By Charlie Feldman
The Triad School Board approved the yearly audit and listened to a presentation about the proposed Downtown TIF District in Troy when it met on Monday, October 25.
The meeting opened with a public hearing on the proposal to sell Health, Life Safety Bonds in the amount of $3,000,000. The money can only be used to alter, reconstruct and repair facilities that house students to meet the requirements of the building code put into effect by the Illinois State Board of Education. These include Triad High School roof repair and replacement and its HVAC system, elevator and exhaust system in the welding room; masonry work at C.E. Henning Elementary and sealing at Silver Creek Elementary, among other items. The list of Health, Life Safety violations will be posted on the district’s website.
The public had the opportunity to ask questions. The question was “How will this affect my tax bill?” The answer, from district director of finance Jason Henderson, was that the bonds are being structured so the effects might not be felt until “somewhere in the neighborhood of 2028 or so where we see an increase over what it would have been.”
There were no issues or concerns related to the audit or the District’s overall operations and internal control that needed to be reported to the Board of Education and/or the administration, according to the findings of the District’s independent auditors headed by Kevin Tepen of C.J. Schlosser & Company.
The state Board of Education requires that an audit be made of the financial statements of all accounts, funds and other money in the care or control of the Regional Superintendent of Schools on June 30 each fiscal year.
Tepen provided the board with a review of the fiscal year 2021 audit. A copy will be posted on the district’s website.
Jay Keeven, City Administrator from the city of Troy, gave a brief overview of a potential TIF area around Main Street in downtown Troy. The Tax Increment Financing district would finance a Downtown Redevelopment Plan and Project that will focus only on renovating that area. All other taxing districts that would be affected by this must be informed as part of the process to create the new one. The old district will expire at the end of the year.
The first of the electric buses arrived on October 18, according to assistant superintendent Kennan Fagan’s report. The second and third are expected during the first week of November. As part of the district’s agreement with the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust and Environmental Protection Act funding program, three 2007 diesel buses on-site are scheduled to be scrapped this month.
Public comment was held near the end of the meeting. All three speakers objected to the National School Boards Association’s recent letter to the Biden administration characterizing parents as domestic terrorists that should be investigated. Steve Wilder said the district applied for ESSER funds before the June questionnaire to parents even went out and all this “public discourse” was just for show when it had already been decided. That their civil rights and the rights of their children are being “pimped out” by this fund. That the masks are a warm-up for the vaccine. “You might want to check out the adverse effects of this vaccine that they’re fixing to try to mandate on our children,” he said.
Ryan Cunningham said that the board should have the faith to make the decisions that align with their conscience. “We’ve asked you to do something very uncomfortable,” he said. “Giving parents a choice, whether it be masking, vaccinations – or teachers as well.” Don Moore said forced masking was a political issue, not as much about the kids. He expressed concern that vaccinations would be mandated. He wondered if critical race theory was in the district’s curriculum. He also outlined credibility issues he was having with the board.
Here are some of the things that have been happening at Triad District Schools, according to reports at the meeting:
• C.A. Henning Elementary: This month the school celebrated Red Ribbon Week with dress-up theme days when students wore their favorite hats, backward shirts (“Turn Your Back on Bullying”), wild socks, favorite jersey and comfortable pajamas.
• Silver Creek Elementary: The physical education teachers organized a virtual “Take Your Parent to PE Week.” Students were invited to challenge their parents to participate in PE activities. Pictures were posted on the Silver Creek PE Facebook page.
• Marine Elementary: The fifth grade class requested that the school have a “Cardinal Day” if the St. Louis Cardinals made the playoffs. In the interest of supporting their leadership and idea to promote school spirit, the administration decided to let students wear hats and their favorite sports gear to school on Wednesday, October 6, the day of the Cardinals’ first playoff game.
• St. Jacob Elementary: An in-person book fair ends Friday. Students can shop for books during school hours.
• Triad Middle School: Students sold 2,644 Bobby’s caramel apples during a fund-raiser last month.
• Triad High School: The Triad Marching Knights participated in the Bands of America Super Regional hosted at the Dome at America’s Center in downtown St. Louis on Friday, October 22.
• Triad Success Center: Students taking the new woodshop elective built a large bookshelf that was needed in the center. Soon they will learn how to use wood burning tools to create coasters, ornaments and signs.
The next school board meeting will be held on Monday, November 22 at 6:30 p.m. at the school district’s central offices, 203 East Throp Street in Troy.