Meeting roundup

Community Consolidated Elementary Dist. 181 Board

Among other business Monday, board members:

• approved the abatement of $5.9 million of the 2022 tax levy’s debt service fund in connection with the district’s strategy to abate, or not collect, any amount that would push operating fund balances over 50 percent. The purpose of the abatement is to reduce the debt service portion of the community’s tax bills until the district’s annual debt service requirements are lower. Rick Engstrom, assistant superintendent of business and operations, said the resulting savings for the average district homeowner will be $730. The district has now abated $18 million over the past three years.

• heard a preliminary staffing report for the 2023-24 school year that projects to reduce the number of teachers by 2.0 FTE due to a forecast enrollment drop from 3,648 to 3,600. But a contingency of 2.0 FTE (teacher) and 1.0 FTE (instructional assistant) are still recommended for the budget by Gina Herrmann, assistant superintendent of human resources, due to unknown outcomes of year-end IEP meetings, MAP placement testing and mid-year family relocations.

• approved annual procedures and criteria for early entrance to kindergarten and first grade, as well as K-5 acceleration in reading and K-2 acceleration in math. Tracey Miller, director of assessment, instruction and evaluation, said there have been no changes to the criteria or procedures to whole grade or single subject acceleration since last year. Since the 2019-20 school year, there have been 16 candidates for early entrance to kindergarten and four for early entrance to first grade.