TEUTOPOLIS — The Teutopolis Unit 50 School Board has approved a tuition waiver application. The application requests that the district be able to let full time employees who do not live in the district bring their children to school in Teutopolis tuition free.
Illinois law requires students who do not reside within the boundaries of a particular school district they wish to enroll in to pay tuition, although districts can decide to waive the tuition. The tuition for an out-of-district student is determined by the state for each district through the annual audit process. It entails a formula the auditors use in regards to district expenditures and other data.
”Several districts in Illinois currently are utilizing this waiver for their staff,” said the interim Unit 50 Superintendent Deb Philpot. “The employee must be a full-time employee. It allows a teacher’s child to attend the district in which they work. This can be an asset to both the parent and the child for various reasons.”
The interim superintendent said the waiver is not part of contract negotiations.
Philpot said for this year, the tuition amount for a student out of district to attend Teutopolis would be $7,416.51. The amount changes from year to year as expenditures change. There are no students from outside the district paying tuition to attend school in Teutopolis this year.
The Illinois Elementary School Association, which governs junior high athletics, and the Illinois High School Association, which governs high school athletics, have their own rules regarding tuition waivers and eligibility.
According to IESA Executive Director Steve Endsley, IESA allows the children of Teachers Retirement System-eligible employees to participate in junior high sports under the waiver. However, IESA does not allow the children of non-certified staff members to be considered eligible to participate under the waiver. Examples of non-certified staff are custodians, clerical staff and paraprofessionals.
The IHSA acknowledges the waiver with teachers and administrators as well. The certified staff members’ children would be able to participate in IHSA-sanctioned activities.
In another matter, the board heard a presentation from Amy Nice, district media director, on TJHS Library Projects funded by the Teutopolis Educational Foundation.
One project involves a makerspace for Lego STEM challenges, where students work in groups. Students can collaborate on three Lego kits. Some of them involve students programming the Legos to perform certain actions.
“The intention for this is building soft skills, so they are working within their group to build together, make an example and they record it in another program,” she said. “At the end of the year, once everyone has had a chance to participate, we will present all the videos to students and faculty and have them vote.”
In addition to the Lego space, there is a team space that is set up with six seats around a table. Some of the things that have been set up are a 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle and the Lego NASA Saturn 5. Right now there is place where students try and run circuits. Nice said a few other things that are coming are origami ornaments and rubber band bracelets.
Students come in to work on these projects early in the morning and ninth hour, as long as their school work is done. It lasts about three weeks, with two-four students on each team.
In other business, the board:
- Approved changing the November board meeting date to Tuesday, Nov. 19 at 6 p.m.
- Accepted a resignation from Tom Bauserman as Tech Support Specialist effective Oct. 4 and accepted the retirement of Vince Heuerman as District Maintenance Director effective May 30, 2020.
- Approved to hire, pending required background checks and appropriate certification, Zack Repking as Junior High Assistant Basketball Coach.
- Approved, pending required background checks, Chris Ungrund as a Volunteer Assistant Coach for High School Boys Basketball for 2019-2020.