Serena Board of Education approves district-wide reorganization of classes
Serena Board of Education met Thursday, Jan. 26.
Here are the minutes as provided by Serena Board of Education:
January 26, 2017 Serena, IL
The regular meeting of the Board of Education was held Thursday, January 26, 2017, in the Serena High School library. The following members were present: Lesley LaRock, Don McNelis, Susan McNelis, Randy Murley, David Myer, Renee Thompson and Neal Rosengren. Superintendent Marty Felesena, Principals Steve Hanson, Aaron Rios, Joe Landers and Randy Goodbred were also in attendance.
The meeting was called to order by President Rosengren at 6:16 p.m. After roll call, the motion was made by Murley and seconded by Susan McNelis to go into executive session for the purpose of discussing personnel, collective bargaining, student discipline and review of minutes.
It was moved by Murley and seconded by Myer to come out of executive session and enter into public session at 7:08 p.m. On roll call, those present voted "aye" Motion carried.
President Rosengren requested approval of the agenda. A motion was made by Myer and seconded by Susan McNelis to remove Action Item H. On roll call, all present voted "aye". Motion carried.
Visitors were Andy Allen, Aubrey Mikos, Julie Brown, Chad Baker, District staff members and District parents.
Andy Allen provided an update about the District Tech initiatives and programs. This is the 2" year of students using Chromebooks. Usage has picked up. Repairs for wear and tear are being done with parts from existing devices. He is introducing Clever to the grade schools. It is an auto login, single sign-on program which uses QR Codes. He is also exploring using Amazon for Cloud storage. The phone system is working well. Off-site Wi-Fi is working well but there is not a lot of usage.
School Improvement Plan - Steve Hanson showed a PowerPoint presentation and said the high school will be moving to a 4.0 grading system next year. Aubrey Mikos, Julie Brown and Chad Baker spoke about how going to a 4.0 grading scale will benefit the high school. We are currently the only high school not using this scale. A 4.0 scale will help with college applications and allow the high school to offer weighted classes (4.5 and 5.0). They said the advanced classes will encourage students to challenge themselves. Once this new grading scale is in place in the high school, the hope is to do the same with K-8 classes.
Public comment included questions and insight from Sara Hoffman, Bonnie McCaslin, Russell Boe, Greg Marshall and Mark Setchell. Supt. Felesena and the Board did their best to answer their questions and concerns. The board will vote on the recommendation attonight's meeting.
Correspondence included a thank you card from the DeBolt family for a plant sent in memory of Thelma's mother, a thank you card from the Nelson family for a plant sent in the memory of Don's mother Marjorie, and a thank you card from the Crisman family for a plant sent in the memory of Mike's brother.
Motion was made by LaRock and Seconded by Thompson to approve Consent Agenda Items X
A thru H. On roll call, all those present voted "aye". Motion carried.
Enrollment Report - As of December 20, 2016 the elementary total is 459. High school total, with out of District total, is 218. The District total is 677 students.
Finance Committee Report-President Rosengren reported that the District has received 22% of the promised state revenue from last year. It could be 3 years before we get back to normal. He said we still have not received anything for this year.
Policy Committee Report - Supt. Felesena said the policies are up for a 2" and final reading tonight.
