District receives $261,000 through the CARES ACT
By ARIANA R. CHERRY
Members of the ALAH School Board met via Google Hangout as some remained at home, while a few others met from the high school so they could practice social distancing during the COVID19 pandemic.
After approving the consent agenda, Kevin Heid presented a bond presentation for informational purposes for members of the board.
Superintendent Shannon Cheek gave the Treasurer’s report after the presentation. “We are up to date on payments from the state, although we have only received one payment for transportation for this fiscal year. I would like to remain optimistic, but realistically, the other payment will probably not be coming in for this present fiscal year,” he informed.
The district was also grateful for two donations that it received. Curtis Plank and Eric Plank were part of the “League of Champions.” The games for their league was canceled because of the pandemic, and they had extra unused money. The league donated $2,000 that could be used for payments towards bills. Another donation of $3,500 was given anonymously to help pay off all the school lunches for the year. Board members expressed their appreciation for those donations.
For May, the board approved the tentative amended FY20 budget. A hearing is set for June 17, 2020 at 6:00 pm. A copy of the budget will be available for review on the school website. Shannon did comment that revenues did come in different than what had previously been anticipated, as their had been a reduction in sales tax dollars. On the brighter side of things, a law had been passed that some of the online vendors that we use (such as Amazon), the school would see some extra rewards from those dollars spent. “Hopefully those tax dollars will level out the loss,” Shannon said. He did mention though, it could be a few months after July before the district would begin to see that extra money.
After a few adjustments, the transportation contract with Miller Bus Service was approved.
The IESA Annual Membership was also approved. A membership fee is required for each school in the district because they consider the district three different buildings. The fee is renewed each year. It was noted that there was a slight increase in its percentage.
Shannon recognized three different retirees from the district. They were Angie Romine and Carla Poorman from Atwood-Hammond Grade School and Deb Flavin from Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond High School. “I am very proud of the administrative team and what they put together for the retirement of these three given the circumstances,” quoted Shannon. “At some point, when we are able, we need to do something to honor these three, as they have served our district very well. There are a lot of years of experience for sure,” he added.
Shannon also presented a tech update. They hope to get more Chromebooks and hot spots (provides portable connectivity with the Chromebooks) through the CARES ACT. The district is receiving around $261,000 through it. The money provided from the CARES ACT will enable the district to move forward with remote learning. Shannon informed the board that the district is working on setting u training for their staff so that they can learn how to teach remotely. “The easy part is getting the devices that are needed but the the big hurdle for us is our staff and how to teach our staff how to teach remotely,” he commented. “Right now, we don’t have any recommendations from the state, but we are waiting. There has been nothing concrete to work off as of yet,” Shannon said.
He then moved on to discuss the graduation ceremonies that the district had been together for the students. “I am really proud of what the administrative team has put together. “ I am grateful of the admin team. They never complained and just asked what they needed to do, as it was frustrating when the rules would change. I am proud of them for their efforts,” Shannon commented. The final “virtual high school graduation ceremony” will include speeches (which were recorded ahead of time), some drone footage of the school campuses and the recordings of the students’ names being called as they walked across the stage. “It is not what they deserve, as they deserve more, but at least this will provide a memory,” stated Shannon. He also shared his gratitude towards all the teachers and parents with the care and time they put in towards helping the students. They all had to learn how to do things with no instructional “1-10 steps.” The families of graduating students will receive a thumb drive with two photos as well as the graduation video.
Toward the end of the public meeting, Shannon listed several people who helped out with the graduation ceremonies. He apologized for anyone he might have left out and noted there would be a thank you list in the newspaper as well. Those that he thanked during the meeting included the custodial staff, Mac Condill, Mark Hermann who did the videography and will be putting together the virtual ceremony, Steffanie Seegmiller and Jared Vanausdoll, Tim Miller, Erica Carter, Carol Huffman, Stephanie Wierman, the Park and Fair Boards and all the students’ parents.
“We had to reinvent how we finished our year,” he commented on his final note.
Personnel Report for May 20, 2020
Accept Ashley Lehman letter of resignation as ELA teacher at LGS
Accept Beth Sullivan letter of resignation as English teacher at AHGS
Accept Lindsay Wells letter of resignation as LGS Elementary teacher
Recommend for hire Keith Blandford for JH Math AHGS
Recommend for hire Kelsey Farmer High School Special Education teacher
Recommend for hire Anna Herbert for JH Science/ELA at AGS
Recommend for hire Emily Sproat as the Speech Language Pathologist for AHGS and LGS
Accept Ashley Lehman resignation from LGS Yearbook, LGS Spelling Bee and JH Softball
Accept Damien Centers letter of resignation as Junior High Head Boys Basketball Coach
Accept Shandan Herschberger letter of resignation as Junior High Assistant Basketball Coach
Recommend for hire Melissa Hopkins for the JH Cheer Coach
Accept Alicia Henning letter of resignation as the concession manager for LGS.
Recommend Sarah Reed for board approval for volunteer HS Cheer assistant Coach.
Recommend Kelsey Farmer for JH Head Softball.