MOUNT VERNON — Educational institutions are still “not sure how the budget bill will shake out,” said Richard McLarnan at Wednesday’s meeting of the Knox County Educational Service Center board.
The ESC itself is receiving less money in some areas than in the past, and other funds, such as federal stimulus dollars and grants for the first-year teacher mentoring program, are flowing through the local schools rather than being paid directly to the ESC. Treasurer Heather Darnold said the ESC will receive a little more preschool grant money than anticipated, but will take a hit in the first-year mentoring program and Alternative Center funding.
Superintendent Dave Southward reported a new phone system has been installed at the Alternative Center, the new Web site is up and running, and staff handbooks are now online, resulting in savings of money, time and labor. He also said there were more than 100 teachers at the countrywide inservice on classroom management, and anticipates the same number will attend next week’s professional development session on literacy.
Regarding personnel, the board approved the employment of a number of instructors for a variety of courses for the virtual learning academy, and granted several supplemental contracts to KCESC employees to teach virtual classes. It accepted the substitute teacher and teacher aide lists, and hired Julie Conkel as a reading teacher at the Alternative Center, with her salary to be paid through the Alternative Challenge Grant.
Nicole Dziengelewski was approved as a preschool teacher for the Bladensburg site and Robert Reveal as a special education teacher at Mount Vernon Middle School, pending proper certification and background check. The board contracted with Leah Clendening for physical therapy services, as needed, and employed Dan Shuman on an as-needed basis to conduct after-school programming at the Alternative Center. He will be paid from the 21st Century Learning grant.
The board also re-employed Carol Laufersweiler as parent mentor, to be paid through the Parent Mentor grant, and entered into a service agreement with Mount Vernon City Schools for her to work there as well. Mary Rodstrom was issued a supplemental contract to provide preschool assessments and IEPs during the summer.
The board approved a list of school bus drivers for Danville and Fredericktown for the 2009-10 school year. It also approved a list of new math textbooks to be used in Danville schools beginning with the 2009-10 school year, re-employed Ina Marie Curtis as an intervention specialist at the Alternative Center at the request of MVCS and hired Amy Morrison, LPN, on as as-needed basis for Fredericktown schools.
In other action, the board approved changes to the professional staff evaluation procedures. Southward said the research-based evaluation instrument will give a more thorough and comprehensive appraisal of the staff’s performance. The board also adopted handbooks for the Alternative Center and paraprofessional staff.
The next meeting of the board will be Sept. 9 at noon. Countywide Aviation Day is scheduled for Sept. 23.