By Stephanie Malench
The Triad School Board met on November 22 at the administration building and heard lots of good news from central office and school administrators.
C.A. Henning Principal Kay Burrough highlighted from her report that the PTO in conjunction with the Troy/Maryville/St. Jacob/Marine Chamber of Commerce has given out over 450 signs for community members to decorate with a Thankful for our Schools theme and display outside.
Dr. Sandy Padak, Principal of Silver Creek Elementary School announced the book fair was back to in person this year and raised over $16,000 to help purchase books for the teachers and school library, up from $3,000 last year when held virtually.
Marine Elementary School’s Principal Mike Speer announced that the library has reopened in its new location. The library moved from the second floor to the basement and is completely digitalized so students can browse from the computer in their classroom before going to the library to check out books.
St. Jacob Elementary School’s principal Dr. Jay Simpson reported that seven of the school’s teachers have been working with approximately 20 students over the past three weeks before and after school or during their plan time to help students in the learning loss program, which helps students develop the skills that did not develop adequately due to the fluid learning environment the past two school years.
Triad Middle School Principal Dr. Matt Noyes announced that the school held its first Parent Advisory Council meeting. The parents main concern was with transportation. They appreciate how well the school communicates information in a timely way with the parents.
The presentation for the high school was done by Student Council secretary Avery Bohnenstiehl. As a token of appreciation to the board members for Board Member Appreciation Day on November 15, the school gave each board member a copy of last year’s yearbook.
The Success Center Principal Renee Voegele was not in attendance but a highlight from her written report was that the center welcomed a guest speaker from Anderson Hospital, Eric Brandemeyer, who spoke about the education requirements and approximate wages for various positions in the hospital such as EMTs, nurses and other health care professionals.
Director of Technology Services Mike Wielgus announced the technology department has received numerous new devices in November, including Promethian boards that have been on back order since July for the primary and special education classrooms that did not yet have one, as well as 1,000 new Chromebooks to replace older devices in the 2nd through 4th grades and some in 9th grade.
Director of Business and Finance Dr. Jason Henderson gave a summary of the proposed tax levy for 2022 to be voted on at the December 20 meeting. To make sure the district gets the full equalized assessed value, they overestimate what it is going to be to levy money for each of the funds (Education, Transportation, Special Education, Facilities, etc).
According to the Madison County Assessor, as of November 15 the EAV is estimated to increase by about 2.72% (not counting the multipliers). Because there is no penalty for overestimating, the district is going to use 8% for their multiplier this year and will hold a Truth in Taxation Public Hearing hearing on December 20 at 6:30 p.m.
The good news is that because of the district’s long-term debt obligations and the EAV going up this year, the district’s portion of the overall tax rate will decrease by between 8 and 10 cents, depending on the percent increase for FY23.
Dr. Henderson said any district patron who would like to set up a time to have additional questions answered or learn more about the levy process may do so by emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Henderson also spoke briefly about the need to pass a resolution to issue no more than $10,000,000 Taxable General Obligation Refunding School Bonds, Series 2022A, and not to exceed $5,500,000 General Obligation School Bonds, Series 2022B for school fire prevention and safety improvements and refunding purposes. This money will partially go towards a new air conditioner for the high school. The district is accepting requests for proposals for the project until December 20.
The first electric school bus has been delivered to the district and the board members went for a ride on it prior to the board meeting. Once the Department of Transportation has given its approval that the bus meets all requirements, it will be put into service.
During the Superintendent’s Report, Leigh Lewis announced that although the district is suffering staffing shortages like all the school districts in the state, the Illinois School Report Card gave Triad an 87% retention rate.
All four public comments tied back to asking the district to give parents the choice on masks. One parent also expressed concern about the e-learning policy for snow days. She said that the learning that takes place online is not the same quality as in person, and should only be used after the five acto fo God days.
The next meeting will be December 20 at 6:30 p.m. with the public hearing first.