Budget, return-to-school plan on Dixon school board agenda

Members of the Dixon Public Schools board of education, from a May 18 photograph. Back row, from left, Rachel Cocar, Melissa Gates, Jon Wadsworth and Linda Leblanc-Parks; front row, Brandon Rogers, Kathleen Schaefer and board President Linda Wegner.

DIXON — Dixon Public Schools will have a robust agenda when its board of education meets 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Franklin Grove Road offices for what is the first meeting of the 2022-23 school year.

The primary item will be making public the proposed budget for the coming year and scheduling a public hearing for Sept. 21.

In addition to items that will be up for a vote, Superintendent Margo Empen has a series of informational items for the board. One is a financial report from Marc Campbell, business manager, and the other is information on the National Sex Ed Standards from Doug Stansford, assistant superintendent in charge of curriculum.

Last week, Empen said Dixon Public Schools would not be offering comprehensive sex education curriculum and thus, according to a new state law, would not be required to introduce the national standards.

Other action items

— Create a part-time administrative position — middle school dean of students — to assist other principals with student discipline. A primary task will be to assist in the implementation of the district’s positive behavioral interventions and supports framework — otherwise known as PBIS. There will also be collaboration with the truancy officer at the Regional Office of Education 47 and this position will act as a liaison with juvenile justice personnel.

— Create a job description for a school social worker to assist with special education responsibilities. Covid-19 recovery grant money will be dedicated to this salary. Ideally, the candidate would have a master’s degree in social work and other job-specific certifications.

— The superintendent will present the district’s return-to-learn plan as required by the Illinois State Board of Education to stay eligible to receive COVID-19 recovery grant funding. Notable changes to the plan for this year are the optional masking requirements for students, staff and visitors both in the school and on buses. The plan will follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for quarantines (including protocols for each building), contract tracing and isolation and lays out how the district will work closely with the Lee County Health Department as circumstances warrant.

— Vote on an agreement for the Dixon YMCA to provide an after-school program at Washington Elementary, Jefferson and Madison Elementary schools from 2:15 to 6 p.m.

Open houses

The community is invited to hour-long open houses at Dixon schools.

On Thursday, Washington School will be open at 4 p.m. and Jefferson School at 5:15 p.m.

On Monday, Aug. 15, Madison School will be open at 4 p.m., Reagan Middle School at 5 p.m. and Dixon High School at 6:30 p.m.

Troy Taylor

Troy E. Taylor

Was named editor for Saukvalley.com and the Gazette and Telegraph in 2021. An Illinois native, he has been a reporter or editor in daily newspapers since 1989.