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Balanced Budget for Cerro Gordo School District

The Cerro Gordo School Board meeting held September 21 began with Superintendent Brett Robinson announcing that the school’s budget is once again balanced. The estimated revenues (Rev) by fund and estimated expenses (Ex) by fund are as follows:
Education-$4,611,920 (Rev), $4,511,330 (Ex); Operations & Maintenance- $1,370,950 (Rev), $1,341,010 (Ex); Debt Service-$784,350 (Rev), $784,350 (Rev), $785,060; Transportation-$643,530 (Rev), $538,490 (Ex); Municipal Retirement/Social Security-$49,770 (Rev), $121,390 (Ex); Capital Projects-$136,730 (Rev), $243,000 (Ex); Working Cash-$42,370 (Rev), $0 (Ex); Tort-$199,020 (Rev), $223,110 (Ex); Fire Prevention & Safety-$42,370 (Rev), $40,000 (Ex). The budget was later approved in the meeting.

During the public participation, JH/HS principal Brandon Willard introduced the Students of the Month: Clark Voss, 6th grade; Knox Shackleford, 7th grade; Jillian Durbin, 8th grade; Tyler Barnes, High School.

After returning from executive session, the Board accepted the resignations of elementary school cook Jessica Kretsinger and the BAS coordinator Ashley Spent.

The next action was to hire Allen Helms as the volunteer softball coach.

Since both principals needed to perform duties during the summer months of 2022, the Board approved additional pay for Jodi Neaveill and Brandon Willard.

During the principals’ reports, Brandon Willard read notes from elementary school principal Jodi Neaveill. The grade school had a wonderful start, incorporating monthly school-wide themes. Star Testing on Chromebooks has already taken place with 3rd and 5th graders having their own Chromebooks. The Day of Awesomeness was a hit with all involved.

Turning to the JH/HS report, Cerro Gordo HS has won the first two rounds of MIX 94.5 radio station’s School Spirit Showdown. Principal Willard encouraged all to vote for round 3. Academically the goal for this school year is to see grades improved in both the junior high and high schools. Students are able to receive help from 1-2 teachers every Wednesday after school with the Study Table program. Comparing the amount of failing classes this year at this time with last year, the high school had 8% classes failed in 2021 with less than 1% this fall. Junior High had 7% last year with 3% this year. Principal Willard has also created a Principal Advisory Committee from the high school and also from the junior high school populations.

History teacher Jared Schonert has created a group of students who are learning about governmental processes. These students will be assisting the local election judges in the upcoming election.

A collaborative project by Dr. Gilpin and Mrs. Lovin gave students from JH/HS the chance to work with each other. Ag teacher Megan Meade took 14 Ag students to Sullivan to a horse judging competition. Cerro Gordo placed 2nd out of 11 teams. Several students also placed individually. In the coming weeks, Mr. Willard will be attending meetings to work on Emergency and Reunification plans.

The superintendent’s report included an announcement of a $5750 FFA donation from Lauren Redmon with Piatt County Farm Service, a fire alarm inspection, and increased hours for the district nurse. NEAT Landscapes completed a grounds enhancement, and Dunker Electric will be improving the lights in the HS gym. ISBE found CG to be compliant.

During the New Business portion of the meeting, the board will maintain their relationship with Egyptian Trust for the district health insurance, as Egyptian Trust negotiates with companies for potentially better rates and coverage.

Then, discussion about improving the HVAC system of the 1929 building led to an approval to contract with BLDD architects to collect designs and bids for this possible project.

The last item on the agenda found Principal Willard recommending revisions to the JH/HS student handbooks relative to Chromebooks and the social suspension policy. The Board approved the more efficient dispensing and collecting of the Chromebooks each year to increase student responsibility as well as reduce damage and loss of equipment. Pertaining to the social suspension policy, changes were approved to follow what has been practiced during the school year 21-22 rather than the language in the current handbook. The meeting was then adjourned.

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