The Palestine Unit 3 School Board Tuesday night started working on plans to help with maintenance projects in the district.
Interim Superintendent Dr. Jo Campbell told the board that after discussions with the district's architect, custodian and others, they believe the time is right to apply for an Illinois School Maintenance Project Grant.
Campbell said plans have been submitted by the committee over the years, with a new item added to it recently.
"There is a section of the drain line for the kitchen at the high school that is in need of repairs," Campbell said.
High school Principal Tangi Waldrop also said the drain has been plugged up for years, and the district might have to use a scope to further assess the damage. However, the density of the concrete plug is unknown and makes it difficult for workers to decide how deep to cut into it before the scope can be inserted.
Replacing the sink attached to the drain was also found to not be a good option.
Campbell said that the grant would be helpful for the drain, if the problem gets resolved. This grant would make $50,000 available to the district, and they will have two years to spend the money. Any funds leftover would be returned to the state.
"If we come up with a $51,000 project the state would fund $50,000, and we would fund $1,000," Campbell said.
The board approve the motion to apply for the grant, considering the deadline is fast approaching on Feb. 14.
Waldrop also said the "five essentials" survey is available on the school's website and Facebook. This survey gives parents and guardians the opportunity to show what they seek from their school in helping with their child's future.
Palestine High School will also play host to an American Red Cross blood drive on Tuesday, Jan. 29. Other important dates include the winter dance on Fe. 1 and the high school prom on May 2 at the school. The prom will go from 7:30 to 11 p.m.
In her report, Grade School Principal Jessica Sisil announced that Jack Hawkins placed fourth in the District's Patriot's Pen last Saturday in Effingham. Three other students have also been honored for their outstanding essays.
Sisil also announced a special event, which began early Wednesday.
"We will have a school-wide spelling bee for the first time," Sisil said. "The top 10 bee will take place Thursday morning."
Campbell thanked both principals in helping him put together the district's risk management plan, which has now been drafted.
Sisil's recommendation to purchase a district procurement card was also approved.
"Right now the district doesn't have a credit card," Sisil said. "It's not good for an administrator or faculty member to use their own card on behalf of the district without being reimbursed."
The procurement card is highly recommended by the state, and considered a good move according to district auditors. The amount on the card, whose program is through BMO Harris Bank, will be determined by the bookkeeper. It will also help control who has the card and purchases as well.
When asked who the card will be used by, Campbell said most likely himself and two administrators, but can expand to different departments.
Campbell was forced to rescind a previous decision by the board in regards to an internet provider. Last meeting the school approved Wabash Communications for the provider, but district rules say otherwise.
"There has to be a 28-day period to consider options before approval," Campbell said.
The board rescinded the motion and deliberated further about the matter, but decided the time is not right to choose one now, considering several options which have been offered since.
Sisil's request for a speech therapy contact with DotCom Therapy was also approved. DotCom is currently employed by Hutsonville and is considered Palestine's only option at this point.
In other business the board approved: Amber McGuire as a substitute cook and custodian; Shawn Yealick as substitute bus driver; Kelsie Adams as an elementary paraprofessional; an LBS1 teaching position for the 2020-21 school year; and closed-session recordings for destruction.
The next regular meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 18.