A new era began for Hutsonville Unit 1 Monday as a new school board member was sworn in and a retiring member was honored for his work.
Chad Weaver was officially sworn in and seated as the board's newest member following his election earlier this month. Returning incumbents Tina Callaway and Chad Guyer were also sworn in.
Weaver holds the seat previously filled by Mike Knecht, who did not run for re-election. Knetch, a member since 2005, was honored with a plaque thanking him for his commitment and hard work to the district and its students.
In regular business, Callaway was elected president while Matt Draper was elected vice president and Lori Crumrin was elected treasurer. Guyer will serve as secretary. Meetings will now be the third Monday of each month, but September's meeting will be Tuesday, Sept. 25, because of the 30-day, mandidated display of the district's budget. Monthly meetings in January and February will be the fourth Monday because of holidays occurring on the third Mondays.
Superintendent Julie Kraemer informed the board one categorical payment from last year and one from this year have been received from the state. The districts is still waiting for at least two more for this year and hoping for three, which are owed.
"Once again legislatures seem to be squaring off, but this time it is the comptroller that appears to be holding the payments, as they have been vouchered by ISBE but not released," Kraemer said. "This is frustrating and I am sharing this information so there will be no surprise if the budget comes in worse than we expected."
The district's budgets are currently frozen and money will continue to be spent only on an as needed basis.
The board also acted on a new agreement with Illinois Eastern Community Colleges concerning dual credit courses.
In the past students have been able to travel to take classes at Lincoln Trail College at no tuition cost. However, financial struggles for high school and community colleges have forced them to make changes. Starting this semester, any student wishing to travel to an IECC college for class must pay an $60 tuition fee before classes start.
Kraemer said that agreeing to the measure would benefit the students by not taking this opportunity from them, despite the risk.
"My concern was I don't want to take that opportunity away from them, but I can't necessarily pay for it," Kraemer said. "However, I'm confident that between the United Way and the LTC foundation, if there is a need for those students who can't pay for it, they'll be offering a tuition waiver or something like that to help the students out."
Weaver asked Kraemer whether these classes also included dual credit courses at Hutsonville, but she confirmed that it is only for classes offered on the LTC campus. Kraemer also told Weaver that the district will seek to identify the students who will have difficulty paying the extra tuition and see if they could qualify for a waiver. The board approved a motion to agree with the agreement.
Senior dinner will be held at 6 p.m. May 19 in the high school commons area. Anyone interested in attending must let Hutsonville High School principal Guy Rumler know in advance.
Rumler also announced that students have begun decorating for this weekend's prom. "Prom will run from 8 to 11 p.m. in the high school gym, with coronation taking place at 9:30 p.m.," Rumler said. "Post prom will once again be held at the school from midnight to 4 a.m. and we'll have games and pizza for everyone to enjoy."
The high school spring concert will be at 7 p.m. May 11. The high school will also host a blood drive May 13, and the senior class trip is scheduled for May 15 to Kings Island.
High school honors night is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 16. The grade school awards day will be at 1 p.m. the same day. On Thursday, May 18, the high school will hold its athletic banquet at 6 p.m. This is also the last day of student attendance.
Teacher's institute will be Friday, May 19, with senior dinner to follow. High school graduation is scheduled for 2 p.m. Sunday, May 21, and grade school graduation is 8 p.m. Tuesday, May 23.
In other business the board approved grant applications for federal Title 1 and 2 and state early childhood grants. Board members were asked to complete a needs assessment form as grants are currently being completed and community input is important.
Grade school membership in the IESA for the 2017-18 school year was approved. Coops with Palestine for junior high girls basketball, baseball, volleyball, track and scholastic bowl were also approved, with softball still up in the air for renewal.
Farmers and Merchants Bank was designated as the depository for school funds. The board also accepted the resignations of Bill Drake as junior high boys basketball coach, Jami Drake as junior high cheerleading sponsor and Lyndsey Ackman as high school science teacher.
The board also wants to remind district residents that there will be a public meeting at 7 p.m. May 8 at Palestine. This meeting will allow residents of both districts to speak with the committee of 10 about the progress the committee is making and issues that are needing to be resolved. The committee will also meet at 6:30 p.m. that evening.