AMBOY – A new sport will be available to Amboy Junior High School students this fall. The Amboy Board of Education approved a two-year coop agreement with Paw Paw for junior high soccer for the 2020-21 and 2021-22 school years.
Some board members expressed concern during the May 14 board of education meeting, saying they were reluctant to possibly interfere with the community-based AYSO. However, the new program will be a school sport with transportation provided, trained officials, certified coaches and added structure. The sport will be open to boys and girls in 6th-8th grade. Games and practices will be held in Paw Paw.
Superintendent Joshua Nichols said the Amboy School District expects to receive $102,508 from the Federal Cares Act. The money is to be used to support necessities related to the COVID-19 school shut down including remote learning and Wifi increases. Nichols said the funding amount is based on the district’s Title 1 funding.
Nichols again expressed his appreciation to all staff members and everyone else who supported the school district’s efforts over the past two months. “I am impressed by what we did,” he said. “We have fed 280 students on average each week and we were fortunate that we already had devices for our students, because not all schools did. Some are still shopping for Chromebooks. The staff and everyone involved did a great job.”
• Approval was given to the course requirements for the Amboy High School graduating class of 2020. Nichols said the state gave school districts flexibility in determining the requirements due to reliance on remote learning the past two months.
“This is a hard decision but these are unprecedented times,” he told the board. “There are a few students who, if they were physically in school, would probably graduate because we would be here to help and encourage them. Some students’ personal lives have melted down during this time and it gets a little crazy for them.”
AHS Principal Janet Crownhart noted that the governor’s guidance suggested that any student who was on track to graduate in March, should not be penalized and kept from graduating due to the pandemic. Crownhart said there are only three students on the borderline and their home lives have played a role. “We reached out but there are extenuating circumstances,” she said.
• Nichols said the construction project at AHS is still continuing on schedule. Foundation work is underway and ComEd completed the transition of power. Next will be the precast panels, which are expected in the next month or so.
• The board approved the IASB policy revisions and the fee schedule for 2020-21.
• A proposal from OSF Saint Paul Medical Center, Mendota for drug and alcohol testing services for the 2020-21 school year was approved. Nichols noted that OSF had been doing a good job at a reasonable price and recommended the district continue working with them.
• The board approved two lease proposals from Midwest Transit Equipment, Inc. The first is for a 2019 model, 72-passenger school bus and the second is a for two 2020 model, 14-passenger activity buses. Both leases are for three-years.
• Approval was given to a rental agreement with Technology Resource Advisors, Inc. for 131 Chromebooks at a cost of $52,138.
Following closed session, the board accepted the retirement resignation of Marsha Monaghan as library aide and cashier at Amboy Junior High, effective May 20. They accepted the resignation of Wendy Shiaras as a 3rd grade teacher and of Emily Majewski as a 2nd grade teacher, both effective at the end of the 2019-20 school year.
The resignation of Melissa Fields as assistant head cook at Amboy Junior High was accepted as of May 20. Fields was then approved as building secretary at Central School, effective May 4.
The next regular board meeting will take place at 7 p.m. on Thursday, June 18 at Central School. All meetings are open to the public.