School finances all in order, board approves bids for building project


AMBOY – Amboy School District’s annual audit was approved by the board following a report presented by auditor Ryan Steines of Winkel, Parker & Foster, CPA PC. Reporting at the Oct. 22 board of education meeting, Steines said the district’s financial records for fiscal year 2019 were all in order. Steines then gave some highlights from the report. 

* Property tax receipts collected totaled $7,147,590 during the fiscal year. Tax levy for the previous year was $7,141,561. The 2018 tax levy is $8,528,541, which is received in the current fiscal year ending June 30, 2020. 

* The district’s total operating expense for the year ending June 30, 2019 was about $8,311,000. Divided by 663 students, this gives an estimated operating expense per pupil of $12,543, a slight increase (2.9 percent) from $12,355 per pupil the year prior. The number of students in the district increased by 10. 

* Current cash balance as of June 30, 2019 was $24,686,121. Steines noted that the balance will go back down in the coming year as the district pays for the junior high building project. 

* The legal debt margin for the district is $19,999,396. There is remaining debt of $1,863,998 from the 2013 bonds along with the 2019 General Obligation Bonds of $15,575,000 that were issued in February. That leaves the district with an available debt margin of $2,560,398. 

PRINCIPALS’ REPORTS

Amboy High School Principal Janet Crownhart congratulated October Student of the Month Margaret Vaessen.

Curriculum and School Improvement

• The Building Leadership Team met on Oct. 2 to discuss how to prepare for an active shooter situation and on Oct. 16 for discussion on the failing list and how to better help students.

• All district staff members participated in an Armed Intruder Drill on Oct. 7 at Central. Crownhart gave special thanks to Lieutenant Atwell and Officer Lester for their participation and support during the event.

• On Oct. 7, staff learned about Xello, which is a questionnaire that helps students consider various career fields based on their likes and dislikes. Crownhart explained that Xello lists possible career pathways students might want, tells them what schooling they would need, the skills it would require, and suggests other similar jobs in case their first choice does not work out. 

That day, students also watched a video on social media safety during their PE classes and took a survey about the social media accounts they have, led by Mrs. Wiseman.

School Activities

• Mr. Wissinger took freshmen and sophomores to Sauk Valley Community College on Sept. 23 to learn about dual-credit opportunities Sauk offers.

• On Sept. 25, Mr. Wissinger took junior and senior students who were interested to the Walmart Distribution Center to learn about careers and benefits the company can offer once students turn 18.

• The Section 2 Land Use CDE at Sauk Valley Community College took place on Sept. 17. Amboy took third place overall and individuals who placed included Calvin Seier-5th, Margaret Vaessen-7th, and Carter Seier-8th.

• At the FarmHER Market on Oct. 5, Margaret Vaessen and Bailey Bickett spoke about FFA and the opportunities agriculture classes provide.

• For the first time in many years, Crownhart said the AHS Band participated in Autumn on Parade on Oct. 6 and scored fifth among the 10 bands in the parade. She congratulated Mr. Kemmerer and Kaylee Jones for their hard work. 

Building Activities

• The first fire drill was held on Sept. 13 and a second was held on Oct. 3 with Amboy Fire Department supervision.

Principal Andrew Full, Amboy Junior High 

Curriculum and School Improvement

• Shauna Dinges attended a RtI meeting at Sauk on Sept. 24.

• School Improvement Team met on Oct. 1 to discuss RtI, schedules, and next steps

• Shauna Dinges, Stacey Dinges, and Full attended a workshop called “Coach it Further” on Oct. 3.

• Shauna Dinges and Kaylee Jones attended a math training on Oct. 7 to learn more about a curriculum and how it is implemented.

• On Oct. 9, the 5th and 6th grade teams held their grade level team meetings and several teachers including Shauna Dinges, Stacey Dinges, Tina Lindenmeyer, Yvonne Vicks, Betsy Jones, and Katie Henkel, attended a workshop on how to better use Renaissance. 

• On Oct. 16, the 7th and 8th grade teams held grade level team meetings.

