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Steeleville school board hears peanut concerns

  • Steeleville District 138 Superintendent Stephanie Mulholland

    Steeleville District 138 Superintendent Stephanie Mulholland

By Pete Spitler
updated: 12/20/2017 10:53 AM

As part of its regular December meeting on Monday, the Steeleville District 138 Board of Education heard from two parents regarding their daughter's peanut allergy.
Chad and Stephanie Knop addressed the board during public comment.
"We have students who have food allergies and peanut allergies are different for a lot of people," said District Superintendent Stephanie Mulholland in a phone interview. "It can be through contact, it's that simple, and people can go into anaphylactic shock."
Mulholland said the parents requested the district to consider going nut-free.
"The parents did mention having consulted an attorney and at that point, we went into closed session under the exemption of potential litigation," Mulholland said. "The board is taking (going nut-free) under advisement and I'll be doing some research on that.
"(The board members) want some additional information and we'll go from there."
In other news, the board approved the 2017 proposed tax levy of $1,770,425. That amount is more than 5 percent from the previous year, which required a truth in taxation hearing.
Randolph County is a Property Tax Extension Limitation Law (PTELL) county, which limits the amount of increases in property tax extensions for non-home rule taxing districts.
Factoring into the limiting rate calculations for property tax levy collections is the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which has a factor of 2.1 percent for 2017.
"The purpose of going over CPI is to capture any new revenue sources that may come onto the tax rolls," Mulholland said. "It allows us to capture any new growth we may not be aware of."
The board also approved a resolution to abate taxes levied for 2017 to pay debt service on general obligation school bonds from 2015.
Mulholland said the district would use funds raised from the county's 1 percent facilities tax to pay down the bonds and would not levy real estate taxes.
During the informational items portion of the agenda, Mulholland updated the board on the results of lead testing in the district's water supply.
One water fountain in the grade school gymnasium did not meet federal guidelines, while two faucets in the kitchen did not meet Illinois standards - which Mulholland said are more stringent than the federal rules.
"We're going to replace all three faucets in the kitchen," Mulholland said. "I'm not positive, but I think our custodian can do it because it's an issue of the actual faucet."
Mulholland added the water supply will be turned off to the water fountain in the gym.
• The board approved the resignation of 6th-8th grade special education teacher Tessa Menefee, who is taking a job in another district. Her resignation was effective Dec. 20 and Mulholland said the district is working on finding a replacement.
• The board approved Neal Haertling as Steeleville High School track coach.
• The board reviewed the minutes of its executive session and voted to keep those records sealed.
• The board approved changing the January meeting date to Jan. 8 at 7 p.m. Mulholland said the board would be having a hearing about a non-resident tuition waiver for the children of certified employees of the district so that they may attend the district's schools even if they live out of district.
• The board heard curriculum reports from Sheila Grafton (junior high math) and Nicole Brokering (fourth grade). The pair talked about how they were wrapping up the semester in their classes and Brokering talked about her students building volcanoes and erupting them outside.

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