Posted Online: Feb. 13, 2013, 9:00 pm

Rockridge schools ponder language arts reduction

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By Kelly Steiner, ksteiner@qconline.com

Officials with the Rockridge school district are weighing how to make $750,000 in cuts.

School board members on Monday heard one proposal to combine the junior high language arts department and reduce the staff by half. Students would have 50 minutes of language arts per day instead of 100, with two teachers eliminated.

"We are (a) Rockridge family; we are not a business," eighth-grade grammar and writing teacher Sue Miller said. She said test scores, which have been high in language arts, will suffer.

"Unfortunately, something has to give somewhere," school board President Dan Neneman said.

A recent public meeting introduced possible cuts at the district. Mr. Lien said he will have a better idea of what actually will be cut at a second meeting planned for 6:30 p.m. Feb. 26in the high school auditorium.

The board also is seeking volunteers for a committee that will focus on building a new consolidated grade school and a committee that will focus on a tax referendum. For more information, contact Mr. Lien at clien@rockridgeschools.org.

In other news, the board:

* Approved the planned retirements of Susan Miller, Lori Frakes and Lucinda Parchert at the end of the 2016-17 school year.

* Approved the resignation of Donald Krueger as assistant cross country coach and Curtis Allen as assistant baseball coach, effective at the end of the school year.

* Learned Illinois City, Reynolds and Taylor Ridge elementary schools have earned Academic Excellence Awards.

* Learned the competitive cheerleading team finished second at the Illinois High School Association Competitive Cheerleading State Finals and first in the Illinois Cheerleading Coaches Association Championships.

* Honored Kyle Hartwick as the Rockridge Milan Area student of the month and Bailah Bognar as Taylor Ridge Elementary citizen of the month.

* Heard a proposal from Sheet Metal Workers Local Union No. 91 business manager Scott Barber about a training facility tax abatement.