October 2021 School Board Meeting Minutes


The regular meeting of the Board of Education of School District 165 was held in the Carbondale Community High School Cafeteria, 1301 East Walnut Street, Carbondale, Illinois, on Thursday, October 21, 2021, at 6:00 p.m.

Upon roll call, the following members were present:

Linda Flowers                         Christopher Swim     
Wendell Pohlman                    Francis Tsung (Remote)
Steven Sabens                         Julie VanWinkle

Lana Galan answered roll call remotely at 6:13 p.m.

Also present were: 

Daniel Booth                          Sandy Snowden
Ray Toliver Jr.                        Matt Young
Ryan Thomas                         Walter Green
Ethan Graham

Approval of Minutes: Motion by Swims, seconded by Flowers, to approve the minutes of the regular meeting September 23, 2021. Roll call: Flowers, Pohlman, Sabens, Swims, Tsung and VanWinkle voted yes. Nay, none. Motion carried.

Old Business—None

Public Comments: Mr. Walter Green addressed the Board on behalf of the organization Mothers in Action for Gun Sense regarding the Illinois Association of School Boards’ Resolutions 2 and 15, that will be voted upon at the Delegate Assembly meeting on November 20, 2021.  

Mr. Green said Resolution 15 asks the IASB to advocate for legislation that “strengthens child safe gun storage laws in Illinois, requiring gun owners to store firearms, whether they are loaded or unloaded, in a securely locked container, if a person under the age of 18 is likely to gain access to the weapon without permission.” He asked the Board to support this resolution with a yes vote.    

Mr. Green said Resolution 2 would advocate and legislate to allow voluntary district employees, in any capacity, the ability to carry a concealed firearm on district property, with the proper licensure and training.  He asked the Board to not support the resolution with a no vote.

Mr. Booth advised Mr. Green that Board Secretary, Dr. Linda Flowers, was the District’s Delegate, and that she would be attending the meeting. President Sabens thanked Mr. Green for his comments.

FOIA Requests: The Board received a listing of the 2021-22 FOIA Requests received to date.

Payment of Bills: Motion by Swims, seconded by Flowers, to pay the remaining bills for the month of September 2021; and, those available for payment for the month of October 2021. Roll call: Pohlman, Sabens, Swims, Tsung, VanWinkle and Flowers voted yes. Nay, none.  Motion carried.

Principal’s Report: Mr. Thomas reported the 2021 Homecoming was successful with over 650 tickets sold for the Homecoming Dance that was held for the first time outside on Bleyer Field.  He also gave an update on the accomplishments of the athletic teams.

Mr. Thomas advised the Board that coming out of the pandemic the rate of student discipline referrals had become higher than usual. He said the overall mental health of the students was a real concern at this time. Mr. Booth added that nation-wide the numbers of teenage depression and anxiety were up.  Mr. Thomas said CCHS was prepared to handle these issues with a supportive environment. He praised the work of the CCHS faculty, and the services provided by the Counseling Department to the students during their transition back to school from the pandemic. He especially praised the services provided by the new Restorative Practices Specialist, Jimi Bradley. He said the services Mr. Bradley provides to the students and faculty have been immeasurable. Mr. Thomas said he strongly believes that Mr. Bradley’s current grant-funded position will become a permanent position in the future due to the enormous benefit his services are providing to the district.   

Superintendent’s Report: Mr. Booth reviewed his Superintendent’s Report for the Board:

Enrollment Numbers:
Current student enrollment numbers at CCHS are as follows:
963 Students in the system presently
18 Students alternately placed
5 Eighth grade students in Accelerated Geometry
940 High school aged students in the building

COVD Numbers as of October 15, 2021:
Isolation - 0
Quarantine - 4

Faculty/Staff in the building:
Isolation - 0
Quarantine - 0

Total COVID numbers for 2021-22 school year:
Positive cases - 39
Quarantines – 45

School Resource Officer Agreement Review Committee: The committee met on September 4, 2021, to review articles and discuss the purpose for CCHS having an SRO. During the meeting purpose statements were drafted and will be reviewed at the next meeting on November 1, 2021. Also, at that meeting the committee will discuss the roles and responsibilities of the SRO.

