The Palestine Unit 3 Board of Education Monday night approved two early graduations, a school-sponsored trip, and discussed the sale of the old modular classroom.
Two high-school students' request for early graduates were approved by the board. Dean of Students Tangi Waldrop reported that both students met the requirements for graduation. Interim Superintendent Chris Long said both students had also presented compelling reasons to request the early graduation.
A trip sponsored by the junior-high Student Council and high school Student Senate to Paoli, Ind., was approved by the board. The trip will be open to all junior-high and high-school students. The cost is expected to be around $50 per student. The two organizations are planning fundraisers to defer the cost so that everyone who wants to go can.
A local fraternal organization has expressed interest in the old modular classroom building on the east side of the high school. The building has not been used as a classroom for several years and was placed up for sale previously.
Those bids at the time were rejected as the bidders were more interested in tearing the building down for salvage. It was feared at the time a salvage bidder would leave the unwanted parts.
The current interest is from the Flat Rock Masonic Lodge. The lodge has expressed interest in the building as a whole and would include cleanup and removal of all parts of the building, including the block foundation and wooden entrance ramp.
The board directed Long to pursue negotiations for the building.
In other building-related business, Long reported some drainage work to the grade school had been completed. He also reported they should soon have more complete information and estimates for work on the high school gym and high school building. He would like to make time during the Dec. 13 board meeting for that presentation.
With completion of the bridge work southwest of the high school the Illinois Department of Transportation has donated several trees to the district. The trees were planted around the grade school and high school.
Long also reported the Regional Superintendent and State Superintendent of Education have both approved the Committee of Ten's petition for consolidation of the Hutsonville and Palestine school districts. It is now on a 35-day administrative review, and then will be placed on the March 2018 ballot. A meeting to discuss high-school football is being scheduled within the next two weeks to discuss the possible combining of Palestine, Hutsonville and Oblong students into one program. For the past two season the Palestine-Hutsonville team has not been able to complete the season.
In other business the board authorized the re-payment of $40,000 to working cash from transportation, authorized the superintendent to prepare the 2017 Tax Levy, and changed the December meeting to Dec. 13.
In personnel-related matters the board approved maternity leaves for both Kaylee Wartsbaugh and Mikelle Sipes.
The board approved hiring Stephanie Weaver as a classroom aide for first and fourth grades. The board agreed to post a volunteer high school girls basketball assistant coach position, and authorized the junior high baseball coaching position to be paid.
The board authorized the listing of an elementary position to possibly begin employment the second semester of the 2017-18 school year.
Don Wagoner gave brief report on the recent school board convention in Chicago and shared the information he received with administrators and board members.
Representatives from Palestine Academic Foundation asked the board to review requests from teachers before granting those requests, and reminded the board purchases made with Amazon Smile this holiday season can include donations to the foundation.
The next scheduled meeting will be at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 13.