November Board Meeting-21st Century Grant Update

November Board Meeting-21st Century Grant Update
Posted on 11/17/2020
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The second year of Careers@ILS is even bigger and better for students in middle and high school at Indian Lake. 

The multi-faceted, after-school program was the focus of Indian Lake’s November Board of Education meeting. 

Careers@ILS began year two in October at ILHS and ILMS and will continue the rest of the school year. Activities are funded by a competitive five-year, 21st Century federal grant worth $850,000 awarded to Indian Lake Schools in 2019. 

ILMS math teacher Eric Finke is serving as the site coordinator at ILMS. 

“The main goal of the program is to get kids involved,” Finke says. “We try to reach out to those students who aren’t in athletics or music and get them to enjoy learning in a different and new way.” 

Finke says more than 70 ILMS students are consistently attending the wide variety of programs offered on Monday and Wednesday after school this fall. The programs include Computer Club, Computer Apps, Garden Club, Math Investigations, Language Arts Workshop, Science Investigations, Book Club, Fitness Club and more. 

Students will be surveyed at the end of the first session to determine what other programs might attract even more interest for the second session beginning in January. 

Meantime at ILHS, site coordinator Matt Steinbarger says on any given day approximately 50 students are attending programs offered after school Monday through Friday. New programs like Book Club and old favorites like Judo Club and Improv Club (now offered under the Careers@ILS umbrella) are bringing in big groups. The Yoga Club and E-sports have a solid foundation of followers, as well as the Welding, Art, Robotics, ACT Prep and Science Clubs. 

Steinbarger says his focus at this time is attracting students who could use tutoring to catch up on work or gain an advantage with grades. 

“I’m working on getting the Journalism students to create a video to spread the word about the benefits of academic tutoring. In addition, I’m adding science to the list of subjects available for tutoring.” 

The grant provides snacks for students staying after school and bus transportation home, if needed. In addition, grant money has recently been used to purchase related equipment including additional welders, Judo mats, garden boxes, a 3-D printer and other technology used in several clubs. Finally, ILHS educators Mr. Snapp, Mr. Stanford and Principal Wagner are working with the Welding Club on the early stages of designing the boardwalk that will stretch into and allow for further study of the wetlands at Indian Lake Elementary School.  

Careers@ILS is the second 21st Century Grant of its kind to be awarded to the Indian Lake School district. From the years 2015 to 2017 Indian Lake High School operated a similar program on a more limited basis.  

Students may sign up for Careers@ILS programs in the school office. 
In other board action, district treasurer Coleen Reprogle presented the updated five-year forecast. 

IL 2020 Five Year Forecast

She says the district saw a $400,000 reduction in state funds in the spring. As always, she continues to closely monitor the financial situation and suggest ways to reduce costs. 
The board recognized the upcoming retirements of kindergarten teacher Paula Fout who has served the district for 18 years and ILES custodian Warren "Bud" Stillwagon who has been with the school for 20 years. Fout will finish up the school year, while Stillwagon will officially round out his service in February. 
Finally, the Board of Education entered Executive Session to consider complaints against public employees and to consider the employment of public employees.The Board will issue a response as outlined in the negotiated agreement.

The next Board of Education meeting will be December 21, 2020 at 5:00 pm.