Increased enrollment adds staff

Nick Stroman

An unexpected boost in registration numbers for three grade levels is prompting Illinois Valley Central School District 321 to hire more personnel for the new school year.

At the Aug. 12 school board meeting, the board revealed registration numbers for the 2008-09 school year came in higher than anticipated for kindergarten at Mossville Grade School and for fourth- and sixth-grade classes at Chillicothe Elementary Center.

“Kindergarten caught us by surprise the most because we expected around 60 kids, and we have 75,” Superintendent Dr. Dave Kinney said.

The anticipated count for fourth grade at CEC is 80, while sixth grade is 82.

Kinney added kindergarten is usually the most accurate registration number because the students are all new to the district.

The fourth and sixth grade were numbers that included actual registrations and students expected to return but who have not registered yet.

Kinney added some families just bring in students on the first day, so they expect the numbers could change.

On Monday, the district got an idea of first-day enrollment numbers for all grades and buildings.

That is repeated on the sixth and 30th day of school.

“We were forced to add personnel solely based on the numbers we have now,” Kinney said.

New personnel contracts approved at the meeting included: Mossville – Lisa Disney for primary life skills, Jeannie Dorsey for kindergarten and Sarah Abbott for Bright Futures aide; IVC High School – Dianne Smith for special education; CEC – Cassandra Judy and Linda Proctor for fourth grade and Christine Kerwin as a secretary.

Board member Steve Nalley questioned whether for next calendar year, the district should consider holding school registration opportunities sooner.

“I think it would be good to have more of a heads up next time of more than the usual two weeks so these staffing issues don’t catch us off guard,” Nalley said.

On Monday and Tuesday, the district was on a special schedule, with the junior high, CEC and high school all dismissing at 10:40 a.m., while the rest of the schools will dismiss at 11:20 a.m.

Staff and coaches for all building levels had in-service meetings for the remainder of those first two days.

The first regular day of classes for IVC was today.

In other action:

• The board approved revenues for 2009-10 in the amount of $10,558,527.

Kinney said there will be an ad placed in local newspapers to sell the tax anticipation notes and a public meeting scheduled for about four weeks from now.

• Resignations were approved for Tommorra Ladd as junior high girls assistant basketball coach at CEC and Lyla Girsch as district bus driver.

• The completion of life/safety amendments were approved for floor tile work and a new stairwell and enclosure.

• An application for occupancy at CEC was approved by the board.

Kinney said things went well after an inspection and thorough check of the facility with the Illinois State Office of Education, but a fire alarm system inspection is still needed.

• The curriculum committee meeting was held prior to the board meeting where the annual yearly progress report was discussed.

Board member Mike Denzer said reading scores are down at Mossville and CEC, and they will be learning more about how to improve those numbers throughout the year.

• Several policy updates were also briefly discussed, but are not expected to be acted on until the Tuesday meeting.

Those policies include transfer of credits from other institutions, communications to and from the board, information request from board members and description of administrative positions.