Lee County provides rapid COVID tests for Amboy students


AMBOY – Rapid tests for COVID-19 are now available in Amboy schools. Reporting at the Feb. 18 board of education meeting, Superintendent Joshua Nichols said thanks to the Lee County Health Department, the district now has 80 rapid tests. The tests can be used on students who are showing symptoms, as long as parental consent has been given, and results are ready in 15 minutes. 

“We are very excited to have these tests available and the county said we should be able to get more tests if needed,” Nichols told the board. 

The continued cold weather in recent weeks caused a number of heating and maintenance problems in all three school buildings. Although all of the issues appeared to be fixed for now, Nichols said the severe cold had taken its toll. 

“With all the problems at the junior high especially, the sooner the heating season is over, it won’t be soon enough,” he said.


Amboy High School Principal Janet Crownhart congratulated February Student of the Month Erin Latta. 

Curriculum and School Improvement 

● NHS started offering virtual tutoring after school for remote students who need extra help. Students are able to access a Google Meet from the school website. The link has also been shared with students and staff. 

● Crownhart thanked Country Village Meats for supplying animal parts to the anatomy class for dissection and internal cow organs for ag classes.

● Two medical students from U of I Chicago met virtually with students on Feb. 10 to teach them about the effects of caffeine on the teen body. Students took a pretest and will take a post test this week.

School Activities

● The Academic Team took part in multiple virtual meets and performed well in each of the events.

● Boys and girls basketball are underway. Home games are streamed through the district website.

● The kitchen now has a kiosk in the hallway near the entrance for breakfast service and Crownhart said participation numbers are slowly climbing.

● Students took the 5-Essentials survey on Feb. 11 during homeroom.

● Students are starting to select their classes for next year.

Amboy Junior High Principal Andrew Full 

Curriculum and School Improvement

● On Feb. 3, the School Improvement Team met with Anji Garza from the ROE to discuss the IAR Schedule, 5 Essentials, Student Retention, Student Success Plans, and School Improvement State Reports.

● On Feb. 8, the School Improvement Team met with Anji Garza to discuss and update the IQF for Amboy Junior High School.

● On Feb. 9, Full attended an Administrator Academy via Zoom on the topic of time management.


● On Jan. 25, the monthly PBIS celebration/assembly was held over Google Meets and the following awards were handed out:

Students of the Month

5th Grade- Brysen Deery and Gabby Miller.

6th Grade- Madison Althaus and Colt McCoy.

7th Grade- Ellie McLaughlin and Bella Yanos.

8th Grade- Carson Barlow and Tyrah Vaessen.

P.E.- Hayden Hunsberger and Amelia Moan.

Clipper P.R.I.D.E.- Jake Dinges, Mylee Hochstatter, Kaitlyn Dempsey, Addi Blaine, Brandon Campiran, Landon Carter, Gavin Nichols, Abel Valdez, Atticus Goff, James Eisenberg, Kaylee Zimmerman, Brysen Full, Elizia Preston, Cierra Kessel, Emily Sachs, Lexi Moan, Eddie Jones, Ava Cline, Alyvia Whelchel, Janella Gallagher, Chloe Porter, Tanner Welch, Lainey Davis, and Andrew Scott.

Faculty and Staff Recognition Winners- Yvonne Vicks and Aaron Fassler.

School Activities

● Academic Bowl practices have started and Ms. Vicks is coaching the 7th/8th grade and Mr. Fassler is coaching the 5th/6th grade.

● Full congratulated Gavin and Henry Nichols, Carli Grennan, Anthony Linder and Michael Ackert for receiving a runner-up award for the national STEM competition in which they created a game. There were two grand prize winners and eight runner-ups.

● Boys and girls basketball started on Feb. 10 with coaches Jeff Christoffersen, Chris Payne, Shauna Dinges and Adri Whitney.

● Volleyball is scheduled to begin on March 1.

● On Feb. 8, students took the 5 Essentials Survey.

● AJHS Student Council raised $310 for the PADS Homeless Shelter through their Penny Drive during the month of January.

Principal Joyce Schamberger, Central Elementary 

School Improvement 

• K-4 teachers held training meetings with Mrs. Zinke in the afternoon of the SIP day. The training involved the program Freckle, which can be used to supplement science and social studies.


• During the monthly SIP Assembly, awards were handed out for Mystery Students of the Week. Book-It Reading Goals for February will be celebrated on Feb. 26. Students who meet this month’s reading goals will be able to watch a Scooby Doo movie.

School Activities

• Valentine’s Day Parties were held on Feb. 12.

• Central School’s PTC Breakfast is scheduled for March 7 and will be done as a carry out meal/breakfast. Ticket sales are going on now.

• Preschool screenings will be held on April 7 and 8 at Central School.


• Building construction update - Despite the cold temperatures, masonry work continued last week along with plumbing and electrical work. With warmer weather expected this week, Nichols said they hoped to be able to pour concrete again. 

• The board accepted a proposal from OSF Saint Paul Medical Center, Mendota, which will provide drug and alcohol testing services for the 2021-22 school year.

• A lease agreement with CDW-G for Dell Chromebooks was approved. 

• The board approved an expense of $27,216, which is District 272’s share of replacing the boiler for the Whiteside Area Career Center Coop. As a member of the Coop, Nichols said Amboy is obligated to pay 4.8 percent of the total $567,000 cost as a Health Life Safety issue. 


Following closed session, the board approved Tonia Warner as a health aide at Amboy High School, as of Feb. 1 and Kennedy Dinges as freshman volleyball coach and Joe Heavner as freshman boys basketball coach, both for the 2020-21 school year.

The next regular board meeting will take place at 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 18 at Central School. All meetings are open to the public.