Cumberland School Board Minutes

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Published on November 26 2012 5:20 pm
Last Updated on July 14 2013 4:07 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

Cumberland school board members and school officials reviewed the school report scores for district students at this month's meeting.

Board member April Flood expressed concern that the schools were not making Adequate Yearly Progress, and that scores were slightly below State average in some areas.

Cumberland Superintendent Russell Ragon said the scores are based on the current I-SAT and that it is a comparison of one class to another and some classes are simply academically stronger.  Ragon said a true comparison is when pre-testing and post-testing the same kids and checking for growth.  This will be taking place as the transition is made to annual testing of all grades and testing over the same standards with the switch to Common Core.  Staff member Todd Butler said some of the scores could be related to an increase in class sizes.

Flood also asked about Science scores in the 4th grade and about looking into a new Reading series that incorporates more non-fiction into Science and Social Studies.  It was shared that four of the last five stories in the last unit of 3rd grade were non-fiction topics and were all science-related.  Middle school principal Kevin Maynard said that they are trying to incorporate more reading into each subject as well as writing in journals.

The Board decided to set a fiscal year tax levy generating an additional $120,000.  The increase is below the amount that triggers a public hearing on the proposal.

Ragon reported that another vehicle passed a stopped district school bus along US 40.  The district is notifying the sheriff's department of such violations and the violator will be ticketed.

Ragon also reported that members of the Little Okaw Valley Conference met and voted to accept Cumberland into their conference.  Ragon said they're still waiting on confirmation from the Little Illini Conference as to when they will allow Cumberland to withdraw, either at the end of 2013-2014 or 2014-2015.  The first indication is that the withdrawal will be accepted counting this school year toward the two-year notification requirement, meaning Cumberland would be part of the Little Okaw Valley beginning with the 2014-2015 school year.

In personnel moves, the Cumberland board accepted Todd Butler's resignation as high school football coach as well as that of elementary teacher Jennie Holsapple and high school Ag teacher Charlie Sappington, Holsapple as of June 30, 2016 and Sappington as of June 30, 2017, and hired Justin Wallace as high school boys assistant basketball coach.

The Board also accepted Ragon's resignation as superintendent effective June 30, 2013 and scheduled a special meeting for this Thursday night at 7:00 to consider applications and employment of potential candidates for the superintendent's job.  Ragon will take the superintendent's position in Manhattan, Illinois, near Joliet, next school year.