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Fieldcrest Board Meeting Summary

Monday, May 06, 2024 Posted by Superintendent David Johnson

The following is a summary of the Fieldcrest School Board meeting held on March 20, 2024.  Please note, these are informal notes from the board meeting to help keep the community and staff members informed of district happenings. If you would like to read the official agenda or other board documents, go to the following website.  Official minutes are not typically approved and published until the next board meeting. https://www.unit6.org/board_of_education/board_meeting_documents

  • Closed Session - The board entered into closed session at 6 pm to discuss personnel and collective bargaining.

  • Good New Reports

    • Eric Hall shared the work of several staff members that are in charge of special events happening at the middle school.  The first is "An Evening with the Knights" which is on Friday, May 3rd.  It includes a dine in or drive through dinner options, followed by a talent show to raise funds for St. Jude.  The second event is a College/Career/High School Fair that will bring in local businesses to showcase possible career opportunities, and colleges to expose students to the variety of possibilities that exist.  Representatives of high school sports and activities will also be present to help students in transition from middle school to high school.  

  • Public Comments - None

  • Board voted to approved:

    • Financial and Personnel items.
      The following staff members were hired for the 2024-25 school year.

      • Kaylee Golden- High School Guidance Counselor

      • Greg Peterson- Middle School - 8th Grade Boys Basketball

      • Eddie Harezlak - Middle School - Cross Country

The following staff members resigned as of the end of the 2023-24 school year:

  • Elizabeth Legner- High School - English
    - High School - Speech Team Coach, Be The Change
    Co-sponsor, Freshman Class Sponsor

  • Lynne Tarmann- Primary School - Asst. Cook

  • Jodi Timmerman- Primary School - Asst. Cook
    Note: Jodi will increase hours to be a full-time TA
    The following staff members will retire at the end of the 2027-28 school year:

  • Rusty Russell- High School Music

  • Arlene Peterson- High School Science

  • The 2023-24 school calendar was finalized which included amending the original calendar with 4 E-Learning days that were used in January.

  • The middle school was approved to be a member of the Illinois Elementary School Association (IESA) for the 2024-25 school year.

  • The senior class will be taking a trip to St. Louis.  The trip includes going to a Cardinals game as well as going to Slick City.  The trip is completely funded by the senior class with fundraising done over the last four years.

  • The Consolidated District Plan was approved for the 2024-25 school year.  This plan informs the IL State Board of Education of the district's plan for addressing Preschool Coordination, Student Achievement, College and Career Readiness, Professional Development for Staff, a Safe Learning Environment, use of Title Grants, and the needs of individual students.  It is an umbrella plan that will help guide more specific grants and programs for next year.

  • Administrator Reports:
    Superintendent - Dave Johnson

    • The board reviewed policy updates that were recommended by PRESS (a service that updates school policies based on laws and common practice).  The following issues are the main reasons for the policy changes:

  1. Bullying - Aligns to ISBE policy and requires parents be notified of bullying within 24 hours.

  2. Racism-Free Schools Law (RFSL) - This is a response to the increase in hate crimes.  It requires school personnel to report any expressed threats or behaviors that may represent a threat to the community, school, or self.  It also encourages parents/guardians to do the same.

  3. Title IX updates anticipated from the Federal government.  We have been waiting for updates of Title IX since 2021. Some policy titles and organization were completed in anticipation of these changes.  The actual changes in Title IX were released on April 19, 2024 and will more than likely cause more policy changes.  Title IX is the law that prohibits discrimination based on sex. 

  4. Mandated Staff Training will now fall into one of 8 categories:

    1. Health Conditions of Students

    2. Developing Cultural Competency

    3. Domestic & Sexual Violence and the Needs of Expectant & Parenting Youth

    4. Educator Ethics, Responding to Child Sexual Abuse & Grooming Behaviors

    5. Social-Emotional Learning

    6. Identifying Warning Signs of Mental Illness & Suicide Behavior in Youth

    7. Student Accommodations

    8. Violence Prevention and Conflict Resolution

  • 13 policies were reviewed by the board with no changes.  It is common practice to review policies every 5 years.

  • The district is current hiring for the following positions for the 2024-25 school year:

    • High School Special Education Teacher

    • High School Pathways Teachers

    • High School Spanish Teacher

    • Bus Driver

    • Various Extracurricular Coaches/SponsorsOpen positions will be posted to the district website.

  • The Facilities Committee will be meeting with the district architect on May 1st at 4 pm to discuss the Primary School air conditioning, long range plans, and the completion of flood prevention work at the high school.

  • A short presentation on AI (Artificial Intelligence) was shared with the board and how it can be used properly to help learning, but also can be used for cheating.

