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District 117 to relocate offices and improve early childhood education

Thomas Clatterbuck

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District 117 is looking to consolidate the locations of its early childhood program. Currently, the program is scattered around the district, including at the “central office” facility on Jordan Street. The central office location is considered the best location both for educational and security reasons, and moving all of the programs to the single site was deemed highly desirable.

However, for the early childhood program to have enough space, the offices in the building needed to be relocated. Relocating the maintenance department, which also shares the building, was too expensive. After searching for a new office space, the district purchased the old Jacksonville Savings Bank building at 211 W. State Street. The decision was authorized at the March school board meeting.

Superintendent Steve Ptacek laid out the financial logic for the move. Purchasing the new office space cost $200,000; but will likely increase grant funding for the early childhood program. The program is funded by competitive grants, and is judged on a number of factors. One of the district’s weakest elements was its physical locations. By relocating the children to the best location, the district will have a much stronger case for increased grant funding. Ideally, the district is seeking an increase of over $1 million in grants to drastically expand the early childhood programs. Based on how grant funding traditionally operates, once the additional funding is secured, it will likely remain at the higher level in the future.

You can watch Ptacek’s full explanation of the district’s plans below:

Senior strategist, statehouse reporter and political correspondent for Springfield Daily. Graduate of District 117 and UIS. Thomas covers stories in both Morgan and Sangamon Counties, as well as statewide politics.

Announcements

Davis to Host Service Academy Nights

Staff Contributor

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PRESS RELEASE | U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) will host two Service Academy Nights in conjunction with U.S. Reps. John Shimkus (R-Ill.) and Darin LaHood (R-Ill.) to give high school students an opportunity to learn more about U.S. Service Academies. The offices of Davis and Shimkus will hold one in Edwardsville on Tuesday, April 17th and the offices of Davis and LaHood will hold the second in Springfield on Tuesday, April 24th.

The Edwardsville Academy Night will be held on Tuesday, April 17th beginning at 6:00pm at the Mannie Jackson Center for Humanities, Conference Room 107, 1210 N. Main St., Edwardsville, IL 62025. Doors will open at 5:30pm.

The Springfield Academy Night will take place on Tuesday, April 24th at 7:00pm at the Springfield Air National Guard183rd Fighter Wing, 3101 J David Jones Pkwy, Springfield, IL 62707. Doors will open at 6:30pm.

“As a member of Congress, each year I have the honor of nominating well-qualified, accomplished young men and women to our nation’s service academies,” said Davis. “I encourage any student interested in attending a service academy to come to our Academy Night to learn more about the nomination process and speak directly to representatives from each academy.”

Academy Night gives area students an opportunity to receive more information about the congressional nomination process and hear directly from representatives from each of the five U.S. Service Academies, including the U.S. Air Force Academy, U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, U.S. Military Academy at West Point, and U.S. Naval Academy.

Service academies offer fully funded four-year scholarships to young U.S. Citizens who qualify by age and academics, who demonstrate desirable leadership qualities, and who have the wherewithal to strive for excellence in all their endeavors. A four-year education at one of the service academies has an estimated value of approximately $300,000.

Academy Night is open to all high school students, parents, school administrators, and guidance counselors.

For more information or to RSVP for the event, those interested should contact Amie Gallagher via email at Amie.Gallagher@mail.house.gov or by phone at (217) 372-6032.

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Illinois State Board of Education finalizes evidence-based funding formula for FY 2018

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PRESS RELEASE | SPRINGFIELD The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) today issued vouchers to the Illinois State Comptroller, paving the way for the tier funding portion of fiscal year 2018 Evidence-Based Funding to flow to the most under-resourced districts.

ISBE issued vouchers according to the planned timeline, concluding months of extraordinary partnership with school districts and lawmakers to deliver accurate and on-time distributions.

“Implementing a radically new funding formula required extraordinary effort by ISBE staff and school districts,” said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D. “I deeply appreciate Governor Rauner and the General Assembly’s commitment through the passage, cleanup, and distribution of this historic first year of Evidence-Based Funding.”

ISBE posted the complete model of fiscal year 2018 Evidence-Based Funding calculations on the ISBE website at www.isbe.net/ebfdist​.

“The EBF numbers show staggering inequity,” Smith said. “We now have common language to talk about the needs of our students and the situated-ness of our schools within communities. We have a common understanding of what all of our children deserve. Evidence-Based Funding puts us on the path to deliver on the promise of equity for all Illinois’ students. Investing in equity is the superior growth strategy for our state.”

ISBE led a collaborative process with school districts to verify detailed enrollment counts for the past three years. The EBF formula defines an adequate funding target for each school district, based on enrollment numbers and the cost of 34 factors proven to deliver the greatest positive impact to students. The formula compares each district’s current resources to its unique adequacy target. Increases in state education appropriations go to the most under-resourced districts.

