Mahomet-Seymour Community Unit District No. 3 Board of Education met May 20.
Here is the minutes provided by the board:
1. Call to Order
The Regular Meeting was called to order by President Max McComb at 6:06 p.m.
2. Roll Call
Board members present for the roll call were Max McComb, Lori Larson, Ken Keefe, Colleen Schultz, Merle Giles, Dr. Jeremy Henrichs and Meghan Hennesy. Also present were Superintendent, Dr. Lindsey Hall, Board Recorder, Jennifer Farm, High School Principal Shannon Cheek, Assistant Principal Chad Benedict and via teleconference Attorney Sally Scott with Franczek.
3. Student Disciplinary Case Update
McComb stated it was necessary to go into Closed Session for the purpose of discussing: 1.) Student disciplinary cases. 2.) Litigation, when an action against, affecting or on behalf of the particular public body has been filed and is pending before a court or administrative tribunal, or when the public body finds that an action is probable or imminent, in which case the basis for the finding shall be recorded and entered into the minutes of the closed meeting.
Motion was made by Larson, seconded by Hennesy, at 6:07 p.m. to go into closed session for the purposes stated by McComb. The motion was approved by “yes” vote, 7-0. Motion carried.
Motion was made by Schultz, seconded by Giles, at 6:35 p.m. to return to open session. The motion was approved, 7-0. Motion carried.
With no further business to come before the Board, the meeting was adjourned by consensus at 6:35 p.m.
7:00 Regular Board Meeting – Open Session
1. Call to order
The Regular Board Meeting was called to order by President Max McComb at 7:00 p.m. He welcomed all present to the meeting.
2. Roll Call
Board members present for the roll call were Max McComb, Lori Larson, Ken Keefe, Colleen Schultz, Merle Giles, Dr. Jeremy Henrichs and Meghan Hennesy. Also present were Superintendent, Dr. Lindsey Hall and Board Recorder, Jennifer Farm.
3. Pledge of Allegiance
The Youth Leadership Club led the Pledge of Allegiance.
4. Approval of Agenda
Ken Keefe would like to add a discussion on long-term facilities planning to the agenda. President McComb asked if that could be added to the agenda in June. Mr. Keefe also asked if the approval of the Parent-Teacher Handbook could be moved to after the meal price increase in case the new fees are not approved. Dr. Hall said that the item can be moved, or an addendum to the handbook could be added later.
Motion was made by Henrichs, seconded by Larson, to approve the agenda as presented. The motion passed.
McComb reviewed the visitor guidelines and called for any public participation forms.
5. Consent Agenda Items
McComb asked the Board if they would like to see any changes to the consent agenda.
Meghan Hennesy would like to remove Minutes, Personnel Changes, Records Management and Surplus items to be acted on separately.
Minutes for the April 1, 2019 Study Session – Open & Closed Sessions
Minutes for the April 10, 2019 Special Board Meeting – Open & Closed Sessions
Minutes for the April 15, 2019 Regular Board Meeting – Open and Closed Sessions
Minutes for the April 30, 2019 Re-Organizational Meeting – Open Session
Bills as presented
Treasurer’s Report as presented
Personnel Changes as presented
Records Management for the destruction of the verbatim records of all closed meetings for October 2017. The written minutes of these meetings have been previously approved.
New High School Activity Fund Account – Strength & Agility Summer Camp
Surplus Item – Science Textbooks
Motion was made by Schultz, seconded by Keefe, to approve the Bills, Treasurer’s Report and New Activity fund on the consent agenda. Motion was approved by “yes” vote, 7-0. Motion carried.
Minutes– President McComb asked is there was a motion to approve the minutes. Motion was made by Henrichs and seconded by Larson. Discussion.
Ken Keefe said that the Open Meetings Act won’t allow us to approve the closed session minutes because the explanation on what was discussed is not substantial enough. Colleen Schultz read the Open Meetings Act requirements.
Colleen Shultz and Meghan Hennesy want to abstain from approving the minutes because they were not on the Board for those meetings.