Curriculum Director - Cindi Koudelka

  • Curriculum Mapping Update

    • Cindi has been collaborating with teachers to document updated curriculum maps in Atlas Program

    • Timeline towards completion:

      • By the end of the year, the "scope and sequence" components (the units and standards that are taught) will be in place for all classes.

      • By August 2024, a Curriculum page will be created for the website that will include information about the scope and sequence of the classes.

      • By November 2024, all of Stage 1 (Desired Results) listing the specific skills, understandings, and essential questions for each unit will be completed.

      • By January 1, 2025 Stage 2 (Assessment Evidence) will be completed.

      • By May 2025 Stage 3 (The learning plan) that outlines general weekly goals, lessons, learning intentions, differentiation strategies, supplemental resources, and success criteria will be completed.

      • By August 2025 we will have a portal for parents to access and see maps

    • Working on a Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment Handbook that will outline the policies and procedures guiding our Curricular work.

  • ROE Compliance

    • We passed the Professional Development Audit which looked at how well we tracked the PD hours we provided to our teachers through August Academies, Institutes, Book Clubs, and PLC work

    • As part of the larger ROE Compliance, Curriculum was also reviewed, and we passed that area as well. Having the Curriculum maps in place within Atlas will make that process easier in the future.

  • Social Studies Review Team Recommendations

    • K - 2:  Continue to integrate Scholastic News with current SS topics. We will be creating maps that align with the updated state standards and are embedded within the existing scheduled blocks.

    • 3 - 5: 3rd and 4th grade will integrate Studies Weekly (similar to Scholastic News, but with a bit more rigor and digital access). 5th grade will continue with a textbook but need an updated book. (See the quotes below) For all grades, We are creating maps that align with the updated state standards and are embedded within the existing scheduled blocks

    • 6 - 12: The teams have reviewed several textbooks and selected McGraw Hill. (See the quote below). All of the books are replacing books that are over 25 years old.  We are revising existing maps to align with the updated standards. We will be offering two new electives at the High School; one about the American Presidency and Pop Culture throughout history and one tracing women's rights and advocacy.

K - 2 Scholastic News (5.63/student)


3 - 5 Studies Weekly (9.95/student)


5th Grade - 3 Class Sets of Textbooks, one year subscription to an "inquiry journal" (student workbook) for each student,and three 6-year digital teacher license

Waiting for the quote,

Estimate = 10,116

MS - 1 Class Set of Textbooks and one 6-year digital teacher license per book

HS - 2 Class Sets of Textbooks, one year subscription to an "inquiry journal" (student workbook) for each student,  and two 6-year digital teacher licenses per book

Exploring Geography and Global Issues  (Middle School)


Voices and Perspectives Middle School US History


High School United States History


High School World History


United States Government and Civic


Shipping and Handling (Estimate)




  • Family and Consumer Science Review Team Recommendations

    • Curriculum Maps are being updated using the National Family & Consumer Science Standards

    • Recommending new textbooks (from the same company) for Nutrition, Textiles, and Parenting. I am collaborating with the teacher to determine exactly what she needs and procuring quotes.

    • We have updated many resources and materials in the program over the last year through CIVEC (Perkins and CTEI) funding. Unfortunately, those grants do not allow textbook purchases. All of her books are over 25 years old.

  • Science Implementation Update

    • Carolyn Wargo is amazing, and she has done an absolutely fabulous job of implementing the STEM portion of the new science curriculum in K - 5. 

    • I am continuing to work with teachers to discuss building curriculum maps and collaborate with them to design the classroom portion. They have great ideas but need to have training and additional support to fully implement everything, so we have started a partnership with a Science education specialist, Jeff Spencer from the ROE to help us develop those curriculum maps and practices.

    • The Middle School is working on implementing the new curriculum while fading out old materials. They have also met with Jeff Spencer, and will be getting training related to the NGSS (Next Generation Science Standards) and how that will work with the new programming.

  • Grants

    • 21st Century - Brayden Cunningham has done a phenomenal job so far this year with the day to day operations, planning, and supervising of the program. We have met about summer school, and plans are underway to offer another year of enrichment and credit recovery programming. 

    • TAOEP - Our biggest struggle is that we have been understaffed in running our Pathways program, so we have not spent as much of the money. The grant officially ends this year, and I am currently writing the new request for the future.

    • ELEVATING EDUCATORS - This grant was focused on supporting recruitment and retention of special education teachers. We have used it to run book clubs, add to our curriculum library, offer specialized professional development, and partner with local colleges. The grant ends this year. The new year RFP has not yet opened.

Primary School - Jason Chaplin

  • Primary's Spring Concerts were held today.  Each grade level gave a 20 minute performance.  Concerts were well attended, but unfortunately the number of guests per student was limited due to space constraints.

  • 2nd grade - Each student has been researching an animal. They will be giving presentations at the 2nd Grade Animal Wax Museum next Tuesday from 10:30 - 11:30.   

