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CWC Board of Education learns results of feasibility study at November meeting

The Carmi-White County Unit 5 Board of Education met Monday night for their November meeting.

Paul Lumsford of Lumsford Architects addressed the board members about the results of the facilities feasibility study that was recently conducted. Major repair work to the buildings has been done with minor repairs still needed. Some school buildings will need to be replaced in the future. Also existing buildings need to have asbestos removed, seismic adjustments will have to be made in case of earthquakes and be made completely handicapped-accessible to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. This study will be used to help guide the district during future facility needs.

The board passed a resolution authorizing abatement of the bond levy for this year in the amount of $240,000. That’s what the district promised in order to pay down the existing bonds.

A preliminary review of next year’s tax levy was presented. It will be extended in the summer of 2018 and the district will spend the money during the 2018-19 school year, beginning July 1st, 2018. The levy is based on a projected equalization assessed value of about $143,000. The final projected total tax rate of 3.98% is lower than the 2016 rate of 4.07%. The levy is set for the December board meeting.

Dr. Amy Dixon gave an overview of the 2017-18 school improvement plans that are developed each year. She said the number of students categorized as homeless has risen slightly. Low-income student scores are up and attendance remains strong. Average test scores are slightly lower that the statewide average. The board approved the school improvement plan as well as the district improvement plan.

Concerning the strategic plan update, four directions and objectives were developed; student welfare, finance, school facilities and curriculum and instruction. They will continue to strive to provide a quality education for all students.

A resolution was approved endorsing and recognizing a Carmi-White County Schools Foundation. Board member Barb Mitchell has worked hard to develop this foundation which will be governed by a board of directors abiding under a set of bylaws and regulations.

In the superintendent’s report, Brad Lee said students, staff and community members brought in 35,000 pounds of canned goods to the Junior/Senior high school on Friday, November 3rd. They will be donated to the Tri-State Food Bank.

Students at the Washington school participated in a service project the week of November 6th leading up to veteran’s day. A Socks For Vets sock drive was held and 2,573 pairs of socks were collected and delivered to the V.A. Hospital in Marion.

And the White County Retired Teachers Association provided two $250 scholarships for teachers to use in their classrooms. They went to Adam Cross at the high school and Amber Ochs at Washington school.

The District received state payments from last month totalling $126,000. The state still owes $47,000.

In other business, the board accepted the low bid from Ray Yates Fire Extinguisher Sales and Service for servicing the fire extinguisher equipment and accepted Gina Sailer’s letter of retirement effective at the end of the 2021-22 school year.

In the closed session, the Board employed Janet Childers as a crossing guard at Lincoln school, reassigned Tina Norris as the Junior/Senior high school attendance secretary, and approved Jeremy Belford, Brandon Smith, and Levi Sisco as volunteer high school wrestling coaches.  Brad Lee was also approved as a high school volunteer assistant boys basketball coach.