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The Mount Pulaski Board of Education met for the January 21st regular meeting at 6:00 PM in the district office located at Mount Pulaski Grade School.  All Board members were in attendance less Ashley Combs.  Two community members, Willie Rentmeister Jr. and Tanker Wade, elected to speak to the Board concerning high school girls’ basketball.

The Board began the meeting by amending the meeting minutes and the date on the 1% Sales Tax Report.  The Board then approved the Consent Agenda which included payment of bills, sales tax revenue report, regular board meeting minutes and executive session minutes from December 16th.    There were no questions on the Consent Agenda.

Under Reports, Superintendent Lamkey updated the Board seniority lists, FY2021 school calendar, College Now, Distance Learning and the district financial designation.  College Now is a collaboration between area public high schools and Lincoln Land Community College (LLCC) that allows students to earn both college and high school credits for course work.  The problematic factor is that classes are during the day at LLCC, eliminating our students from being a part of the programs, until now.  The school districts of Tri-City, Williamsville, Riverton and Mt. Pulaski are working with LLCC to move some classes from the college campus to high school campuses to reduce the distance.  This is still in the preliminary stages, but school administration remains hopeful new opportunities for students may be found.

Distance Learning involves a grant through the state that would offer Mt. Pulaski an 85% discount on installing a distance learning lab that could link students from different high schools to be in the same classroom without leaving their own campus.  The grant requires nothing from the district to apply and the high school may withdraw from the grant at any time.  District administration will submit the grant this spring and results will be made available next December.  Once the grant is approved, the district has three years to implement the grant.

Being that there was no Unfinished Business, the Board moved into New Business.  The first item involved hiring Mrs. Danielle Lora as the new grade school principal (6-0) to replace Mr. Gene Newton as he retires after 19 years as being Mount Pulaski Grade School Principal.  Mrs. Lora was joined by her husband Santiago, their children and extended family for the occasion.  She will complete the school year as an employee of Lincoln District 27 before starting at Mount Pulaski on July 1, 2020. Lora was hired to a three year contract extending through 2023.

Next, the Board passed a resolution to reaffirm the district’s policy on Worksite Harassment Prohibition, approved the second reading of policy updates, adopted policy updates and approved the district seniority lists all with 6-0 votes.

The Board then entered into a discussion concerning the high school graduation date.  Tradition has dictated that high school graduation be scheduled on a Saturday in May, but this has often times presented conflicts with baseball, softball, track and skeet shooting causing students to choose between graduation and their team.  In an effort to ensure all students participate in graduation, the Board decided to schedule graduation on a Sunday, specifically May 17th at 3:00 PM.  The Board will run the new schedule this year and then reflect on the results before scheduling next year’s graduation date and time.  Junior high graduation will be decided in February.

Mr. Lamkey then reviewed his progress on his professional goals as we pass the halfway mark of the school year.  Superintendent Lamkey’s goals are in the areas of cultural and instructional programming, communicating financial standing and developing district improvement planning.  The Board was able to use this report to reflect upon in completing Superintendent Lamkey’s evaluation.

The final item included the personnel report which hired Ms. Samantha Mileham as a grade school para-professional.  Her hire was approved 6-0.

The Board then voted to enter Executive Session at 7:02 PM to discuss staff evaluation and student discipline, returning at approximately 8:32 PM.  The last discussion of the Board took place under other business where ATM’s and fundraisers were discussed.  The Board decided to direct the Building and Grounds Committee to investigate the possibility of placing an ATM in the high school building.  The Board then granted Coach Dulle permission to conduct a benefit for a volleyball official who lost their spouse over Christmas.  A pork chop dinner will take place next week before a home volleyball game with Riverton.  Proceeds will go to a benefit of the official’s choice.

The meeting adjourned at 8:50 PM.  The next meeting will be on Tuesday, February 18, 2020 in the district office at the Mt. Pulaski Grade School.