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home : local news : local news
August 20, 2019

7/18/2019 11:01:00 AM
Unit 4 changes: New security cameras, new grade-school cafeteria tables
By TOM OSBORNE
Daily News

The Oblong Unit 4 Board of Education Monday made personnel moves to get ready for the upcoming school year.

After a closed session, the board hired Michelle Meese as assistant superintendent. Meese will also continue to serve as the grade school principal.

The board also hired Mark Grubb as high school history teacher and Jason Blankenbaker as the junior high athletic director.

Also, the board approved Tom Dennis and Tristan Sablone as volunteer assistant football coaches and Chris Jobe as volunteer assistant golf coach.

During the regular board meeting, the district volunteer program, procedure and volunteer handbook was approved and also the administrative guidelines for employees for the upcoming school year.

The board accepted the resignation of Roxanne Kessler as grade school teacher.

In other business, the board approved bids from Prairie Farms to supply mild to the district for the 2019-20 school year, Aunt Millies Bakeries to supply bakery products and Wabash Valley Service Co. to supply diesel fuel for the district bus fleet and gasoline for the district's other vehicles.

Unit 4 Superintendent Jeff Patchett said the district spent between $13,000 and $14,000 in gasoline costs in the last year and is hopeful that including that on this year's bid will save the district money in the long haul.

Patchett also noted that the district is working on an updated bus drivers manual for the regular and substitute drivers which will include all their necessary forms and training.

New security cameras are coming online at both campuses and should be fully operational by the time classes resume next month. Patchett said the new cameras will give an enhanced view of the parking areas and will feature more storage capacity to be able to review incidents further past.

Patchett also said the cafeteria tables at the grade school will soon be replaced. These are the same tables originally installed when that building was finished in 1968 and all have had to be repaired many times through the years. "I think the taxpayers have gotten their money's worth from those," Patchett told board members.

The board also approved an agreement with the ERBA Head Start program and approved payment to Twin Rivers Vocational Services. Patchett informed the board that the method some payments for extra programs is going to change in the future. He said it's going to look like the district is getting more money and is spending more for some programs, but in reality not much will have changed. It's simply that rather than some payments going directly to the supplies of the services, the money will first go to the district who will then make the payment.

In other business:

• The board approved the concussion protocol and Return to Learn procedure

• The board approved an agreement with Silverthorne Chevrolet to supply the driver's education car for the 2019-20 school year

• The board opened closed session minutes from January 2019 - June 2019.

The next regular school board meeting will be Monday, Aug. 19 at 6 p.m. in the Oblong Elementary School Oblong Room.





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