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Live Blog: District 113A Board Meeting

Check back with Patch throughout the night for updates from Tuesday's meeting at River Valley School.

11:58 p.m.

The school board has reconvened. No action was taken as a result of closed session.

10:35 p.m.

The District 113A Board of Education has adjourned for closed session.

10:25 p.m.

2011 Financial Audit

Board President Mike Aurelio and Board Member Al Malley raise concerns over interfund loans reflected in the district's audit for fiscal year 2011.

According to Malley, the audit reflects interfund loans above and beyond the amount approved by the board earlier this year. The loans were made without board approval, he said.

Aurelio asked if approving the audit would set a precedent for the administration and business office approving interfund loans without the board's approval.

Business Manager Barbara Germany stated that the loans were made by the auditor, not the administration, in order to reconcile the district's accounts.

9:40 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The Board of Education unanimously approved their consent agenda, which included the retirement of Superintendent Tim Ricker in the monthly personnel report. His retirement will be effective June 30, 2012.

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9:20 p.m.

Special Presentations: School Improvement Plans (continued)

The board meeting has reconvened. The Oakwood School Improvement Team is now presenting information to the board on their School Improvement Plan.

Next up will be the board's consent agenda, which includes monthly reports on enrollment, discipline, food service, transportation, personnel and the Freedom of Information Act.

The possible early retirement of Superintendent Tim Ricker is included in the personnel report.

9:15 p.m.

Special Presentations: School Improvement Plans (continued)

River Valley's School Improvement Team has just finished their presentation to the board. Again, Patch will provide a full report on these plans later this week.

The board has called a five-minute recess. When it reconvenes, they will hear a presentation from Oakwood School on its School Improvement Plan before moving on to the consent agenda, which includes the retirement of Superintendent Tim Ricker under "Personnel."

8:30 p.m.

Special Presentations: School Improvement Plans

Principals Bill Caron (), Debra Lynch () and Cathy Slee () present their respective School Improvement Plans, which establish goals for the current school year with regards to student achievement.

Check back with Patch later this week for a full report on School Improvement Plans.

8:10 p.m.

Special Presentations: 2011 Illinois School Report Cards

Ricker presents information on the 2011 Illinois School Report Cards, which include information about the school's academic performance, demographics and financial profile.

Patch will prepare a full story on the content of the district's report cards — both as a whole and school by school — later this week.

However, Ricker said during the presentation that he is proud of the district for improving test scores and making adequate yearly progress in a year that class sizes increased and funding decreased.

"This is a reflection of the hard work done by staff and students with help from parents," he said. "I believe during the 2010-2011 school year, to make the major changes in our program and changes in our classroom sizes, the teachers really pulled themselves up by their bootstraps and helped their students make AYP.

"When I tell people (in the field of education) what we did financially and academically, they are astounded."

7:50 p.m.

Special Presentations: Report on Title I for FY12

Dr. Mary Gricus presents information on the district's Title I money, which the district receives for the number of students in the community ages 5-17 that fall below the poverty line. Last year, the district received about $78,000, but this year the district will receive more than $170,000.

Gricus says she has already met with principals from Old Quarry, River Valley and Oakwood schools to plan programming for the 2011-2012 school year. The preliminary plan is to continue with summer school, but open the program up to all three schools and expand the curriculum to include math (it covered reading before).

The program would serve approximately 120 students, which is double the amount of students served in the previous two years. Grant money would also be used to provide after-school tutoring to Title I students.

If funding stays the same next year, the district would consider hiring a Title I teacher, Gricus said.

"Unfortunately the increase in funding means the community is suffering more, but is also means we are able to provide more assistance (to those students)," she said.

7:40 p.m.

Special Presentations: Transportation Committee

Board Vice President Dave Molitor, the board's liasion to the district's Transportation Committee, informs the board that the committee would like to do an analysis of crossing guards within the district.

He tells the board that the Village of Lemont is currently looking to update their bicycle and pedestrian paths, and that the district would like to work closely with the village through that process.

7:30 p.m.

Treasurer's Report: Reimbursement to Superintendent

Board Member Al Malley wishes to discuss the approval of a $28 reimbursement to Ricker for parking, which is brought up in the Treasurer's Report. He makes a motion to approve accounts payable and payroll without the reimbursement, in order for the board to discuss the district's policy.

According to Ricker and Business Manager Barbara Germany, the board has reimbursed Ricker for parking before.

When a motion was made to withhold the item from the report, it failed to pass by a 4-3 vote (Board President Mike Aurelio, Board Member Karen Siston and Malley voting yes; Board Secretary Cindy Kelly, Vice President Dave Molitor, and Board Members Lisa Wright and Kevin Doherty voting no.)

7:10 p.m.

Public Comment

Several Lemont residents call for the early resignation of District 113A Superintendent Tim Ricker, who is expected to officially announce his retirement during Tuesday's meeting.

One resident expresses discontent over the government pension system, and the fact that Lemont taxpayers will be funding Ricker's pension once he leaves.

6:15 p.m.

Welcome back to Lemont Patch where we're live blogging from the Board of Education meeting at River Valley School, 15425 E. 127th St.

Please be advised that this blog will contain brief notes and sound bites from the forum. I will do my best to provide the most complete, accurate blog possible.

