The Oblong Unit 4 Board of Education took care of a few routine matters and also approved a service dog at its meeting Monday.
The board approved a service dog request at Oblong High School and Oblong Grade School. The dog will not be at the schools to service the needs of any specific student, but will rather be a friendly face for the kids to see as they enter the schools to get their day off to a positive start.
"For the last two years, we've been looking at students who have had adverse childhood experiences and different ways we can meet their needs," Unit 4 Superintendent Jeff Patchett said. "The service dog can be something that students can look forward to seeing as they come to school and get their day started on a happy note."
Patchett said the dog will be provided by Oblong resident Kim Harmon, who has worked with her dog in other schools in the area.
He added the dog will not be taken around to the classrooms in the buildings and students will in no way be required to interact with it, but it will be available to students who need a little something extra to brighten their day.
In personnel matters, the board accepted the resignation of Ron Jennings as transportation driver. The board also hired Mike Ray as high school baseball coach, Elizabeth Inboden as bus driver, and approved Nicole Logan as high school scholastic bowl sponsor.
The board approved the substitute teachers, aides, bus drivers, cooks and custodian lists.
The board approved three transportation bids for older vehicles which have been retired. Patchett said none of the vehicles are currently running, but could be used for scrap or for spare parts.
Also, the board recognized the Pre-Kindergarten class at the grade school for receiving the Golden Circle of Quality distinction from the Illinois State Board of Education.
The program recognizes schools which meet or exceed specific quality benchmarks on learning environment, instructional quality and all program administrative standards; group size and staff/child ratios; staff qualifications; and professional development.
The next regular school board meeting will be Monday, Nov. 18 at 6 p.m. in the Oblong Room at Oblong Grade School.