Waltham Elementary swears in new members Nichols, Phillips

School district waits for new guidance from state on infection controls for next school year

Waltham Elementary’s school board has two new members who were sworn in Wednesday, Allison Nichols and Brian Phillips, and bade goodbye to two members who helped construct the still-new school.

Buffy Hoskins opted not to seek a second term and Jason Depenbrock was edged out in a four-way contest for three seats. Jim McCabe, who was reelected board president, and Nicole Mertes both retained their seats in the April 6 elections.

Separately, Superintendent Kristi Eager said Waltham and other school districts are waiting for new guidance from Springfield on infection controls to be implemented in the coming school year. There are hints existing infection controls still will be in force on the first day of school and then relaxed later.

“We’re kind of in a holding pattern,” Eager said.

Finally, graduation will be Wednesday, June 2, in the school gymnasium with social distancing. Eager said they believe each of the 20 graduates may bring up to six guests each before capacity becomes an issue.

“We’re going to work with La Salle County Health Department to make sure we’re following all the guidelines,” Eager said.

In other matters, the board:

  • Declared registration fees will be unchanged from the current school year
  • Announced enrollment stands at 185, unchanged from last month. Capacity is 242 students
  • Will next convene May 19 and will continue meeting the third Wednesday of the month. (Exception: July 28)

Tom Collins

Tom Collins covers criminal justice in La Salle County.