•December 23, 2015•
By Ariana Cherry
For the News Progress
The Arthur-Lovington/Atwood-Hammond School Board approved its 4.97% property tax levy for taxes payable in 2016 at its most recent school board meeting.
The district also voted to abate the sales tax for year 2015 to pay debt service on General Obligation Bonds which is an alternate revenue source. The sales tax is the primary revenue source to pay for the junior high addition. If something happens to the sales tax, then the district would have to use property taxes,” Superintendent Kenny Schwengel said.
Supt. Schwengel stated that all funds are in the black and the checkbook has around $6.177 million. “We are still waiting on reorganization money. We haven’t received any special education funds or transportation money.The general state aid funding will come through in June at a reduced rate of 92%,” he said.
Other matters that were discussed or voted upon: Read More
Shawnee to Preserve Moultrie Heritage and Continue Network Improvements
•December 23, 2015•
Shawnee Communications (Shawnee) and Moultrie MultiCorp, Inc., today announced that Shawnee, a rural provider of telephone, high speed Internet and other telecommunications services in five southern Illinois counties, would acquire Moultrie MultiCorp, Inc., the holding company of Moultrie Independent Telephone Company (MITC) and MITC’s affiliated companies, including One-Eleven Internet Services and Moultrie Telecommunications.
Shawnee announced that the Lovington based companies would continue to operate with no changes and that Shawnee would continue investing in technology infrastructure to provide customers with the latest in telecommunications and high speed Internet services, preserving the strong legacy left by Moultrie’s current owners, the Bowers brothers. Read More
•December 23, 2015•
Lovington Public Library will hold a family game night competition 5:30-7:30 p.m. Monday Jan. 4. Those attending may bring their own board and card games or borrow the library’s games.
Reading Redbirds Youth Book Club for fourth-eighth graders meets 3:30-4:30 p.m. on the first and third Tuesday of each month. The children in this club enjoy planning and assisting with library events and discussing their favorite books.
Community service hours and volunteer experience that will look good on a resume may be earned by teens volunteering for tasks such as cleaning, shelving books, helping to create new book displays, as well as providing feedback and suggestions for teen programming. It is held every Tuesday after school.
Wee Readers Storytime meets 10-10:30 a.m. Thursday mornings. Preschoolers two years and older hear a story, do song and dance, play games and more. Themes include Jan. 7 - “Snowmen”, Jan. 14 - “Penguins”, Jan. 21 - “Sledding”, Jan. 28 - “Snowballs”.
Crazy 8s is a cool over-the-top after school club that’s designed to get kids fired up about math. Starting January 8, every Friday from 4-5 p.m. kids will get to build stuff, run and jump, make music and new friends. This program is for children in grades third-fifth. Children should be preregistered at the library. Read More
College & Career Are Goals
By Mike Brothers
Sullivan District 300 school board members learned high school and elementary school student assessment testing results were good, but some work needs to been done in the middle school.
School psychologist Jessica L. Reeder presented Partnership for Assessment of Readiness of College and Careers (PARCC) testing results December 14.
Reeder noted this was the first year for PARCC testing for grades 3-8 in English, language arts and mathematics. Juniors at Sullivan High School were tested in English III and Algebra II.
Reeder explained the scoring gap between high school and elementary may be partly explained by the recent curricula changes. “Teaching Common Core is raising the bar of expectations,” she said, noting students achieving past curricula expectation levels are now having to advance.
Superintendent Brad Tuttle noted the staff and students put in a lot of blood, sweat and tears on the PARCC tests, which require up to three weeks at the elementary level and one day at the high school level.
Tuttle did explain that funding for the testing has yet to be determined. The state paid testing expenses in the past, but since there is no state budget, those questions remain.
“I like that we are teaching kids to think outside the box,” Reeder said of Common Core, noting tests are requiring students to think critically, solve problems and explain their answers.
She explained that kind of thinking is essential when preparing students for college and careers.
Scoring was separated into five levels and a point system ranging from 650 to 850. Students achieving levels four and five (scoring 750-850) were at the top of the scale of college and career ready candidates. Read More