Good marks given for registration

Vandalia’s superintendent of schools told school board members on Tuesday that the district’s new format for registering students, for the most part, “went very smooth.”
That new format called for parents to preregister their students online, then show up on registration day to pay fees and pick up their children’s schedules.
“The first hour and half was a little crazy,” Superintendent Rich Well said, explaining that there were long lines early on Monday both because many of the parents of students scheduled to register that day showed up as the doors to the junior high gym were opened and computer printers were offline for a period of time.
“The other 13 hours (of registration) went very smooth,” Well said. “People were walking in and walking out (without waiting).”
Not only did the new format provide the district with needed information in advance of registration, “It gave us much more accurate information,” he said.
Well said he’s hopeful that the district can improve that registration format even more next year by allowing parents to pay student fees online.
The superintendent also told the school board on Tuesday that district officials were pleased with the turnout for two informational sessions for parents.
At one session, high school administrators explained the introduction of the 1 to 1 program featuring the use of Chromebooks. At the other, students at Vandalia Elementary School and Vandalia Junior High School could learn the traffic flow pattern for student drop-off and pickup; that session also served as orientation for fourth- and fifth-grade students.
“Both nights were very well attended,” Well said.
One side of the gym was filled for the VCHS session, and VJHS Principal Brian Kern said the session at his school drew about 250 people.
“It’s nice to have that kind of participation,” Well said, adding that some sessions in previous years have attracted as few as six people.
Also at Tuesday’s meeting:
• Well reported that the district had received its first General State Aid payment, and that while the level of funding from the state has increased, the district’s check is lower than those received last year.
He said that the level of funding has increased to 92 percent, up from 89 percent. Last year, the district received 18 payments of $252,738 and four payments of $222,797.
The district is receiving four GSA checks for $251,945.
The checks are lower than those last year, Well said, because the district’s average daily attendance dropped from 1,406 to 1,360.
He said the district could be receiving an additional 3 percent in GSA because it qualifies for one of the poverty grants proposed by Gov. Bruce Rauner.
• Well reported that due to the work put in by administration secretary Staci Carroll and technology aide, the district was approved for C-1 funding for telephones and Internet service.
That approval lowers the district’s cost for its Illinois Century Connection, state provider for direct Internet, from $4,366 per month to $1,043 for 36 months and its data charge from $600 per month to $250 per month.
“That is gigantic, as far as savings,” Well said.
• The board approved the resignations of Jeremy Curll, high school football; Allison Smith, high school volleyball; and Ginny Phillips, VCHS café.
• The board approved the hirings of Eric Lux, high school football; Amanda Walton, high school volleyball; Angel Kopp and Misty Thompson, junior high cheer coaches; and Sara Long, VCHS café.
• The board approved the hirings of volunteer coaches Laura Dossett, for high school tennis, and Colin Ledbetter, for high school soccer.
• The board approved the budget for the Okaw Area Vocational Center, as previously approved by superintendents in the districts that feed students into the center.
• The board approved a resolution ratifying and confirming a construction agreement between the OAVC and Feller Construction for the house being built by this year’s building trades students at the vocational center.
OAVC Director Nick Casey said that the house is being built along U.S. Route 40 between Brownstown and St. Elmo.
The center now contracts with a buyer prior to construction, and that buyer has input on the construction of the house, Casey said.

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