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October Board of Education meeting held at Cerro Gordo CUSD

Staff Writer

The Cerro Gordo School Board meeting met in the auditorium on October 19, 2022. Having no public participation nor any correspondence, Principal Willard introduced the Students of the Month for October: Bailey Funkhauser, 6th grade; Alex Looper, 7th grade; Rylan Petty, 8th grade; Sondra Sterling, HS. After offering congratulations and praise to these students and after a short executive session, the board approved to employ Trudy Vest as Special Education Classroom Aide.

Elementary Principal Jodi Neaveill began the administrative reports. The Leadership Committee, consisting of Amanda Roberts, Sara Looper, Amy Winchester, Courtney Kerley, Andrew Buhr and Jodi Neaveill, has met monthly. Kindergarten teachers Jenny Taylor and Kelly Martina will be measuring 14 domains regarding their students. Field trips in October have included K-1 going to a pumpkin patch in Mt. Zion, Life Skills class to a pumpkin patch in Warrensburg and 3rd grade going to the Lincoln Museum in Springfield. On October 20, the district will practice earthquake, fire and evacuation drills. All safety departments will be present to review our procedures. The Macon-Piatt ROE conducted their annual compliance visitation October 5th.The staff completed mandated training online. The flu shot was offered to staff Oct. 4th. In order to fulfill requirement for Erin’s Law, Growing Strong presented to elementary classes Sept. 27-28. Red Ribbon Week will be recognized Oct. 24-28. Staff will receive AED/CPR training Nov. 11. Mandi Isaac, Amy Davis, Shelley Frye and Jodi Neaveill attended a CPI refresher, where staff is taught how to handle or transport students safely. Nurses Megan Durbin and Jill Dodson worked diligently to make sure all Pre-K and K students completed their physicals and immunizations. Parent-Teacher Conferences were held Sept. 29 and Oct. 6. The district provided meals for staff during both sessions. The Scholastic Book Fair, run by Victoria Herrmann, raised $5351.35. This money was used to purchase book for students to keep. Fannie May sale netted $5,962. This sale will pay for a Sleeping Beauty performance in the auditorium Oct 26. PTO raised $6000 from the fall fundraiser. These funds will be used for both indoor and outdoor recess items. The district is also planning the Veterans’ Day assembly for Nov. 11. The Day of Awareness will be held Monday, Oct. 24, after being postponed twice because of weather. All elementary and junior high students will participate.

Jr. High and High School Principal Brandon Willard introduced his report with the update on the goal of reducing failing grades in both schools. Comparing the students’ grades at the end of the quarter last year to the same students at the end of quarter this year revealed that the 7th grade core classes failed fell from 10% to 2%; 9th grade, from 2% to less than .1%; 10th grade, from 2% to .1%; 11th grade, from 5% to less than .1%; 12th grade, from 12% to .1%. Mrs. Lovin and Mr. Jacobs have developed a tutoring program with the junior high Student Council working with the elementary students. The Leadership Team has met several times and has focused on developing a more comprehensive RTI program. Reviewing data allowed the team to compose a list of students needing help. Mr. Ridgeway then has devised interventions for these students, which will start next week. The Leadership Team members are Justin Quick, Rhonda Lovin, Jennifer Thomas, Jason Jacobs, Charlene Rose, Vicky Gilpin, Diann Durbin, Cindy Marmor, and Chris Ridgeway. On Sept. 30, 25 junior high students helped the Brethren Church with their community fundraiser. After carrying many boxes and setting up the tables, the students were rewarded with a pizza party from the church members. The Principal Advisory Council made up of students implemented their first project. The students gave staff members cards and sang for them for their birthdays. After volleyball is over, a student versus staff game will be scheduled collecting cans for the food pantry. Drug Testing has resumed with the great news that all students selected passed. On Oct. 3, Mr. Willard and Mr. Robinson attended a Title IX training. The Trauma Response Team met twice and is reviewing the procedures in order to recommend any improvements.

In the area of extracurriculars, Cerro Gordo hosts the HS volleyball regional this year starting Monday, Oct. 24. The Homecoming Bonfire, Parade and Dance were successes. Bement sent their students to the CG parade. Cerro Gordo will reciprocate this Friday for Bement’s homecoming parade.

Diann Durbin has been named as Athletic Director, and even though she was quickly handed the position, she has been doing a great job. Wil Pritchard, the band director, has also added traveling to Bement to work with their band. He has done a great job bringing both bands together. New weights, mostly free weights, have upgraded the weight room.

District health insurance was the first topic discussed by Mr. Robinson in the superintendent’s report. Sarah Aten and Frankie Martin have investigated some alternatives for the current carrier. Mr. Robinson stated that the company has served the staff well these last 15 years. Frankie Martin added, “They have held strong to their word to keep costs low and still provide good coverage.” Staying with Egyptian Trust right now is the plan.

The Building and Grounds have seen many changes. The parge coating will make the southeast corner of the old building more uniform. Installation of handrails in the auditorium is a small but necessary improvement. The north outside steps are now completed with the exception of the hand rails, which should be installed in the next 2 weeks at the latest. The sound system at the football field has be updated, and the one in the HS gym will be worked on soon. Lighting fixtures in both gyms have been upgraded to be closer to the ceiling and to provide brighter light. An adaptive seat swing has been installed at the elementary playground. A recent inspection indicated that the old JH building is able to accept a 4-pipe heating and cooling system. Acoustic panels in the junior high gym have been repaired. Windows, caulking and insulated frames have been replaced where needed. The sales tax income increased in both Piatt and Macon counties. Mr. Robinson attended a meeting to discuss a plan to relocate students to another town in the event of an emergency. Several motions were approved: the permit to sell or dispose of district personal property, snow removal contract with Walker’s Lawn and Landscape; a contract with

Inter-State Studios for school photography, and the pursuit of a new district truck. Debbie Greenwood will serve as the delegate at the school board convention. Board member Karen Freese was recognized as an Established Board Member by the ISBE. The meeting was then adjourned.


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