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Carmi-White County Unit #5 School Board Met Monday Night

The Carmi White County Unit 5 School Board’s regular monthly meeting was held last night on Google Meets due to COVID-19 concerns.

David Kelly Ackerman repeated the Official Oath as a newly appointed board member.  He is filling the vacated board member position until the next school board election in April 2021.  Ackerman was appointed by the board at last month’s meeting.

The 2020 tax levy was adopted, totaling $6,260,280.  The final projected tax rate of 3.813 is lower than the 3.836 from last year.

The board accepted the Bushue Human Resources’ insurance recommendations of Berkley Casualty for annual worker’s compensation insurance coverage at a total premium of $138,753.  The anniversary date for coverage is January 1.  This is an increase of $32,940, which is 31.13% higher than the expiring premium.

The board also adopted a resolution to prohibit sexual harassment as recommended by the Illinois Association of School Boards, or IASB.

In the Superintendent’s Report, Brad Lee said Unit 5 has received four grants for the district.  Lincoln Attendance Center won a grant through Vibracoustics in Carmi worth $26,708 so Lincoln can purchase and install a new fence around the grassy playground and build a new pavilion for a new outdoor classroom; Lincoln School will also get a $1,000 CATCH grant with help from the Egyptian Health Department to purchase a new hand-held electronic sprayer and disinfectant; the cafeterias at both Lincoln and Jefferson Schools were awarded the Southern Illinois Healthcare School Lunch Rocks grant worth about $1,000 to buy a Kitchenaid Stand Mixer for the kitchen at Lincoln School and a 50 inch Smart TV with a mount for the cafeteria; and Jefferson was awarded a Wal-Mart Community Grant for $1,000 to be used for a handheld electronic sprayer and disinfectant.

Lee noted that of December 4th, they had 1,319 students in attendance at their five buildings.  Of those, 1,113, or 84% received face-to-face learning and 206, or the remaining 16 % received remote learning.

He reminded everyone that school will be closed from Monday, December 21 to Friday, January 1, 2021 for Christmas vacation.  Students and staff will return to school on Monday, January 4th.

And building administrators provided updates and good news of their respective schools.

The district received $683,728 in revenue in November, which includes $52,394 from the 1% sales tax.

In other business, eleven board policy changes and one board policy without changes were approved; the retirement request by Craig Winter at the end of the 2024-2025 school year and the resignation of Mike Zaranti as the 5th grade girls basketball coach effective immediately were both accepted; and the board accepted $100 in donations to the Brownsville School.

The board went into closed session at 7:41 PM to discuss personnel and the review of Closed Session Minutes and Audio Tapes.

During the closed session, Shalene Walker was employed as a Part-Time Building Custodian at Brownsville Attendance Center for the 2020-2021 school year to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Michael Flechs.

The Board voted unanimously to increase the salaries of the Unit Office Staff and Director of Maintenance and in favor of a 2% increase in the salaries of Amy Atteberry, Washington Attendance Center Principal, Dr. Amy Dixon, Lincoln and Jefferson Attendance Centers Principal, Bart King, Junior High School Principal, Jarrod Newell, High School Principal, and Kathy Price, Brownsville Attendance Center Principal.

The Board also voted unanimously that the written closed session minutes dated June 15, 2020 through November 16, 2020 remain closed and audiotapes of regular and/or special closed session board meetings from January 22, 2019 through June 25,2019 be destroyed in accordance with the Local Records Act.

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