Wednesday, December 22, 2010

No one applies for the Caledonia Township seat on the District 100 Board

At its October meeting, the Board of Education accepted the resignation of Rob Torbert, only two months after being seated on the 7-member board.  Torbert replaced Ted Stenerson, who took a position within the district, and has since moved to another township.

As shown by the agenda below[available at:  http://www.boarddocs.com/il/district100/Board.nsf/Public] the Board of Education was planning to install a new board member at its December board meeting however something happened. As shown by the news story on My Stateline.com [http://mystateline.com/fulltext-news?nxd_id=216257]  the decision is now been passed onto Regional Superintendent, Dr. Richard Fairgrieves.

I requested to find out if anyone actually applied, in as much,  it was was on the Board’s Monday agenda—Their answer was no.

The following is my FOIA request and their response.

This is a request for information under Illinois Freedom of Information Act, 5ILCS140.  Please comply with all items requested.

1.  Due to Robert Torbert's resignation as board member of Belvidere School District, applications for appointment to that vacancy were solicited by the Board President Van Evera.   Please provide the name and address of all applicants and the name and address of any other individual who the Board of Education considered for that appointment.

2.  Mr. Torbert replaced long term board member, Mr. Stenerson.  Please provide the name and address of all individuals who applied for Mr. Stenerson’s vacancy and the name and address of any other individual who the board considered.

I request a waiver of all fees for this request.   Disclosure of the requested information to me is in the public interest because it is likely to contribute significantly to public understanding of the operations and activities of our school district and is not in my commercial interest.

The information will be posted on my blog, [http://www.district100watchdog.blogspot.com] and will be available without fee or advertising on the internet.

I look forward to hearing from you within five working days, as required by the Act--
5 ILCS 140(3).

WILLIAM J. PYSSON

And here is the response from District 100:

board vacancy

Monday, December 20, 2010

Ross Blumenthal Candidate for District 100 School Board

Based upon this article it appears that Ross Blumenthal is petitioning to be on the school board ballot this April.  This is not the Caledonia Township position.

 

Candidate for School Board

District 100 will not have a new board member quite yet

At its October meeting, the Board of Education accepted the resignation of Rob Torbert, only two months after being seated on the 7-member board.  Torbert replaced Ted Stenerson, who took a position within the district, and has since moved to another township.

As shown by the agenda below[available at:  http://www.boarddocs.com/il/district100/Board.nsf/Public] the Board of Education was planning to install a new board member at its December board meeting however something happened. As shown by the news story on My Stateline.com [http://mystateline.com/fulltext-news?nxd_id=216257]  the decision is now been passed onto Regional Superintendent, Dr. Richard Fairgrieves.

 

Regular Meeting of the Board of Education - 6:00 pm / Dec 20 '10

A. Opening Items Information

1. Call to Order

Information

2. Pledge of Allegiance

Information

3. Roll Call

B. Board of Education Appointment

Presentations

1. Administer Oath of Office to the Newly Appointed member of the Board of Education

C. Public Hearing Regarding District #100's 2010 Tax Levy

D. Approval of Minutes

Action

1. Regular Meeting of the Board of Education on November 15, 2010

 

Belvidere School Board Member Opening

 

Reported by: Jason Taggart

Friday, December 17 2010

Due to Robert Torbert's resignation on the Belvidere School District Board of Education, there is an opening for an individual from Caledonia Township to serve on the Board.
Any person who is a U.S. Citizen of the age of 18 or over, a one-year resident of the State of Illinois and the Belvidere School District, and resides in Caledonia Township is eligible to apply for this position.
Interested persons should submit a letter of application by Monday, December 27th to Dr. Richard Fairgrieves, Regional Superintendent of Schools, 300 Heart Blvd, Loves Park, IL 61111.

as shown on:  http://mystateline.com/fulltext-news?nxd_id=216257

Friday, December 17, 2010

School District spending restricted because of discipline disparity - Rockford, IL - Rockford Register Star

Rockford schools suspended and expelled a disproportionate number of black special education students between 2007 and 2009.

