Enrollment down in IVC District 321

Marianne Gillespie

With children back in school, the IVC District 321 school board looked at enrollment figures for the first and sixth days of school at its meeting Aug. 26.

Based upon the sixth day enrollment figures, student population is down 75 students over the district. The district’s enrollment stands at 2,052 students for this year.

The largest decline is at Mossville School, down 40 students from last year. To help balance out class size, a third section of first grade was added at the school. The new class began the day after Labor Day.

“There’s not a lot of building in the south end of the district,” Superintendent Chad Allison told the school board members.

On the other hand, South School is holding steady with 372 students, the same as last year.

Along with students back in school, it was time for the district to host a budget hearing for this school year.

Assistant Superintendent Patrick Hatfield said the school district has a $1.2 million deficit “which sounds worse than what it is.”

He said some line items show no revenue, such as capital projects, but show expenses as the district pays out bills to complete projects such as the Mossville School update and addition.

In the education fund, an $800,000 deficit is seen as property taxes, state aid and grants have declined.

Reserve funds will cover the deficit, Hatfield said.

In other items, the school board:

• Heard Allison say the Mossville staff did a “phenomenal job” after a power outage on the third day of school. The teachers made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for the students and bus drivers were called in to take the students home early afternoon. He thanked them all by name and added that they did more than merely drop students off by making sure they were safe. While a phone notice was sent out to parents alerting them, Allison said he found that “our communication system didn’t run as it’s supposed to.” With that in mind, a test call went out on Wednesday.

• Heard Allison share with the board he received the ACT College Readiness letter which shows how IVC district students fare compared to the rest of the state in being prepared for college schoolwork. The overall result showed that IVC students were more ready than those in the state.

• Approved the resignations of Jody Krowlek as a CEC special education aide/paraprofessional and Alex Razo as CEC head girls’ basketball coach.

• Approved personnel contracts for this school year for Lindsey Hanson as a first-grade teacher at Mossville School, John Schmidt as the IVC High School English department chairman, Tina Jones as the IVCHS senior class sponsor, Jeremy Crull as a special education paraprofessional at CEC and Alex Razo as the CEC head boys’ basketball coach.