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Bement School Board Discusses Upcoming Projects

Staff Writer

Scott Burge, representing the Farnsworth Group, spoke to the board at their last meeting about several projects the board is considering. The first project involves bids on the chimney’s masonry work. An original bid was rejected, and new bids should be ready for review by the board at their next meeting.

Since the January meeting, there has been damage to pipes located in the attic area over the small gym, causing leakage to both the original plaster ceiling, as well as the drop ceiling. A pipe in the far south-east corner of the attic had burst and went undetected for 7-10 days, saturating the area. According to Superintendent Mary Voyt, “every time the boiler kicked on, steam was released into the attic”. Once the leak was discovered, it was recommended testing be done for asbestos and mold. These tests were completed in early February. No mold spores were detected in the air and no additional asbestos was found beyond the “known” asbestos from wrapped pipes.

By utilizing their architect, an amendment can be made to the district’s Health, Life, and Safety Plan to use those funds to cover the cost of the deductible. As of now, there is no completion date for the small gym, and it will be out of commission until all of the work is completed.

Scott also presented the board with options to consider on the AC project for the Walsh gymnasium. This has been an ongoing conversation between the board and the Farnsworth Group. At the meeting, board members were able to review the two options and ask questions. The next step involves taking bids and bringing the numbers to the board. Once a bid has been approved, the construction company will order the unit/units necessary. The lead time on AC units of this size can be as early as three months or as long as six months with many variables affecting these times.

Once the units are in, the actual on-site construction time is approximately one to two months. The construction company would try to complete the project in the summer months to prevent downtime during the school year. Most likely, the completion date will not be until 2025.

Informational Items:

Friday, March 1: SIP Noon Dismissal

Monday, March 4: No School, Pulaski Day

Friday, March 8: End of 3rd Quarter

Reports to the board:

Middle/High School principal’s report:

Enrollment: Middle School 67 (up 2 since August), High School 92 (up 2 since August).

The High School Student Council sponsored a school and community blood drive on February 16 from 9 to noon in the Walsh Gym. 31 participants signed up.

Middle/High School students have taken the 5 Essentials Survey. This survey, prepared by the Illinois State Board of Education, helps school districts identify areas of strength and those areas that need support. 8th, 10th, and 12th grade students took the Illinois Youth Survey. This survey helps us, and Piatt County Mental Health Center identify areas of concern and programming needed to support our students. All Piatt County Schools are taking the survey this year. Students will take the CTC survey. This helps our local EFE identify programming needs that will support our students taking CTC courses. Parents will also be invited to take this survey.

8th grade students participated in the KidWind Project challenge at Heartland Community College on February 14. The students built a model wind turbine in groups of 5. Their models were judged on power and design. After the contest, students had the opportunity to tour their new Electric Vehicle Lab and participate in a solar panel challenge in their new lab space. The kids placed 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place in the challenge and qualified for Nationals to be held in March in Minneapolis.


March 2: IHSA S/E contest @ Central A & M

March 5: Substance Abuse Assembly (HS) with CG & Deland, sponsored by Marissa’s Hope

March 8: MS Dance (here) 7-9

Elementary School  Principal/AD Report:

Enrollment: PK-5 (136 students)

March 18-22: IAR Testing

March 27: Early Dismissal at 12-Reunification Drill

March 28-April 1: Spring Break

April 11: ISA Testing (5th Grade)

Pre-K & Kindergarten Screening Date: TBD

PTO reached the swing set goal-Spring installation

AIMS web Programs for ELA & Math

Students in grades 2-5 will participate in a program that is called WIN (what I need). This program will be a 35-minute time where two grade levels team up to provide three levels of instruction: on level, comprehensive, and intensive. Students will meet in groups based on data we receive during our benchmark assessments. On-level groups will work on extension activities while comprehensive and intensive groups will work on building skills needed to help close any learning gaps. Both classroom teachers and the interventionist will have a group and provide instruction at the appropriate level. These groups will change throughout the year as we gather data and observations (Tier II intervention).

Students in Kindergarten and 1st grade, as well as students in grades 2-5 that are in need of additional support beyond WIN time, will participate in the PAL (Progressing to Achieve Learning goals) program. These students will see the interventionist for 15-25 minutes a day, 3-5 days a week to work on specifically targeted skills that best meet their needs. (Tier III intervention).

Superintendents Report:

FOIA Requests, Surplus Items, Food Bid RFP Update, Technology Service Intergovernmental Agreement

•The board approved the motion to accept the resignation of Connor Gross, the middle school boys’ baseball coach.

•The board approved to accept the resignation of Brook Franz as the middle school girls’ cheerleading coach.

•The board approved the hiring of Amber Goebel as the middle school ELA teacher starting February 26, 2024.

•The board approved the hiring of Stephanie Leinard as a K-12 Technology/Business teacher starting in the 2024-2025 school year.

•The board approved the surplus items as presented.

•The board approved to retain the Technology Service Intergovernmental Agreement with Monticello CUSD #25 as presented.

The next Board of Education meeting is set for March 13.

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