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Superintendent Cheek creates a Communication Plan to increase communication within the community

Mrs. Strack’s Atwood-Hammond 1st-grade class led the Arthur CUSD #305 School Board in the Pledge of Allegiance last Wednesday night and Superintendent Shannon Cheek presented each one with a certificate as well. Pictured are Sierra Manson, Karissa Miller, Evyn Hopkins, Emily Stodden, Cooper Fleming, Maelee Stirrett, Fynn Molby, Gabe Stanback, and Principal Chris Forman behind them. Not pictured were class members Gunner Atterberry, Kynnslee Campbell, Baillie Endres, Keaten Janowski, Jerome Schrock, and Dorothy Vandeventer.

Staff Writer

A group of very energetic and bright first graders helped open the most recent Arthur CUSD #305 School Board meeting held at the Atwood-Hammond Grade School Wednesday, October 18.

They lead the Pledge of Allegiance before the meeting began. Some of their parents were also in attendance and they all received a room full of applause after it was finished. The snacks that Principal Forman provided for them afterwards were definitely earned by the first graders.

During the meeting, Superintendent Shannon Cheek touched on his goals of trying to communicate better with everyone in the surrounding communities of the school district. He wants to open doors to communication as he would like to take a chance at possibly trying to submit another referendum to help with upgrades in the schools since the last one failed to pass. Cheek feels that with better communication perhaps it would allow everyone to be more informed of why these upgrades are important for our school district.

Cheek has started a podcast with the help of the students in the high school Broadcasting class. He plans to record the first episode on October 19. The name of the Podcast is called the “ToKnight Show.” The Broadcasting class helped design the logo and come up with the show’s name, add the music, brainstorm topics, and will assist with the recording. Cheek hopes that the podcast will help engage both students and the community, so everyone is aware of what is going on within the school district.

Also, to achieve his goal of creating a communication plan, Cheek has developed a timeline for creating another referendum:

October: December : BLDD work with staff at high school – develop 2-4 options and gather an engagement team.

January: March: Engagement team hosts a series of open houses.

April: Input from engagement team/program analyzed and final preferred option is developed. Also do research for a public opinion.

May: Round 2 of engagement gathering input on the final option.

June: Final revisions made – engagement team presents to BOE.

June – August: Potential passing of resolution to place proposal on ballot.

August – November: Informational communications.

Other items that were discussed/approved were:

•An intergovernmental agreement with the Douglas County Health Department was approved.

•The Risk Management Plan was approved.

•An MOU related to the Athletic Director position was approved.

•It was approved to move the March Board of Education meeting date from March 20 to March 13.

•The Health Aide Job Description was approved. Both Superintendent Cheek and school nurse Sarah Reed worked together to create a new one.

•It was approved to seek bids for the bathroom renovations at AGS and LGS. There is a plan to bring some bids into the next board meeting in November.

•It was approved to apply for a matching Maintenance Grant through ISBE. There is a $50,000 grant that could go towards making the renovations in the restrooms at AGS and LGS.

•Dr. Stephen Webb will be holding a presentation about “Keeping Our Kids Safe,” on Thursday, November 2 at 6:00 pm in the gym. He has been recognized nationally as an expert in school safety and is currently a sitting Superintendent and a deputy of police department. Cheek has extended the invitation to both Arcola and Tuscola. “He is a straight-shooter and a no-nonsense kind of guy,” described Cheek. Everyone is welcome to attend as Cheek hopes to fill the gym.

Cheek mentioned some “celebrations” for this month. October is Principal’s month. “We have four of the best!” said Cheek. He also spoke about the IASB Recognition for the board. Cheek also thanked everyone who was responsible for all the work that went into planning and organizing Homecoming.

Donations were received this past month included:

• MasterBrand – approximately $3500.00 – fresh fruit weekly

• Bibby Appleby – $1500.00 to Atwood-Hammond Grade School to pay off past-due lunch balances

• I-57 Roofing – $500.00 Arthur Grade School supplies

• MasterBrand – $225.00 for Arthur Grade School supplies

• Edward Jones – $200.00 for Arthur Grade School supplies

Treasurer’s report included balances:

•Education fund $2,844,405.56, building fund $105,349.62, and transportation fund $579,687.39

Personnel Report
October 18, 2023


• Approved Jessika Garza as a pre-k aide at AGS

Extra Curricular

• Approved Amy Tighe as the concessions manager at LGS

• Approved Spencer Kirby as the HS Baseball Assistant Coach

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