By CHRISTY JANKOWSKI
Bement Principal Doug Kepley presented the enrollment numbers for this school year, 64 in the Junior High and 86 in the High School.
Every year the Champaign’s News Gazette sponsors various High School Students throughout the Piatt area, and this year for Bement, Addie Fritz will be the weekly correspondent for Bement.
Kepley stated that the teacher leadership team met during the first week of school and added two new goals for this year: “1. Provide social-emotional support and professional development for students and staff with alternative ways to improve our social-emotional well-being. 2. Provide time and resources for staff to complete mandated training required by the Illinois State Board of Education.”
Kepley added in his report that they will be participating in the Illinois Youth Survey with their 8th, 10th, and 12th grade students. “It helps us identify areas that students struggle/are struggling with and help provide resources as a school.”
As far as Homecoming festivities Kepley states they will continue to monitor COVID but are hopeful, “We continue to monitor COVID and how it will affect our homecoming festivities. At this time, we are looking to hold as many events outside as possible.” Homecoming for
Cerro Gordo was Friday, September 24. For Bement, it is October 22.
Important Upcoming Dates:
10/2: Sidewalk Chalk Festival
10/2: Band Showcase
10/4: FAFSA Meeting (format TBD)
10/5: Parent Teacher Conferences 5:00-8:00 (format TBD)
10/6: Parent Teacher Conferences 5:00-8:00 (format TBD)
10/8: No School
10/11: No School
Bement Elementary currently has in total 137 students. The Reading Wonders Curriculum was renewed for this year and the district is looking into other options for the 2022-23 school year. For Science they are using the “Mystery Science Curriculum” an online program as well, and materials have been purchased. STEM packs for Kindergarten and 1st grade were also ordered, and Linda Taylor is creating STEM totes for grade 2nd-5th. RTI testing completed.
As far as masks go, Bement states they are having no issues. “Still having great success with our mask policy and encouraging our social distancing guidelines.”
Middle School Basketball is beginning and masks will be worn by all players, coaches, referees, and fans attending. There will be mask time outs each quarter, and social distancing for players and encouraged for fans.
The district thanked CGB Booster Club for the succesful 5k fundraiser, and a special thank you to Chad Corum for aid with the softball field. The baseball field needs new electric and concrete pads for the bleachers. The Safety inspector told the district for health and safety it needs replaced. Costs are coming in from 3,000-20,000.
Superintendent Shelia Greenwood stated, “It has been quite the start to the school year. The students have been great, but the amount of stress that staff have been dealing with has been substantial. The amount of controversy and misinformation out there is significant. It is so time-consuming and is dividing us even further. We have done such an outstanding job of keeping kids safety a priority and I hope we can continue that as our mission. We have made decisions to keep kids and staff safe and I don’t have any doubts that we have and are doing the right thing. I appreciate the support that you as board members, the BEA and our communities of Bement, Ivesdale and Milmine have given us as a school district. I am well aware that we all don’t agree on everything, but I appreciate the trust that everyone has shown us in this difficult time.”
The district was approved for the CLIA waiver which allows them to do on-site COVID testing. “We don’t plan on starting this soon, but we also know that there are potential changes for second semester with Kirby’s testing and also the local health department’s testing capabilities. Test kits are not readily available but it appears that as long as the “rapid” test is done on-site, it will count.” It has been stated that Kirby plans on weaning out their testing services.
Greenwood stated she will be presenting at the IASA Superintendent’s Conference, the title being “How Self-Care Can Transform School Culture.”
The district is waiting for approval for the replacement of the high school windows. Greenwood stated, “We are also looking at some smaller projects such as pouring concrete pads for the baseball bleachers, buying and installing a scoreboard for the baseball field and making plans for a small all-purpose building at the baseball field.” She added, “That building will be multi-purpose with storage, a handicap accessible restroom, and concession stand area.”
“We will be looking for some donations to make all of this happen, otherwise, we will need to do it in phases.”
“The budget has been on display for the required amount of time and we will approve it this evening. It is a balanced budget and as always, my disclaimer
is that it is always just our best guess at this time of year.”
The board also approved the following:
•Press Plus Second Reading
•Resignation of Kate Ruggless as Middle School Head Girls Volleyball Coach
•Hired Lindsey Petty as Middle School Head Girl’s Volleyball Coach
•Resignation of Julie Snyder as Crossing Guard
•Hiring of Randi Riddle as Crossing Guard 2021-22 school year
•Hiring of Candy Wilderman as Classroom aide for 2021-22
•Inter-governmental agreement with Deland-Weldon in sharing of Elizabeth Allen’s SLP services for 2021-22 school year approved
•Hiring of Connor Gross as Middle School Boy’s Basketh Assistant Coach
•Hiring of Haley Witts as the Middle School Girl’s Volleyball Coach