By Kathy Turner
The Collinsville School Board began their regular meeting on Monday, December 20, recognizing the work of the Health Staff of the district. Superintendent Dr. Brad Skertich and Mrs. Ali Underwood reported on the extra efforts of the staff to keep students safe during the implementation of all protocols required over the past year and a half because of the Covid Pandemic. Underwood reported that this included more than 900 antigen tests in the district and the tracking, tracing and reporting that came with mandates by the health department.
Aligned with the pandemic and its aftereffects, Underwood reported that the special education department of the district had seen an increase in evaluation and homebound requests in the district which could be expected. Her staff are working with all the parents and students to assess needs as the year progresses.
Emma Clark, the student school board member, reported that the Student Advisory Committee was progressing. Students on the Committee include those selected by faculty and are led by an Executive Board made up of a President, Vice President, and secretary as well as one representative from each class. The group hopes to focus on issues faced by students at the high school level. As such, she reported that she is in the process of completing a survey that will be distributed to students to assess their thoughts on items that need to be addressed at the school and looks forward to reporting those findings to the full Board.
The Board approved a resolution for an updated 2021-2022 Safe Return to School Plan. The plan has been in the review stage over the past months and allows the Superintendent the ability to assess the safety and appropriateness of things such as field trips for students in the district which have been greatly impacted as result of the pandemic.
In other business, the Board unanimously approved the following:
•The addition of two depositories for the district funds including 1st Bank of Waterloo and Collinsville Building and Loan;
•The purchase of new scheduling software at a cost of $32K from Education Advance that will improve the scheduling process;
•The repair of the Webster Auditorium Ceiling at a cost of $48,990 by Millennium Construction;
•A resolution to sell surplus property currently held by the District;
•The purchase of a John Deere Gator and Blade at a cost of $10,946;
•The purchase of a John Deere Compact Utility Tractor at a cost of $25,880; and,
•The signing of an Intergovernmental Cooperative Agreement for the Running Start Program with Southwestern Illinois College.
Board members received a copy of Board Policy Updates. Skertich reported that the policy updates were lengthy because of many state and national suggested policy changes. After a thorough review, the document represents a draft of policy changes for the District and were presented as a first reading. Board President Gary Peccola suggested that Board members take the time to review the document and note any questions or concerns for further discussion at future meetings.