May 21, 2013
As you may have already heard, this summer, the district will undergo a renovation project thanks in large part to a Maintenance Grant. The grant will allow us the opportunity to remove asbestos flooring from five classrooms and install new carpet in its place. This project will keep our custodial staff very busy this summer. The timeline for this project has been pushed back two weeks which has altered our plans slightly.
As soon as students are dismissed for the summer, the work will begin to remove everything from the five classrooms. All of the classroom items will be placed in the gym for the duration of the project. As a result, the gym will be closed to the public from Thursday, May 23, to Sunday, July 12. On June 10, A & A Abatement out of Du Quoin, Illinois is slated to begin the asbestos removal process. It is anticipated their work will conclude two weeks later. A Collinsville, Illinois, firm called Environmental Consultants will oversee the project to ensure that all environmental codes are followed. While the asbestos removal project is underway, the building will be closed to the general public. Once the abatement project is completed, the classrooms will get a fresh coat of paint, new carpet will be installed, and the classroom furnishings will be returned to their rightful place. It is our hope that the entire project will be completed by mid-July. Following is the projected timeline for the project:
May 24 – June 7 Remove Furnishings from Classrooms
May 24-July 12 Gym Closed
June 10-21 Building Closed
June 24-July 5 Classrooms Painted, Carpet Installed
Regardless of how closely we are able to stick to this timeline, the building will be ready for the first day of school on Friday, August 16. Stay tuned to the district website and Facebook page for regular updates.
Here is wishing everyone a happy and healthy summer vacation.
Robin Becker, Superintendent
Germantown Elementary SD #60
Please make note of the following events for May 17 - May 23.
Tuesday, May 21
*A public hearing will be held in the cafeteria at 6:00 this evening in regards to using health life safety money to pave the parking lot/playground.
Wednesday, May 22
*Today is clean-up day.
Thursday, May 23
*Today is the last day of school. School will be dismissed at 1:40.
*We will celebrate the last day of school with Field Day.
*Report cards will be sent home with the students.
It is hard to believe we are wrapping up another school year, and the students are getting ready to head home for the summer. While the students will be enjoying time away from school the next couple of months, the focus of my time will be finalizing a budget for the 2013-14 school year. If you have been reading my newsletters over the course of the past two years, you are well aware that school districts are struggling financially due to steep cuts in education funding. We have been working very hard to trim the budget since I began my tenure as superintendent three years ago. While we do have money in reserves, we must be frugal with spending it as we have no way of knowing how long we will be forced to endure these financially tough times. Unfortunately, we are to the point where we have been faced with some difficult decisions. This spring, cuts were made to summer school, the advanced learning program, and extra-curricular transportation. We will be deciding the fate of Reading Lab and Homework Help this summer.
As of late, you may have been hearing conversation around the county on the topic of PTELL, Property Tax Extension Limitation Law. While this law is complicated in nature, in a nutshell PTELL limits a taxing district, such as a school, to receiving a minimal increase in tax extensions on existing property from one year to the next, thus PTELL is often referred to as “tax caps”. Obviously, with state funding being cut significantly, our local tax dollars are extremely important to the operations of our school. As a school district, we take great pride in being good stewards of our taxpayers’ dollars. An example of that was released earlier this month in a report issued by the Illinois State Board of Education. This report outlined the 2012 operating expense per pupil (OEPP) of all 861 school districts in the state of Illinois. The OEPP indicates the amount of money it cost to educate each student in a given school district for that particular year. For fiscal year 2012, the statewide average OEPP was $11,841. Germantown ranked the sixth lowest in the entire state at $6,516. While Germantown had one of the lowest OEPP, we still managed to provide our students with a quality education. Once again this year, we were awarded the School Search Bright Star Award and the Academic Excellence Award. Our ability to operate our school on a tight budget and produce quality results speaks volumes for our commitment to making the most of the funding available to us.
Where tax rates are concerned, the 2012-13 tax rate of $2.17 for citizens residing in the Germantown Elementary school boundaries ranks third lowest out of nine elementary districts in the county. We are extremely mindful of our taxpayers as we carry out the levy process every year. At the same time, we must look out for the best interests of our community youth so that we can continue to provide them with the tools needed to be productive members of society.
Stay tuned for further updates on school district funding.
Have a safe and enjoyable summer break!