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QuickStory: Geneva School Board OK's Another Teacher for Mill Creek 2nd Grade

Geneva School District 304 says "yes" to hiring an addition teacher to create a third section for Mill Creek Elementary School's second grade.

On the heels of approving at l, the Board of Education on Monday night gave the green light to hire a teacher for second grade.

School District 304 staff recommended the addition of a third section for Mill Creek's second grade.

As of July 16, enrollment would have put the two sections at 29 and 28 students per class, according to a memo from Craig Collins, assistant superintendent personnel services. With the addition of a teaching position, the three sections would have 19 students apiece.

A number of Mill Creek parents spoke in favor of adding the staff, acknowledging that redistricting would be the likely longterm solution to some of the enrollment distribution issues facing the district.

"Our kids will be fine, but we don’t want kids to be fine—we want them to be phenomenal," one parent said. "The inconvenience of sending two kids to two different schools is crazy. It’s just not a reasonable thing to do. If we believe 29 students is too many for kindergarten, we need to do the same thing for second grade."

A parent of a student with an Individual Education Program said stability is especially important for students with special needs.

"We cannot uproot these kids and move them around," she said. "They’re too young, and they have (a program) set in motion for them, especially for children with IEPs. I’m not sure why there’s even that question. I feel like there’s a lot of shuffling around that’s not needed."

Other parents noted that Cub Scout troops could be split, and parent volunteers could be pulled in too many directions if one child goes to Mill Creek and another is bussed to one of Geneva's other elementary schools.

"I don't believe that moving the children for one year is the answer," she said.

The board voted 6-0 to create the third section and authorize administrators to begin the hiring process. School Board member Bill Wilson was absent.

Parents expressed some concern about the short amount of time left to hire and train a new teacher, as well as time to notify parents regarding which teacher's classroom his or her student will land.

Collins assured parents that hiring teachers this late in the summer is standard practice for every school district and that the determination of class organization would be delayed at most by one week.

"It's not unusual for a School District the size of Geneva to hire several teachers right before the beginning of the school year," he said. "We're going to err on the side of conservative, given the fact that enrollment numbers tend to fluctuate. It would be great to have them (new teachers) on board in June or July, but given the uncertainty, we have to wait."

In other action, the board took a first look at the priminary budget for the Education Fund, which will be a subject of a formal public hearing at a later date.

School Board President Mark Grosso said the board also will modify its decision-making timeline regarding the . Grosso said more information on that topic would be coming soon.

Grosso also suggested his fellow board members consider adding two citizens to the School Board's Finance Committee.

Bob McQuillan July 24, 2012 at 09:16 PM
I have attended Geneva school board meetings for many years and the discussion and vote on this issue was the most confusing thing I have ever seen. I believe the vast majority of the audience didn't know exactly what was decided and the attempt at an explanation confused people more. The Patch's story is different from the one written in the Daily Herald and the reporters were sitting right next to each other! I believe the board is playing a game of semantics and it is going to bite them in the end. You don't agree to open a new section, start a search for a new teacher but then also say you aren't approving the hiring of a teacher at last night's meeting. The old line about not being able to be half-pregnant comes to mind.
G.Ryan July 25, 2012 at 02:35 AM
I agree. And what happened to their plans of future rezoning is or will that take place? They don't seem to have any intervention procotol in place like St. Charles District does relative to class size. But why is it that every problem that arises the solution is always spend or throw money at it. Also, it is very difficult to hear the speakers in that school building. Don't know if it is the microphone or the building.
Bob McQuillan July 25, 2012 at 07:07 PM
Cathy You finally figured it out. Everyone that posts the truth about the the actions of the school district is really me. See I use my real name to throw everyone else off because why would someone post under their real name and fake names too. You have seen the curtain and found out the secret. Every single Genevan is ok with paying high school taxes except me. Just ignore all those other posters because they aren't real.
Bob McQuillan July 26, 2012 at 04:28 AM
First, the state isn't the cause of most of the school district's financial situation. The decisions of the administration and the past & present school boards are the cause of the district's financial problems. The state didn't inflate the enrollment projections and they say "I wasn't me." The state pays it's bills, maybe not on time but they pay their bills within a reasonable amount of time based on the shape they are in. I did try and take on Springfield in 2009 by running for State Representative. The voters decided to send the same representative back down to Springfield. We all know how that worked out for us. Cathy, you say you don't want to pay high taxes but what have you done to stop the trend? You are convinced that I post under different names which means you don't know anything about me or what I'm trying to accomplish. We will see if the volunteer school board members want to pay higher taxes or not because with the 2012-13 school budget they have the opportunity to stop increasing the tax levy. When they ran for their seat they all said they were going to be fiscally responsible to the taxpayers. Now is the time for them to stand by their words. Pass a budget by September 30th that wll not require a tax levy increase in December. It can and should be done.

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