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Chuck Fruit Aquatic Center Dedication Set for Sunday, September 14

Posted: September 12, 2014

The Chuck Fruit Aquatic Center will be dedicated at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, September 14 on the grounds of the District 7 Sports Complex. The Center was built as a result of a $4 million donation by Mrs. Sharon Fruit, President of the Charles & Sharon Fruit Foundation and a 1965 graduate of Edwardsville High School, and $1.3 million in donations from other community donors. [More Info]

Start times won't change for EHS students

Posted: September 11, 2014

Edwardsville District 7 Superintendent Ed Hightower announced at the Edwardsville District 7 Board of Education meeting Monday night that there would be no change to the start times of Edwardsville High School. [More Info]

Superintendent’s Comments – September 8, 2014

Posted: September 10, 2014

A great deal of excitement continues throughout the District among our students and employees as the District completes its fourth week of school.

Students’ academic progress reports will be provided to parents on Friday, September 12. As always, we encourage parents to access TigerView for monitoring their children’s progress. Fall athletics and performing arts activities are in full swing, and we’re pleased to see the community enjoying the performances of our students.

The grand opening of the Chuck Fruit Aquatic Center on will take place on Sunday, September 14, 2014, with tours beginning at 11:00 a.m. and the ceremony at 1:00 p.m. Parents and students are invited to come see this exciting new addition to District 7 facilities.

Framework for Navigating Discussions of Sensitive or Potentially Polarizing Classroom Discussions
The committee charged with developing the District 7 framework for teachers to use when discussing sensitive or potentially polarizing classroom topics made a presentation to the Board of Education on Monday, September 8. Please access http://www.ecusd7.org/news/14_15/Framework-Polarizing-Classroom-Discussions.pdf to view the presentation in its entirety.

Dr. Cramsey, EHS Principal; Dr. Stanifer, Liberty Principal; and Dr. Stuart, Lincoln Principal will present the framework to teachers in their buildings this week to seek input. Teachers will begin using the framework and strategies in their classrooms immediately. This framework will be a work in progress with all teachers being inserviced at the October Institute Day and throughout the remainder of the school year.

District 7 Boundaries and Transportation Study
Dr. Randy Pearson, Professor of Geography at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, and I presented an overview of the proposed changes to the school boundaries. Please access the presentation in its entirety. [Boundary Video Presentation]

The boundary analysis included a review of school start and end times, school capacities, transportation efficiency (ride time and cost), balance in socioeconomic status and minorities across schools, areas of recent growth or decline in student enrollment, and areas of future growth.

The schools most impacted by future growth will be Goshen, Cassens, and Liberty to the east and Glen Carbon to the south. The District freed up additional classrooms at Goshen, Cassens, and Liberty, which addresses immediate space needs.

As a result of Cassens Elementary approaching capacity, it is recommended that in 2015-2016, students in grades 3, 4, and 5 who reside in the Brookshire, Meadow Rue, Bennington, and Southcrest subdivisions (bordered by Gerber Road to the east and Goshen Road to the south) attend Columbus Elementary. The District will have a grandfather status provision for families whose children already attend Cassens.

  1. Students already attending Cassens who live in the new Columbus Elementary School attendance area will be granted Grandfather Status, which will allow them to complete their intermediate school attendance at Cassens.
  2. Grandfather Status will also allow a student who enters intermediate school while his/her 4th or 5th grade sibling is attending Cassens to enroll at Cassens as well.
  3. Families will not be required to send their children to two different intermediate schools at the same time, unless required by specialized programming.
  4. Families may choose to waive Grandfather Status and make the transition to Columbus School beginning with the 2015-2016 school year.

The District has scheduled three additional public meetings for September 15, 18 and 29, 2014, at 6:30 p.m. at Woodland Elementary School. The same information will be presented at all meetings. Parents are encouraged to attend.

Audit Results
During Monday night’s Finance Committee meeting, Mr. Jim Torti, from Schowalter & Jabouri, presented the 2013-2014 audit results. He presented to the Board the report indicating there were no state or federal concerns with the District’s financial reporting and that the District is in full compliance. However, he did caution the Board that the District must continue to seek ways of finding new revenue as the State of Illinois’ financial woes will continue.

The administration also discussed with the Board the 2014-15 budget. The 2014-15 school year will be similar to last year where state funding will be both pro-rated and payments to school districts will be late.

The State will pro-rate General State Aid at 89%, approximately $800,000 under required formula funding. The state is facing a $553 million shortfall in GSA funding. District 7 has not received funding estimates in Special Education or Transportation. The District will budget at the same level of funding in all state categoricals as received in 2013-2014. The Board approved the hiring of six (6) certified teaching positions for the 2014-2015 school year, at a cost of $270,000, due to student enrollment needs at the high school and middle school levels.

In summary, the District is projecting an over $3.7 million budget deficit for the 2014-2015 school year assuming no additional revenue reductions from the state. This deficit is due to declining revenue from the State; the continued proration of State funding in Transportation, Special Education, and General State Aid; the stagnation of EAV (property tax revenues); increases in employee payroll and benefits; and personnel costs to limit class size.

It is expected that the District’s working cash reserves will be reduced to approximately $4 million; leaving only one more year for the District to receive additional revenues before further budget reductions would be necessary.


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 Edwardsville School District #7 • 708 St. Louis St • Edwardsville • IL • 62025 • 618-656-1182
 Last updated on: September 12, 2014 at 10:39 AM
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