District receives $53,840 Emergency Connectivity Grant
By ARIANA R. CHERRY
“The track is not in good shape. It is beyond repair and beyond “sticking on bandaids on it,” Superintendent Cheek said at the most recent Arthur Board of Education meeting. Cheek informed the board that the district had two options in repairing the track. One option was to take down the track and do minor repair for the subsurface and then go back and resurface the track. That option would make the track last awhile. The most expensive option would be taking the subsection down and repouring the track which would cost double. A motion was passed to allow Cheek to seek bids for the repairing of the track.
Those who were in attendance at the meeting got to see a drone in flight. Agriculture teacher Mrs. Beckmier had a couple of her students (Brody Louden and Nova Shoemaker) give a drone demonstration. She stated that there are a lot of opportunities with drones for agriculture. Her class has been learning about drones through a program called 4H Drones in Agriculture through the University of Illinois. The class will get to use the drones for four weeks. At the end of the program, students will get to create an obstacle course and fly it. Mr. Smith has also been co-teaching the class.
The board approved using the program Super Eval for evaluation of the Administration Staff. “It will be a really good resource and it is a good value,” noted Cheek. The Superintendent Evaluation is $1,800 and it is $250 each for other administration evaluations.
Amanda Romine, Director of Student Services and Technology Director announced that the district will be receiving another Emergency Connectivity Grant in the amount of $53,840. They were a recipient of round one and now, will be a recipient of round three. The district will get 140 chromebooks and it will pay for hot spots when they are needed. Other grants received include an ISBE Digital Equity Grant in the amount of $4,000 and a grant to AHGS from the ALDI Smart Kids Program in the amount of $500 which will pay for snacks for the after-school program and during state assessments.
During the Superintendent Report, Cheek shared that an informational flier was sent to about 2,500-2,600 households. The fliers were sent to households who had voted in the last election. “There has been a good effort to get participation from the community. The survey closes January 20 and as of today, there were 262 completed surveys. I was hoping for more surveys to be completed, as it is not close to 10% of the surveys that were mailed out. The results of the survey will be posted on the website after the board meeting in February,” he stated.
Cheek informed the board that he has been working to bring community leaders together through the Community Leadership Forum. This would include mayors, village board reps, park district, police and fire department and librarians, etc. He has sent out an invite and a reminder. “I believe that it is important for all of the community leaders to sit around the table and talk about the challenges that they are faced with and talk about vision and how everyone can support each other for that vision,” he said. Cheek stated that the first meeting will be next week at the high school. “I am hoping to create some relationships in moving forward and help bring the community together as one unit,” he quoted. Cheek said he would report more after the meeting had taken place.
Cheek finished the meeting with a few celebrations. “Mr. Coleman is back and is on light desk duty. The three elementary principals are working together in ways that were unexpected and Mr. Foreman has been doing great his first year,” he said.