Strategic Planning Committee: The committee met on October 8, 2021, to review the structure and plan for composing the District’s strategic plan.  A website to assist in tracking the plan progress is on Terriernet.  The next meeting is October 27, 2021. The committee will review the District’s data from the past five plus years to discuss strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats as we plan for the future.

Emergency Connectivity Grant: Matt Young, the District Network Administrator, applied for an Emergency Connectivity Grant and it was approved. The grant will provide the District with almost $325,000 in funds that will support the purchase of 1,000 chrome books, and 200 hotspots for our students.  This will allow the District to continue giving each student a laptop computer for schoolwork over the next four years.

Baseball Field Turf Update/Change Orders: The baseball field turf construction is going great and the projected timeline for completion is on target for February 1, 2022. To alleviate potential delays in work being completed due to Change Orders that occur, it was decided that the Superintendent would approve Change Orders less than $50,000.00.  Change Orders over $50,000.00 will be discussed with the Board President for direction on approval or the need to take to the full Board of Education.  This is in line with Board Policy 4:60 that allows for budgeted purchases under $50,000.00 to be approved by the Superintendent without going to bid.

National Principal Appreciate Week: Mr. Booth recognized Ryan Thomas in honor of National Principal Appreciation Week.  Mr. Booth praised Mr. Thomas for his always calm, cool and collected demeanor and his faithful leadership at CCHS. Mr. Booth and the Board thanked Mr. Thomas for his service. 

Building and Grounds Committee Report: Christopher Swims, Chairperson of the Building Grounds Committee, reported that the committee had met on October 12, 2021.  He said the committee will meet on December 6, 2021, where they will create a Need and Wants List, prioritizing the items, and the costs associated with them. He said a timeline will be prepared to map out the ten-year projection. Member Pohlman stated a maintenance category had been added to prepare for the additional costs of maintaining the upgraded facilities. Vice President VanWinkle said she was very impressed and pleased with the large representation from every department on the committee. 

Mr. Booth commented that he had been in contact with Future Green regarding the installation of solar panels at CCHS. He said he hoped to have information for the Board at the next meeting.

Member Galan Answered Roll Call: Member Galan answered roll call remotely at 6:13 p.m.

2021-22 District-Wide Goals: Mr. Booth reviewed the proposed 2021-22 District-Wide Goals for the Board.

Motion by Swims, seconded by Flowers, to approve the 2021-22 District-Wide Goals as presented:

1. We will continue to maintain the positive financial position of the District.

2. We will actively work to enhance the diversity of our workforce, including the recruitment and retention of ethnic minority staff.

3. We will continue to analyze, address, and respond to issues associated with the Every Student Succeeds Act and other Federal and State Education initiatives.

a. We will pursue and maintain at least a Commendable rating on the new Illinois School Report Card, which focuses on Graduation Rate, ELA and Math growth on the SAT, Chronic Absenteeism, and Freshman on Track.

4. We will complete a comprehensive five-year strategic plan, with stakeholder input, to assist the District in casting a strong vision, with quantifiable performance indicators for the future.

a. We will develop and implement a district dashboard to assist in tracking and communicating student and school achievement data to the school community.

b. We will ensure that equity practices are included within the District’s strategic plan.

Roll call: Sabens, Swims, Tsung, VanWinkle, Flowers, Galan and Pohlman voted yes. Nay, none. Motion carried.

2021 School Report Card-Initial Release: Curriculum Director Ethan Graham reported on the October 29, 2021, Initial Release of the 2021 School Report Card. He said that the ISBE waived accountability for the 2020-21 school year; and therefore, summative designations would not be calculated for 2021. He said all schools will receive a “Summative Designation – 2021 Not Calculated” displayed on their Report Card. He said the initial release information does not contain data based on assessments. He said the November 18, 2021 Second Release will contain Spring 2021 data.  The April 14, 2022 Third Release will contain Fall 2022 deferred assessment data.


