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Unit 10 Schools Set To Begin Four Day In-Person Learning

By Stephanie Malench

Collinsville Unit 10 Superintendent Dr. Brad Skertich announced at the monthly School Board meeting on February 22 that students will start returning to school four days a week starting March 2 depending on what level school they attend.

Elementary students will return first, beginning March 2. The following week students at Dorris Intermediate School will begin four day a week attendance on March 9 and the middle and high school students will begin March 16.

Monday will still be a remote learning day for all students.

The ability for students to return four days a week is due to the fact that as of February 20 all school personnel who signed up to receive the vaccine have received their first dose.

The board also approved student fees for the 2021-2022 school year. The board voted to approve increasing the instructional fee per student from $100 to $120 and the technology fee from $15 to $30 per student. Drivers Education fees, CHS parking fee, athletic fees, graduate transcript request fees, and additional fees for the high school will remain unchanged next year.

A number of bids were approved for repairs and renovations to be conducted district wide over the summer.

Projects include HVAC, flooring, and ceiling renovations at Webster Elementary School, Asbestos abatement at Webster, Asbestos abatement in the CHS locker rooms, Renovation for the CHS locker rooms and restrooms, resurfacing of the high school tennis courts and renovation of the restrooms at Dorris Intermediate School. The bids for this summer’s projects came in $950,000 less than budgeted, allowing more work to be completed in future years.

Several summer programs were approved, including expanding the Jump Start Program from high school to all grade levels, the Special Education Extended School Year Program, elementary, middle school, and high school summer school programs, and the EPIC (Expose. Practice. Improve. Connect.) Summer Camp Program for English Language Learners at Kreitner and Caseyville Elementary School.

The EPIC Summer Camp will be held for 2.5 hours a day three days a week in three week sessions that do not interfere with summer school for students that need it.

CHS teacher Carla Elliff gave her annual report on the Kahok Academy program held for the past 3 years at the high school. Before COIVD erased in-person learning for the fourth quarter last year, 75 students were enrolled in the program and 34 graduated. This year the program has had 61 enrolled throughout the school year and 34 are currently enrolled. 98% of those attending are in 11th or 12th grade, and one already graduated in the fall.

A hearing was held to hear a case banning a parent, Kachina Brown from school property and activities including Google Classroom audio for one year, from January 22, 2021 until January 21, 2022. Brown was recorded on numerous occasions using threatening, aggressive,  threatening and vulgar language during her 3rd grade son’s Google classroom sessions on numerous occasions.

The School District and First Student Transportation were finally able to come to an agreement extending the bus contract through the 2021-2022 school year.

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