AMBOY – Pre-K will return to Amboy thanks to a $142,000 grant recently awarded to District 272. After delivering the good news to board members during the June 14 board of education meeting, Superintendent Jeff Thake thanked Amboy principals Joyce Schamberger and Joshua Nichols for making the grants possible.
“I want to recognize Joyce and Josh for their efforts and hard work to secure the grants,” Thake said. “We all know how important Pre-K is and we were finally able to secure that grant. A lot of our neighboring districts did not get that funding.”
Thake also pointed out that even after completing the required paperwork, submitting the competitive grant proposal became another arduous task for Nichols because it had to be taken in person to Springfield during the winter months.
“It was sub zero that day and there was ice on the roads,” Nichols recalled of the 160-mile trip to the capital city. “They wanted it hand delivered - they didn’t want it e-mailed or on a jump drive.”
Although the grant has officially been awarded to Amboy, Schamberger said they were not sure if the money would arrive in time for first or second semester of the 2018-19 school year. She also noted that while there is room for the class to be held at Central School, a certain amount of equipment specific to pre-school will have to be acquired in preparation for the younger students.
With his departure for Williston, N.D. just a few days away, Thake said he had been working to tie up any loose ends within the district.
“We’ve been very busy the last couple weeks and our district is in a very good position,” he said. “I’ve been here for 12 years and I’ve truly, truly enjoyed every moment I’ve had in the Amboy School District. I have very fond memories I will take with me. Thank you.”
• A rental agreement with American Capital Financial Services, Inc. for Chromebooks was approved by the board. Thake said this was one of the first leases the district had for Chromebooks and that initial group of laptops will be replaced with newer Chromebooks.
Thake noted that in the coming weeks there will also be a proposal for a second lease for 45 larger touchscreen Chromebooks with stylus capability. These larger laptops will be for use by staff members. Although the staff currently uses MacBook Pro laptops, for the next year they will have both types in preparation for a switch the following year to exclusive use of Chromebooks within the district.
• A two-year managed services agreement with Single Path for technology was approved by the board. Thake noted that the district has been very successful working with Single Path in the past. Additionally, the company hired an AHS student to help them during the summer, which is funded in the agreement.
• The board approved a co-op agreement with the LaMoille and Ohio school districts to consolidate football, football cheerleading, boy’s and girl’s track and field, and wrestling for the coming school year. In a second agreement, they approved a co-op with LaMoille, Ohio and Ashton Franklin Center for boy’s and girl’s cross country and boy’s and girl’s golf.
* Student handbooks were approved per Illinois Principals Association suggestions for language and legal updates. Illinois Association of School Boards (IASB) policy revisions were also approved.
Following closed session, the board approved Joshua Nichols as superintendent of Amboy Community Unit School District 272, with a three-year contract from June 15 through June 30, 2021.
The board accepted the resignation of Kim Sondgeroth as Spanish teacher at AHS and of Barbara Lowery as assistant cook at AJHS. They hired Eduardo Escatel as a Spanish teacher at AHS for the 2018-19 school year and approved extra curricular positions at AHS and AJHS/Central School for the coming school year.
The board also approved the employment of Maverick Lindenmeyer as summer help at the bus garage.
The next regular board meeting will take place at 7 p.m. on Thursday, July 19 at Amboy High School.
In addition, a special board meeting to discuss the future of the Amboy Junior High building will take place at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, June 26 at Amboy High School.
Representatives from CTS will attend the meeting to present information about alternative plans.
The community is encouraged to come to the meeting, where they will be able to ask the board any questions they may have regarding the project.