Principal Reports Principal Hanson recognized Samantha Gunier and Thomas Wehner as the John Ourth Award winners. This Friday a “Baskets for Brooke' benefit will be held for Jeremy Foreman's daughter at the boys' basketball game. Boys' basketball Senior Night is February 10" and Hall of Fame Night is February 7. The new Bass Fishing team has 12 members and has had a first meeting. He reported that there will be enough girls for a Varsity softball team. Principal Goodbred thanked girls' basketball coach Kelly Friestad. He also thanked Angie Merboth for Family Reading Night. He recognized Elsa Anderson for advancing to the county Spelling Bee. The John Ourth award winners are Noah Stout and Lauren Ernat. 100" Day activities took place today. Principal Landers reported the girls' basketball season is underway. They won 2" place in the Newark Early Bird Tournament. Scholastic Bowl has started. Practices are going well and matches start at the end of February. He thanked Jenna Keigley for getting Star Lab this week. He said that the Spelling Bee is next week. Harding's John Ourth Award winners are Emma Kamin and Brody Fagin. Principal Rios thanked all of CUSD2 staff for their help with Baskets for Brooke. He recognized John Ourth Award winners Ryan Nolasco and Sean Kelley. Superintendent Felesena reported the District is due for its 10-year health and life safety review. The door closers in Serena GS are being fixed one at a time. We will need new protocol and signage for CO and gas leaks. Classroom doors must have 100 inches of visibility at all times per the ROE. Sprinklers must have 18” of clearance for storage. All staff needs to be trained on how to use fire extinguishers. The State Senate is trying to come up with a budget proposal, new guidelines for school funding and mandate relief. Governor Rauner is working on a property tax freeze. Income and service taxes are being discussed. For audits, Gorenz and Associates are recommended.
Discussion/Informational Items -
A) Bond Refinance Opportunity - The District can refinance half of the bonds (2007) to save S100,000 or more in interest. There will be a presentation at the April meeting.
B) IASB Spring Dinner Meeting - March 9 at Hall High School in Spring Valley. Anyone interested in attending can let Supt. Felesena know. New board member candidates are also invited.
C) Serena High School Graduation - Set for Saturday May 13" at 6:00 p.m.
D) District Reorganization - This is on the agenda to be voted on tonight. There was no more discussion.
Action Items -
Motion to employ Blair (Erickson) Carlson as a volunteer girls' basketball coach at Sheridan Grade School for the 2017 season was made by Susan McNelis and seconded by LaRock. On roll call, all those present voted "aye". Motion carried.
Motion to engage Gorenz and Associates to conduct the District's FY 17 audit at a cost not to exceed $12,950 was made by Don McNelis and seconded by Thompson. On roll call, all those present voted "aye". Motion carried.
Motion to approve a 4-year Collective Bargaining Agreement with the Teachers Association, as presented, was made by Susan McNelis and seconded by Myer. On roll call, all those present voted "aye". Motion carried.
Motion to approve Serena High Schools weighted courses and weighted grades, as presented, was made by LaRock and seconded by Murley. On roll call, those present voted "aye". Motion carried.
Motion to set the Serena High School graduation ceremony for 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 13, 2017 was made by Thompson and seconded by Susan McNelis. On roll call, those present voted "aye". Motion carried.
Motion to approve Board policies 2:120 (w/option), 2:125 (w/option #4), 2:20, 2:220, 4:60, 4:110, 4; 175, 5:10, 5:60 (w/ per diem of S33), 5: 100, 5:125, 5:185, 5:190, 5:250, 5:260, 5:280, 5:330, 6:15, 6:50, 6:60, 6:145, 6:160, 6:170, 6:310, 6:340, 7:50 (w/o option), 7:60, 7:70, 7:250 (w/ option), 7:260, 7:305, 7:310, 7:315 (w/o option), 8:30, and 8:70 for a second and final reading was made by LaRock, seconded by Myer. On roll call, those present voted "aye". Motion carried.
Motion to assign all students in grades 5 through 8 to Serena Middle School, and all students in grades K through 4 to be placed between Sheridan Grade School and Harding Grade School, beginning with the 2017-2018 school year with the future intent of seeking additional Districtand/or County-wide programs to be housed on the Harding campus was made by LaRock, seconded by Susan McNelis. On roll call, LaRock, Susan McNelis, Murley, Myer and Rosengren voted "aye". Don McNelis and Thompson voted “nay'. Motion carried.
President Rosengren requested further public comment. There was none.
Motion to enter into executive session at 9:00 p.m. to listen to a personal testimony from a community member was made by LaRock and seconded by Susan McNelis. On roll call, those present voted "aye".
Motion to come out of executive session was made by LaRock and seconded by Don McNelis. On roll call, those present voted "aye". Motion carried.
Motion to adjourn at 9:08 p.m. was made by Susan McNelis, seconded by Murley. On roll call, all present voted "aye". Motion carried.