Unit 5NORMAL – Normal-based Unit 5 School Board members gathered for a work retreat on Thursday, July 24 in order to give new Superintendent Dr. Mark Daniel input on how Board members wish to proceed in what will be Daniel’s first year overseeing the district. Daniel became Unit 5 Superintendent on July 1, succeeding Dr. Gary Niehaus, who retired on June 30 after serving in the post for seven years.

The session, held in a conference room across from Normal Town Council Chambers on the fourth floor of Uptown Station, was to help both Daniel and Board members determine how both sides should proceed to best serve the district’s parents, students, and staff.

“As a Board, you give me responsibility to make policy come to life,” Daniel told Board members.

“We, as Board members, have one employee, and that’s the superintendent,” elaborated Board President John Puzauskas. Daniel and Board members agreed communication channels between them need to be open in order for effective operation of the district. Daniel said it’s important for Board members to bring issues they become aware of to his attention, provided those issues aren’t already being addressed by school administrators.

By the same token, should an issue arise that Daniel becomes aware of first, either through phone calls or email, he explained, “It’s important for the district to notify the Board in advance of issues likely to develop.”

Unit 5 Attorney Urges Board Members To Use District E-Mail: As a matter of policy, Board members should try to use email outlets provided them by the district. The email addresses generally use the last name and first initial of a Board member followed by “@unit5.org.” Richardson informed Board members that conducting district correspondence using their own personal email would leave Board members open to the possibility of an outside party seeing what a Board member was discussing by submitting a Freedom Of Information Act request to the district.

Unit 5 mapFirst 100 Days’ Priorities For Daniel: Board member Mike Trask asked Daniel what his goals included during what will be his first 100 days as superintendent. Daniel said among his priorities were “to tour the district’s buildings, getting input from teachers, students, and the public. Doing that will lend support to relations the district has with the public and the unions the district deals with. Doing that is huge.”

Walk-In Registration Begins Aug. 4: Online registration of students attending the district for the coming school year began July 1. Walk-In registration will take place in early August on the following dates for the following classes of students: Elementary School students can attend walk-in registrations at the schools on Monday, Aug. 4 from 3p.m.-6:45p.m.. Junior High School students can attend walk-in registrations at the schools on Tuesday, Aug. 5 from 3p.m.-6:45p.m.

High School walk-in registration will take place at those schools for the following student classes at these dates and times: Juniors on Wednesday, Aug. 6 from 11a.m.-1p.m. and 3p.m.-6:p.m.; Sophomores on Thursday, Aug. 7 from 11a.m.-1p.m. and 3p.m.-6:p.m.; and Freshmen on Monday, Aug. 11 from 11a.m.-1p.m. and 3p.m.-6:p.m. Unit 5 permits seniors to register on any of the three registration days.

New Immunization Requirements Take Effect This Year: Beginning this fall with the 2014 – 2015 school year, Illinois law requires all students entering school at all grade levels to show proof of having had both two full MMR vaccines to prevent measles, mumps, and German measles or Rubella; and a varicella vaccine Children entering kindergarten, 6th or 9th grades must show proof of receiving two varicella (chicken pox) vaccines, if they have not already received them. All students entering 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th grades must show proof of having had 1 Tdap vaccine. Unit 5 students will not be allowed to begin school without having had the required immunizations.

Circle Your Calendars: The Board of Education’s next regularly scheduled meeting will be on Wednesday, Aug. 13 at district headquarters, 1809 W. Hovey Ave., starting at 7p.m. The first day of school is Monday, August 18 and will be a full day of classes.

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