The seasons might not show it but graduation is just around the corner for local eighth-graders and seniors. During Monday night's Palestine Unit 3 board meeting, dates for both graduations were approved for the spring.
High school graduation will take place first, beginning at 2 p.m. Saturday, May 16 at Palestine High School. Meanwhile Palestine Grade School's eighth grade graduation will be at 7 p.m. Monday, May 18 at the grade school.
The results of the annual audit for 2018-19 were read to the board. The district once again has a good financial profile score, despite dropping just a little bit in 2019. Overall they have a 3.5, which is still in the top quadrant.
The financial profile score is based on the district's cash, expenditures, revenues and debts.
The district's estimated operating expense per pupil or cost per student increased from $10,514 to $12,265. This factors in all of the district's operating expenses, which last year included extra repairs and a roof replacement.
Another increase was the district's estimated per capita tuition charge, which rose from $9,700 to $10,800. This is charged for any non-residential student attending the district.
The district's education fund cash decreased by about $20,000, while the operations and maintenance fund took the biggest dip at $100,000. IMRF rose by about $91,000, while the EAV from 2017-18 increased by $1.2 million.
Board president Corie Biggs said it was possible that the IMRF increased because of the tax levy increase.
The district approved the report, as well as a five-year tuition waiver for children and employees out of the district.
Grade school principal Jessica Sisil announced that Title 1 meetings with parents began late last week, and will continue today. This is a part of the district's family engagement policy. Family reading night will also take place tonight at the grade school.
Sisil also announced she accept a grant of $10,545 from the Leo A. Herning Foundation for a new sound system for the cafeteria. That system has already been put to good uses for students for lunch and recreational hours.
Meanwhile Dean of Students Tangi Waldrop used her Herning Foundation donation of $20,000 to purchase various items including equipment for the home economics room and a new drone.
The board was also honored to have Voice of Democracy honoree Katie Lanham in attendance to read her essay, after being invited by Waldrop earlier in the day.
Palestine High School will be hosting a blood drive 12:30-5:30 p.m. Wednesday.