ISBE is forcing the district to spend 15 percent — $1.1 million — of its Individuals with Disabilities Education Act funding this year on a host of programs to promote positive student behavior.

Rockford suspends and expels a greater percentage of all its special education students than state average, regardless of race.

School District spending restricted because of discipline disparity - Rockford, IL - Rockford Register Star

158 Board OK's Levy, Bonds, Next School Calendar

The cost of Belvidere District 100’s Building Bonds are increasing at a rate of 7+% per year.  Is this something which District 100 could do?

the Board  [158 Huntley-Algonquin] OK'ed issuing $6.5 million in new bonds to pay principal and interest on some old construction bonds.  The new housing expected when they were issued four years ago never materialized so paying them with taxes on current real estate would require a tax increase.  The new bonds, in effect, postpone paying for the old ones until the housing market presumably begins to expand again.

Click on the following for more details:  FirstElectricNewspaper: 158 Board OK's Levy, Bonds, Next School Calendar

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Middle School Principal | K12 Jobspot

It appears that Harold Gries will be elsewhere next year.

Organization: Belvidere Community Unit School District #100

Type: Administration : Principal

Posted: 12/15/2010

Closes: January 28, 2011

Belvidere Central Middle SchoolBelvidere Central Middle School

Description:
Needed  for the 2011-2012 school year.
Qualifications:
Type 75 certificate. Master's degree in Educational Administration; minimum 5 years previous administrative experience.
Application Procedure:
Qualified applicants apply online.

Salary Range:

$90,022-$99,025 + TRS
Selection Procedure:
If you are selected you will be contacted by phone for an interview.

Closing Date:

January 28, 2011

Click on the following for more details:

Middle School Principal | K12 Jobspot

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Mandarin Christian athletic program hit by hefty fine from FHSAA | jacksonville.com

What is the purpose of a high school?

Florida High School Athletic Association levied harsh sanctions on Mandarin Christian School on Monday, fining the private school $142,500 for 25 violations committed in football involving seven student-athletes, former football coach Denny Thompson and suspended athletic director Eleanor Perry.

The fine is the second-largest the association has ever handed down. Miramar Parkway Academy was fined $260,800 in June. Including legal fees, the FHSAA is requiring Mandarin Christian to pay $145,447.89.

Click on the following for more detailsMandarin Christian athletic program hit by hefty fine from FHSAA | jacksonville.com

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Belvidere Teachers Ratify Contract

More Details:

Disappointing on several terms. The one year contract gets rid of increases based on time in the district, reduces annual raises from 3.3 percent to one percent and bumps up singles' monthly insurance costs by $12.50.

"The thing we got most of all is that we're not going to be having a strike with 8,000 kids out of school," says Marks.

More than 430 members of the BEA showed up to cast their vote, nearly 100 more teachers than either of the past two votes

Belvidere Teachers Ratify Contract

Monday, December 13, 2010

Belvidere Education Association OKs 2010-11 contract proposal - Rockford, IL - Rockford Register Star

Marks plans to write a letter to give “a chance to explain more of the things in the contract that had concerns,” he said. “It’ll give my views on the election and what it means.”

School Board was expected to ratify the agreement tonight. The board had already approved a tentative agreement with the teachers union Aug. 16, a day after union teachers voted down that deal

Belvidere Education Association OKs 2010-11 contract proposal - Rockford, IL - Rockford Register Star

US sues school over denial of Muslim pilgrimage - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

 

Khan started as a middle school teacher for Berkeley School District 87 - about 15 miles west of Chicago - in 2007. In 2008, she asked for almost three weeks of unpaid leave to perform the Hajj. After the district twice denied her request, Khan wrote the board that "based on her religious beliefs, she could not justify delaying performing hajj," and resigned shortly thereafter, according to the lawsuit filed in federal court in Chicago

The federal government sued a suburban Chicago school district Monday for denying a Muslim middle school teacher unpaid leave to make a pilgrimage to Mecca that is a central part of her religion.

