MENDOTA – As the current school year winds down, next fall is the focus at Mendota High School. When the 2017-18 school year begins in August, MHS will be 1:1, which means that every student will be given a Chromebook computer to use.
After three years of preparation, the final plans are now in place for distribution of the Chromebooks to students. Reporting at the May 15 board of education meeting, Principal Denise Aughenbaugh said parents will be able to sign up for one of eight different meetings taking place over the summer. Parents are expected to attend the meeting with their student so everyone is aware of expectations. The meeting will include an overview of the high school’s Chromebook Handbook and distribution of the Chromebooks.
The meetings are scheduled for Wednesday, July 19 at 5:30 p.m. (bilingual); Monday, July 24 at 9 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.; Wednesday, July 26 at 9 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.; Monday, Aug. 14 at 6 p.m. (also freshman orientation); and Tuesday, Aug. 15 at 6 p.m. Sign up information is being e-mailed to the parents of all students.
Additionally, Aughenbaugh noted that information regarding registration for next year will be e-mailed to parents in July. Online registration and payment will be available through www.ezschoolpay.com. Parents may also drop off payments in the business office at the high school.
With the financial picture much the same as last month - not good - Superintendent Jeff Prusator said the only bit of good news is that expenses are right on budget or slightly under. The problem is revenue, specifically the lack of payments from the state. But Prusator said he does not expect to receive any more state money by June 30, which is the end of the fiscal year. Without any more payments, the district will end up anywhere from $200,000-$400,000 in the red.
“I just don’t anticipate getting any other payments in the next two months,” Prusator said. “A bit of concern there.”
In response to a question from board member Jim Strouss, who asked if our state representatives had been contacted, Prusator said the superintendent’s and principal’s organizations had been very active in communicating with Sen. Rezin and Rep. Long, along with all the other state legislators. Prusator also noted that MHS is one of many schools that have joined #passabudget, which has been signed by a large majority of school districts in the state, begging them to pass some type of budget to help with categorical payments.
Prusator outlined several summer maintenance projects, which includes resealing and painting the back parking lot and installation of electricity at the baseball and softball diamonds and the tennis courts. The new electric service is being funded by a donation from the Booster Club, which also donated the funds to pay for a wrestling mat hoist, which will be installed within the next six weeks.
Another project will give the high school an additional classroom next fall. When the new building opened, an extra computer lab was needed so a classroom was converted to a computer lab. “Since we are going 1:1, we no longer expect to be short on computer labs,” Prusator explained, noting that two other labs may also be converted to classrooms at some time in the future.
The other big summer project will be resealing the gym floor, which will be done in late July. “The advantage of have a building that’s only 15 years old is we don’t have a lot of the larger projects that older buildings have,” Prusator commented. “We’re pretty fortunate.”
The Athletic Committee’s recommended $10,585 fall athletic budget was approved. This is an increase of about $3,000 from last year with the largest expense for the purchase of 20 new uniforms for varsity volleyball.
Board president Jim Lauer said the consolidation feasibility study has been completed. The next step will be scheduling a joint meeting between board members from District 280 and District 289. The meeting, which will be open to the public, will include a discussion with the consultants regarding the study’s findings and questions will be answered. Tentative dates for the joint meeting are June 5 or 6.
With this month’s retirement of Leon Mosier, the board accepted a recommendation to make Shawn LeRette the new business department chair. The board also hired Michaela DeLong as a media center paraprofessional.
The next regular board of education meeting will be held at the high school on Monday, June 26 at 6 p.m.