Mountain View drops electives

BY PAT FARNELLI

Mountain View school board approved the elimination of six courses and the placement of 10 more on a rotation schedule during its regular meeting Monday.

High School Principal Andrew J. Doster submitted a list of  16 courses to be taken out of the 2012-2013 program of study, as requested by the board. Doster had hoped that the program of study prepared in January would be approved without the cuts, and that courses with low enrollment would remain on the program of study, but would be cancelled at his discretion.

“The smaller the staff gets, the greater the flexibility needed for scheduling,” Doster said.

The courses which will not be offered for the 2012-2013 school year because they are being rotated out will be offered the next year. These include theatre arts I and II, creative writing, French IV, anatomy and physiology/EMT, accounting II, food science and nutrition I, photography, beginning guitar and music theory.

Courses being eliminated include journalism II, III and IV, conversational French and Spanish, and world of transportation.

A visitor asked if eliminating courses will limit the offerings to the district’s children while not saving any money. The course cuts will not reduce district costs, Superintendent Andrew Chichura said.

Courses likely to be rotated out in the 2013-14 school year include Latin II, FrenchIII, accounting II. Food science II, intermediate guitar, 3D design/sculpture studio,  advanced art/portfolio preparation, and materials processing lab.

If a rotation schedule is adopted, some advanced courses will not be available to students in the year they are able to take them, visitors commented.

The schedule changes being considered for next year include a switch to two 30-minute lunch periods serving 290 students each.

Visitor Lisa Koslowski asked, “have you considered the discipline situation? Lunch times are the greatest referral area.”

Doster noted that state mandates for the number of students per lunch line and the amount of sit-down time in the cafeteria has changed.

In other business, the board unanimously voted against the NEIU #19 operating budget for the fiscal year July 1 to June 30, 2013.

A vacant school board seat representing LathropTownshipwas also on the agenda, but Chichura said the board would not be voting to appoint the only candidate, as there was a conflict of school board policy. “The issue will be going to Judge Seamans,” Chichura said.

Corrina Kinney, who attended the previous week’s work session to be interviewed for the Lathrop Township seat, asked how the board would proceed.

Chichura said that after 30 days from the notice of resignation, the Judge would be notified that there is not a replacement. He said that the solicitor is being consulted.

“No action would be taken tonight,” he said. “Seamans will decide.”

Chichura said that it is no longer a board matter, and that after 30 days, the decision will be made by the judge.

Kinney responded that the letter she received from the district solicitor “does not prohibit me from serving on the board.”

“The conflict comes in that you hold a contract with the district,” Chichura said. “Since 1984 when I came to the district, the board has not allowed a member of the board to have an employment contract with the district.”

Kinney has a school car contract to transport students.

School board President James W. Zick said, “Our advice to you is to get 10 signatures on that petition, and take it to Judge Seamans.”

During the visitor comment part of the meeting, Lisa Bollard of Kingsley said, “I don’t know if the board is aware of an incident that happened between a board member, a teacher and a student.”

Bollard was told that the incident would be handled during an executive session.

“She publicly embarrassed my daughter,” Bollard said. “You will be hearing from my attorney.”