US sues school over denial of Muslim pilgrimage - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

Friday, December 10, 2010

PROPOSED PROPERTY TAX INCREASE FOR COMMUNITY UNIT SCHOOL DISTRICT 100

NOTICE OF PROPOSED PROPERTY TAX
INCREASE FOR
COMMUNITY UNIT SCHOOL DISTRICT 100
BOONE, DEKALB, MCHENRY COUNTIES,
ILLINOIS
A public hearing to approve a proposed property tax levy
increase for Community Unit School Distyrict 100, Boone,
DeKalb, and McHenry Counties, Illinois, for year 2010, will
be held on Monday, December 20, 2010,
at 6:00 pm CST at
the District Central Administration Office, 1201 5th Avenue,
Belvidere, Illinois, its usual meeting place.
Any person desiring to appear at the public hearing and
present testimony to Community Unit School District 100
may contact Michael Houselog, Superintendent, 1201 5th
Avenue, Belvidere, Illinois, phone number 815-544-0301.
The corporate and special purpose property taxes extended
for 2009 were $34,954,111.25.
The proposed corporate and special purpose property taxes
to be levied for 2010 are $36,600,000.00. This represents a
4.71% increase over the previous year.
The property taxes extended for debt service for 2009 were
$7,468,284.77. The estimated property taxes to be levied for
debt service for 2010 are $7,998,644.00. This represents a
7.1% increase over the previous year.
The total property taxes extended for 2009 were
$42,422,396.02. The estimated total property taxes to be levied
for 2010 are $44,598,644.00. This represents a 5.13% increase
over the previous year.

----Page 6, Boone County Journal. December 10, 2010-----

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Law may keep McHenry County College info sealed

Sounds as if the paper will pursue this quite a bite further.

Performance evaluations no longer are considered public documents under the state’s Freedom of Information Act. Legislators in both the House and Senate voted last week to override Gov. Pat Quinn’s amendatory veto, which sought to limit exemptions under the FOIA to law enforcement officers. All public employee performance evaluations are exempt from disclosure after last week’s action.

It was not clear how this will affect MCC’s court case with the Attorney General’s Office, even though the Northwest Herald requested the documents prior to the change in the law.

Click on the following for more details:  Northwest Herald | Law may keep MCC info sealed

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Stateline Pastor, RVC Adjunct Professor Accused of Child Sexual Abuse

French was the founding pastor of Indian Grove Country Church serving from 1987-2008. French was also a full time teacher at Aquin High School in the late 80's, a Stephenson County Board member from 1989-to-1992, and the Founding Chairman of the Stephenson County 9-1-1 Board from 1990-92. He's been teaching Western Civilization and U.S. history at Rock Valley since 2008.

Stateline Pastor, RVC Adjunct Professor Accused of Child Sexual Abuse

ECC called state’s fastest-growing college - Courier News

image the 13th fastest-growing community college of its size — 10,000 enrollments or more — in the country.

hasn’t raised its tuition from $91 a credit hour in four years, Garber said. Others include factors outside the college’s control, such as the high unemployment rate and continued population

ECC’s growth has increased 35 percent overall since spring 2008, according to the college. It also has awarded 27 percent more degrees and certificates since summer 2005, according to its data.

That puts the college fifth in Illinois and 61st in the country for awarding one-year certificates, according to a special report by “Community College Week” released in June.

But Garber said, “I don’t know how long that will be sustainable. We’d love that. We’d love to be on top forever.”

ECC called state’s fastest-growing college - Courier News

UPDATE: November School Referenda

Springfield:  Sangamon County

voters Tuesday shot down a proposed 1 percent countywide sales tax to support school construction.
“The defeat of the referendum was a clear indication from the voters of Sangamon County that they did not have more money to hand over in higher taxes,” said Kristina Rasmussen, executive vice president of the Illinois Policy Institute and a Springfield School District resident.
Rasmussen is among those who opposed the tax, which would have raised an estimated $19 million for county schools for physical improvements to facilities or to pay off debt from previous construction bonds.
Unofficial election totals showed more than 55 percent of voters against implementing the tax.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

School Referendum Results

Posts during the past months highlighted various referendum initiative by school boards across the state here are some of the results:

McHenry High School District 156—two referenda both defeated

For more  information about the referenda go to:  http://district100watchdog.blogspot.com/2010/09/mchenry-high-school-district-156.html

Palatine Township School District 15

A promise by Palatine Township Elementary District 15 leaders to abandon the most controversial portion of a massive borrowing plan wasn't enough to win over voters.

