KAHOKS COMMITTEE pose for pictures before meeting regarding issues with Collinsville Community Unit School District 10 facilities, (Photo courtesy of CUSD 10)
By Devese “Dee” Ursery
On the face of transparency Collinsville Community Unit School District 10 is inviting the public to tour their local schools and offer feedback on facility challenges that the district encounters.
KAHOKS CONNECT is a group of about 75 parents, community members and school staff committed to working with local citizens toward a plan of action for the future of CUSD 10 schools. The tours are scheduled for 6-7 p.m. from Tues., Oct. 17 through Thursday, Oct. 19 with three to four schools on each day.
During the tours, the group will be requesting recommendations for some of the issues regarding facility maintenance and repair, the safety and security of students. Also whether or not current facilities are sufficiently tailored for CUSD 10 students’ academic and co-curricular needs. KAHOKS CONNECT was formed at the request of the CUSD 10 Board of Education to assist in development and implementation of a facility plan. Dr. Brad Skertich explains the goal of the district in-school tours.
“We want our communities to come look at our schools and have the opportunity to see the inside, the outside and just be able to absorb what’s going on, regarding critical facility issues,” Skertich said. “But also have members of our public set foot in our schools that haven’t done that in a while.”
Skertich said residents can come and observe, first-hand, the type of environment that CUSD 10 students are educated in and our educators work in. He also spoke on the importance of public input and its influence on change, saying that transparency is the key.
“Transparency will provide the opportunity for our community whether they’re grandparents, parents or business owners to witness what our school setting is and what the current state of our facilities are,” Skertich said. “It’s important to get their feedback as well because you will report to them and if they have other views or important items that we need to take a look at and consider moving forward.”
Gary Peccola, CUSD 10 board president said the district’s long range plan has pinpointed $35 million worth of renovations. He said it is significant to inform the public of facility needs and get their feedback on how to improve on the schools in the district.
According to official documents, Maryville resident Dale Myers serves as the KAHOKS CONNECT process chairman. He is responsible for facilitating team meetings and overseeing subcommittees to ensure the work requested by the board of education is thoughtfully and thoroughly completed.
“It’s important to involve and receive input from all of the communities that make up the Collinsville Unit 10 District’s upcoming school tours,” Myers said.
“We applaud the board of education, district administration and staff for providing for a community-led, transparent process. This process to put together a work plan to improve the safety and environment of the facilities our children and grandchildren use on a daily basis.”
Presentations during the tour will be about focusing on the critical needs within our schools spotlighting on heating and cooling needs. The presentations will also focus on safety and security as well as ADA flexibility for our students with ability challenges.
Community members can learn more and RSVP for a tour at KahoksConnect.com.
“Our district is fortunate to have unwavering support for our students, staff and school district,”. The Kahoks Connect community-led facilitating team is a perfect example of that commitment to our schools,” Skertich said.“
“We are excited for families and community members to tour our facilities and provide insight and feedback. This information will be a major part of the group’s report to the board of education later this fall.”
Collinsville Community Unit School District #10 comprises 13 schools, serving 6,100+ students PreK-12 in Madison & St. Clair Counties in southwestern Illinois.