The Dunlap Board of Education met April 18 and discussed what to do about the Washington, D.C., and Six Flags trips.

The Dunlap Board of Education met April 18 and discussed what to do about the Washington, D.C., and Six Flags trips.

Superintendent Jay Marino started the meeting when he said he has gotten numerous emails and a petition signed by 291 people asking to bring back the Six Flags trip along with the Washington, D.C., trip as two options for the end-of-the-year eighth-grade trip.

Replacing the Six Flags trip with the Washington, D.C., trip was approved, 5-2, at the March 14 meeting.

Currently, there are 102 out of 150 Dunlap Valley Middle School students signed up for the Washington, D.C., trip and 11 out of 138 Dunlap Middle School students signed up.

The recommendation to have two trips has been approved by the middle school principals as an opportunity for students who cannot afford the $700 price tag of the Washington, D.C., trip to still have an end-of-the-year trip.

Both trips, however, would be on separate days and students could attend both if they choose.

The Board also approved, 7-0 in the consent agenda, the building of a roundabout at the Hickory Grove Elementary School site to handle traffic needs.

Peoria City Councilman Dan Irving said, during the public input section, that the roundabout is not the best option and that there needed to be another study done.

Marino, however, said that, through thorough research, the roundabout was deemed safe after a traffic design study and an intersection design study.

The roundabout will cost $667,000 and is either equal to or less expensive than other options.

In addition to the roundabout, there will also be crossing guards before and after school to ensure safety, as well as pedestrian crossing signs, an area for pedestrians to cross one lane at a time and proper lighting at the crosswalk.

Marino also said that there are around 2,600 roundabouts in the country.

There was also a presentation by the 21st Century Learning Program about how online classes at Dunlap High School are helping prepare students for college.

“It is very important” Marino said. “Online learning is now a reality for college students. Dunlap High School students will have these opportunities now at the high school.”

In a survey, 100 percent of students felt they were learning in the program and that their assignments were clear and 89 percent of parents felt that their kids were learning, with the other parents saying it was too early to make an informed decision.

The Right at School Program had a presentation about implementing the after-school enrichment program.

“Right at School will provide further enrichment opportunities for our students which can occur right at school,” Marino said.

Mark Rothschild, the founder and CEO said that after-school programs help students get better grades and behave better.

The program would offer options about how long the students could stay at school and different ways to learn in the enrichment program.

Right at School offers everything from a tennis club to podcasting lessons to a time for help with homework.

Marino said this has never been done at Dunlap in this way and that if it is implemented and not successful, that it can easily be canceled.

The next step is to begin a communication campaign to get information to the parents.
In other board news:

• The transition planning team has open houses for new students transferring next school year. The open house is from 7 to 8 p.m. May 15 at Wilder-Waite Elementary, Banner Elementary and Dunlap Grade School.

“Transition planning is going well,” Marino said. “We are working diligently to ensure smooth transitions for our boundary redistricting.”

The Hickory Grove Parent Teacher Organization will meet April 30 at Dunlap Grade School.

Fifth-graders will visit their new schools April 24, with a parent information meeting at night and seventh-and-eighth-graders will visit their new schools May 14, also with an information meeting at night.

• The out-of-state basketball clinic was approved during the consent agenda.

“The team attends the clinic to further enhance their skills,” Marino said. “The clinic provides a great experience for our students.”

• Payment of the monthly bills, the third quarter financial report and the treasurer’s report was approved, 7-0.

• The Board approved the return  of Aaron Barrington as Dunlap Valley Middle School’s girls’ softball coach for the 2012-13 season, Ashley Gratton as a temporary crossing guard at Dunlap Valley, Mimi O’Neill as the assistant boys’ tennis coach at Dunlap High School, Becky Hansen’s transfer to teacher on strategic assignment for the 2012-13 school year and Jennifer Potter as a cook at Dunlap High School.

• Approved the hire of Doris Martin as the Director of Transportation for the 2012-13 school year and Steve Ehnle as a custodial sub.

The board next meets at 7 p.m. May 9.