School events clicking on all cylinders; Electric school buses on the road

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AMBOY The Amboy School Board met in regular session on Thursday, December 14 and opened the meeting with a public hearing on the 2023 tax levy.

The recommended motions included to adopt the resolution for the 2023 tax levy as presented, to direct the board secretary to file the certificate of tax levy and direct the board president and secretary to file the certificate of compliance for the Truth in Taxation Act.

Next, the consent agenda items including November’s meeting minutes, financial reports and current expenditures and payroll were quickly ratified.

With Christmas quickly approaching, the principal reports were filled with holiday happenings for the students.

Amboy Central School Principal Jessica Meusel shared Friday, Dec. 1 was Grinch Day, where many students and staff dressed up in festive Grinch gear. The family movie night was a huge success as the gym was packed, and families were able to enjoy cookies, popcorn, Grinch punch, and hot cocoa. Special thanks were given to the Family Engagement Committee for its hard work.

The canned food drive to help out the Amboy Fire Department began on Monday, Nov. 27 and ended on Friday, Dec. 15. Miss Jamie Rodriguez’s third grade class were awarded a Casey’s Pizza Party for bringing in the most canned food items.

Parent/teacher conferences were well received with a 96-percent attendance rate. A thank you was extended to Mr. Travis Kemmerer and the Amboy High School band and choir for inspiring future musicians during their special performance on Thursday, Nov. 30.

Amboy Junior High Principal Andrew Full reported parent/teacher conferences were held on Monday, Nov. 20-21. On Monday, Dec. 4th, the boys basketball seventh and eight grade teams competed in the Chadwick Tournament where seventh grade finished third and eighth grade took fourth.

The junior high choir hosted its Winter Concert on Friday, Dec. 15. On Wednesday, Dec. 20, the monthly Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports held a celebration assembly and the following awards were handed out: Students of the Month, Clipper Pride, Staff Shout out Winners, Speech Team Awards and Grade Level Competition.

Amboy High School Principal Janet Crownhart began by congratulating the Illinois State Scholars: Brennan Blaine, Gabriel Jones, Austin Shugars, and Landon Whelchel.

On Wednesday, Nov. 15, the Section 2 FFA agronomy and dairy foods career leadership and devlopment events occurred. The dairy foods team, which consisted of Emma Dinges, Anna Carlson, and Brysen Full, placed third in the section. The large agronomy team won with Morgan Kreiser, Grace Althaus, Leia Maxfield, Tanner Welch, Chase Huggins, Gavin Nichols, Henry Nichols, Westin Wittenauer, Jake Dinges, Jason Dickinson, Michael Ackert, Logan Ketchum, and Lilly Drew teaming up for the victory.

PSAT 9 scores and PSAT/NMSQT scores have been released. Students should have access to these scores through Khan Academy.

The kitchen staff reported a great turn-out for the second chance breakfast, greatly increasing the number of students getting breakfast daily since the beginning of the school year. The second semester will begin on January 4th.

Amboy Schools Superintendent Joshua Nichols reported the county assessor has estimated overall property values in the school district increased by 9.84 percent and school CPI is 6.5 percent for this year. As a Property Tax Extension Limitation Law (PTELL) district, Amboy is capped at 5 percent of last year’s extension.

Nichols anticipates the tax rate going from 5.3187 to 5.0854 percent, but this is an estimate.

The FlipLok secondary locking device has been installed on the classroom doors in the district. This is a significant security upgrade for all classrooms and some offices throughout the district.

The electric buses started running their routes within the last week. It did take a while to get the temporary license plates for them.

The board approved naming the Amboy Central School gymnasium after George Mason, a longtime teacher, principal, and coach back in the 1960s and 1970s. An official plaque presentation will take place on January 16th.