The November Board meeting was held on 11/20. You can reference the official minutes once they are approved if you are interested in the formal report of the meeting. I provide a more thorough summary to staff that includes not only action taken, but also a summary of the primary discussions from the meeting. If you are interested, you may click below to see that Board Report.  

El Paso Gridley CUSD #11

Board of Education Report
November 20, 2017
7:00pm November Board Meeting
Centennial School Library

Visitors Present - 3

Board Meeting Discussions 

  • Policy Revision Approvals:
    The board discussed a few minor policy changes. There are several other policies that will be under review by the Board in the near future.

    • Policy 4:45 - Insufficient Fund Checks and Debt Recovery
      This policy update is simply to comply with the changes in the law.

    • Name Changes - There are multiple policies that include the names of certain employees based on their position or role. This is an update that reflects changes in personnel since last school year.

  • EPG HS Course/Curriculum Revisions:
    Mr. Quam briefly reviewed recommended changes for high school social studies curriculum. The Board discussed these changes at length in October, and again in November prior to taking action.

  • EPG HS Academic Recognition Proposal:
    Mr. Quam presented a proposal to the Board that would do away with valedictorians and salutatorians beginning with the class of 2022. In its place would be recognizing students who have met certain GPA and course expectations with Summa Cum Laude and Magna Cum Laude. This would honor those students who obtain high marks while pursuing a rigorous selection of courses. The emphasis is on encouraging students to take a challenging program of study.

  • EPG Camera Security Bids:
    Justin Kissinger has spent the past few years reviewing security camera software, evaluating systems used by other districts, and researching best upgrade options. Multiple vendors made proposals to the district. The Board had budgeted $20,000 for this project. Mr. Kissinger and Mr. Kurz recommended the quote from Tech Electronics for approximately $12,500.

  • Fuel Bid Purchase:
    Fuel bids were received and reviewed by the Board of Education. Yoder Oil had the lowest prices on fixed gasoline. Evergreen FS had the lowest prices on fixed diesel. Since the district uses substantially more diesel than gas, it was recommended to accept the bid from Evergreen FS.

  • FMLA Early Retirement Incentive:
    The Board discussed providing an early retirement incentive to a group of hourly employees who meet the criteria to retire early. This provides the option to employees to buy some additional years in the retirement system and potentially retire sooner than they could previously. This could lead to cost savings at the retirement of long-term employees. It also provides an opportunity to honor those employees who have had a long tenure of serving the district in important roles. Mr. Kurz has notified those employees who would have the option of participating in the program. The Board will consider this resolution at the December meeting. If approved, the district would set up individual sessions for employees to meet with IMRF advisors to review the options presented.

  • Tentative Tax Levy:
    Each year the Board of Education must adopt a tentative tax levy. The district determines the number of total dollars it will ask for. This is called the levy. The levy is then divided by the district’s EAV to determine the tax rate that is applied to individual property tax bills. The formula looks like this: Levy / Total EAV = Tax Rate. The district obtained estimated EAV from Livingston, McLean, and Woodford Counties. Their combined estimate is that there will be an increase in EAV of 3.5% in the district. The 2016 EAV was $163,971,884. The estimated EAV for 2017 is 169,716,658. In order to maintain a level tax rate, the district will levy $8,494,361 for FY17. There will be a Truth in Taxation Hearing held on December 18, 2017 to review the tax levy. While that number looks like a more than 5% increase in total dollars, the reality is it will result in a level tax rate on behalf of the district. The levy will be presented and explained at the Truth in Taxation Hearing at 6pm on December 18th. If anyone would like to discuss the levy process, they are welcome to call the district office at 527.4410 to set up an appointment with Mr. Kurz.

  • Administrative Cost Accounting Change:
    The formal process to make this accounting change includes setting a waiver hearing, then approving a resolution to improve the clarity of how administrative costs are allocated. In the past, a large portion of the superintendent salary has been out of other line items that do not show up in the Administrative Cost worksheet within the budget. The FY18 budget appears to substantially increase in administrative cost over what was spent during FY17. There is a minimal change in total dollars spent, but some costs that were paid out of other line items are now included in this total. The intent of the resolution is to publicly acknowledge the accounting change. The Board will hold the public hearing, receive public input, and take action on the resolution in December. Anyone who would like to learn more can set an appointment with Mr. Kurz by calling the district office at 527.4410.

  • Non-Resident Employee Tuition Waiver & Hearing:
    For the second consecutive month, the Board of Education discussed the potential to allow non-resident full-time employees to bring their children to attend EPG by having the regular tuition amount waived. The Board has discussed the value of being able to consider the school system from the perspective of a parent as well as an employee. Students would be counted in enrollment which would factor into receiving state aid. The Board discussed allowing the option to all full time employees (37.5 or more hours per week). The Board did learn that IESA and IHSA will only allow faculty (teachers and administrators) members’ children who do not pay tuition to participate in interscholastic sports. It was also reported that the tuition waiver would be a taxable benefit, and that the process to allow students to enroll would need to ensure that information is clearly communicated. The Board will hold a public hearing at its next meeting to provide an overview of the proposal, receive feedback, and looks to make a decision in December. Anyone who would like to learn more or discuss the issue can set an appointment with Mr. Kurz by calling the district office at 527.4410.

Consent and Action Items

  • Approved past open and closed meeting minutes.

  • Approved financial reports and bills.

  • Approved seeking fuel bids.

  • Approved the following personnel items:

    • Cheryl Penn, EPG HS Aide (resignation)

    • Rich Martin, JH Scholastic Bowl Coach (reduced to shared .5 stipend)

    • Alexandra Jordal, JH Scholastic Bowl Coach (hired for shared .5 stipend)

    • Jordan Kessinger, Freshman Boys Basketball coach (promoted to as warranted)

    • John Meinhold Jr., High School Wrestling (promoted to assistant coach)

    • Sheila Pinkham, HS Aide (hired part-time)

    • Ashley Brown, HS Aide (hired part-time)

  • Approved revision of Policy 4:45: Insufficient Fund Checks and Debt Recovery.

  • Approved revision of policies that reflect personnel changes in district.

  • Approved course/curriculum revisions for HS social studies.

  • Approved HS academic recognition proposal.

  • Approve purchase of new district-wide security camera system from Tech Electronics.

  • Approve fuel purchase through Evergreen FS.

  • Approve scheduling Truth in Taxation hearing for December 18, 2017 at 6:00p.

  • Approve scheduling Administrative Costs Waiver Hearing for December 18, 2017 at 6:20p.

  • Approve scheduling Non-Resident Employee Tuition Waiver Hearing for December 18, 2017 at 6:40p.


The next meeting of the Board of Education will be Monday, December 18th in the Centennial School Library. Hearings will be at 6p, 6:20p, and 6:40p. The regularly scheduled meeting will begin at 7:00p.



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