Board approves policies, contracts, and financial updates for new school year

By: Melanie Williamson

The Vermilion Board of Education met on Wednesday, July 26, at the high school for their regular monthly meeting.

Legislative update: Sara Stepp provided a brief overview of the new education budget passed through Congress. There were changes in transportation that Stepp felt may impact the district as well as a range of other cuts that are still being determined.

Financial update: Treasurer Suzanne Wilson provided an overview of the June 30, 2017 financial report, which also marked the end of the district’s fiscal year. Among other things, she reported being able to consolidate bank accounts and conduct a surprise cash count as recommended by the state auditor. She also reported the operations department was able to buy a new skid steer while staying within their budget. Overall, they ended the fiscal year $39,298 under budget.

The board approved the receipt of donations to various funds from Vermilion Fire Department, Inc., Vermilion Athletic Booster Club, and Rachel Cardwell.

They also approved transferring $55,000 from the general fund to the athletic fund. Last year, athletic director Andrew Stillman presented to the board regarding the financial state of the athletic department to demonstrate that the allotted budget was not sufficient for the size of the program. It was agreed that the athletic budget would be increased with an advanced transfer each year.

Fundraisers: The board approved 26 upcoming fundraisers including three for the winter guard, five for the National Honor Society, and 14 for the Prom to Dawn committee.

The board also approved changes to the fundraising policy as discussed at previous meetings. A couple years ago the fundraising policy was changed, so that all fundraisers were supposed to get board approval prior to being conducted. However, that policy has not worked as planned due to fundraisers getting to the board after they had already happened. Additionally, feedback was received that the police created redundant work for school employees.

The new policy states that fundraising requests must be approved by the principal and superintendent and then submitted to the treasurer’s office for final approval. All fundraising requests must be made in writing using approved district forms, and those forms will be kept for audit purposes. Finally, the board will receive a list of all approved fundraisers each month, so they are aware of what has been approved.

Student fees: The board approved the new list of student fees for the 2017-2018 school year. They are as follows. For students in kindergarten through third grade, the fees are $37.00 per student. Fourth grade student fees are $40 per student unless the student is in Ms. Lambert’s class; her student fees are $26.25. Fifth grade student fees are $40 per student plus $11 for students participating in band. Sixth grade student fees are $36 per student plus $11 for students participating in band. Seventh grade student fees are $30 per student. Student fees at VHS are depending on the classes being taken and can be found on the school website.

New administrators: The board also approved employee contracts for two new administers to the district. Robert Figuly, the new Sailorway Middle School assistant principal and Melody Wright, the new Director of Student Data Systems and Accountability.

Upcoming meeting: The next school board meeting will be held on Monday, August 14, at 7 p.m. in the high school.

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