RTHS Board: Tennis court repairs will go out for bid

The Rochelle Township High School board unanimously approved going out to bid for a tennis court repair project that is estimated to cost $500,000 at its monthly meeting Monday.

Tax levy discussed

ROCHELLE — The Rochelle Township High School board unanimously approved going out to bid for a tennis court repair project that is estimated to cost $500,000 at its monthly meeting Monday.

District Business Manager Kevin Dale said an issue has been seen with a crack across the eight main courts at the high school. The asphalt will be removed and replaced, but the rest of the infrastructure will remain. The project should result in getting “at least” another 10 years out of the tennis surface.

The bids will be brought to the board for review next month. The construction would not occur until July 2022 so it doesn’t interfere with any of the sports seasons.

Tax levy

The board discussed its new tax levy that will be up for approval next month. 

Dale said the district will be asking for $9,919,878. Last year it was extended $9,496.208. The increase is based on an over $20 million increase in Equalized Assessed Valuation, which is currently $472.76 million and is used to calculate the district’s tax levy. 

Dale said the district is asking for less than it did last year rate-wise and he expects the EAV to drop due to tax appeals. 

“If we look at the current dollars and if everything stayed the same, the rate that would be established if this gross EAV came in, is we're asking for $2.41,” Dale said. “That is a 1.5 cent decrease over what we had last year. We're asking for less than the rate was last year.”

Finals

RTHS Principal Chris Lewis said final exams will return to the school this semester after they weren’t implemented in recent semesters due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Lewis said RTHS’s current freshmen and sophomores haven’t had final exams in the building. 15 of RTHS’s new teachers haven’t done final exams at the school before. Finals will take place Dec. 20-22. 

“We want to make sure teachers are having the same assessment and then also looking at what we did right and wrong and what we need to improve on,” Lewis said. “We've got a lot of work to do before these final exams. The schedule and expectation are different. Do they quite understand the purpose yet or that it's 15 percent of their grade? We're doing extra communication. We plan to spend extra time on preparing teachers and students for finals.”

School calendar

The board unanimously approved its 2022-2023 district calendar. The start of the regular school year will be Monday, Aug. 15, 2022 and it will end on Wednesday, May 24, 2023. 

“You might feel like this is a little bit earlier in the process than the last couple years, it is,” Superintendent Jason Harper said. “We've gotten back into our typical schedule after doing things differently during the pandemic.”

Employment

The board unanimously approved the employment of Deanna Jacobs (head softball coach), Max Basler (G-Force coordinator), Yvonne Brass and Natasha Hacaga (junior class co-advisors), Shannon Forney (volunteer assistant boys & girls bowling coach) and TC Hager (volunteer assistant wrestling coach).

COVID-19

Harper said he had no major COVID-19-related update for the board during his “reopening update” agenda item usually dedicated to that topic.

“Our kids are getting back to everything that they did back in the 2019-2020 school year in terms of extracurricular things and curricular offerings,” Harper said. “I'd like to publicly thank our teachers, support staff, bus drivers, Arbor and everyone who's welcomed our students back and gone the extra mile to make it a productive school year.”

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