District 321 school board approves special education plans

Christina Smith

Illinois Valley Central District 321 board members approved a special education improvement plan during the board’s Feb. 23 meeting at IVC High School.

Superintendent Dr. Dave Kinney said the plan includes offering more staff development opportunities for teachers, improving students’ reading ability in special education and working on how staff members develop Individualized Education Plans for students in special education.

Kinney said the improvement plan was developed because of a visit by Illinois State Board of Education officials in November.

Students in third through eighth grade and juniors are given a state reading test.

Kinney said there is a large difference between the reading scores of the 325 students in special education throughout the district and the students in regular education

classes.

In other business, the board:

• approved a Title I electronic listing of items the district does to comply with state requirements. Kinney said Title I is a program which helps students who struggle with reading and study skills.

• approved a policy on blogging, which allows school employees and staff to address any students using blogging to harass or bully another student, teacher or staff

• approved an updated facility rental policy, which states any organization, association or individual renting a school facility must show proof of insurance showing IVC District 321 is covered by the group or person’s insurance. Assistant superintendent Patrick Hatfield said district officials do not want to compete with other organizations which rent facilities.

• approved a bid for paper from Ricoh Savin Corp. for $24.79 per carton

 • discussed the district’s 2008-09 proposed school calendar with an Aug. 15 start date for teachers. Students would start with half days Aug. 18 and 19, while teachers would have an in-service both days

• approved the following resignations: Paul Mercer, freshman volleyball coach at IVC High School; Mark Kosinski, wrestling coach at IVC; and Kim Vogelzang, counseling secretary at IVC

• and discussed Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s plan to increase general state aid for school districts by $125 per student this fall. Kinney said the increase will not help IVC because increasing private or corporate taxes decreases the amount of funding a district receives.