Eastmont School Board Tackling Bond, More With New Members
Eastmont School Board member Meaghan Vibbert is now the board's President after internal elections this week.
Jason Heinz will take on the role of vice president and recently re-elected board member Whitney Smith will continue as legislative representative.
Vibbert says the board's next big task is formulating a strategic plan to guide the district for the next three-to-five years.
"That's a pretty big process," said Vibbert. "We're involving students, community members, business leaders, parents, staff. There's a couple of board members on it. And so, that's a big lift."
Eastmont is getting assistance from the North Central Educational Services District to complete its strategic plan.
Another priority for the school board is to work to expand the district’s use of Professional Learning Communities, also known as PLC's
Vibbert says it's the process where teachers gather and brainstorm on ways to improve student performance.
"It's just a focused way to get those kids who are struggling ahead and up to grade level, and those who are not struggling to challenge them to find even more," Vibbert said.
This week’s board meeting was the last for longtime member Cindy Wright, who has been an elected member since 2007.
Steve Piccirillo is also leaving. He was a board member from 2011 to 2019, but was asked to rejoin on an interim basis in 2022 when elected member Joy Dawe resigned. Dawe moved out of the district.
Newly elected Eastmont School Board members Lauren Miehe and Jacob Burkhart will join the board in the new year.
Another major focus for the Eastmont district in the coming year is getting voter approval of a $117 million bond package.
The money would be used to substantially remodel three elementary schools and bring major upgrades to the Rock Island school.
If the bond passes, taxpayers in the district will see no change to the rate they currently pay, which is $2.92 per $1,000 of assessed property value.
Last November, a $185 million bond measure from the district failed to reach the state's 60% requirement for passage when it received only 51% of voter support.
The new bond measure will appear on the ballot as part of the special election on Feb. 13, 2024.
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Gallery Credit: Reesha Cosby