Ruta Dowiarz October 19, 2011 at 01:45 AM
Love it!
Amanda Luevano (Editor) October 19, 2011 at 01:47 AM
Feel free to leave some feedback on the live blog. Do you love it? Hate it? Is it useful at all? I've used this method of reporting before, so it's helpful to know whether Lemont Patch readers follow along. NOTE: I will still be writing full stories on the most important items from the agenda later tonight/this week.
Robyn Horn October 19, 2011 at 01:48 AM
Happy to hear we're improving test scores. What would be more interesting is to see how many kids ar seeing a tutor on their own time and dollar to make those test scores because of the class size. I am amazed of how many kids i know that are seeing tutors! Yes, our teachers are great. No doubt about that, but let's not forget that this class size situation is NOT ok!
Robyn Horn October 19, 2011 at 01:49 AM
PS, we all love it!
pat hooper October 19, 2011 at 02:10 AM
Keep it going!
Jorg Manteno October 19, 2011 at 02:43 AM
The live blog is a great resource for us individuals who are unable to attend the board meeting. Great job Amanda! Why does Al Malley, Mike Aurelio, and Karen Siston find it unreasonable to reimburse the superintendent for parking? Reimbursement for parking/traveling is standard practice for businesses and government agencies. Are they unaware of standard practice or are they trying to create a confrontational enviroment?
pat hooper October 19, 2011 at 02:50 AM
Maybe they think his $400 a month car allowance should cover it.
Vince Rigler October 19, 2011 at 06:02 PM
The whole system needs to be reformed
Lee Ristow October 21, 2011 at 03:43 AM
I'd like to to hear the answers to those questions too, Amanda. And what was the final vote on the audit? I heard that Wright and Doherty abstained. I am wondering why they would do that.
Lee Ristow October 21, 2011 at 01:47 PM
What happened to Ann Paul's post and mine? Did we hit a nerve?
Lee Ristow October 22, 2011 at 12:40 AM
And I just said that I was interested in the answer too and I wondered why Wright and Doherty abstained. Since that vote is public record, I'm not sure why asking " why" would be a problem. Also no attack,I just found it curious that they abstained and even more curious that someone would feel the need to flag these posts in order to have them removed.
Lee Ristow October 22, 2011 at 12:41 AM
Wow, that was fast, Ann reposted her questions and the post is gone again.
Lee Ristow October 22, 2011 at 12:56 AM
Here is Ann's post for the third time: "Business Manager Barbara Germany stated that the loans were made by the auditor, not the administration, in order to reconcile the district's accounts." What exactly does that mean? Did the auditor decide to make the loan on his own or did the auditor discover loans that had been made and needed to reconcile the accounts for the loans? How did the board vote on the audit? No personal attack, just asking for clarification. Not sure why it would even strike a nerve Lee. If for some reason it has, we have reason to be afraid if I can't even ask a financial question."
Robyn Horn October 22, 2011 at 01:00 AM
Lee, I wonder if Ann Paul is her real name. Real names must be used so maybe that's why. I do know that she posted a REALLY offensive post the other day, insulting people's parenting! Maybe that revoked her privelages?
Lee Ristow October 22, 2011 at 01:16 AM
Well, Lee RIstow is my real name and my original post was removed as well and as I have reposted her questions and mine under my REAL name it shouldn't be removed and hopefully Amanda can get them answered. I'm thinking that someone didn't like the questions.
Shawn Keller October 22, 2011 at 01:53 AM
From what I heard Thursday morning there was a short discussion at the board meeting the other night regarding the past Financial Oversight Panel. A board member brought up that a group who might be hired to replace PMA questioned how Lemont would even be in consideration for an FOP. The new group said they heard it was because they were sick of community members calling and emailing them. Hmm? Interesting. More interesting that when a boe member brought it up the president dismissed it and moved forward. I hope the Patch has some updates on this new development. Clearly, the readers have not heard about this and it's probably important.
Shawn Keller October 22, 2011 at 02:13 AM
And in this picture is Mr. Malley sleeping?
Lee Ristow October 22, 2011 at 02:25 AM
Looks to me like he's reading something, Shawn I think your bias is showing.
Shawn Keller October 22, 2011 at 02:29 AM
Really, Lee. Get off my comment about Mr. Malley and answer the one about no one commenting on the FOP. How do you answer that one?
Amanda Luevano (Editor) October 22, 2011 at 02:30 AM
Ann/Lee: I'm working on a short post about the audit. Please keep in mind that everything has been sent to the state according to their deadlines. But I'll put something together regardless. I'm sorry for the delay in responding. It's been a very busy week. Thanks for your patience and I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. - Amanda
Lee Ristow October 22, 2011 at 02:37 AM
"Shawn," since I have no idea what you are talking about and since I find it hard to believe that the state would send an FOP because they are "sick of community members calling and e-mailing them" too ridiculous to believe,there was no point in commenting. By the way great way to deflect.
Lee Ristow October 22, 2011 at 02:41 AM
Enlarge the picture "Shawn" or get new glasses,there is clearly some kind of paper on the table right where he's looking.
Shawn Keller October 22, 2011 at 02:49 AM
Lee, ask Amanda if she can cover this. I bet you will be shocked to hear that this came up.
Shawn Keller October 22, 2011 at 02:50 AM
"Lee" were you at the board meeting? No you weren't.
Lee Ristow October 22, 2011 at 02:57 AM
What difference does that make? No,I wasn't there and I never said I was. But I am who I say I am...are you.
Jorg Manteno October 22, 2011 at 04:46 AM
Actually Ms. Ristow and Mr. Keller, I heard the same thing from individuals who attended the board meeting. Perhaps community members should be more careful not to harass state officials.

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