Ken Keefe moved to table approving the minutes and Meghan Hennesy seconded. Motion carried. 7-0
Personnel Changes - Colleen Schultz moved to pull three new hires that will be approved as new business. Meghan Hennesy seconded. Motion carried. 7-0
Records Management - Meghan Hennesy moved to table this item and Ken Keefe seconded. Meghan Hennesy wants to do records clean up because there are errors in the closed minutes. She also feels there is no reason to destroy them. Motion passed 7-0
Surplus Items - The Board moved this item to 9.B.13 so they take action after action is taken on the new science textbooks. Dr. Rummel introduced Kelsey Nunes as the new English Teacher at the High School.
Christine Northrup introduced; Caroline Hopper and Samantha Saban both Special Education Teachers at the Jr. High. She also introduced Rachel Simmons the new Social Worker at the High School.
Superintendent Hall read the donation list:
Winderson’s Creations: ATLAS Program, Cash, $60.00
Matthew and Jennifer Walker: ATLAS Program, Cash, $50.00
7. Communications from PTO, MSEA, Foundation, Visitors and Board Commendations PTO – None
MSEA - None
Foundation – Thursday night the Foundation will award scholarships to seniors. The Bulldog Bash is set for May 8th next year. Graduation is Friday and members of the Foundation will serve cake following the graduation ceremony.
Visitors – None
Mr. Keefe – no report
Mrs. Larson – Congratulated the Math Team for placing first at state.
Mrs. Schultz – no report
Mrs. Hennesy – Sending good vibes to teachers and staff. “Thank you for another good year of support to our kids.”
Dr. Henrichs – Thank you for another great year to teachers, staff and students. He enjoyed the 7th and 8th Band and Chorus tribute to Queen.
Mr. Giles – “It is spectacular that the Jr. High Jazz Band had the opportunity to visit the Capital General Assembly.”
Mr. McComb – The Math Team winning state is spectacular. Congratulations to the Boys Track Team for winning their third sectional in a row. The District is losing a long-term friend and key Administrator. The Board appreciates Shannon’s leadership at the High School and we thank him for helping to make the District so successful.
Financial Update: Trent Nuxoll: Chief School Business Official, Trent Nuxoll, provided a financial update to the Board. Property tax bills from the Champaign County Clerk’s Office have not been sent out yet, so the District is not receiving those funds as of today. The tax bills are usually send out May 1st. The Champaign County Clerk’s Office said that they were waiting on a multiplier, and that is why the bills were not sent out on time. The majority of District funding comes from property tax. The most recent update is that the bills will be sent out on May 28, according to News-Gazette. The impact of this is approximately 8.9 million dollars. If the District does not receive these funds, we will not be able to make June payroll. The District will need to issue Tax Anticipation Warrants to cover payroll and expenditures until the property tax funds are received. Tax Anticipation Warrants are low interest loans that will be paid back as soon as property tax funds are received. Chapman and Cutler will assist the District in this process.
Mr. Giles – What was the multiplier that they were waiting on? Mr. Nuxoll said the multiplier ended up being the same as previous years (1.00).
Mrs. Schultz – Is the plan to not miss any payroll? Mr. Nuxoll said that is the plan. With the information he provided (attached to these minutes) the District will not miss any payments.
Mrs. Hennesy – Can the District talk to banks about the July and August payments just to be prepared? Mr. Nuxoll said that he had already spoken with a local bank for the purpose of gathering information on the process.
Dr. Henrichs – What do you think the cost to the District will be? Mr. Nuxoll said he is not sure at this point, but it should be low.
Mr. Keefe – Should the Board re-evaluate the number of days of cash on hand? Mr. Nuxoll said that can be done, but it will require some tough choices including (1) not adding teachers to lower classroom sizes and/or (2) increasing the historically low tax rate.
Mr. Nuxoll invited all board members to meet with him to look at past data.
Mr. Keefe asked why the District is over budget. Mr. Nuxoll said that the District had additional legal fees that were not expected. Final bills from Phase II were paid, and final bills from the roofing project came in later than anticipated.
Superintendent’s Report - Dr. Hall:
Congratulations to Matt Hensley—he was named the Division 5 Class 3A and 4A Athletic Director of the Year by the Illinois Athletic Directors Association. Mr. Hensley was honored at the annual state meeting of the IADA in early May.
