Parents listen to ideas on combined junior high

Adam Larck

More than two dozen community members were on hand during the Oct. 25 Illinois Valley Central board of education meeting in Mossville to hear the realignment presentation.

The presentation, given by Superintendent Dr. Nick Polyak, was the same presentation given to teachers and the Mossville Parent Teacher Organization.

Originally, the presentation was planned to be given to the public at public forums. However, after some information got out, causing misconceptions, Polyak decided to give the presentation earlier.

“I think it went well,” he said. “My goal was to give them the same information the teacher’s have and just to hopefully clear up some misconceptions people might have.”

After hearing about the presentation, a few members of the community had comments during the second public input portion of the meeting.

One member asked what the next step would be to achieve the goals listed, and if there were alternation options of how to accomplish the goals.

Polyak said that other options had not been discussed yet, but would be discussed if the plan moved forward.

Meanwhile, Brent Ressler asked if the district had looked at any other schools that had done realignment similar to this, to which Polyak said he had spoken to Farmington about changes they went through when combining grades.

He mentioned that other schools that have gone through similar changes included Olympia and Deer Creek-Mackinaw.

Finally, a third resident asked if they had found any schools that had considered a similar change and did not go through with it, and why did they not change.

Polyak said that, currently, schools that matched this criteria had not been found, but that if schools were found they would talk to them.

After the meeting, he said that the presentation helped clear up some misconceptions, but needs to be shown to more of the community.

“I think, until more people have a chance to see the same information, it won’t completely clear it up,” Polyak said. “Even though there was misinformation, I think it is a very health process that’s going on. They’re kicking the tires of the school district and seeing if there are better ways.”

He also added that the presentation may be posted to IVC’s website.

In other news, the board:

• Heard a report from the finance committee.

Board member Dave Kinney said that, according to Assistant Superintendent Patrick Hatfield, the Estimated Assessed Value for the district could see a 1 percent drop next year.

Hatfield later added that this information is based on what the county assessor had said, and the district should have a definite answer in the coming weeks.

He added that the decrease would amount to about a “penny and a half” change on the levy.

“The one question that we would have is if that EAV decreases a little bit, it bumps up that tax rate. With the decrease in value, it would offset that and it would be pretty close to a wash for the average homeowner,” Hatfield said.

• Heard a presentation from IVC High School Band Director Matt Chapman about the new band uniforms and 2012-13 band trip.

Chapman said that, of the five different band uniforms that were designed, the band has narrowed the selection down to two.

He added that the two may be modeled to the board before deciding on which ones will be ordered later this year.

Meanwhile, Chapman said that the band is planning to go to San Diego during the last week of December 2012 to play at the Holiday Bowl.

He also plans on having the band play on the U.S.S. Midway.

The trip will last six days and five nights and was approved by the board, 7-0.

• One new personnel contract was approved by the board.

Pamela Fritzenmeier was approved to be a Response to Intervention aide at Chillicothe Elementary Center.

The next board meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.