By Angela Simmons
O’FALLON – Championship bowlers, championship volleyball and excellent staff members were celebrated at the most recent District 90 school board meeting. The board also approved new positions, discussed the idea of added electives and approved a technology refresh after a presentation from district Technology Director Grady Niles.
The annual technology refresh will be taking place at Delores Moye Elementary School. Niles shared that Moye’s projectors are fine, their Lenovo desktops need upgrading, but their Chromebooks and iPads need a refresh. The total cost to the district is expected to be $137,450 for 280 2019 32GB iPads, 280 Griffin Survivor iPad cases, 200 HP Chromebooks, 200 Google management licenses, and six Chromebook carts. Niles presented bids for each piece from multiple companies and highlighted the lowest bids for the best possible savings.
The annual refresh is not new, and is part of a five year plan. Hinchcliffe and Estelle Kampmeyer elementary schools have already benefited from the plan. Laverna Evans and Marie Schaefer elementary schools will be the recipients of the refresh in the 2020-2021 school year, and Carriel and Fulton junior highs will receive a refresh in the 2021-2022 school year.
As part of a refresh, Niles also presented on the districts copier machines. The current three year contract expired in February and is in a month-to-month status until the end of the school year. The district has 21 black and white and two color copiers covered under the lease, while their 14 laser printers are not covered. The district makes over 820,000 black and white copies monthly, and over 18,000 color copies.
He proposed changing to 15 black and white copiers, eight color copiers and seven multi-function printers. The new contract with All Pro Office Technology would be $6,559.35, and would be a monthly savings over the previous contract of $650.86, amounting to an annual savings of $7,810.32.
The board, minus absent members Mary Baskett and Steve Springer, unanimously approved both refresh proposals.
In Other News:
• The Fulton Boys Bowling team of Chase Keen, Jared Salzman, Tyler Mueller and Nathan Bassford made it to fourth place, and Bassford placed sixth individually. Carriel student Hannah Williams was also recognized for placing thirteenth individually.
The Fulton Girls Volleyball team was also celebrated for their second place finish in the SIJHSAA state tournament, the highest that the team has ever accomplished.
The board continued the celebrations by naming their teacher of the month, sponsored by the O’Fallon Fraternal Order of the Police. Physical Education teacher Sara Mudd teaches at both Evans and Schaefer elementary schools. She organizes annual field events, organizes the district’s Jump Rope for Heart event that has raised thousands of dollars, and, along with her colleagues, organizes the district’s annual Read and Run event. Mudd also “creates a positive, interactive learning environment every day in her physical education classes.”
Staff member of the month Lynn Hoffman, the secretary at Carriel Junior High, was unable to be present for the meeting due to family commitments, but board and administrative members are looking forward to celebrating her.
• The board approved a job description for a new HVAC/grounds and maintenance position. The goal is to have additional help taking care of the grounds and schools and a certified pair of hands to help the district’s existing HVAC technician.
• Also approved was the creation of a Behavioral Specialist position that will be housed at Moye. Superintendent Carrie Hruby explained that the specialist would be housed at Moye because it holds many of the district’s special needs programs. The specialist would work with teachers and students to coach them on behavioral plans to keep students on the best possible path. They would also travel to the other schools to observe and coach teachers on possible plans. The search criteria is broad to allow the board to meet with a wide variety of candidates and select the best possible person for the position.
• A district literacy coach position that is currently part-time was approved to be full-time. The position is funded by a Title I grant, and Hruby believes that along with a math coach and Director of Curriculum Jill Lyons will be important for continuity through the schools.
• The board discussed the possibility of adding electives at both the junior high and elementary levels. Technology and foreign language classes were discussed for junior high, while additional PE classes and technology or art were considered for elementary. The district’s budget will allow for the hiring of seven new teachers, and the board would prefer for any elective teachers to come out of that number. However, with the growth in the district, reducing class sizes is a very immediate priority. Two teachers are needed at Fulton for class size reduction, and the board would prefer to wait and see the numbers after July registration to know where the other five teachers are needed.
When the next budget comes around and the district has a better sense of how many classroom teachers are needed, the board will revisit the idea of additional electives.