Tier funding totals approximately $395 million statewide, including $29 million specifically for English Learners in the highest need districts. ISBE issues EBF vouchers twice per month from August through June. School districts have been receiving the base funding minimum, or hold harmless, portion of EBF. The final six EBF vouchers for FY 2018 will contain all of the FY 2018 tier funding. The Comptroller is responsible for processing the vouchers and distributing funds to school districts.

The EBF formula requires an additional $7.2 billion investment to provide adequate funding for every school district in the state.

Learn more about the Evidence-Based Funding formula at https://www.isbe.net/ebf2018​.

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Education

SHS students garner national art awards, District students get 73 regional nods

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PRESS RELEASE | Springfield High School students Ellie Krehbiel, Tehya McDonald and Valentine Le Vot have been recognized nationally for their art in the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. McDonald’s drawing titled “Thoughtful” received an American Visions Medal, Le Vot’s photography titled “Fork It Over” garnered a Silver Medal, and Krehbiel’s painting titled “The Trio” also earned a Silver Medal.

McDonald will be presented with an award at Carnegie Hall and her piece will be on display in New York for two years.

Additionally, students from Franklin Middle School, Grant Middle School, Lincoln Magnet School, Iles School, Springfield Ball Charter School, Lanphier High School and Springfield High School garnered 73 regional awards. Many students had multiple works recognized.

Students in grades 7-12 can submit awards in 29 categories of art and writing. In 2018, there were nearly 350,000 works submitted. There are three categories of recognition including Gold Key, Silver Key and Honorable Mention. Gold Key recipients can also be nominated for American Visions and Voices Medals

Gold: Gold Key recipients are the very best works submitted to local programs. Gold Key works are automatically considered for national–level recognition. Five works, from across all categories and grades, are selected from those earning Gold Keys as the “Best-of-Show” for each local program as nominees for the American Visions & Voices Medals*. They are as follows:

Emma Batterman, Springfield High School
Harlie Courtwright, Lanphier High School
Abigail Hunt, Lanphier High School
Seth Jacobs, Springfield High School
Grace Jaderholm, Springfield High School
Ellie Krehbiel, Springfield High School
Valentine Le Vot, Springfield High School
*Tehya McDonald, Springfield High School
Alex Rothschild, Springfield High School
Kiersten Schwer, Springfield High School
Lola Taraba, Iles School
Ellie Thomson, Springfield High School
Maxwell Thuma, Springfield High School
Silver: Silver Key recipients are stand-out works submitted to local programs that demonstrate exceptional ability. They are as follows:

Kylee Burg, Springfield High School
Dayton Emery, Springfield High School
Kiki Frost, Springfield High School
Grace Jaderholm, Springfield High School
Sara Jasim, Springfield High School
Abbey Knoles, Lanphier High School
Ellie Krehbiel, Springfield HIgh School
Valentine Le Vot, Springfield High School
Caroline Martin, Springfield High School
Tehya McDonald, Springfield High School
Quaye Meadow, Springfield High School
Julia Mitra, Iles School
Aleya Moore, Lanphier High School
Harrison Newbold, Springfield High School
Ellie Rockford, Springfield Ball Charter School
Gabe Sarich, Lincoln Magnet School
Lillyan Starr-Fleming, Lincoln Magnet School
Seth Stehn, Springfield High School
Macy Sumner, Iles School
Honorable Mention: Honorable Mentions are accomplished works submitted to local programs showing great skill and potential. They are as follows:

Morgan Arnold, Franklin Middle School
Hannah Buttry, Springfield HIgh School
Emma Carter, Springfield High School
Harlie Courtwright, Lanphier High School
Mason Dilbaitis, Springfield High School
Alaina Elberson, Lincoln Magnet School
Dayton Emery, Springfield High School
Avery Fifer, Franklin Middle School
Hanna Frazier, Springfield High School
Pharell Jackson, Grant Middle School
Seth Jacobs, Springfield High School
Seth Jasim, Springfield High School
Siri Kakumani, Iles School
Abbey Knoles, Lanphier High School
Valerie Nguyen, Iles School
Zoe Nielsen, Springfield High School
Joseph Ratsch, Springfield High School
Daniel Riedel, Springfield High School
Alex Rothschild, Springfield High School
Gabe Sarich, Lincoln Magnet School
Caitlin Schmidt, Lanphier High School
Andrew Standley, Springfield High School
Lillyan Starr-Fleming, Lincoln Magnet School
Jeana To, Franklin Middle School
Emma Wilds, Springfield High School

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