Local News

The Taylorville School Board held its January meeting Tuesday night at the Unit Office, and while regular business and a report from the district's technology director was a large part of the meeting, the report from Superintendent Doctor Gregg Fuerstenau on the projected declining enrollment and what that will mean to the district also got board members' attention.


The Taylorville Superintendent told the board that the projected declining enrollment next school year is being looked at in 3 phases. The first phase is a possible shift from 8 sections of Kindergarten thru 2nd grade in the Taylorville district, to 7 due a projected decrease of 20 Kindergarten students next year. This, plus a possible shift in elementary school boundaries, could mean 3 staff positions being eliminated.


The 2nd phase that could be implemented, would be to move Taylorville Junior High School to an 8-period day. The 3rd phase being looked at is going to an 8-period day at Taylorville High School. Fuerstenau added that staff retirements could affect any potential staff positions being cut.


The Superintendent added that building principals have been instructed to put together a staffing plan for next school year, based on the district's continued decrease in projected enrollment. Those plans will be presented to the board at their February meeting. Fuerstenau emphasized that any decisions on school funding in Springfield in the next 30 days, may have an affect on final decisions the Taylorville School Board will make at their February board meeting.

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The Taylorville School Board Tuesday night heard the annual report from district technology director Chris Kuntzman. Kuntzman reported how the district was moving to a google platform for teaching and administration, with some 987 Chromebooks already being used by district students.

Kuntzman outlined further technology improvements such as adding a technology integration special position to help teachers further integrate technology in learning, upgrading the district's phone communication system in all buildings, and even teaching basic computer programming as young as first grade to enable students to ultimately be ready for an expanding job market in computer science.


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Kuntzman also reviewed plans district-wide to reduce or eliminate printers and have more centralized copiers that will save money.

Tuesday night's Taylorville School Board meeting saw a number of motions approved. The board accepted the resignations of Shauna Becker, a library aide at Taylorville High School, and Jeff Grizzell as assistant football coach at Taylorville High School; and hired Jennifer Richardson for teaching art in grades 6 thru 8 at Taylorville Junior High School for the remainder of the school year, after Cindy Adams was granted a leave of absence.


Field trips for the Taylorville High School Student Council were approved, as was allowing the T-H-S Wrestling Team to stay in Herrin the day before their Regional Tournament. The Taylorville Board awarded diplomas to 2 students who have fulfilled the requirements for graduation, and OK'd the 2nd reading of various amendments to board policy.

 
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