PLT Board Celebrates School Report Card

Elementary Christmas program dates and times, the athletic discipline policy, and the proposed tax levy were among the topics discussed.
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The PLT #3 School Board received good news from District Superintendent, Heidi Lensing during its November meeting regarding the district’s performance as determined by the annual Illinois State Board of Education’s School Report Card.

Superintendent Lensing gave a summary of the recently released report for the district. “We have a lot to celebrate throughout the district after seeing this report,” said Lensing. The PLT Middle School received an Exemplary Rating (top10% of all Illinois schools) with Prophetstown Elementary, Tampico Elementary and the Prophetstown High School receiving a commendable rating. (second highest rating possible)

The ratings are based on a combination of student growth and proficiency. Lensing explained the multiple factors that are involved in determining ratings. She also spoke separately of the high school SAT scores from the test taken by this year’s seniors in March of 2022 as juniors. On the English and Language Arts portion of the test, PHS had 43.2% of the students meet or exceed the standards which was the best score among all area schools. On the math portion the school scored about average with other districts.

The complete Report Card can be seen here.

Administrator Reports

Kara Kullerstrand, Principal – PES

Details on the elementary Christmas programs were discussed. PES will hold their program on Tuesday, December 6 with one show at 2PM at the Prophetstown Elementary School the other at 6 PM will be held at the Prophetstown High School (old) gym to accommodate the larger crowd.

The school’s library has finally reopened after a lengthy remodel. See the Ribbon Cutting Here

Jim Geer, Principal – TES

The Tampico Elementary School Christmas program will be held on Thursday, December 15th at 6PM with Sean Sandrock directing the program.

Superintendent’s Report – Heidi Lensing

The maintenance project to correct a drainage issue on the southeast corner of the old high school gym is progressing.

The strategic planning committee recently met and is continuing their work towards a vision and mission statements.

In recognition of national school board day, Lensing thanked the school board members for taking time to serve the district.

Board Committee Reports

Personnel and Finance – met to discuss the tax levy, a possible restructuring of district office personnel, a buildings and grounds manager position, and a possible change in the school bus leasing structure.

Board of Control – Due to the high number of freshmen girls playing basketball, games are being added and the possibility of adding an assistant coach was discussed. A change in the athletic disciplinary policy was also discussed.

Complete Principals’ Reports

PLTTA Report

Informational Items

PHS Logo

6-12 Campus Principal Janet Barnhart said a recent discussion concerning the logo and colors of the Prophetstown High School graduation regalia once again brought up the question of adopting a single logo for the campus. She said last year the graduation class used orange and black as their official colors along with the Prophet logo. Athletic Director/Dean of Students, Derick Cox said that all athletic and extracurricular activities use the Panther logo and colors. Board member Stuart Malone said he felt the decision should be part of the strategic plan to be decided in the future. Board President Kim Purvis disagreed saying it is a decision that the school board needs to make, “and stop kicking the can down the road.” Board member James Melton suggested a survey be taken at the campus to discern the students’ preference. Melton added that he believes the district suffers from an “identity crisis”. No action was taken.

Athletic Discipline Policy

Athletic Director, Derick Cox updated the board on a recent meeting held to discuss differences between the Erie and PLT districts when it comes to amount of time athletes are suspended due to athletic code violations. A group made up of players, coaches and athletic directors recently discussed updating and aligning the policies. He added the group did a wonderful job working together. Each board will have the the opportunity to review and vote on the changes.

Tax Levy

The preliminary Tax Levy was made available to the board. Superintendent Lensing said at the suggestion of the auditor a slight decrease was made to the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund category and a slight increase to the Social Security/Medicare fund. The tax rate for the district will remain at approximately 4.39%. Lensing added that the EAV (Equalized Assessed Value) increased by 7% and so the district will be asking for an increase in the levy to capture that increase. There will be a truth in taxation hearing prior to the board meeting on December 14th at 5:45 PM. It is hoped that the auditors will be able to attend the December meeting to give a report on the most recent audit.

Library/Media Materials Policy

It was recently discovered that the district’s policy concerning library/media materials has not been updated for many years. District Librarian and Media Specialist Laura Crisp along with building administrators and the policy committee will discuss if any updates to the policy are needed before being brought back to the board for approval. Crisp added that a great deal of time is spent curating the collections in the district libraries and there is a continual cycle of adding and removing books.

District Office Restructuring

Superintendent Lensing is looking at various options for the staffing at the district office. It is possible the two full-time positions will be combined into one or possibly one and a half positions.

Pay For Event Workers

Athletic Director, Derick Cox told the board there has been no increase in pay for workers doing extracurricular events for many years. The pay compared to area districts is extremely low. He will work on a new pay structure and bring it to the finance committee.

Action Items

Approved early graduation requests for five Prophetstown High School seniors.

Approved Superintendent goals.

Approved keeping executive session minutes from the last six months closed.

Accepted the resignation of Dance Coach Tara Gabriel.

No action was taken after Executive Session.

The next Board meeting will be held on Wednesday, December 14th with a truth in taxation hearing at 5:45 and the public portion of the regular meeting at 7:00PM.

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