Welcome to Dana Martin, James Heinold and members of the Youth Leadership Club. The program started in February when Mrs. Martin and Mr. Heinold saw a need for mentors and leaders. The club meets every Friday morning at 7:30 AM. The members in attendance introduced themselves and shared some of the things they did this year.
o 6th grade students helped mentor
o 5G Packs Joy
o Leadership connection between 5th grade and Jr. High
o Helped 4th graders with IAR testing – getting Chromebooks ready to test o Greeted students at drop off line with Mr. Starwalt
o Helped custodians and supervisors in the cafeteria
o Worked to include everyone on the playground
o Third party compliments
o Valentine’s Day Cards for all 5th grade students
o Lunch with COMPASS students o Pre-teach PE with Mr. Hearn
o 2nd Grade tours
Mr. McComb – Congratulations! This is an outstanding program.
Sonder is the literary magazine of Mahomet-Seymour High School. Kudos to the students and staff for their work in putting together this amazing publication featuring the original works of our students.
Bulldog Trails is taking shape on the NE corner of Middletown Prairie Elementary. This project, which has been created, planned and supervised by MSHS 11th grader Natalie Mitchell, is designed to be a nature walk for our students at MPE and serves as a community service project for Natalie’s involvement in FFA on a state level. On Wednesday, May 15th, a crew of volunteers from Interact Club, FFA and Farm Credit Illinois worked to plant trees. The next phase is to lay out a pathway through the area. We wish to thank Farm Credit Illinois, Mahomet Rotary Club, Interact, FFA, Justin Lamb and Sunset Landscaping and a host of other volunteers in making this happen.
9. Regular Business
9. A. Unfinished Business
9. B. New Business
9. B.1. Medicinal Cannabis Update:
Darcy Kriha with Kriha Law presented information to the Board on Ashley’s law.
Medical cannabis oil is only available by prescription. It contains tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). It is derived from the cannabis plant. Cannabidiol (CBD) Oil can be purchased over the counter. It is derived from marijuana or agricultural hemp. The use of medical cannabis by minors in Illinois is strictly regulated.
It can only be prescribed by a physician licensed to practice medicine in all its branches
Only medical cannabis oil may be prescribed to minors
The only routes of administration are topical and oral
Minors are not allowed to smoke or vape medical cannabis
Effective January 1, 2014 the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act began. It is scheduled to be repealed on July 1, 2020. This act contains provisions allowing use of medical cannabis in school. This was removed prior to the passage of the Act.
Darcy is honored to know Ashley and her parents. Ashley’s parents filed a friendly lawsuit against Schaumburg School District. The District was inclined to let Ashley come to school with a medical marijuana patch on her foot and have nurse store it. That was illegal at the time, and that is what led to Ashley’s law.
Codified in the Illinois School Code.
Schools are not subject to a loss of federal funding
Districts can decline if it is disruptive to the educational environment or if other students would be exposed to the medical cannabis
School personnel may not be required to administer
Parent/Guardian/Caregiver must bring the medical cannabis to school and administer it to their child
Students may not be disciplined or refused enrollment
Parent and student must have a registry ID card issued by Illinois Department of Public Health
School Board must adopt a policy
Ashley went from 200 seizures a day to zero on medical marijuana.
There are some proposed changes to Ashley’s Law.
Allow schools to store medical cannabis under lock and key
Allow school administrators and nurses to dispense
Allow self-administration by students under direct supervision of nurse or administrator
At school, school-related activities, before/after school and on a school bus
ISBE is to develop a training curriculum
Immunity from liability
Law is effective August 1, 2018. A summary follows:
Dr. Hall asked Mrs. Kriha if she recommends adopting the policy that was in PRESS. Mrs. Kriha said yes, that is her recommendation.
Meghan Hennesy asked if there would be any problems with adopting the PRESS policy now as opposed to waiting for new legislation. Any changes made to the legislation will be updated in PRESS and the Board will be able to take action again.
9.B.2. Approve Dustin Day as the Middletown Prairie Assistant Principal:
Ryan Martin shared that he is excited, pending Board approval, to introduce Dustin Day as the Assistant Principal at Middletown Prairie. Dustin has been working in the Danville School District for the past 14 years. He has taught Kindergarten and first grade for 7 years. He was a Data and Instructional Facilitator (RTI and Instructional Coach) for 5 years. He also has 2 years of administrative intern experience with all duties an Assistant Principal would have.
