Teachers, employees not bound by district

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Teachers and fulltime employees in Crestwood Community Unit School District 4 may continue to send their children to the school even if they do not reside in the district, following action by the Crestwood school board Wednesday, April 10.

The board held a public hearing prior to the meeting to for any comments about the waiver. The waiver was approved on a 7-0 vote.

Crestwood Superintendent of Schools Danette Young explained the waiver is nothing new but rather a continuation of the district’s present policy. The waiver — which must be approved by the General Assembly — must be approved every five years, she said.

The waiver also allows teachers who do not live in the district to send their children to Paris High School as a Unit 4 student. Many school districts have the same waiver, she said.

During audience to visitors, Crestwood junior high math teacher Michelle Duke addressed the board about the possibility of adding a lead teacher in each of the three wings of the school — junior high, elementary and primary. She noted Paris District 95 has a lead and it has worked successfully.

Duke explained a lead teacher is responsible for keeping other teachers in her area informed about what is going on in the other wings. “It’s about communication as much as anything,” she said, noting the lead teachers would also work and meet with the principal each week to discuss the upcoming week.

The lead teacher could also aid in mentoring new teachers as well as checking in with substitute teachers — either prearranged absence or sickness — to see if any help is needed or to answer questions. “It’s someone they can go to,” she said. “It’s about making things smoother.”

Board member Kit Kirby praised the idea while other board members expressed concern about jealousy among the staff. Duke said the appointment would be only a year at a time.

The designation would come with a stipend, she said, because extra work is required. “Meetings would be before or after school,” she said. The Paris 95 stipend for a lead teacher is $2,739.

Duke concluded her appeal by noting she believes a lead teacher in each wing would help with morale.

The board took the suggestion under advisement.

In other business, the board:

-Approved the 2019-2020 calendar with teachers reporting on Aug. 14 and early dismissal for students on Aug. 15-16. The first full day of classes will be Monday, Aug. 19.

-Approved membership in the IESA at a cost of $875.

-Heard first reading on revised board policies as recommended by the Illinois Association of School Boards.

-Tabled the appointment of the EIASE delegate until the school board reorganizes later this month.

-Approved a contract with Lifetouch Photography for school pictures.

-Approved a contract with Stout’s Building Services for grinding and re-covering the school’s basement at a cost of $8,110.

-Approved an agreement with the Edgar County Highway Department to prime and seal the bus parking lot and lane leading to Wood Street. The area has huge potholes — some 8-10 inches deep — according to maintenance director Josh McCarty. There is a total of 36,000 square feet of area at a cost of $48,796, Young noted.

-Heard busy month of activities is coming up beginning after spring break.

-Set the reorganization of the new school board for Wednesday, April 24, at 7 p.m. One board member, Paul Porter, did not seek reelection. He will be succeeded by Jonathan McCarty.

-Accepted a resignation from Meghan Damler as assistant volleyball coach.

-Accepted a resignation from Debbie Maynard as a paraprofessional, effective at the end of the school year.

-Accepted a resignation from Michelle Duke as student council sponsor, effective at the end of the school year.

-Accepted a resignation from Mickey Jacobs as junior high social studies teacher, effective at the end of the school year.

-Hired Cerys Boston as an elementary teacher for the 2019-2020 school year.

-Hired Haleigh Wetzel as an elementary teacher for the 2019-2020 school year.

nApproved River Wilkin as a volunteer assistant track coach.