With 83 of 88 precincts counted as of early Wednesday morning, unofficial results had 19,282 voters saying “no” and 9,550 saying “yes” on the referendum question. The district asked voters for permission to borrow $27 million for a working cash fund and building improvements.

Click on the following for more of the story:http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20101102/news/711039788/

This was an attempted back door referendum, for more information on that part of the issue go to: http://district100watchdog.blogspot.com/2010/04/palatine-township-petition-drive-was.html

Kishwaukee College, [DeKalb County] Malta, Illinois

PASSED---------------------

KISHWAUKEE COLLEGE DIST. 523 BUILDING BONDS
COLLEGE DIST 523
VOTE FOR 1
(WITH 76 OF 76 PRECINCTS COUNTED)
YES . . . . . . . . . . . . 15,310 65.29
NO. . . . . . . . . . . . . 8,141 34.71
Total . . . . . . . . . 23,451
Over Votes . . . . . . . . . 8
Under Votes . . . . . . . . . 1,064

For more information on the issue go to: http://district100watchdog.blogspot.com/2010/01/kish-college-to-ask-for-585m-referendum.html

Cary Elementary District 26working capital referendumReferendum passed

CCCSD 26 BONDS
Precincts Reporting
20/20
100.00%

YES 4620 58.21%

NO 3316 41.78%

Wauconda District 118 working capital referendum

Still researching for results

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Lavish, Gold-Plated Pensions Of Rockford-Area Retired Government Employees Far Exceed Wages Of Workers In Private Sector | National Taxpayers United of Illinois

Former Rock Valley College President has his retirement benefit criticized.

The largest pension in Winnebago County’s ‘top 100 college pensions’ goes to Karl Jacobs, who received an astonishing annual pension of $137,714. That’s a mind-boggling monthly pension of $11,476. Number two in the top 100 list of largest pensions is Aubrey Durst, who received an annual pension of $100,534. That’s a bountiful monthly pension of $8,378.”

Click on the following for more details:  Lavish, Gold-Plated Pensions Of Rockford-Area Retired Government Employees Far Exceed Wages Of Workers In Private Sector | National Taxpayers United of Illinois

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Northwest Herald | Analysis: As values fall, property tax bills expected to rise

All of this is equally true of Boone County.

Area taxpayers are in for a rude awakening in 2011 if they believe that their property tax bills will shrink along with their equalized assessed values. In fact, the effect of falling EAVs under the Property Tax Extension Limitation Law, or PTELL, is that property tax rates are expected to increase across the board, local tax experts said.

current tax cycle, the rate of inflation has been established at 2.7 percent….Districts can raise their levies – which is the total amount of money they seek to capture from property taxes – this year by 2.7 percent, as well as capture new growth….

Because they are requesting more money and equalized assessed values are down, tax rates will rise to make up for the difference.

The pie of money to be collected by a district is going to expand,” said Howard Crouse of PMA Financial, a firm with which many McHenry County school districts contract for financial projection services. “Falling property values simply means that to access that bigger pie, the property owner pays a higher tax rate, and therefore pays more money.”

Northwest Herald | Analysis: As values fall, property tax bills expected to rise

Rockford Public Schools

Rockford Public Schools Following is taken from the official Rockford Public Schools website.

