By Steve Robinson | April 29, 2020 - 6:37 am
Posted in Category: The Normalite

EL PASO – Like many communities in the State and nationwide, El Paso and Gridley are learning how to survive and adapt during the pandemic the country has been experiencing for almost the past two months. School District 11 has, like numerous school districts across the country, been conducting distance learning with students by computer, and at the District Board’s session April 27, done remotely, District Superintendent Brian Kurz commended district staff for their efforts during this situation.

Kurz said school staffers have been checking on students and their families making sure they are doing well during this situation. He added all students have one teacher who checks on them each week. He added if contact is not made after multiple attempts, administrators and other staff members make home visits to check on them.

Kurz added the rate of student participation for learning activities have been well over 80 percent during the remote learning period. He said staff members have been able to connect several families with support for those who have needed it.

EPGHS Graduation Scheduled For June 19: Brian Quam, principal of El Paso Gridley High School, reported to Board members graduation for EPGHS seniors has been scheduled for Friday, June 19 with an alternative date scheduled for the event set for Friday, July 17.

Kurz Receives New Contract: Board members voted to give Kurz’s a new four-year contract as superintendent. Kurz has been working in the third year of a five-year contract as EPG superintendent. Last night the Board of Education and I agreed to a new 4-year contract.

In a statement to the media, Kurz explained, “My family and I were grateful for the opportunity to come back home to EPG. We don’t take that for granted – and the extending of my contract means a lot to me. I am very grateful for the staff and board I get to work with each day. They make EPG a great place to live, work, and raise a family.”

New Dean And Athletic Director Hired For EPGHS: Adam Troll has been hired as the new EPGHS Dean and Assistant Athletic Director. Currently, Troll is employed in the Richland 88A School District as a middle school Dean / Athletic Director. Adam and his wife, Carrie, are the parents of two elementary aged children. Troll will begin his duties at EPGHS on July 1.

Results Of Referendum Concerning New Junior High Announced: Kurz announced the official results of the referendum held March 17 concerning whether a new junior high school should be constructed to replace the current facility. In El Paso Gridley, 1,648 residents cast yes votes while 405 cast no votes, showing 80 percent of voters were in favor. In Woodford County, 963 voters registered Yes votes as opposed to 344 No votes, showing that 74 percent were in favor. In McLean County, there were 621 Yes votes cast and 52 No votes, indicating 92 percent of voters there in favor), and in Livingston County, 64 voters cast Yes votes as opposed to 9 No votes, indicating 88 percent of residents were in favor.

The next two steps to be worked on Kurz told Board members, will include discussions with architects as plans are currently being drawn up for the project, and involving EPG Jr. High Athletic Director Joshua Krone working with a team of teachers to meet with architects to discuss the physical features of learning spaces.

District Financial Recap: Kurz summarized for Board members the state of the district’s financial condition, explaining revenues for the district look good but will not meet budget projections for the remainder of the year. He also pointed out District 11 has only received just one of the four categorical payments school districts are supposed to receive annually. Those payment total around $100,000 each and are applied for special education and transportation.

He added property tax receipts will be delayed, but added he hopeful the district will receive the correct amount of payments in June to close out the current fiscal year, but informed Board members the district should brace for receiving a lesser amount.

As for how much the district is spending, Kurz said that amount is in line with expectations. He said the district saw an increase in maintenance purchased services while experiencing a decrease in the purchase of maintenance supplies.

District Policy Committee Meeting Recap: Kurz informed Board members district policy committee members have met to review some legal changes to current policies. He explained none of the policies reviewed would have any real impact on district practices. The changes, he said, centered around updating language, footnotes, and citations to be compliant with current legislation.

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