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WHAT WE KNOW: In January board members voted to move forward with a recommendation for a tuition waiver for out of district students whose parents work for the district full time.

During a discussion on the matter in March, board member Dan Helm said, “Anything that could potentially help us attract teachers, I’m all for.”

WHAT'S NEW: The resolution was approved following a public hearing Wednesday.

“Teachers might be more inclined to teach here if they knew their children could attend school in the district. Also, teachers would be able to spend more time before/after school working on tasks rather than spending that time dealing with child-care issues,” said Superintendent Alan Boucher.

Out of district tuition is around $10,000 per student for the school year, that number changes year to year, said Boucher, depending on variables.

Boucher said several area school districts have already implemented the measure, “None of the other superintendents doing this for years have had any problem with it,” he said.

WHAT'S NEXT: The waiver will go into effect once the school receives approval from the General Assembly sometime during the 2019-2020 school year. The measure is effective for five years, after which the board can choose to renew it.

In other business, the board:

  • The board also heard that Winola Elementary received the highest quality rating - The Gold Circle of Quality - for their preschool program from the Illinois State Board of Education’s ExceleRate Illinois, the state’s quality recognition and improvement system for development programs. There are four rating levels. Boucher said Gold Circle programs rate quality benchmarks on the learning environment, instructional quality, administrative standards, group size, ratios, and professional development. “For us to get the Gold Circle of Quality Award speaks well of the staff there at Winola, they work hard to be compliant with all the rules and regulations… They’re very picky, and they will speak up if they don’t like something.”
  • The board accepted the resignation of Rick Bertelsen, the Sherrard High School Varsity Softball Coach effective immediately
  • Justin Zigler Sherrard High School drivers/physical education resigned.
  • New employment includes Nicole Fishman, 4th-grade teacher Winola Elementary School; Scott Hamrick, science teacher Sherrard High School; Troy Noble JH/HS health education teacher; and new coaches Nick Basala, assistant baseball coach; and Bob Chandler, assistant softball coach - per contract stipend.
  • During a special meeting earlier this month the board hired Angela Hartman-Sheddan to be Sherrard High School science teacher; and Amy Minton, Sherrard High School varsity volleyball head coach for the 2019-2020 school year.

— CALA SMOLDT / mercerconews@gmail.com

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