Hardy Letter Released

 

NOVEMBER 24, 2010 -- Rockford Public Schools is today releasing a June 19, 2010, letter from former administrator Dr. Patrick Hardy that had been the subject of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) disagreement and subsequent civil lawsuit.
Superintendent LaVonne M. Sheffield decided to make the letter public after being informed by Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP that the Public Access Counselor for the Illinois Attorney General has issued a verbal opinion that Dr. Hardy's letter does not fall within the FOIA exemption regarding disciplinary documents, a distinction not previously addressed.  An earlier written determination from  the Public Access Counselor spoke more generally to letters to and from Dr. Hardy and Dr. Sheffield, which asserted the letters could be released without violating Dr. Hardy’s privacy rights as a former employee.
Dr. Sheffield indicated that Rockford Public Schools stands by the merit of its position that disclosure of the letter without Dr. Hardy's permission breached his right to confidentiality. The verbal opinion issued by the state, however, is that Dr. Hardy's letter should be released, despite its reference to disciplinary action. In addition, Dr. Hardy has confirmed the authenticity of the letter to local news media, which brings the letter into the public arena. Electronic copies of the letter have been in circulation anonymously for months.
Rockford Public Schools has no comment on Dr. Hardy's letter, deeming its contents are unworthy of response. Dr. Hardy was appointed Chief Academic Officer for Rockford Public Schools on July 1, 2009, and transferred to Auburn six months later. Dr. Hardy resigned from the School District effective June 30, 2010.

Click on the following for more details:  Rockford Public Schools

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Friday, December 3, 2010

Rockford College professor pleads guilty to three counts of criminal sexual abuse | The Rock River Times

 

Von der Ohe was arrested in 2008 after an alleged incident involving a 13-year-old girl. Further investigation revealed three incidents occurred between 2000 and 2008. None of the incidents involved a student or family member, although Von der Ohe reportedly knew the victims

Click on the following for more details: Rockford College professor pleads guilty to three counts of criminal sexual abuse | The Rock River Times

Upcoming District 100 Performing Arts Center Events

Upcoming Performing Arts Center Events

December 2
6:00 p.m.
Meehan Elementary concert

December 6
7:00 p.m.
Central M.S. chorus concert

December 7
7:00 p.m.
Belvidere North choral concert

December 8
7:00 p.m.
South M.S. band concert

December 9
7:30 p.m.
Belvidere High band concert

December 10
6:30 p.m.
Madrigal dinner/performance

December 13
7:00 p.m.
Central M.S. band concert

December 14
7:30 p.m.
Belvidere North band concert

December 15
6:30 p.m.
South M.S. choral concert

December 16
7:00 p.m.
Belvidere High choral concert

December 17
6:30 p.m.
Perry Elementary concert

December 20
7:00 p.m.
Seth Whitman Elementary concert

School Raises Money For Caledonia Tornado Victims

 

Caledonia, a local school is rallying behind the family of two of its classmates.

Damage can still be seen in parts of Caledonia, including the Boettcher's home.

The couple's two children attend Belvidere Central Middle School. The entire student body there is trying to help the family by raising money for them in a 'Spare Change Drive.'

"They're going above and beyond. And we really appreciate it," Karen Boettcher said.

Erica Swenson is helping collect money around the school for the Boettcher’s. The 6th grader also donated $20 dollars.

"Once I heard about it, I was thinking, what if that happened to me. And if that happened to me I would be devastated to losing everything I had," Swenson said.

Eighth grader Alex Butler donated $50 dollars and his parents matched his donation.

"I just felt bad for them. I just wanted to give them something," Butler said.

A little bit of spare change is adding up to hundreds of dollars for this family. It could mean repairs to this home not covered by insurance.

There's a jar in every classroom and most of the students here don't even know the family.

"We're usually the ones that always give. We're not on the receiving end. So, it's like totally different for us," Boettcher said.

The students just have big hearts and wanted to give back.

The school has been fundraising all week long. Monday, they will give the money to the family.

School Raises Money For Caledonia Tornado Victims

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Geneva principal clocked at 103 mph in Porsche - DailyHerald.com

 

Geneva Unit District 304 Superintendent Kent Mutchler, said he has spoken to Bidlack about the matter. Because it is a traffic infraction, the district does not have the ability, under state law, to impose sanctions against Bidlack, he said.

The district hired Bidlack as principal of Geneva Middle School in July 2001. When Geneva Middle School South opened, Bidlack was made principal of Geneva Middle School North. He makes $127,603 a year.

Read more: http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20101201/news/101209950/#ixzz16v9JqeAt

Click on the following for more details:  Geneva principal clocked at 103 mph in Porsche - DailyHerald.com