The Fieldcrest Board of Education meeting Wednesday night in Wenona started off with Knights of Columbus representative Bob Prince presenting a check for $1292 to Dr. Rockwell to be used for special education in the school district. The K of C organization has donated $46,580 to the school district in the past 27 years.
That was followed by a presentation by the Fieldcrest staff on ACE (Adverse Childhood Experiences). The presentation listed the symptoms of childhood neglect and the contributing indicators of family dysfunction. It was noted that one of the best ways to negate childhood abuses is to receive the support of a caring teacher.
In board action, the board approved Superintendent Dr. Kari Rockwell's recommendation to discontinue a contract with Verizon for the use of 10 cell phones that would save the district $3600 a year.
The board also approved the purchase of three 40 hp utility tractors to replace the two older 40 hp utility tractors currently in use. The two tractors are currently stationed in Minonk and Wenona. With the purchase of a third tractor there will be a tractor stationed in Toluca as well. The tractors are used for mowing and snow removal. The current snow blowers will be kept and used with the new tractors to save money on the purchase price. However, the bid will include the purchase of a snow blower, pallet fork and ballast box for the third tractor. The specs for the purchase state that a repair or service facility must be located within 20 miles of one or more of a Fieldcrest building. Dr. Rockwell said it is possible the school could get a grant to help pay for the purchase of the tractors.
In legal matters, the board approved a Financial Advisory Agreement with PMA who will guide the school through the process of issuing $21,000,000 in General Obligation Health Life Safety Bonds and $5,000,000 in General Obligation Working Cash Bonds, to be used in paying for the repairs needed to comply with the State of Illinois Life/Health/Safety mandates.
The board also approved the hiring of Kriha Boucek of Oakbrook Terrace, IL to become the official board attorney on a 6 months retainer. After that time, the agreement will be re-examined and appropriate changes will be made.
The board approved an agreement to pay Illinois Valley Surveying & Consultants of Olgesby, Il $2200 to survey the property on the site of the former Presbyterian church building that was demolished last fall. The survey is intended to show a proposed parking lot layout.
Dr. Rockwell said the district garners approximately $10,000/month from Woodford County and $150/month from Livingston County from the County Facilities Sales Tax implemented last year.
Dr. Rockwell said they are currently working with the Marshall County Assessor's office as Hearthside is disputing the company's 2018 and 2019 property tax assessment. The dispute is over $100,000.
The board approved an agreement with the Illinois Association of School Boards to publish the school's policy online for $2500 each year. The publication of the policy can be viewed over the internet and provides transparency to the school's policies.
In personnel matters the board approved a search to hire a Curriculum Specialist to develop and implement curriculum and instructional services. The position would be occupied on July 1, 2020. Also, the board approved the assignment of extra duty to Ron Kreiser as High School Assistant Baseball Coach.
Dr. Rockwell said the board will receive bid package #1 on the HLS for each building at the February board meeting.
Fieldcrest Intermediate Principal Jacob Wall gave a presentation on activities at the school in Toluca.
In committee reports, board member Charles Lohr, who is head of the Facilities and Transportation Committee, said the committee rejected all asbestos work bids due to cost. The work is not Health/Life Safety.
In public comments, Willard Smith asked why students who have to go to Bloomington for classes in the morning have to pay their own way unlike those who go in the afternoon on the bus. Dr. Rockwell said she was unaware of the situation and would look into it.