NOKOMIS (Heartland Newsfeed) — In the meeting of the Nokomis School Board on September 21, the board held a public hearing prior to the meeting regarding the district’s budget for the 2017-18 school year and fiscal year. Board President Denny Bauman called the public hearing to order at 7:25 p.m. With no public comments, the public hearing was closed and adjourned, transitioning to the regular board meeting at 7:30 p.m.
District Superintendent Dr. Scott Doerr introduced new district staff members who were present in the meeting: Kevin McDonald, Lisa Ballinger and Wendy Goodwin.
Suzi Dooley made a request before the board in public comments about two students from Mexico who will be attending school as tuition-paying international students next year. One will be considered a junior, which Dr. Doerr is in the process of getting paperwork worked on, and the other will be 18 and already graduated from his own high school. The second student will be discussed further into detail and final actions on the matter will take place in October.
Specified in the consent agenda were the regular and closed session minutes from the August 15 meeting, bills and payroll, Treasurer’s report, administrative salary compensation report, certified staff compensation report and two German Club field trips for Christkindlmarkt in Chicago on December 8 and the Touhill Performing Arts Center in St. Louis on December 15. The board unanimously approved the agenda.
Specified in Superintendent Doerr’s report, the budget from fiscal year 2016-17 specifies that the State of Illinois still owes the district $146,922.59 regarding fourth quarter MCAT payments. The office of State Comptroller Susana Mendoza indicated that these should be paid by the end of December. The report from fiscal year 2017-18 indicates all GSA payments are up-to-date, but are backlogged in early childhood education payments because of a lack of funds related to the budget standoff earlier this summer. Doerr spent some time explaining the new funding formula as set by Senate Bill 1947 and the 26 components involved in evidence-based school funding. Since the bill didn’t pass until August, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) has not created a system to collect necessary data needed for the formula and input it into a spreadsheet. ISBE plans to have this accomplished in November.
Sixth day enrollment numbers were looking promising, as the district gained 11 students compared to the same point during the 2016-17 school year. While North Elementary School lost ten students for a total of 254 and Nokomis Junior High School losing one student for a total of 128, Nokomis High School gained fourteen students for a total of 181.
The Kaskaskia Division of the Illinois Association of School Boards will be holding their fall meeting in Brownstown on Tuesday, October 24 in Brownstown and the topic of the meeting will touch up on school safety and legal updates.
The open houses at North Elementary and Nokomis High schools was a tremendous success, with more than 200 in attendance between the two schools. Great feedback was received from the community regarding the Phase 2 renovations. The elevator remains the biggest underlying issue in the renovations. Kone is now required to provide staff on-site to man the elevator chair throughout the school day for the three students who need to utilize the elevator while they make the necessary repairs and changes required under the bid package. Kone will have to do this at their own cost.
In new business, Doerr reported that the FY 2017-18 budget is balanced, but the main issue involves the transportation fund, even with transferring monies between funds, and will show a negative balance in that line item of the budget, roughly $50,000. The new state budget increases the district’s reimbursement from the old rate of 72% to 86% for this school year and not including past due payments sent by December by State Comptroller Susana Mendoza, the district will finish the fiscal year with a positive balance of $32,963, much better than it has been in past years. The new fiscal budget was unanimously approved.
The board also motioned for and approved the resolution authorizing and directing the exchange of real estate between Nokomis CUSD #22, the City of Nokomis and the Nokomis Memorial Park District and the intergovernmental agreement with the City of Nokomis and the Nokomis Memorial Park District.
The board entered closed session at 8:22 p.m. and resumed regular session at 8:59 p.m. The board moved to accept a letter of intent to retire from Judith Johnson, effective January 15, 2018 with a voice vote of acclamation.
With no further business, the board adjourned at 9:01 p.m. In attendance were District Superintendent Dr. Scott Doerr, board members Denny Bauman, Carl Kettelkamp, Jim Eisenbarth, Chad Ruppert, Dave Schweizer, Carl Fesser and Steve Janssen, principals Rachelle McDowell and Kevin Reedy, Tammy Thole, Lisa Ballinger, Wendy Goodwin, Kevin McDonald, Suzi Dooley and Butch Dooley.
Republished in September 27, 2017 edition of the Nokomis Free Press-Progress and The Morrisonville Times.
Jake Leonard, a broadcast media and journalism veteran, is the editor-in-chief of Heartland Newsfeed. Leonard is also GM and program director of Heartland Newsfeed Radio Network, wrestling editor and contributing writer for Ambush Sports, a contributing writer for My Sports Vote and Midwest Sports Network, and a former contributor to Bleacher Report and Overtime Heroics. He resides at home in Nokomis, Ill. with his dog Buster.
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