April 7, 2023
Inside Unit 5 Podcast
EPISODE 2on Length: 58 min
Inside this episode: A look at the Normal Community Girls Basketball record-breaking season; Dr. Weikle discusses the upcoming referendum and the impact it has on our students, staff, and community; and a roundtable discussion celebrating Black History Month.
UNIT 5 NEWS UPDATES
The calendar has been approved for the 2023-2024 school year.
Here is a LINK to the calendar.
APRIL REFERENDUM INFORMATION
Facing a more than $11 million deficit, the Unit 5 Board of Education made the difficult decision to make the following reductions for the 2023-24 School Year:
● Reduce administration
● Reduce budgets by 10% (Unit Office, building budgets, curriculum budgets, technology
extracurriculars and co-curriculars (mostly supplies, materials, and travel)
● Reduce funding for field trips
● Push band/orchestra to 6th grade
● Remove funding for Schedule B Illuminate (MTSS collaboration, screening, and progress
● Remove Schedule B at the junior high levels - 6-8 athletics, clubs, councils, etc
● Remove freshmen teams
● Limit the number of students who travel for out-of-town competitions
● Combine Vocational Transition Assistance Program (VTAP) job sites for students with disabilities
● Increase registration, activity, and gate fees (charge for all sporting events)
● Increase facility rental fees for community and parent groups
● Implement the National School Breakfast and Lunch programs at the high schools
Although devastating to students, these cuts only total approximately $2 million, and additional deep cuts will be necessary barring any changes to the Education Fund.
In an effort to attempt to put the district on more stable financial footing, Unit 5 will have a referendum on the ballot in the April 4 election. This is an attempt to ensure our students continue to have access to the quality education they deserve.
If successful, we will be able to:
Responsibly solve Unit 5’s financial challenges
Reinstate programs that have been cut by the board for next school year, including junior high athletics, 5th grade band and orchestra, and field trips
Provide safer and improved learning environments for all students
If the referendum is approved, this will give the district the sustainable funding needed now and into the future, and will allow the district to no longer have to rely on working cash bonds to fund operations.
This new sustainable funding will keep our financial challenges from negatively impacting students and classrooms. Members of our community agreed with the need to shield our students from the steps we will have to take if we do not solve our financial challenges, including decreasing staff, increasing class sizes, reducing extracurricular activities and program offerings, shortening school days, and closing school buildings.
To learn more, Unit 5 is hosting a virtual information session on Wednesday, Feb. 22 at 5:30 pm - https://vimeo.com/event/2887877 and an in-person session on Wednesday, March 8 at 5 pm at Parkside Junior High School.
COMMUNITY INFORMATIONAL MEETINGS
To put the district on more stable financial footing, Unit 5 will have a referendum question on the ballot in the April 4 election. This is an attempt to ensure our students continue to have access to the quality education they deserve.
We have also included an informational sheet to provide more information to help voters make an informed decision on April 4. We invite you to attend one of the many informational sessions to learn more.
To learn more, Unit 5 is hosting information sessions:
Wednesday, Feb. 22 at 5:30 pm - Virtual. Questions during the virtual session can be submitted by emailing email@example.com.
Wednesday, March 8 at 5 pm at Parkside Junior High School.
Tuesday, March 21 at 5:30 pm - virtual. Here is a link to the meeting. Questions can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org .
KINDERGARTEN REGISTRATIONUnit 5 kindergarten registration is now open for the 2023-2024 school year. Children reaching the age of 5 on or before September 1, 2023, will be eligible for enrollment in kindergarten and should contact their home school. Registration will be online and there will be a Kindergarten Preview on Wednesday, March 1 at your child's school. Here is a link for more information. Welcome to the Class of 2036!
5 ESSENTIALS SURVEYParents across Illinois have an opportunity to participate in the Illinois 5Essentials Survey. This survey is designed to generate a detailed picture of the inner workings of your child’s school. The parent portion of the survey will be open until March 31. To take the survey please visit this link.
REGISTRATION 2023-2024 SCHOOL YEAR
Registration for next School Year (23-24) including Kindergarten Registration is now open.
Infinite Campus Returning Student Registration Directions
Incoming Kindergarten student information can be found on the Kindergarten Registration page.
Unit 5 will host a Kindergarten Preview on March 1. This will allow parents and incoming students to meet the school administration, kindergarten teachers, and other school staff. Students will go with kindergarten teachers while information is shared with parents.
Current Unit 5 student information can be found at this link - Established Student Registration. This link is for families that had a student registered with Unit 5 for the 2022-2023 school year as well as some new High School students who may have already completed online registration and have an Infinite Campus Parent Portal account. Log in to Infinite Campus Parent Portal, go to "More" on the left-hand side of the page, and click on "Online Registration."
New students to the district registration information can be found with this link - New Student Registration
There are no fees due at this time for any students. Fees will be available to pay in July, and additional information will be made available closer to that time.
If you have questions, please contact your student's school. If necessary, please leave a message on the main phone line.