By Stephanie Malench
The Triad School Board met a week early this month due to the Winter Break. The meeting started with the required Truth in Taxation hearing as a requirement to pass the tax levy for 2021 since the district is projecting the projected Equalized Assessed Value (EAV) will be 8%, which is over the 5% threshold for requiring a meeting.
The district inflates what they estimate the EAV to be so that it gets the full amount determined in March or April. If they underestimate, they could lose funds. There is no penalty for overestimating and the estimate has no effect on the tax rate.
The tax levy passed later in the meeting.
Director of kindergarten through 8th grade curriculum Amy Van Hoose reported that most of the IAR data was stable last school year compared to 2019 with scores going up in some areas and down in a few. Board President Jeff Hewitt asked how Triad compared to other schools in the area or of similar size that were not in full attendance last year. Van Hoose said that data was not available.
Secondary Education Director Dr. Rodney Winslow reported that 77 certified teachers and 25 student volunteers from the National Honor Society and Future Teachers of America have worked numerous hours after school tutoring students who have suffered learning loss. Sixteen students have also completed credit recovery courses through the online program Edgenuity with teacher supervision for 22 courses.
During the Superintendent’s report, Leigh Lewis shared a letter than she sent to Governor Pritzker on December 8 regarding masks in school. In part, her letter read “…Now, after 20 months of Executive Orders, we are respectfully requesting that you allow school districts in Illinois local control over the mitigation protocols and procedures used for students and staff. We know that on the surface wearing a mask in school does not seem like a big deal, however in our community it has been extremely decisive….COVID-19 will be with us for years to come and as a district, we need to be able to make local decisions and determine the best way to educate our students while keeping students and staff safe….Triad’s leaders are hopeful that you and other decision makers will listen to our plea and consider the points we along with other school leaders have made. Please help us find a long term solution that will help us regain local control and take a step in bringing our divided communities together”.
In other business, the board approved:
the 2022-2023 THS course booklet;
an overnight field trip for the six members of the Envirothon team to go to the state competition May 11 and 12 at the 4H Memorial Camp in Montecello;
a contract extension for the Sodexo Food Service to provide school meals; and
annual approval of the SWIC Running Start intergovernmental agreement.
The next meeting will be January 24 at 6:30 p.m. at the district office.