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Moline School Board approves budget, other measures
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Moline School Board approves budget, other measures

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School board members approved the 2020-2021 budget and a plan to enhance Moline-Coal Valley’s alternative education programming Monday. Board members also approved $1.9 in CARES Act funding.

After hearing no comments during a public hearing, school board members approved a budget for the 2020-2021 school year that calls for a $1.9 million education fund deficit. Chief financial officer Dave McDermott said he anticipated that deficit to be reduced. The budget projects a $29.2 million ending education fund balance, as well as an overall ending fund balance for all funds of $60.3 million.

Board members heard about the “ASPIRE” program from Moline High School Principal Trista Sanders, Assistant Principal of Moline High School-Coolidge Campus Andy Bullock and Moline High School Assistant Principal of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment Chris Moore. The program, which aims to embrace diverse pathways to diploma attainment, has a three-year timeline.

Sanders said the program’s first goal was to define and enhance the alternative educational experiences and services available in the district, which is to include better alignment of course curricula and rigor between Coolidge and Moline High School and the middle schools.

In 2021-2022 the district plans to expand the pilot program by expanding student support services for Coolidge. In the 2022-2023 school year, the program will continue expanding, with plans to move the Coolidge portion of “Aspire” to Moline High School for equity in facilities, support and access to curriculum.

The plan includes a restructuring of the deans and counseling office to be one department called student services that can collaborate on any given student. It also calls for the creation of a “My Space” pathway for students with documented high anxiety and a pattern of chronic truancy.

School board members also approved spending $1.9 million in CARES Act grant funding, which stands for Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. Included in the approval is $609,000 for the purchase of safety-related equipment including foggers, hands-free water bottle fillers, hands-free sink faucets and office space dividers. Another $125,766 will go toward safety supplies, including face masks, disinfectants, hand sanitizer, gloves signage and other items.

McDermott said $29,000 of the CARES funds would go toward the next two loan payments associated with the Browning Field and Wharton Field House scoreboards, payable to SENB Bank, Moline. He said that was because the Moline Athletic Boosters’ lost concession revenue from canceled sporting events.

Board members also heard from Superintendent Rachel Savage, who said the district held 30 small graduation ceremonies in adherence with Illinois Department of Public Health guidelines. She said about 80% of students attended a ceremony to walk across the stage and several hundred people have viewed the pre-recorded graduation speeches online. Savage and board members thanked high school administration for coordinating this effort.

In other business, board members:

  • Took no action following a closed session regarding the sale, lease or purchase of property.
  • Approved a $440,326 contract with Centennial Contractors, Moline, for parking lot improvements at Allendale and Moline High School. Board member Andrew Waeyaert cast the lone no vote.

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