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Graduation challenged

DePue students approach school board

DEPUE — DePue students who are graduating this spring have started a petition to move their graduation date.

The date was approved in December and scheduled for May 18, a Sunday. The school board moved the date from the usual Friday to Sunday to avoid a conflict with the state track meet, which takes place Friday and Saturday of the same week.

When the board decided to move the date, there was no discussion against the decision between board members. However, students believe having graduation switched to a Sunday will cut into time to celebrate with family and friends during the weekend and will be a conflict with church events taking place that Sunday.

Superintendent Randy Otto said it was no surprise to hear from the students at Wednesday’s board meeting. He said it’s been a big discussion around the school.

The board decided to table the discussion item for the March board meeting. It will be on next month’s agenda to approve keeping the date on Sunday, or switching it back to the Friday before the weekend.

Also in the news, Otto had no updates from the state in regards to the SIG grant. He said the state is currently meeting with the Illinois Association of Regional Superintendents of Schools (IARSS).

The latest news reported on the grant was back in December, when Otto announced the school may be responsible for paying back $80,000 to cover the misappropriated costs. The costs come from purchasing iPads for eighth graders and junior high teachers getting paid extra day stipends.

The IARSS is getting involved in the dispute because the state argued their sheets submitted to document the district’s RtI coaches were not informative enough. Because of this, the IARSS may be responsible for part of the $80,000.

On Monday, Otto said he had no further information on the matter. A date to meet again with the state has not yet been scheduled.

At Wednesday’s meeting, Principal Dave Higgs reported:

• Pink Night on Feb. 11 was a success. DePue raised more than $350 for St. Margaret’s.

• Meeting with the National Museum of Mexican Art on Feb. 5 to team up on opportunities for students was canceled due to weather. Rescheduling of this meeting is in progress.

• Sun Foundation Art and Science in the Woods will happen again this year. The school will be able to send Felicia Coster and 10 junior high students to this learning opportunity in June.

• College Night was Feb. 19.

• Due to weather, progress reports and report cards have been pushed back one week. Letters were sent home to parents.

• The school has been invited to display an exhibit at the Illinois Lake Management Association State Conference in Bloomington.

• ACT practice was held on Feb. 19.

• Exxon is donating $500 to support PBIS efforts.

In other news, the board:

• Hired Stephen Rudnicki and Martha Pedziwiatr as junior high track coaches; Kathryn Aguirre as junior high Scholastic Bowl coach; and Katie Bosnich as a prekindergarten teacher.

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