By ARIANA R. CHERRY
At the most recent ALAH School Board meeting, members gathered together using Google Meet from the comfort of their homes while Superintendent Cheek hosted from the high school in order to comply with the “Shelter at Home” order in Illinois. Members of the board, students and staff of CUSD #305 have all been adjusting to using technology in new ways for communication and learning since this journey of “the new normal” began.
“We are keeping our eyes and ears open in moving forward with our budget,” said Cheek during the opening of his report. He told the board that at the present time, the district was on track with its payments from the state, except for the transportation. He said that a payment was received for transportation back in August which was for the fiscal year 2019 and then had received another payment which was vouchered for in September but wasn’t processed until December. Presently, two more payments are currently “on hold,” as they were vouchered for December and March, but neither have been processed by the comptroller.
Cheek gave an update on the Miller bus contract, making note that a few items had been “added and subtracted and was clearer than it had been in the past.” The contract will be on May’s agenda.
Moving on, the superintendent discussed the district’s current remote learning plan. “We are a few weeks into the process and I think it is going well. We continue to monitor and discuss. Meal distributions are made on Monday mornings and the learning packets are distributed, and we also try to get work back from the students as well. It seems to be working well and everybody is falling into that routine and they know when those items are taking place. It is going well,” he said.
Cheek said that the district had been getting a fair amount of work back from its students, according to its administrators. ” From day one, our focus, our philosophy is that we need to take care of our students, family and community first.” I haven’t heard that we are overwhelming with the work we are giving. I think we have been trying to maintain a base level,” he stated. Presently, the district has served 1500 students with over 15,080 meals. Cheek said Lovington Grade School principal, Brandon Stone, had told him that they had been serving about 70% of his school’s population. On Friday, the district also distributes the food from its food bank, “The Knight’s Table.” About 380 families were served and the number of volunteers to help continue to grow. “There’s a lot of work and a lot of people to recognize in that process,” Cheek commented.
Just a couple days after that April 15 meeting, Governor Pritzker announced that students would not be returning back to school for the 2019-2020 school year, and would continue with the online/remote learning platform. In a school weekly update on their Facebook page, Cheek reached out to the school district’s seniors. “To our class of 2020, I will not pretend to express that I understand the emotions that you are feeling, but please understand this, we are going to continue to fight for you. We are going to continue to explore options to provide you with the proper recognition and celebrations you so deserve,” he quoted.
Personnel Report for April 15, 2020
Accept the resignation of Ms. Pam Evans as Science Teacher at AGS
Accept the resignation of Ms. Jessca Clarkson as the Special Education Coordinator
Recommend for hire Chris Stinebring – Bachelor’s Degree from Eastern Illinois University in Biological Science, endorsed in biology, chemistry, physics, anatomy and physiology. He has 4 years of teaching experience and is coming to us from Effingham High School.
Recommend for hire Nicole Bracken JH Social Studies at AGS
Recommend the hiring of Luzmila Guzman for the position of High School Custodian
Accept Ken Munds intent to retire on June 30, 2020