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New pact to keep select U-46 students in district

By Seth Hancock
 Kimball Middle School in Elgin will house three classrooms next year for School District U-46 elementary and middle school students with behavioral issues.
  The Board of Education unanimously approved of a three-year contract costing a not-to-exceed amount of $1 million, which will be paid for by the education fund, with Catapult Learning to help support the plan at its meeting on Monday, Sept. 23. It was presented at the Sept. 9 meeting.
  Suzanne Johnson, deputy superintendent of instruction, said that “the bulk of the cost is essentially to have other providers through Catapult Learning come in to provide the instruction for our students…. If we can provide some of those resources, we can certainly do that.”
  Students who would be assigned to these classes currently are generally sent to outside services like the Streamwood Behavioral Health Center.
  The proposal stated it will be an “interim alternative educational setting to address comprehensive services including core academic and social emotional instruction that aligns with the Illinois state standards.” It also states the contract includes academic, social and emotional, parent support and administrative support capabilities.
  There will be three classrooms at Kimball starting in the 2020-2021 school year including one for kindergarten through second graders, one for third through fifth graders and one for sixth through eighth graders.
  No more than 30 students would be in the program at a time and are limited to 40 days according to Johnson. After the 40-day period, a determination will be made on if the student can transition back to their home school.
  Board member Eva Porter said she was “very impressed” with the proposal, and board member Kate Thommes said: “I know families personally that have been affected by movement to Streamwood Behavioral Health, so the ability to keep these families inhouse is huge.”
  Also presented on Sept. 9 and approved on Sept. 23, by a 7-0 vote, was a contract renewal with One Hope United in Elgin costing $357,500, which will be paid for by the nation’s taxpayers through Preschool For All grant funds.
  The contract will provide extended childcare services to low-income families.
  “U-46 subcontracts with One Hope United Elgin Child and Family Resource Center… to provide an additional 102 preschool slots within the childcare facility,” the proposal states. “The subcontract pays for the salary and benefits of three teachers, three teacher assistants, facility expenses and materials.”
  Also unanimously approved was $12.8 million in itemized bills as well as a personnel report and workers’ compensation cases item which included two new positions, a maintenance employee and paraeducator. There were also eight workers’ compensation cases totaling $197,209, the top case costing $49,490 to a driver.





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