SkillsUSA Team Field Trip: Motion by Pohlman, seconded by Swims, to approve the SkillsUSA Team field trip to attend the Fall Leadership Conference as presented.  Roll call: Swims, Tsung, VanWinkle, Flowers, Galan, Pohlman and Sabens voted yes. Nay, none. Motion carried.


Employment of 2021-22 Personnel: Motion by Swims, seconded by VanWinkle, to employ the following 2021-22 personnel: 

a. Extra-Duty Personnel as presented:
Play I—Theatre Director: Justin Dennis $2,438.00
Play II—Theatre Director: Justin Dennis $2,438.00
Assistant Boys Basketball Coach:  Zach O’Hagan $1,000.00

Assistant Girls Basketball Coach: Heather Webb $2,418.00
Assistant Girls Soccer Coach II: Sian Person $2,335.00
Assistant Wrestling Coach: Jared Ragan $5,255.00, Kolbie Caffey: $2,000.00, Dennis Ragan: $1,755.00, Nolen Beck $500.00                    

b. Cook—Tabled                                                                                                                                           

Roll call: Swims, Tsung, VanWinkle, Flowers, Galan, Pohlman and Sabens voted yes. Nay, none. Motion carried.

Employment of 2021-22 Rebound Grant Personnel: Motion by Flowers, seconded by VanWinkle, to employ the following 2021-22 Rebound grant employee as presented, contingent upon adequate grant funding and timely receipt of those funds. The hours will be reduced during the summer or until adequate student enrollment is achieved.  The employment period will be October 22, 2021, through July 31, 2022: Brittany Swims, Parent Educator/Home Visitor—20 Hours per week. Roll call: Tsung, VanWinkle, Flowers, Galan, Pohlman and Sabens voted yes.          Nay, none. Member Swims abstained.  Motion carried.

Rebound Grant Personnel Revised Pay Rates: Motion by Pohlman, seconded by VanWinkle, to approve the 2021-22 Rebound grant personnel revised pay rates effective November 1, 2021, as presented:

Lisa Britt, English Facilitator: $22.07
Stephanie Brown, Family Educator: $23.70
Denise Diliberto, Social Studies Facilitator: $18.35
Matt Duckworth, Guidance Facilitator: $22.07
Mark Hutchings, GED Program Facilitator: $25.82
Sandy Snowden, Rebound Program Coordinator: $33.58
Katie Valliant, Parent Educator: $19.60 Jennifer Wharton, Reading/Health/Consumer Education Facilitator: $17.36
New Personnel: $17.00

Roll call: VanWinkle, Flowers, Galan, Pohlman, Sabens and Tsung voted yes. Nay, none. Member Swims abstained. Motion carried.

2021-22 Volunteers: Motion by Swims, seconded by Galan, to approve the following 2021-22 volunteers as presented:

Nicholas Bleyer, Wrestling Coach Volunteer
Cory Newman, Tennis Coach Volunteer

Roll call: Flowers, Galan, Pohlman, Sabens, Swims, Tsung and VanWinkle voted yes. Nay, none. Motion carried.

Closing Comments—None

November Board of Education Meeting: The November Board of Education meeting is Thursday, November 18, 2021.

Executive Session: Motion by Pohlman, seconded by Swims, to go into executive session to discuss information regarding the appointment, employment, compensation, discipline, performance or dismissal of specific employees pursuant to 5 ILCS 120/2(c)(1). Roll call: Galan, Pohlman, Sabens, Swims, Tsung, VanWinkle and Flowers voted yes. Nay, none. Motion carried.

Mr. Booth announced there would be no action following the executive session and that the public portion of the meeting would adjourn immediately following it.

The public portion of the meeting recessed at 7:20 p.m. The executive session convened at 7:27 p.m. The executive adjourned at 8:18 p.m.

Adjournment: The meeting adjourned at 8:19 p.m.

MINUTES APPROVED: November 18, 2021