Dusty is happy to see his name on the agenda. Mahomet-Seymour has an amazing reputation and he is looking forward to serving the school and community.
Motion was made by Henrichs, and seconded by Hennesy to approve Dustin Day as the Assistant Principal at Middletown Prairie as presented. The motion was approved by “yes” vote, 7-0. Motion carried.
9.B.3. Approve Marissa Hill as the Coordinator of Student Services:
Dr. Hall shared that she is excited to recommend Marissa Hill to serve as the new Coordinator of Student Services. Marissa grew up in Tolono, Illinois. She earned her Bachelors of Science Degree in Special Education from UIUC in 2003 and two Education Master Degrees from UIUC – one as a Curriculum Adaptation Specialist in Special Education in 2009 and the other in Education Organization and Leadership in 2014. Marissa has held a variety of roles in the Department of Special Education in our District since she was hired in 2004. She was the Junior High Life Skills Teacher and created the Bulldog Buddy Program, has taught Kindergarten Special Education and spent the last year as our Instructional Coach for Special Education.
Currently Marissa lives in Tolono with her husband and two children – Knox (3) and Scarlett (1). She enjoys spending time with extended family, taking day trips to see and try new things with her children and continuing her own education as she is again taking some graduate level classes in pursuit of her Director of Special Education endorsement. Marissa is excited to begin work in her new position and continue to grow as an educator in the Mahomet-Seymour Schools.
Marissa thanked Dr. Hall for hiring her in 2004 and said she is looking forward to serving as the Coordinator of Student Services.
Colleen Schultz and Ken Keefe asked some questions and shared concerns about adding and Administrative Position without taking action at a Board Meeting. Ken and Colleen both commented that they have heard nothing but great things about Marissa. The Board also discussed the effect of this position on Administrative Salaries. That figure will still be lower than last year due to the retirement and resignation of long-term administrators.
Motion was made by Larson, and seconded by Henrichs to approve Marissa Hill as the Coordinator of Student Services as presented. The motion was approved by “yes” vote, 7-0. Motion carried.
9.B.4. Approve Chad Benedict as the High School Principal:
Dr. Hall shared that Chad Benedict moved to the top of the candidates during interviews. Mr. Benedict thanked Dr. Hall saying “it is an honor and privilege to lead such a fine school”. He also shared that he would not be where he is without having Mr. Cheek is his mentor. Also mentioned that Ryan Martin was his assistant coach, mentor and friend.
Ken Keefe shared that he had the opportunity to sit in on interviews. He thinks that Chad is the best choice for this position. Chad thanked family sharing that “the journey is not complete without them”.
Motion was made by Henrichs, and seconded by Schultz to approve Chad Benedict as the High School Principal as presented. The motion was approved by “yes” vote, 7-0. Motion carried.
9.B.5. Approval of Math Textbooks:
Dr. Rummel shared that the Discrete Math Books have been on display at the Mahomet Public Library. She is recommending this book for approval. Discrete Math will be another option for seniors other than AP or Honors Math. Elizabeth Schaffert researched this product. This book was chosen to meet District goals. Elizabeth Schaffert will spend some time this summer putting together the curriculum. The board asked questions about hard copy books versus e-books. Dr. Rummel shared that students prefer the e-books. Making hard copies of sections of the e-books is an option, as well as ordering some textbooks if the need arises. After further discussion, a roll call vote was taken.
Motion was made by Giles, and seconded by Henrichs to approve the Purchase of Math Textbooks as presented. The motion was approved by “yes” vote, 7-0. Motion carried.
9.B.6. Approval of Science Textbooks:
Dr. Rummel shared information on the textbooks recommended for next year. They have been available to the public at the Mahomet Public Library.
The Vertical Science Team is recommending the purchase of the following materials: -AP Campbell Biology in Focus, 2nd Ed. (hard copy).
-Hole’s Essentials of Human Anatomy & Physiology, High School Ed. (hard copy). -AP Chemistry Zumdahl, 10th Ed. (hard copy).
-HMH Dimensions for grades 6-8 (8 year e-book subscription).
-HMH Dimensions HS Biology, Chemistry, Physics & Earth Science (8 year e-book subscription).
