After hearing a presentation on the district’s curriculum mapping progress from second-grade teacher Kim Well, the Vandalia Board of Education handled a variety of year-end matters at Tuesday’s monthly meeting.
The curriculum mapping program, which gives teachers a computerized framework for organizing their teaching plans, is in the second of a three-year phase-in plan. It ensures that teaching is being done consistently within all classes of a particular grade, and it allows teachers of different grades to see what students are being taught at each level on a month-by-month basis.
Kim Well said that the mapping program has been helpful to the teachers, providing a common roadmap for the curriculum.
In other business, Superintendent Rich Well told the board that he “feels pretty solid about where we are financially.” He pointed out that, as of May 11, the district’s total balance was $4,144,872, with the balance of the operating accounts being $3,448,838. Those operating accounts include education, building, transportation and working cash.
Total revenues received so far represent 88 percent of the annual budget, while total expenses are 81 percent, with about 45 days remaining in the fiscal year. “I’m proud of the job our people have done holding expenditures in check,” he said. “We don’t have everything in the world, but we have what we need.”
He said that the district still has not received two payments from the state.
A special amended budget hearing was set for June 16 at 6:45 p.m.
In other action, the board:
• Approved the renewal of the district’s agreement with Bushue Human Resources. That agreement runs through 2010.
• Approved the honorable dismissal of non-teaching paid coaches Meg Marquardt, Mark Johnson, Jane Bell, Diego Gamino, Allison Smith, Chris Cox, Billy Worker and Andy Whitten. Non-teaching paid coaches are dismissed each spring and then considered for rehire for the coming school year.
• Accepted the resignations of second-grade teacher Marcy Mollett, VJHS aide Eric Lux, VCHS math teacher Dan Grimes and VCHS flag corps sponsor Tina Ashdown.
• Approved the employment of VJHS and VCHS special education teacher Danielle Matlock and VCHS math teacher Walt Kinney.
• Approved the transfers of VJHS cafeteria worker Connie Woolsey from a three-hour position to a five-hour position, and VJPS Pre-K teacher Jessica Eckard to kindergarten.
• Approved the recommendations of the discipline committee to allow electronic devices on buses only if the device is on mute or silence and if it doesn’t have a flashing light. Also, students are not allowed to have holes in their garments above the fingertip length of the student when his arms are held at his side.
• Approved the recommendation of the curriculum advisory committee to make the textbook cycle program five years in length. Also approved was the expansion of science requirements for graduation from two years to three.
• Approved the recommendation of the transportation committee to prohibit flashlights or cameras on buses, to prohibit students with head lice to be transported on buses, to require school projects that won’t fit in a student’s backpack to be enclosed in a container and to prohibit eating or drinking on regular bus routes. The board also approved the committee recommendation that electronic devices (such as cell phones and iPods) are permitted on all bus routes.
• Approved the summer projects recommended by the building and grounds committee: a VCHS elevator to the band room; security doors at VJHS; VCHS window replacement; VCHS outside door overhangs; handicapped signs in the parking lots; VJPS ductwork, skylight and clean-air ventilation; and VES ceiling tile replacement.
• Approved the use of independent grant writers to pursue and secure grants for the district. The board approved a stipend schedule by which grant writers will be compensated for new grants they secure. Under the schedule, they would receive $1,000 for grants from $50,000 to $99,999; $5,000 for grants from $100,000 to $249,999; $10,000 for grants from $250,000 to $499,999; and $15,000 for grants of $500,000 or more.
“This gives people an opportunity to use their writing skills in an area in which they have an interest to generate some extra income and help make improvements to the district,” Well said. “If they have an idea for a project to pursue and have a grant possibility, then they should come in and talk with us.”
A special meeting to consider candidates to fill the vacant school board position will be held at 3:30 p.m. on June 2.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:15 p.m.