District 280 prepared for school opening

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MENDOTA – The Mendota High School District 280 Board of Education met on Aug. 17. Discussions included the status of student registration, a revised school calendar and the preliminary budget for 2021.

PRINCIPAL’S REPORT

Registration was held online through July and August. Principal Denise Aughenbaugh said freshman students came in on Aug. 12 for their student ID pictures and Chromebook handouts. The high school still hopes to hold a rescheduled Freshman and New Student Orientation night on Wednesday, Sept. 2. This will allow first-time MHS students and families to tour the building and practice their schedule. They also plan to schedule an 8th grade Honors Algebra I orientation program for students.

  • As of Aug. 17, MHS has 522 students active in their database. This includes six super-seniors, 126 seniors, 139 juniors, 140 sophomores and 111 freshmen. An additional 25 eighth grade students will take Honors Algebra I with Ms. Barnes.
  • The first day of Area Career Center is Aug. 19, and the first day of attendance for Mendota High School students will be Tuesday, Sept. 8.
  • Aughenbaugh encouraged all MHS families to use the communication resources posted online at www.mendotahs.org. The home page has a Communications 20-21 link, which will take families to all of the documents and forms pertaining to the reopening of school. “We understand it is difficult to keep track of multiple e-mails with attachments and want to streamline communications as much as possible,” Aughenbaugh said.

In addition, along the left-hand side of the homepage, there are other resources including the MHS Events Calendar. Aughenbaugh noted that the events printed in the Student Handbook/Planner are not accurate because school and athletic events have been rescheduled. She encouraged families to visit the MHS Events Calendar, which is a Google Calendar, and it will sync activity updates as well as athletic updates entered through different webpages.

  • Students and parents were reminded that Parent Connect is used for online grading, attendance, and communication. Parents are asked for current e-mail addresses so important student progress information may be shared. Freshmen and new students received Parent Connect login and passwords in the registration mailing. New parents will receive their password in the mail, or they may contact the high school for the login and password.

MHS uses e-mail for the majority of correspondence home. At registration, families were asked to provide accurate e-mails and/or to request paper mailings. “We strongly encourage parents to contact MHS with any questions,” Aughenbaugh said. “We also plan to post updates on Facebook and Twitter.”

SUPERINTENDENT’S REPORT

A revised 2020-21 school calendar was approved by the board. Superintendent Jeff Prusator expressed his appreciation to MHS teachers for their cooperation in working out the new calendar. Teacher institute days will be Sept. 3-4 and the first day for students will be Tuesday, Sept. 8.

Other changes: School will be in session on Oct. 9 and Columbus Day, Oct. 12.

There will be no school on Election Day, Nov. 3, which has been declared a state holiday.

Parent Teacher Conferences will be on Nov. 25.

Christmas break will begin on Dec. 23, and school resumes on Jan. 4. The first semester will end on Jan. 15.

No traditional spring break is scheduled, however, there will be several days off surrounding Easter.

Graduation will be Saturday, May 29 and the last day of school if no emergency days are used will be June 4. “That’s pretty good for not starting school until Sept. 8,” Prusator said. “The last possible day would be June 11 [if emergency days are used]. The sports seasons will be going until the end of June.”

  • The board approved an addendum with ENGIE regarding the security corridor. Three projects, the roof, resurfacing of the back parking lot, and the security corridor are all scheduled to be done next summer. The cost is not to exceed $1.5 million.
  • Prusator presented the preliminary budget for FY21 and a budget hearing was scheduled for Sept. 21 at 6 p.m. He said most of the funds will be in good shape by the end of the year but noted that the state is still two payments behind in Transportation. If one or both of those are received, the fund will be balanced.
  • Board policy updates were approved.

PERSONNEL

The board accepted a retirement notice from custodian Frank Lopez effective Dec. 31. Prusator commended Lopez saying he has been a very dependable worker over the years. “Frankie mostly works at night and he has done a great job,” Prusator said. “He will be hard to replace.” 

The next regular board of education meeting will be held at 6 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 21 at the high school. The meeting will include a budget hearing.