Meghan Hennesy shared her concern with the amount of screen time students are getting with the e-books and workbooks and shared some research that she found. She also shared her concern on an 8 year subscription. Keen Keefe also shared some research and asked Dr. Henrichs his opinion. Dr. Henrichs shared that he has not studied the research enough to provide an opinion.
Dr. Rummel said that the e-book is not designed for less interaction in the classroom. What came up in discussion is the ability to think and reason and problem solve. Dr. Rummel shared that she looks at Ed Reports that is only one piece of data that is considered. This product will also provide continuity from the Jr. High and High School.
Lori Larson said that she respects the team’s decision on this product. After continued discussion, a roll call vote was taken.
Motion was made by Giles, and seconded by Henrichs to approve the Purchase of Science Textbooks as presented. The motion was approved by “yes” vote, 4-3. Motion carried.
9.B.7. Title 1 School Wide Waiver:
Dr. Rummel shared that this is an annual item. If the poverty rate between 20-40% a district can request a school wide waiver. Mahomet-Seymour is able to do that for Lincoln Trail and Middletown Prairie. The waiver allows the District to use Title 1 funds all students in the building, not just at-risk students. The Jr. High and High school Title 1 funds are targeted because the majority of Title 1 funds are used at the elementary level.
Colleen Schultz asked if Dr. Rummel could provide list of what Title 1 funds are used for. Dr. Rummel said she will provide that information.
Motion was made by Schultz, and seconded by Larson to approve the Title 1 School Wide Waiver as presented. The motion was approved by “yes” vote, 7-0. Motion carried.
The Board took a 5 minute recess. They resumed with item 9.B.11.
9.B.11.Approval of Food Service Management Contract
CSBO, Trent Nuxoll, informed the board that the District is required to bid out food service every year. The process started in February. Mr. Nuxoll was required to provide a bid package to a minimum of five companies. Three companies returned bids and Arbor Management was the low bid.
Three representatives from Arbor Management were in attendance. Jeff Krause is the Vice President of Sales, and he provided a background on Arbor Management. The company is based in Itasca IL. Christina is currently the Food Service Director in Morton. She said that this is a tremendous opportunity and they are planning for a smooth transition. The current Food Service Director from Aramark can decide to stay and Arbor Management will work with her. If she does not stay they will bring in a new manager. There will be an opening team onsite daily until a new Food Service Director is hired and approved by the Mahomet-Seymour Board and Arbor Management.
Motion was made by Giles, and seconded by Schultz to approve the Food Service Management Contract as presented. The motion was approved by “yes” vote, 7-0. Motion carried.
9.B.8. Jr. High Schedule Update:
Nathan Mills, Jr. High Principal provided information on changes at the Jr. High for next year.
Reasons for making changes:
Currently the students who take zero hour foreign language at the high school arrive about two minutes late every day.
students are about 2 minutes late every day.
During inclement weather when recess is inside, it causes some problems for PE classes.
Lunch periods should be co-ed for this age group.
Health taught during PE
Essentials daily schedule – 3 rosters
Special Education Flexibility
The day will start with a homeroom. Zero hour students might miss announcements, but they will no longer miss instructional time.
The lunch periods will mirror the schedule at the High School and they will be co-ed. This rotation will alleviate the need to share space with PE classes.
Health will be nine weeks in 7th and 8th grade
Change the essentials schedule to two rotations – Monday/Wednesday/Friday and Tuesday/Thursday
Special Education teachers will be assigned to Math or ELA classes
Para Professionals will be assigned to science and history
Students will have the option to take an essentials class
End the day with Bulldog Power Hour
Putting these changes in effect took a lot of work and cooperation from many people in the District.
Meghan Hennesy asked if there were any concerns about getting kids through the lunch line. Mr. Mills said it should be fine with the transition time.
9.B.9. Approve the 2019-2020 Parent-Student Handbook:
Dr. Hall explained that the handbook is updated annually. The administrative team makes recommendations and then it is taken to the Parent/Teacher Advisory Committee. The District attorney has also reviewed it. There is a summary and the full handbook.
Meghan Hennesy asked if changes were made to the acceptable use policy. Dr. Hall said that she thought the concerns with that policy were addressed through online registration. Meghan understood that there would be changes to the policy based on parent concerns. She would like to look into that and come back to it.
