AMBOY – Another winter, another round of steam leaks have been discovered at Amboy Junior High School. Reporting at the Jan. 21 board of education meeting, Superintendent Joshua Nichols said the ongoing maintenance issues at AJHS are mainly due to the age of the building. “The biggest problem is that the pipes are so old, if they twist the pipe, it breaks,” he explained.
Keeping the old building functional has been a challenge for some time. Nichols reminded the board that some of the parts are so old, they cannot easily be replaced because they are no longer available. The parts would have to be special ordered, which is not only expensive but can take months to produce. For now, he said they have some temporary heaters/heat pumps available to help with heating if needed.
Amboy High School Principal Janet Crownhart congratulated January Student of the Month Brooklyn Whelchel.
Curriculum and School Improvement
● Deb Cleary received a Maggie & Amos Foundation “Elf-Sized” Grant for Educators in the amount of $250 for supplies to do needle felting and to create reproductions of famous artworks.
● AHS students returned to school on Jan. 4. Crownhart said about 55 students are learning remotely.
● The School Improvement Team met on Jan. 20 to discuss semester exam exemptions and 1st semester remediation options.
● Two graduated students, Ashley Althaus and Margaret Vaessen, are applying for their American FFA Degrees this spring. “We wish them the best of luck,” Crownhart said.
Amboy Junior High Principal Andrew Full
Curriculum and School Improvement
● On Jan. 6, the School Improvement Team met with Anji Garza from the ROE to discuss retention/student engagement, success plans for students, grading protocols, data, special education items with special education teachers, and school improvement reports.
● On Jan. 7, a faculty meeting was held to discuss rapid testing, bus evacuation video, SLOs/Observations, Pay It Forward presentation, grading, retention of students, student success plans, STAR data, and new building update.
● The monthly awards will be given on Jan. 25, and names will be reported at the February board meeting.
● On Jan. 4, Amboy Junior High held the Significant 24, which is a shorter version of the Significant 72 that started the school year. Students were welcomed back to school with different activities that included self-reflection, goal setting for 2021, review of remote learning 101, team building (pay it forward idea), and rock/paper/scissors competition.
AJHS 6th grader, Jake Dinges, and his teacher, Yvonne Vicks, attended the board meeting and gave an informative presentation on various aspects of the program.
● Full congratulated Jasper Oury for being the school-wide winner of the rock/paper/scissors competition.
● Faculty/staff and students watched a bus evacuation video on Jan. 8 during WIN. The video counts towards the annual bus evacuation drill required by the state.
● The classroom/grade level spelling bee has started, organized this year by Ashley Platz. The winner of the school spelling bee will be eligible to compete in the regional spelling bee.
● AJHS Student Council is running a “Penny Drive” this month to raise money for PADS (homeless shelter) in Dixon.
Principal Joyce Schamberger, Central Elementary
• The Problem Solving Team met with grade level teams to discuss struggling students.
• The grade level teams re-trained Central students on the expectations for PBIS by watching a video made by Central’s former 4th grade students.
• Student of the Month awards will be handed out on Jan. 25. Students will be reminded to continue reading their library books and taking tests to earn points.
• The Book-It activity for the month of January will be on Jan. 29 with a dress up activity planned by the specials team. Students who have met their reading goals for the month will be able to participate by dressing up as their favorite Scooby Doo character.
• Central PTC met on Jan. 11. Plans are underway for the annual Pancake Breakfast. This will be done as a carry out meal/breakfast.
• Central School will celebrate the 100th day of school on Jan. 28. Students will be able to dress up like the 70s and/or 80s and will have to stop, drop and dance when it’s announced over the PA system.
• Schamberger thanked the Lee County Health Department for delivery of a washer and dryer, which were received at no cost to the district due to a grant from LCHD.
• Schamberger congratulated Mrs. Hussey and Mrs. Burke for applying and obtaining $250 grants from The Maggie & Amos Foundation.
• Schamberger expressed her appreciation to Amie Wiseman for posting photos of Central’s faculty and staff on the district website.
• Building construction update - Temporary portable heat is allowing work to continue. Nichols said they were hoping to pour the gym floor on Jan. 25 and the locker room area was poured on Jan. 22. Electricians, plumbers, masons are also still working.
• Illinois Association of School Boards (IASB) policy revisions were approved.
• Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF) resolution was approved.
The next regular board meeting will take place at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 18 at Central School. All meetings are open to the public.