ALAH School District discuss multiple plans for school this fall

Assistant Principal and Athletic Director Jared Vanausdoll resigns and District Maintenance Director, Ken Munds retires

By ARIANA R. CHERRY
Staff Writer

Superintendent Shannon Cheek and members of the Arthur school board discussed what the upcoming school year could possibly look like this fall. “It is a whole new way of thinking and a whole new way of creating,” Shannon said. During the time of the board meeting, the school district was still waiting for guidance from the state.

Shannon stated that more teachers had been added to the committee for remote learning. The district might be looking at a hybrid model but there are a couple of different plans that are being discussed. Some of those ideas included some grades doing remote learning at home while others would be in the school buildings and “vise-versa.” The teachers will be doing some training on remote learning. Each teacher will be doing about 35-40 hours, which they all will do voluntarily. They also will receive credit for doing the training, even though it wasn’t a requirement. The committee will continue to develop their plans this summer. Some of those plans will include mask regulations and how bus transportation will be handled, etc.

After the FY 2020 Amended Budget was on file for the past thirty days, the board passed it for approval, with no significant changes from the prior meeting.

The contract with Aramark was also approved for the 2020-2021 school year with an increase of 3.1%.

Along with the increase of Aramark, a few student fees were raised as well. Elementary school lunches were raised from $2.63 to $2.70. Junior High and High School lunch fees were raised from $2.78 to $2.90.

Superintendent Cheek explained why the prices had increased. “The reasoning behind the raised prices for lunches is driven by the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 that requires that we provide the same level of support for lunches served to all students. We get reimbursed at a certain rate for the lunches and we are required to charge a minimum level for that reimbursement. Prices for lunches have remained pretty constant with minimum increases for many years and now we are working to get back up to that minimum level required for reimbursement purposes,” he said.

Tech fees were also raised for students this year. The Junior High tech fee was raised to $20.00 to match the High School fees, since this year, junior high students will be taking their devices home (just like high school students do). Elementary grades second through sixth grade will now see a tech fee of $15.00. They had not had one to one devices in the past, so this is a new additional cost. It is lower because elementary students will not be taking devices home. One other raise in costs included the planners which went from $3.00 to 3.50.

Illinois schools districts are receiving about more than a half billion dollars in federal stimulus funds from the CARES act. The money is to help school districts from the financial hardship of the Coronavirus Pandemic. The ALAH School District will be receiving about $265,000.

“There is a lot of tech in this grant that will help with remote learning, chrome books, hot spots, projector and smart boards, etc,” Shannon informed. “We are getting Chrome books for all of the students. The grant will also help pay for cleaning supplies and a sanitizing machine. All of our staff will have spray bottles with sanitizing solutions. We also plan to get furniture for meetings to help continue social distancing during meetings,” he added.

During the ALAH School Board meeting, a few visitors were present. With the retirement of Ken Munds, the district Maintenance Director, it left an opening for the position. Bill Coleman, who had been his assistant for the past 19 years, took his place and then Justin Woodard, was hired to take Bill Coleman’s old position. Ken Munds was thanked and celebrated as he had been with the district since 1987 when Al Froman had been Superintendent.

Other celebrations include thanking Jared Vanausdoll for his years of service as an Athletic Director and Assistant Principal, as he is leaving to take a position in Tuscola as principal at the Tuscola Middle School.

Mark Smith and Amanda Romine were thanked for their help with the training modules. “It is pretty awesome to see people do all of these things, because it is what they need to do for the kids,” quoted Shannon.

President of the School Board, Beth Wiley, also thanked members for being flexible with meeting dates and meeting remotely when they needed to.

Personnel Report
June 17, 2020

Certified:

Recommend for hire Jill Wulf as the new Department Chair for Science

Accept resignation of Jared Vanausdoll from Assistant Principal/Athletic Director

Recommend for hire Merijha Branson for 1st Grade LGS

Recommend for hire Todd Campbell JH ELA LGS

Recommend for hire Holly Pitts 4th Grade LGS

Recommend for hire Taylor Hartman 5th Grade LGS

Non-Certified:

Accept resignation of Kassie Wilson as the high school secretary

Recommendation for hire, Lisa Hood as high school secretary

Recommendation for hire, Bill Coleman as Director of Maintenance

Recommendation for hire, Justin Woodard as Assistant Director of Maintenance

Recommendation for hire, Phil Kingery for custodian at LGS

Accept Keith Wood’s intent to retire as LGS janitor effective June 30th, 2020

Extra-Curricular:

Accept resignation of Kimberly Davis as the JH Volleyball Assistant Coach

Accept resignation of Michaela Ponstein as the HS Girls Track Coach

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