BOE meeting on Nov. 4


Courtesy of District 158

By Connor Considine

The district held its Committee of the Whole meeting this Thursday, Nov. 6, a week before its monthly meeting. The meeting lasted from 6 p.m. to 8:20 p.m. and detailed many upcoming events for the district, from elementary to high school.

The meeting started with discussions about how the district would be dealing with more impacts of the coronavirus and social distancing mandates, from transportation struggles to absences and a new three-period report card mail-out.

According to Tony Quagliano, the president of the board, he did not see any specific numbers of absences in the district and does not believe we have a high number of them. As well as saying that they did not watch over the district from a great standpoint and only really know what employees, such as the superintendent, say about it.

Then, the committee went on to discuss a children’s safety plan, which would allow voluntary employees to hold firearms, as long as they have a license. This has been debated for almost five years and is also a greater statewide concern, affecting more rural schools in Illinois. The board went on to discuss their opinions on the new safety plan.

“We don’t agree with this rule and voluntary firearm use beyond police, but we do support schools that don’t have school resource officers,” Quagliano said.

Following this discussion, the board then went on to debate about different ideas with the federal funding and what that funding would be allocated to. However, no final decisions were made and there will be more discussions during future meetings.

According to Quagliano, the top priorities with the federal funding are making sure there are not too many students in classrooms, about 32 or fewer per room. The main priorities for the district’s budget are teachers’ salaries, classroom supplies, and the curriculum.

The meeting ended before discussing other topics and these issues are planned to get a final say in the monthly board meeting next week.

Overall, the committee seems to be addressing the concerns about what is impacting the district, while other things will stay at a reasonable status quo and more changes will continue to be made.