Motion was made by Larson, and seconded by Henrichs to approve the 2019-2020 Parent-Student Handbook as presented. The motion was approved by “yes” vote, 6-1. Motion carried.
9.B.10. Approval of Non-Certified Administrative IMRF and Administrator Contracts
Lindsey reviewed board bar and shared that the District will see savings of just under $5,000.
Ken Keefe asked what the benefits of multiyear contracts are. Dr. Hall said that relationships and stability in contracts. Ken has concerns about multi-year contracts sharing that single year salary is set and based on performance, but multi-year contracts are set for term of contract. President McComb said that multi-year contracts also help Trent Nuxoll budget. It is important to keep our Administrators. Multi-year contracts show that the District appreciates them. Multi-year contracts have been done the last 8 or 9 years. Ken also asked what determines if an Administrator gets a multi-year contract. Dr. Hall said if they have proven themselves as effective leaders.
Meghan Hennesy said that she would hesitate to move the current multi-year contracts to additional multi-year without being a part of this process. Meghan also asked about language in the contract that says the Board and the Superintendent evaluate administrators and that goals are reviewed with the Superintendent and Administrators. Dr. Hall said that she performs the evaluations and updates the Board on performance and goals. Colleen Schultz expressed concern that language in the contract is not being followed since it says administrators will meet with the Board.
After further discussion, President McComb said that Dr. Hall should have the language reviewed by the District Attorney to receive his interpretation.
Motion was made by Larson, and seconded by Giles to approve the Non-Certified Administrative IMRF and Administrator Contracts as presented. The motion was approved by “yes” vote, 4-3. Motion carried.
9.B.12. Approval of an Increase in Meal Prices
Mr. Nuxoll explained that if a public school district receives National School Lunch federal funds, the Healthy and Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 requires an annual review of public school meal prices through the Lunch Price Equity Tool. Each year, this tool results in a recommendation to increase the lunch price or make an accounting entry to absorb the loss. We have always chosen to absorb the loss. Since 2013, this loss has accumulated to $101,371. MS administration and the school board recognizes the sensitivity to increasing meal prices; however, breakfast and lunch pricing have not been increased since 2013, and MS pricing is well below the regional average. Therefore, an increase in breakfast and lunch prices has become necessary.
Motion was made by Hennesy, and seconded by Henrichs to approve the Increase in Paid Meal Prices as presented. The motion was approved by “yes” vote, 6-1. Motion carried.
Motion was made by Schultz, and seconded by Henrichs to approve the Surplus Science Textbooks as presented. The motion was approved by “yes” vote, 7-0. Motion Carried.
10. Closed Session
McComb stated it was necessary to go into Closed Session for the purpose of:
1.) Discussion of minutes of meetings lawfully closed under this Act, whether for purposes of approval by the body of the minutes or semi-annual review of the minutes as mandated by Section 2.06. 2.) The placement of individual students in special education programs and other matters relating to individual students. Ken Keefe asked to add Appointment, employment, compensation, discipline, performance, or dismissal of specific employees of the public body, including hearing testimony on a complaint lodged against an employee to determine its validity.
Motion was made by Henrichs, seconded by Larson, at 10:34 p.m. to go into closed session for the purposes stated by McComb. The motion was approved by “yes” vote, 5-0. Motion carried.
Motion was made by Henrichs, seconded by Larson, at 11:23 p.m. to return to open session. The motion was approved, 7-0. Motion carried.
Dr. Hall will send out a Doodle poll to determine availability for a special board meeting.
Dr. Hall asked how the Board would like to move forward with committees? Colleen Schultz shared that those meetings still constitute an open meeting according to the Open Meetings Act. Dr. Hall will ask our attorney about that.
Dr. Henrichs will stay on facilities committee.
Meghan Hennesy would like to add a behavior committee. She would also serve on the policy committee. Colleen Schultz would like to add a curriculum committee.
Ken Keefe will serve on the policy or facilities committee.
Merle Giles will serve on finance committee.
Lori Larson will serve on the behavior or policy committee.
With no further business to come before the Board, the meeting was adjourned by consensus at 11:33 p.m.