First Day of Student Attendance, Wednesday, August 23rd

We have received our occupancy permits and all schools will be open for learning on Wednesday, August 23rd.  We will dismiss one hour early on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday this week.  We are grateful for your patience, support and flexibility as we work together to make this a fantastic year for all of our students!

 

Report Shared at February 9, 2017 Board Meeting

This is a BOE Presentation, February 9 2017 c that was shared in open session at the regular February school board meeting last evening.  More than 70 people were in attendance, and there was several different pieces of information that were shared, as well as even more background material from the meeting that was shared February School Board Meeting at the district’s online school board meeting presence.

Geneseo Schools have a long tradition of excellence in academics, athletics, arts and activities.  The combination of declining state revenues, as well as increasing costs of mandates, and community desire to offer an extremely comprehensive educational program for a district of our size, has created financial challenges that leave the Board with some very difficult decisions.  Hopefully this report helps make the context of where we are and what options exist easier to understand.

The “Hits” Keep Coming

The Illinois Association of School Boards has recently updated a list of mandates that the Illinois General Assembly has placed on schools — WITHOUT adequate funding to support the initiatives.  While some of these are difficult to argue against, because they are common sense safety initiatives; there are others that lead you to wonder whether or not they have a place on the floor of a statehouse for a vote.  Perhaps legislators could spend some time voting out 2 laws that are no longer as necessary before adding one.

Talking to your children about the current scary things out there…

After 32 years as a public educator, I never thought that I would be writing a note about clowns scaring people, but I also never thought 32 years ago about being able to type something that thousands of people could read on a computer, or make a phone call that went out to thousands of people at once.

This epidemic of the scariness of the clowns via the news media, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc. is an issue that the school district takes seriously, primarily because it is impacting the ability of children to focus and learn, which is our core mission here at school.

You can help us by being sensitive to your children’s concerns and assuring them, as you can, that you do all you can to keep them safe at home and that the school district does all it can to keep them safe when they are with us.  Much of these news stories have undocumented rumors and innuendo, and we know that there have been Internet threats made via posts by a Clowny Bobby or under other pseudonyms, in fact, just up the road in Prophetstown.

But please know this– should someone come onto any of our school grounds, dressed in a manner to scare children or adults, or try any type of communication that is threatening, intimidating, or intended to frighten or harm children or adults– we will file whatever formal complaint is necessary to move charges to be filed.  Mr. Haugse and I often talk about how we sometimes hear adults tell us, “They were just students playing a prank.”  Too often these so called pranks are actually vandalism, or in the cases of these clown incidents, blatant intimidation and harassment.

So for those of you with younger students, please talk to your children and reassure them that many adults are vigilant in trying to keep them safe from harm.  And if you have older children, who have access to social media, this is a great time to let them know to exercise good judgment– encouraging this “clownish” behavior or inviting clowns onto our campus will result in consequences for those students inciting such nonsense.

We all want this Homecoming Weekend to be a memorable one for our students and the many alumni who will be returning to our school community.  May we quickly return to a focus of a mission to Teach-Learn-Care; and comforting frightened students at this time fits right into that mission.  We appreciate your engagement with this at home, and we will do our best to do right by your children at our schools.

Should you see or hear any issues of concern, please contact your school office or call the Central Office at (309)-945-0450.

Scott Kuffel, Superintendent

Tuesday, August 16, 2016 Construction Update

SchoolMessenger August 16, 2016 Construction Update

Good evening, this is Scott Kuffel, superintendent of the District 228 schools, and here is the most recent construction update from Tuesday, August 16th. This is starting to feel a little like an evening Prairie Home Companion episode, but I’m hoping we don’t have too many more of these!

Progress continues to roll at Millikin School. All flooring and floor trim work should be completed by early this evening and flooring contractors are out of the building. Crews have already been putting furniture back into the remodeled classrooms and teachers are working feverishly to put items back in order to start the year. New library and office furniture arrived and is being assembled and put into place… while it isn’t all in and completely set up, those spaces will be functional by Friday for sure.

We walked through the entire building and outside the grounds with our Assistant Regional Superintendent in advance of our 1 pm meeting Wednesday, and she seemed pleased with the progress. Without putting words in her mouth or any undue pressure, it certainly seemed that she shared our confidence that we will be able to open schools on Friday morning, August 19th. The asphalt playground area and front parking lot still need good cleaning, classrooms will need to be re-cleaned a bit, the hallways, cafeteria and gymnasium need some polish, but all in all the building is buttoning up quite nicely.

So barring something totally unforeseen and out of left field for which we have no control, please plan on sending your children to school on Friday, August 19th. School will be dismissed on Friday and Monday, August 22nd 1-hour early. Millikin School will host their Back to School night on Thursday, August 18th from 5-7 p.m. The Ladders PreK program will not begin until Tuesday, August 23rd. We will continue to update you with any new, breaking information, but for now, we wish you a successful Back to School Night at Southwest and Northside tonight, and at the MS and HS tomorrow evening.

Keep your fingers crossed for tomorrow afternoon’s walk through!

Let’s Take Precautions Against the Flu

Local media has alerted all of us to the possibilities of a flu epidemic.  Several area schools have been hit very hard, even to the point of considering closing their schools.  The Center for Disease Control website has many sections of helpful information for the flu.  This site is specifically designed to be useful to parents.  We encourage you to be mindful of the impact of sending your child to school ill during this time of year.  We’re grateful to the fantastic work our school nurses and they are also a great resource to you in case you have questions.