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Collinsville School Board Recognizes Student Achievement

By Kathy Turner

The Collinsville School Board recognized several students for recent achievements at their regular meeting held Monday, February 28.  Middle School student Hayden Rehg was honored for her submission to the Illinois Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library competition entitled “Survival through Self-Expression.”  Hayden’s work was selected as a runner-up in the 6th through 8th grade entries and will be displayed at the atrium of the Lincoln Library through March.

Collinsville High School students Cassandra Stirling and Carlos Cruz-Cortez were honored for their selection to perform with the 2022 ILMEA All-State Band in Peoria, Illinois.  Both accomplished musicians were recognized for one of the highest honors achievable by a high school band student.

Finally, Elly Peck, a 5th grade student at Dorris Intermediate was recognized as a finalist in the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra’s “Picture the Music” competition.  Elly was one of 100 finalists who will be considered for the top prizes.  Her artwork will be on display at Powell Hall in recognition of the honor. 

Dr. Brad Skertich also reported that the district staff participated in the 2022 Special Olympics Polar Plunge and were able to contribute $12,000 to the event. 

Skertich announced that the Illinois State Board of Education has determined that each district can use up to five e-learning days each year because of inclement weather.  Collinsville has used those five days.  Should another weather closure be necessary, the district will be adding days at the end of the school year to make up any closure dates.

Dr. Brad Hyre presented the Student Services report.  There have been 422 students added to the district after the August 1 enrollment date this year.  He also announced that kindergarten enrollment for next year will begin on April 1. 

Hyre reported that there has been a 120% increase over the past four years of homeless students.  The district will be looking to expand services to these students for the next year to try to meet their specific needs. 

Hyre also presented the Kahok Academy report for the truant optional program in the district.  The program continues to show success in assisting at-risk students meet their academic requirements and achieve graduation with 140 graduates over the past four years.

The Collinsville Board approved the 2022-23 calendar at their regular meeting on Monday.  First day of attendance for the year will be Wednesday, August 17.  The last day of attendance will be May 30th.  Holiday break will be from December 22 through January 3. 

Student fees for the 2022-23 school year will be $120 in general fees and $30 technology fees for kindergartners through grade 8 with an additional $100 athletic fee per sport for students in grades 7 and 8.  Grades 9 through 12 will have the same $120 general fee and $30 technology fee.  In addition, there will be a $50 fee for foods, $45 for photography classes, $250 fee for Driver’s Education, $100 parking fees for students who drive and a $100 fee per sport for athletic participants.  All fees will be due at the time of registration for classes. 

Finally, the Board approved a Zero Hour (Early Bird) Option for high school students.  The zero hour optional class will allow high school students more flexibility in the class selection process.  Zero hour classes will run from 6:50 a.m. and end at 7:45 a.m.  Students are then eligible to be dismissed after their sixth hour class.  There is no transportation for these optional classes. 

The 2022 summer school programs have been approved and will begin enrolling students shortly.  In addition, the district will again offer the summer jump start programs in August for students in kindergarten, first, fifth and ninth grades.  The programs assist the students in getting a jump on their classes for the upcoming 22-23 school year. 

The Board ended the meeting with a discussion about redefining boundaries in the district with regards to elementary schools.  Currently 71 students are identified as displaced, meaning they are attending schools that are not necessarily in the area where they live but are transported to other schools.  A majority of these cases are because there is no classroom space available in the elementary school in their defined neighborhoods.  Most cases are from the Renfro school neighborhoods. 

The board will look to redefine boundaries within the district to minimize the number of students currently displaced.  They want to assure parents that they will work on a case by case basis to assure they will meet specific needs, for instance keeping siblings in the same school and/or not requiring students to change schools if they have attended a specific school for first through third grade.  The board will vote on a proposal by administrators at their regular meeting in March.

The next meeting of the board will be held on Monday, March 28 at the district administrative building.

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