Dieterich School Board Discusses Financial Scenarios

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Published on February 12 2013 8:56 pm
Last Updated on July 14 2013 4:07 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

Dieterich school board members Monday heard from Superintendent Cary Jackson on various scenarios regarding district funding.

Jackson presented several options, acknowledging it's tough to make firm projections since it's not known how much funding will be provided by the State.  Jackson said the scenarios were presented to assist Board members in making decisions that will affect the future of the district.  In each scenario, the District would be operating under a deficit budget unless budgetary cuts are made or revenue is increased.

The Board directed Jackson to begin work on the coming fiscal year budget.

The Dieterich board heard from high school principal Kevin Haarman and elementary school principal Kathy Pattenaude regarding changes in ISAT testing for this year.  The most dramatic change will be the raising of the cut scores.  The change in cut scores will result in a decreased percentage of Illinois students meeting or exceeding on the ISAT test.  The change is a result of the Illinois State Board of Education raising the standard to better meet the new College and Career Readiness Standards.

Haarman and Pattenaude also reported on this year's Decatur Herald and Review newspaper report on performance by area school districts on ISAT, Prairie State Achievement Exam and ACT exams.  Again this year, Dieterich schools compare favorably with the schools of this region.  Both Prairie State and ISAT scores were well above state averages.  Additionally, a comparison was made of the Class of 2013 in which a cumulative score was given to the class based upon their standardized scores from Grades 3-11.  Dieterich Class of 2013 had the third-highest cumulative score in the region, behind Teutopolis and Maroa-Forsyth.

Haarman also reported on work to prepare high school juniors for the ACT exam in April.

The Board voted to re-hire Haarman and Pattenaude for next school year.

The Dieterich Board tentatively set a high school graduation date of Sunday, May 12 at 1pm and a tentative 8th grade promotion date of Wednesday, May 15 at 7pm.

Board members learned that Western Illinois University's Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs chose a private landowner to host their wind exploration station, rather than District property; hear from high school cheerleading coach Michelle Hartke regarding tryouts and the selection process for next school year with the Board instructing Haarman to work with Coach Hartke on new handbook language changes needed to allow the selection process changes.

The Board also heard about the second place finish by Dieterich in the 7th grade boys basketball tournament last week, the highest finish for the district since 1990 and only the third championship game for the district in its history, and scheduled a special meeting for March 5 to discuss personnel matters.  The meeting will be held in closed session, and no action is expected.