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Carlinville school board meets for first of two September meetings

Enquirer~Democrat Reporter

The Carlinville School board met for its regular September meeting on Monday, Sept. 11. Several of the newly hired staff were present to introduce themselves to the Board. There were 25 new staff members hired this year in all of the buildings and departments.

New Staff

At the High School, new staff includes Tyler Finnegan, Ashley Mullen, Heidi Lange, Jacinda Reynolds, Nathan Wise, Melanie Schwer and Daniel Hayford.

New Middle School staff includes Brandie Mullink and Teresa Eilers. Several individuals work at the Middle and High School, including Joleen Craig, Teresa Reid and Siri Engstrom.

At Carlinville Intermediate, the new staff members are Kaitlyn Moore Hartsook, Alyssa DeSpain and Alyssa Hermes.

New Primary School staff includes Gracie Jones, Lexie Black, Jamie Lowrance, Allison Baker, Max Rogers and Carrie Gunning.
Jill Badalamenti was hired as the District Technology Coordinator and Samantha Bomkamp, Paula Beard and Kim Gwinn were hired as bus drivers.

Middle School Improvement Plan

The Middle School was listed as a targeted school by the 2021-22 Illinois School Report Card. This means that one or more group of students was performing at or below the level of the “all students” group of the five percent lowest performing schools in the State.

In this case, the student group targeted by the designation was the Children with Disabilities group. Middle School Principal Kyle Smith gave the board an overview of the Improvement Plan. He stated there were two goals-to increase the achievement in English/Language Arts and Math and to increase attendance.

To improve achievement scores, the district is investing in the i-Ready Math program and working on professional development with teachers and staff.

Smith said in regards to attendance, though it may be cliche, getting kids in school improves their scores. The school will be using a program called Frontline Analytics to track attendance and student progress.

The Middle School Improvement Plan was approved.

Fall Enrollment

Discussion was held over the number of students currently in the District. The sixth day enrollment was 1,232 students. There are 368 High Schoolers, 280 Middle Schoolers, 574 students in Kindergarten through fifth grade and 80 students enrolled in the Pre-K program, which only count as 40 students due to the half-day nature of the program.

While the enrollment is down from previous year it is in line with the birth rates and other districts are seeing similar rates of decline. The enrollment is expected to pick up in a couple more years due to an increased birth rate during the Covid-19 pandemic, but Superintendent Becky Schuchman said it was expected to drop again in the following years.


In matters of employment, four new staff members were hired. Brandon Chasteen, Sara Bentley and Rebecca Gray were hired as substitute monitors. Katie Dunn was hired as the assistant Girls’ Middle School Basketball coach.

Other Business

The board approved a motion to set an administrative cost limitation hearing for Sept. 25 at 7 p.m. This hearing would follow the Fiscal year 24 Budget Hearing set for the same day at 6:45 p.m.

The board approved the District’s 125 Plan with American Fidelity for the 2023-24 School Year.

A bid from Southern Bus and Mobility for a Ford handicapped van was approved for $82,671. A previous bid for the same van was approved but was not delivered to the bid specifications, so a new bid was sought. The new van is set to be delivered prior to Sept. 30.

The motion to approve the ISBE (Illinois State Board of Education) School Maintenance grant application was approved. The grant was written to help with the costs of the window replacement at the Primary School. The grant is for up to $50,000, which will offset but not cover the costs of the window replacements.

The next school board meeting will be Sept. 25 at the High School. A Budget hearing will begin at 6:45 p.m. followed by the Administrative Cost hearing at 7 p.m. A regular school board meeting will follow both hearings.