Small Town News

Regional Government

School district will pay preschool transportation without reimbursement

Arthur Graphic-Clarion of Arthur, Illinois

- Advertisement -

Arthur School District will continue transporting pre-school students despite the state's inability to reimburse the transportation costs as part of the special education grant.

During Wednesday night's school board meeting, district superintendent Travis Wilson said the cost is about $1,000 per month

"We don't have a choice," said board member Jason Ray.

Scott Daily said the district will eventually have to make cuts if the state continues to miss payments.

"We can't continue the route we're going, or we'll look like the state," Daily said. People have been extremely generous, but it's up to us to see that the money is used correctly."

Also during Wednesday's meeting, the board awarded the lease to farm the district's acreage located approximately four miles north of town along the Arthur-Atwood Road and granted an easement to Ameren CIPS at the corner of Route 133 and Vine Street.

Six farmers residing within the school district submitted applications to farm the district's acreage. Kevin Huffman, certified public accountant, conducted a drawing of cards to determine the lease recipient.

The lease was awarded to Chad Yoder. Other applicants were Steven E. Gingerich, Jordan Watkins, Gingerich Farms, Steve Honn, and David Cole.

The easement allows AmerenCIPS to relocate a utility pole and anchor on school property located on the southeast corner of the Route 133 and Vine Street intersection.

The utility will have to move the pole and anchor about nine feet to the east.

"It's not a big issue," Superintendent Wilson commented.

Due to too many uncertainties, the board will take a wait and see approach to the federal government's "Race to the Top" program.

The program offers federal money to schools that participate in a new program designed to improve test scores of low-performing schools.

According to Wilson, so far none of the neighboring school districts have indicated interest in participating in the program, which has raised many questions among educators.

It is not known how the money will be divided among participants or whether the program will be funded in future years. If the program is not funded in the future, participating districts may have to fund it themselves.

As far a 3 the academic portion of thj program, Wilson said he Delieves Arthur schools are already doing 90 percent of it.

High School

Principal's Report

Principal Gary Alexander congratulated the Arthur Knights for winning the Tri-County Holiday Basketball Tournament. Bobby Aikman, Justin Schuiing, and Elliott Tinnon were named to the All-Tournam mt Team.

He also congratulated David RoseiLbaum for winning the disti ict's Geography Bee. Macy Thomas and Noah Yantis also represented the junior high. Teacher Ryan Whelan was: n charge of preparing stude tits for the competition. Rosenbaum will take a writtc n test that will be submitted to the state for evaluation. If his score is high enough, Rosonbaum will be invited to participate in the state geography bee.

The school board renewed the junior high and high school track cooperative with Lovingfc >n for two years. The girls' LOVC basketball tournament is in progress this week (week of January 20).

The boys' LOVC basketball tournament will be held January 23-30 at Arthur.

Parents' Night for the Lancers basketball team is February 4.

Progress reports for third quarter go out February 5. Grade School

Principal's Report

Pre-school screening will be held February 16, 17, and 18 at First Baptist Church. The screening is for all children ages 3 to 5 and kindergarten students.

Principal Buck Condill said the screening will evaluate the motor skills, vision, hearing, language, and general learning development of the children who participate.

"Children between 3 and 5 who are identified through this process will be tested for possible placement in the Project Help or Early Childhood programs," he said. "We ask that kindergarten students participate because the results are valuable for our teachers."

Pre-registration for this fall's kindergarten will be held on February 9, 10, and 11. Parents should register their children during regular school hours in the grade school office during those days. To enroll in the 2010-1011 kindergarten class, a child must be 5 years old by September 1.

Police Chief Mike Goodman will begin teaching the sixth grade DARE course in February. An informational meeting for parents was held January 14 to explain the goals and objectives of the program.

"We thank the Village of Arthur and Chief Goodman for providing the DARE program," Condill said. "We truly appreciate the message of the program and its positive impact on our students."

Students are on track to meet their reading goal of 20,000 books. As reported by Principal Condill, the students have read 16,438 and need only 3,562 more to meet the goal.

Condill complimented Ryan Whelan for organizing the district's Geography Bee, which was held January 13. Ten students participated, three from the junior high and seven from grades four through six. He congratulated David Rosenbaum for winning the competition.

Yvonne Bevis is coordinating the grade school's Spelling Bee, which will be held on January 30. Participants are Justin Laughlin, fifth grade, and sixth graders Baylor Carper, Sydnie Hanscel, Jordan Jent, and Bradley Miller.

The fifth and sixth grade girls' basketball season has begun. The girls played an exhibition game during half-time of the Lancers' Pack the Place Night on Thursday, January 15. The season runs through the end of February.

There will be no school February 15, which is President's Day. Superintendent's Report

According to District Superintendent Wilson, there is talk about eliminating the hold-harmless funding. Prior talk was that the funding would be phased out over a period of years. The district could lose $400,000 in state funds if hold harmless is eliminated.

According to reports from the state school superintendent, the state could already be more than $600 million behind in making payments to schools.

Next school board meeting will be a week later than scheduled due to a conflict. The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, February 17. It will be held in the district superintendent's office at the high school.

Copyright 2010 Arthur Graphic-Clarion, Arthur, Illinois. All Rights Reserved. This content, including derivations, may not be stored or distributed in any manner, disseminated, published, broadcast, rewritten or reproduced without express, written consent from SmallTownPapers, Inc.

Original Publication Date: January 20, 2010

More from Arthur Graphic-Clarion