  • 1st grade - Each classroom currently has an incubator with 20 fertile eggs - students have been learning about the development of chickens. 

  • Kindergarten - the caterpillars are here and growing quickly!  Soon they will be making their chrysalis 

  • Upcoming dates:

4/25 Kindergarten Roundup - 63 students are signed up to be screened

4/30 10:30-11:30 - 2nd Grade Animal Wax Museum

5/32nd Grade Field Trip - Peoria Zoo

5/9Kindergarten Field Trip - Amtrak to Bloomington; Park play

5/10Prairie Fire Theatre - Treble Trouble

5/15Mobile Dairy-K-5

5/171st Grade Field Trip - Humiston woods, Pontiac; Pheasant Lanes, Bloomington

5/28 - 5/30Fun Activities at Primary

Intermediate School - Nate Lorton

  • Our 3rd graders are learning about life cycles and traits in science. We began this unit by partnering with the U of I Extension and the Master Gardeners to talk about and plant 3 lettuce beds (one for each class.) The students planted several different seeds with the Master Gardeners on April 19th and will continue to work with them weekly. On the first day, the students learned how to plant seeds in rows, what it takes to maintain a garden bed, and have taken on the responsibility of ensuring the garden beds are watered daily.

  • Our students enjoyed a delightful Poetry Cafe featuring hot chocolate, donuts, and, of course, their beautifully written poems. It was heartwarming to see our young writers embrace their creativity and share their work with such enthusiasm. As a result of their hard work, these students are soon to be published authors! The books should be arriving in May!

  • On Monday, April 22nd the fifth graders attended the Clean Water Celebration in Peoria. Students learned about watersheds, animal habitats, pollution, and ways to recycle. This ties into our science standards. Students made their own grocery bags out of recycled t-shirts. Our classes enjoyed the exhibits and free stuff! The keynote speaker, Gary Moore, discussed the water cycle with Walter the Water Drop. We also recycled our lunch trash and were complimented by the organizers running the station for respectful behavior. 

  • Upcoming dates:
    April 30th-5th Grade Field Trip (DARE Field Trip to Matthiessen)
    May 1st-5th Grade Field Trip (DARE Field Trip to Matthiessen) Rain Date
    May 2nd-Spring Concert (9:30-10:30 am)
    May 3rd-Arbor Day at the Jumbo
    May 9th-3rd Grade Field Trip to Matthiessen
    May 10th-Breakfast with Buddies
    May 10th-4th Grade to Utica
    May 13th-17th Map testing
    May 24th-Kona Ice Truck
    May 28th-DARE Graduation
    May 29th-Field Day
    May 30th-Field Day (Rain Date)

Middle School - Eric Hall

  • Scholastic bowl earned Little Tri-County conference tournament championship last week they are at IESA regional today (4/24)

  • Track wrapping up sectionals on May 5. Several students are currently tracking well over state qualifying distances in field events and times in running events.  We expect many of our athletes to qualify for the state meet.

  • We will be starting sign-ups for baseball, softball and cross country in the next few weeks.

  • The Middle School Band/Choir concert is on April 30th at 6:30 pm.

  • We are almost done with our state testing which includes the IAR testing that wrapped up last week and the ISA testing is wrapping up this week.  MAP testing will be the week of May 13th.

  • 8th grade promotion will be held on May 30th at 5:30 pm.

High School - Emory Burdette

  • The musical, The 1940's Radio Hour, was a success last weekend and brought in large crowds.  Thanks to all involved for their hard work.

  • Mrs. Lutz is working hard with her weekly Coffee Cart that is being run by a student.

  • Testing at the high school is done which includes SAT, PSAT10, PSAT9, and ISA.

  • Prom is Saturday April 27th.

  • Senior Class Trip is May 22nd St Louis Cardinals game and pizza dinner.

  • Honors Night for Seniors will be on May 23rd at 6:30 pm.

  • High School Graduation will be on May 26th at 2 pm in the FHS Gym.

  • Committees and Board Comments

    • Today (4/24) is Administrative Assistant's Day.  Thanks to all those that help keep the school running smoothly and hold the offices together.

    • May 6th-10th is Staff Appreciation Week.  The Board is thankful to all of its employees for the work they do for the district.  Multiple board members shared their pleasure in the work they see as well as what the administrators share at board meetings.  

    • Congratulations to the Class of 2024 who will be graduating soon.

    • Recognition of Reatha Owen, our IASB representative who is retiring.

    • Clare Phillips and Tatiana Serna were recognized for their service to the district by being student representatives on the school board this year.  Congratulations and good luck to both Clare and Tatiana!

Next regular school board meeting…

Wednesday, May 29, 2024  at Fieldcrest Intermediate School in Toluca at 6:30 pm.

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Fieldcrest Board Meeting Summary