PBIS

• Awards presented at the monthly PBIS Assembly on Oct. 7 included Clipper P.R.I.D.E., Students of the Month, faculty/staff recognition, and volleyball pins. A friendly competition was held between grade levels and teachers.

• Clipper P.R.I.D.E. Awards were given to the following students: Alexis Davis, Colt McCoy, Tanner Welch, Dakotta Groth, Ellie McLaughlin, Ezra Parker, Emilie Reed-Dempsey, Landon Roath, Bradley Schmidt, Jarrett Althaus, Wyatt Eisenberg, Atticus Goff, Tyrah Vaessen, Carter Boehle, Kayden Law, Ollie Lee, and Kimber Zitelman.

• Students of the Month included: 8th Grade- Liz Clarida and Emma Dinges; 7th Grade- Atticus Goff and Ava Cline; 6th Grade- Eriannah Wade and Rylan McNinch; 5th Grade- Aubrey Wells and Jake Dinges; and P.E.- Alainie Wittenauer and Caiden Heath.

• Faculty/Staff Recognition winners were Ben Schott and Ashley Platz

School Activities

• The Speech Team, coached by Yvonne Vicks, began in September and will compete on Nov. 1 at Rockridge. 

• A fire drill was held on Oct. 7 with the Amboy Fire Department.

• Boys basketball has started with coaches Chris Payne and Jeff Christoffersen.

Principal Joyce Schamberger, Central Elementary 

School Improvement/Professional Development

• Parent Teacher Conferences were scheduled on Oct. 24 and 25. Schamberger said they also planned to have information on car seats and boosters. “After being a crossing guard a few mornings, I realized we need to get information to parents on the laws for boosters and car seats,” she commented.

• Lindsay Spinelli, district school nurse, Joshua Nichols and Schamberger attended the annual Crisis Plan committee meeting.

• All staff participated in the annual Law Enforcement Drill.

• Kindergarten teachers uploaded the KIDS assessment on Oct. 15.

PBIS

• Central School held their first quarter celebration playing board games in the classrooms per grade level on Oct. 23. Fall classroom parties were also held that day.

• Student of the month certificates were handed out during an all school assembly on Oct. 7. Schamberger said students were reminded of the school’s 21,000-point goal and as of Oct. 7, they had read 3,200 points for the month of September. To illustrate for students the number of points earned and how many more they need to reach the goal, Mrs. Burke and Mrs. Wiseman made a Disney Castle that fills up as a visual guide.

School Activities

• The 4th grade had Best Attendance (97.9 percent) for the months of August and September combined. They will celebrate with a snack from the kitchen paid for by Central PTC.

• All students visited the Amboy Fire Department and the Smokehouse on Oct. 4.

• The preschool’s fall field trip to Jonomac Apple Orchard was Oct. 9.

• The Central School PTC held a successful Book Fair Sept. 30–Oct. 4.

• Schamberger thanked Jim Travi and the Amboy Lions Club for their generous donation of pumpkins. The fourth grade students were able to draw on their pumpkins and then put them on display for all to enjoy.

OTHER BUSINESS

The board approved several junior high/high school building project bids. They included:

Bleachers - Larson Equipment & Furniture Company ($148,500)

Lockers - Quality Erectors 1, Inc. ($116,100)

Wood gym floor - Prostar Surfaces, Inc. ($148,065)

Freezer (change order) - Servco ($15,158.98) Nichols explained that the cost to move the old freezer would have been $1,795 with no guarantee it would work properly after the move, so the board decided to go with a new freezer. The district will be credited with the $1,795 reducing the cost of the new freezer from $16,953.98 to $15,158.98. “It did not seem to make sense to spend all of that money to move and reuse something when it had the potential to not work properly afterward,” Nichols said later. 

PERSONNEL

Following closed session, the board accepted the resignation of Kelly Foster as co-sponsor of the Junior Beta Club and approved her as co-sponsor of cheerleading at Amboy Junior High.

The next regular board meeting will take place at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 12 at Central School. All meetings are open to the public.

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