Home Schools PLT#3 Discusses Internet Improvement, Holds Budget Hearing

PLT#3 Discusses Internet Improvement, Holds Budget Hearing

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Beyond a lengthy presentation and discussion of a new Return To School plan at their September 28th meeting the PLT#3 School Board also was given updates on the budget and other on-going projects in the district.

A budget hearing was held prior to the regular meeting in which Superintendent Dr. John Petzke presented the final version which will be filed with various agencies by the end of the month.

Petzke said COVID-19 added additional costs to the district budget but that some relief funds provided by the government have helped cover some of the costs. In putting together budget he said expenditures were over estimated and income was underestimated due to the pandemic. The submitted budget showed approximately $9.7 million in revenue and approximately $10.1 million in expenses. He told the board that he would apply extra due diligence to the budget as the year goes forward closely tracking funds.

There was no public comment on the budget and the board unanimously approved it.

In his monthly report to the board Petzke said he was perusing an update of the district’s internet system, which has seen connectivity problem with-in many of the district buildings for the past two years.

The Superintendent has worked out details of a new five year contract with E-rate, a government program that gives discounts on internet hardware and services to school districts based on need. PLT#3 should receive up to an eighty percent rebate on costs in the new contract. The main change will come in the form of increasing the district’s bandwidth. Petzke said he had seen very slow internet speeds in classrooms and is making increasing the speed a priority. Heartland Inc. will be doing the installation of the new equipment.

Petzke also shared the sixth day enrollment figures that are used by the state to determine a myriad of eligibilities for the district. He announced the district had 769 students in district buildings and 29 in outplace facilities.

Principals’ Reports

Justin Hovey – PES Thanked the Parents For Student group for the welcome back kits given to the students last month. He also thanked them for purchasing items from the staff’s wish list. Training for the new math curriculum will begin shortly.

Jim Geer- TES New interior doors are being installed. The National GEO Bee will not be held this year.

Keith Stewart – 6-12 Campus Principal Thanked everyone, especially the staff, for stepping up to the challenges this school year. Thanks for the new outdoor classroom, which was donated by several families and organizations. Stewart went on to say “Good things are happening in these adverse time”

Derick Cox – 6-12 Campus Dean/AD Two rounds of post season play have been approved by the IHSA for golf and cross country. The IHSA has also approved contact days for all sports not currently in season. Fulton High School has announced that they may want to leave the Three Rivers Conference.

Board Committee Reports

Finance – met to go over the final edition of the budget.

Facilities – met with the district architect and building and grounds supervisor Josh Mosher to begin discussions on various projects at district buildings.

Personnel- discussed sixth day enrollment numbers and staff training and recognition.

Board of Control – gave update on Co-op Agreement amendments.  See Co-op Story for details.

PLTTA Report- Chrissy Barton-Howard, Co-President Expressed thanks to the membership for all the hard work. The group also appreciated the positive feedback it has received during the start of the school year. A thank you was also given to the parent groups for their support of the teachers.

Board Action

Approved the renewal of the property and casualty insurance plan. The cost did slightly increase and the Superintendent said he would check with additional brokers next year for more quotes.

Approved the BOC amendment to the co-op agreement. Board member Kim Purvis said she felt the changes made to the agreement should address previous issues especially concerning hiring and dismissal of coaches. Board president James Melton suggested that one of the two board members that represents the district should be elected instead of appointed.

Executive Session Action

Volunteer Coaches — approval of the following volunteer coaches was given: Volleyball: Tara Johnson and Jenna Saad; Wrestling: Dylan DeShane, Gabe Friedrichsen, Jeremy Huizenga, Nick Wiliams; Boys Basketball: Carter Ames; Girls Basketball: Matt White, Karen Sommers-Buck and Brandon Howell; Boys Bowling: Chad Miner; Girls Bowling: Chad Miner; Softball: Brandon McCullough; and Baseball: Chad Miner, Jeff Wunderlich and Brandon Howell.

The next regular board meeting will be Monday, October 26 at 6:30 PM at the district office.

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