Okawville Schools Receive Donation From Raiders

By Jill Moon

The West Washington School Board received a check for $1,200 and a letter of many thanks from the Washington County Raiders Baseball Association for hosting their basketball tournament at their meeting on January 25. The check was presented to the board and the letter read by Matt Ritzel.

The board heard a request from a parent in attendance to post school board meeting times on the school calendar website which the board agreed it would do.

The 2016-2017 school calendar was read for the first time with students returning on August 16. There will be early dismissals through August 17 with the first full day being on Aug. 18. December 22 will be the last day of school before Christmas vacation with students returning on January 3, 2017. May 15, 2017 will be the last day of the school year if there are no snow days to make up. Superintendent Fuhrhop reported that early dismissal days had been moved to Fridays to give families more weekend time.

The Student Council trip was approved. As traditional the school will pay for a room for the Council’s sponsor. The Board agreed to change their meeting time to 8:00pm starting in March and changed the date of the March meeting to Wednesday, March 23, 8:00pm.

Principal Spinka reported that Family Literacy Night had gone well and had a great response. Spinka said, “I believe our goal was achieved.” The school had used Title I funds to provide gift cards that were used for door prizes that night. He also reported that on March 18, the school will participate in Jump Rope For Life again, all grade levels, and traditionally the fundraiser has been a success.

Principal Senior reported that Okawville’s boy’s and girl’s golf teams and the volleyball team had been honored by the IHSSA for scholastic achievement, earning respectively an average 3.6 GPA, 3.7 GPA, and 3.74 GPA. He also announced that he had secured Camp Intervention pending the board’s approval to use the building to present a week-long camp during late June 2017 for K-5 students. The camp uses Lego’s to teach problem solving and is called a STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) program and is designed to give students an experience of what is needed in today’s job market. The school is actively collecting Lego’s to use for the camp. Senior called it “100% hands-on”. The school needs a minimum of 35 students to host it. Currently the cost per student is $210.00. He is working on getting scholarships for the camp. The board approved the use of the building.

In his report Superintendent Fuhrhop reported that small wiring issues had been found and fixed. He also said “We were very fortunate to have spotted a faulty gasket so it didn’t leak all weekend.” He also reported meeting with Prairie State representatives and that the Enterprise Zone was in place for 15 years.

Board President Ron Recker explained to the board a plan to use $1.1 million in the Capital Project Fund to pay off a bond early. This would save the school $138,000 in interest while leaving a $1 million cushion. This plan was approved.