kerry Herdes also informed the board that he was part of a new coalition formed with other schools in the region called #MakeItLocal, which was newly organized to push for more input from schools across the region. The group recently attended ISBE’s latest board meeting this week and members of the group spoke. ISBE is acting so swiftly that the group is struggling to keep up with ISBE’s swift action and expedited process. The group thought they would have 90 days initially to discuss and lobby officials to slow down or get input from local schools. With ISBE’s accelerated action schools that were in non-compliance with the face covering mandate went from thinking they had 90 days, to now maybe having 60 days. It is maybe 60 days due to the submittal process, even if the district decides to comply with the mandate, once the plan to do so is submitted to the state superintendent that 60 day clock keeps counting down. This does not give the district 60 days, more like 45 in actuality. It puts the board and district in a really bad spot.
The Board agreed to increase officials' pay in line with other conference and area schools.
The Board accepted the resignation from Chris Long as High School Spanish teacher.
The Board approved a reclassification of Colleen Misselbrrok from a bus driver to a cook.
The Board approved Courtney Roth as a High School Assistant Volleyball Coach, also approved Hailey Jones to work as a volunteer assistant coach for the H.S. and M.S. Cheer squads, Chandra Markley was approved as a H.S. volunteer assistant as well for H.S. Cheer. Jason Guerrattaz was approved as a volunteer assistant coach for M.S. Baseball.
A leave of absence was approved for Courtney Lotz beginning 8/31/21 and also for Shirley White beginning 8/18/21.
The next regular meeting for the Board will be held on September 15th, 2021.