Kim Purvis was elected as the new board president during the school board’s April meeting, replacing James Melton who decided to step down, but will remain on the board. In a surprising announcement, 6-12 Campus Principal Keith Stewart submitted his resignation following the board’s executive session. Stewart announced that he had accepted the principal position at Riverdale High School beginning this summer. See additional story here.
The board elected new officers to serve for the next year: Kim Purvis-President, Chad Abell-Vice President, Tya Boucher-Secretary, Jeannie Richmond-Recording Secretary and Treasurer. After the new officers were install the board agreed to move the monthly meetings to the fourth Wednesday of the month starting at 6:30. Previously the board’s meetings were held on the fourth Monday of the month.
New Board President Kim Purvis suggested combining some of the current board committees as several have overlapping interests. The board agreed to the following committees and assignments: EP Board of Control – Kim Purvis and James Melton (Chad Abell-alternate). Personnel and Finance- Whitney Mitchell DeWitte, Susan Gillespie, Stuart Malone. Curriculum and Policy- James Melton, Susan Gillespie, Chad Abell. Transportation, Buildings and Grounds- Chad Abell, Tya Boucher, Stuart Malone.
District Superintendent Dr. John Petzke announced that the Northwest Region of the Illinois Principals Association recently honored Angie Glassburn, a counselor at the PLT 6-12 campus, with a leadership award. Glassburn was unable to attend the meeting. Petzke said she was selected from among thirty-five candidates for the honor. “Angie is a former special education teacher and currently coordinates many of the intervention programs that are used with students on the campus,” said the superintendent. “She helped establish the Panther Pantry which provides clothing and other items for students in need. Angie is a tireless advocate for students and brings a positive impact and attitude to the campus.”
6-12 Campus – Derick Cox, Dean of Students and Athletic Director
Important Upcoming Dates: Prom- May 26, 8th Grade Promotion- May 29, High School Graduation- May 30 (graduation ceremonies will take place on the football field). Finals- Seniors May 13 & 14, all others May 19-24.
Baseball, softball, track and field are currently underway with no limit on fans.
Outstanding job done by the volleyball and football staffs to avoid any Covid shutdowns during the season.
The campus is also preparing for summer remediation courses.
TES- Jim Geer, Principal
Thank you to the TEA for providing snacks during the state testing.
Awesome job by Mrs. Miles who provided students with the opportunity to do roller skating during PE class. She was able to organize the event in such way that no equipment was shared. The event was sponsored by local businesses so there was no cost involved.
Both elementary buildings are looking into Summer reading and math programs to help close some of the learning gaps that have occurred due to Covid. Students that may benefit from the program are being contacted.
The monthly board policy agreement was presented by James Melton regarding the board speaking with “one voice”. Melton said that while board members are free to have their own opinions it is important that the members of the board speak with unanimity when discussing decisions made by the body.
Dr. Petzke presented information regarding a proposed nine cent increase to lunch prices beginning next school year. There will also be a lunch pickup program available to students this summer.
Board of Control
Board president Purvis lead a discussion about the status of the co-op and what direction the school board would like to pursue with it in the future.
She gave a brief history on the agreement saying that initially there were three goals: more competitive athletic teams, increased activity opportunities, shared academic opportunities. Purvis said the co-op has done well the first two goals but very little has been accomplished with academics saying very little sharing of students and staff has occurred since the establishment of the co-op. She spoke of small class sizes at the high school level, especially in advanced courses, and would like to see a contract put in place to deal with compensation if the two districts share academic resources. James Melton added, “It just makes sense that we could work together a little bit to solve the numbers issue and save both districts some money. It’s very frustrating and I think it’s the number one issue we need to get addressed with the co-op.” Dr. Petzke explained that Covid has created some grant opportunities to share classrooms via the Internet providing funding for cameras and microphones. He suggested technology may be an alternative to physically moving students and staff back and forth between campuses.
The board agreed to have their representatives on the co-op board of control bring up the topic of additional academic opportunities between the two districts at the next meeting.
Purvis also spoke about what she considers a lack of a 50% split on all athletics within the co-op including location and cost saying she feels there is an inequity especially with the boys’ varsity sports of football, wrestling, and track (all in Erie). She asked the board their feelings on pursuing some options especially with those sports. It was agreed that options should be researched by the co-op board of control. Purvis summed up the discussion by saying, “I get tired of being the poor neighbor. What I’m trying to get rid of is the conversations in the community that “Erie runs everything,” referring to the high school football and middle school football programs. Melton countered by saying “budget wise if we are talking about cutting our district expenses, I think it’s a hard ask to say let’s start paying for a middle school sport that we currently don’t have to put a dime into.” Melton spoke about his preference for academic spending saying, “If I have a choice, I’m going to pay for honors classes and not junior tackle football.” Melton also responded to Purvis’ comment about Erie saying, “It may be the perception that Erie has more control but it’s not like that. When I been to the board of control meetings and asked for something, nine times out of ten our request is approved.” Purvis did add that she has had two children go through the co-op and has never seen preferential treatment of student by a coach based on the school they attend.
Purvis asked Cox to investigate options for varsity football practice and the junior tackle football program to make them more fiscally and logistically equal.
There was also a brief discussion as to why the new gym at the 6-12 campus has never been fully converted to red and black colors with a Panther logo. Petzke admitted he had held up the purchase of the logo because he was not aware that the board had made the decision to paint the gym, which was discussed before he was hired. It was agreed that the project will move forward.
Dr. Petzke presented a brief summation of district enrollment for next year. He said it is becoming increasingly difficult to staff based on numbers of students, especially at the high school level where more diversification of classes takes place. Currently several teachers on the 6-12 campus teach both middle and high school courses. He will present additional information at the May meeting.
Approved changes to the district student handbook.
Approved the renewal of the IHSA co-op agreement.
Approved the purchase of a new truck for the district maintenance department at a cost of $28,538. The vehicle was purchased through a state contract.
Kyle Foster, Teacher
Marilyn Jacobs, Assistant Cook
Amanda Abell, Teacher Aide
Nancy Felt, Teacher Aide
Kylie Morgan, Teacher – TES 4th Grade
Kara Kullerstrand, PES Principal
The next meeting will held on Wednesday, May 26 at 6:30 PM.