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West Washington School Board Talks Budget Concerns, Student Health Protocols

By Jill Moon

The Okawville School Board had its November meeting on the 22 one of the first topics on everyone’s mind was the state’s budget.

After several trips to Springfield to advocate for his school Superintendent Scott Fuhrhop reported that, “Illinois has spent $21 Billion this year without having a state budget in place.”

The school’s own bills were discussed. Fuhrhop reported that inner components in two elevators had to be replaced, possibly having been damaged in an electrical storm or other power surge. The school got some credit back. The greenhouse tank and gas are installed and ready to go. Bonds and possible refinancing were discussed but it was too early to tell which ones were eligible and what the savings might be.

Also discussed was the new Asthma Protocol. The first step is now to call 911, then the nurse, then the parent. Apparently, somewhere a child having an asthma attack had 911 called on the third step and went into seizure.

The Concussion Protocol was discussed, with four stages explained and a child with a concussion must spend at least 24 hours in each stage, although each stage might take more than that.

Each stage must be determined, diagnosed and released by a physician.

The first stage is to be symptom-free for 24 hours. The second stage progresses to limited activities like no heavy backpacks, extra curriculars like band, and the like.

If they then are symptom free after 24 hours they advance to the next level which they have to be symptom free for 24 hours. Then they can progress to full academics. After 24 hours and no symptoms they can progress to no restrictions.

This was only the first reading of these proposed revisions and they will be read again before voted on.

The other resolution up for discussion was regarding expense compensation for school board members, which Fuhrhop said mainly regarded hotel rooms if board members needed to travel out of town for any reason.

He said this cost was always figured into the budget and had never been exceeded.

There was some discussion of an anticipated levy, the time and date for this meeting will be December 22 at 7:15 p.m..

In his report Principal Senior congratulated Abby Riechmann for finishing in 98th place out of 214.

He said she does a fantastic job of representing the name on the jersey, meaning Okawville athletes show good sportsmanship.

He then talked about the Five Essential Surveys, which are done by parents, student, and teachers. Although they wont have the data until next year, it is another tool to tell them areas where the school can improve to better teach their students. He called it “an inclusive survey to tell them they can all do better”.

Senior then mentioned the motorcade of slain PFC Tyler Iubelt which passed through Washington County recently. He described the students’ reactions, and said, “I felt our kids learned a valuable lesson outside these walls during the motorcade.” The students watched the procession from the I-64 overpass as it came near Okawville.

Senior then mentioned standardized test scores, in which of all three of the tests Okawville students, “did phenomenal”. He then showed a slide to prove it.

The P.A.R.C.C testing is being phased out in favor of other tests like ASPIRE, and not exactly new for Illinois, the SAT, but not the gold standard the ACT was for so long.

Senior mentioned that for younger children not used to standardized test formats, even taking the test can be a challenge. Younger children often don’t always know that scrolling down reveals another page.

In IL Common Core English Language Arts, Okawville students scored above the state line. This data identifies things that may not have been taught yet at test time. It actually identifies which questions no student got right. So then they can look at why.

The Landscape Design class is making full use of the greenhouse.