During Monday night’s District 205 Board of Education meeting, the agenda shifted to administrator’s reports where the lingering need of special education teachers came into focus.
Special Education Director Dr. Dawn Michaud updated the board on some vacancies in the district. “Currently in Special Ed we’re short two teachers – which we have two substitutes in there right now. We continue to advertising online, through local universities and on indeed.com. In school psych we have two openings right now. We’ve been advertising four positions since January 2017. We’ve been short for three years now. We’re also looking at retired personnel to come back and work part time,” Michaud reported. She says the district is seeing a high number of retirements – with an additional school psychologist retiring at the end of this year. The district is short a couple of speech pathologists – which they have been advertising for since May. Two of the other biggest areas in need for the district is para-professionals and substitute teachers. District #205 has only about 8 substitute teachers on their list – while averaging about 5 teacher call-ins per day.
Safety is another topic that District 205 Board of Education members stressed Monday night. Before wrapping up the board meeting, board members made comments in regards to things they were encouraged by and concerned with for District 205 schools. Board member Jean Ann Glasnovich voiced a concern in regards to using crosswalks and obeying school speed zones around the city. “I talk to the crossing guards every day and they’ve been concerned on multiple occasions about crossing not at the crossing guard area, but in the middle of the street – and (motorists) not staying in the speed zone that they should. We would all feel horrible – it’s happened in the past should there be an accident and a student, or parent or anyone was injured….. I just encourage the community and our parents to please follow the rules. Walk to the crossing guards cross there…and please obey the speed limits.” Glasnovich also stressed the importance of community members getting their voices heard through community engagement opportunities. The board welcomes input for area schools and students moving forward. There was a community engagement meeting held Wednesday morning at the Knox College Lincoln Room. The next engagement meeting will be held Monday, September 25th at 6:00pm at Discovery Depot Children’s Museum. The next District 205 Board of Education meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, October 10th at 6:00pm.