RTHS Board: 2023-2024 budget approved
Maintenance shed, parking lot work among upcoming projects
ROCHELLE — At its monthly meeting Monday, the Rochelle Township High School Board of Education held a public hearing for and unanimously approved its 2023-2024 budget.
Board President Tom Huddleston said this year's budget is "typical of budgets in the past" as far as expenditures are concerned and is "fairly conservative" as it has been in years past. He said upcoming projects in the future include work on the district's maintenance building to allow for consolidation with the elementary district's maintenance operations, along with parking lot work and water detention work.
The RTHS district would add on to its maintenance building and bring in the elementary district's equipment and staff so it could more easily share equipment, staff and services.
"For that, in this budget there are some of the preliminary monies that are needed to do some engineering and some site control to make sure that that's feasible," Huddleston said. "I think next year we'll probably build that building unless we decide to do it early."
Huddleston said the high school district has also had testing done on all of its parking lots and will likely initiate a phased project to reconstruct and modify parking throughout the high school site.
"There's a little bit of engineering involved with that," Huddleston said. "In the next several months we're going to have a meeting with the building committee to actually walk all these parking lots and try to put together a budget for that."
Detention work involves creek erosion that has been seen at the school's detention pond that has made it start to fail.
"It's also the age of the pond and there's a lot of vegetation that has grown up, so we're going to have to do some work on that detention pond as well," Huddleston said. "So with capital projects, there's several of them and we have strong money in reserve to look at those. As a board, we need to look at all of these and make decisions on which ones we want to participate in and how we might want to phase those."
Assistant Principal David Perrin made a presentation on the district's seven new teachers this year. They include Jonathon Gehm (social studies and head girls basketball coach), Kevin Hunt (social studies, assistant girls basketball coach), Sarai Orozco (special education), Colfay Pointer (counselor and head girls track coach), Scott Stevens (special education, Focus House), Meagan Stoops (English) and Edna Vazquez (Spanish).
Thirty five percent of the district's teachers are non-tenured (less than four years), Perrin said.
"We've been really fortunate over the last 4-5 years to attract and retain some quality young teachers," Perrin said.
The district offers a number of support systems for new teachers including orientation and mentor programs, professional learning communities within departments, a teacher resource classroom page, and an open-door teaching program,
Perrin detailed RTHS's homecoming week plans for the week of Sept. 25-30. On Sept. 28, the parade will be held and will start downtown at 6 p.m. and end around Tilton Elementary School. The pep rally will begin outdoors on the football field shortly afterwards and the powderpuff football game will follow at 8 p.m. The homecoming game on Sept. 29 will be against Marengo. The Sept. 30 homecoming dance will take place in the RTHS commons.