October 26, 2022
November 4, 2022
November 7, 2022
November 8, 2022
November 16, 2022
6:30 PM SCHOOL BOARD MEETING
UNIT 5 NEWS UPDATES
To put Unit 5 on more stable financial footing and ensure our students continue to have access to the quality education they deserve, our community has come together to collaborate on a plan for the future for our school district. This community-driven plan will appear as a referendum on our ballots in the upcoming November 8th election.
If successful, we will be able to:
Responsibly Solve Unit 5’s Financial Challenges
Avoid Having to Increase Class Sizes, Decrease Staff, or Cut Programs
Provide Safer and Improved Learning Environments for All Students
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. These bonds expiring, combined with the district paying off previous building bonds, means taxes will not go up if the referendum passes—and taxpayers will actually enjoy an overall tax decrease of 0.7% by 2026.
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. It will also improve learning environments and make our schools safer for students. We will be able to lower class size, which will increase individual and small group instruction time and allow us to further improve our curriculum. We will also be able to increase student resources and support, including improving special education, leading to healthier students with stronger social and emotional skills. Finally, we will be able to improve safety and security, including providing secure vestibules at each school, giving our students and teachers a more secure learning environment.
COMMUNITY INFORMATION MEETINGS
To learn more about the upcoming referendum, Unit 5 is hosting the following information sessions:
- Wednesday, September 28, 6 p.m. - Normal West High School
- Tuesday, October 11, 6 p.m. - Normal Community High School
- Tuesday, October 25, 6 p.m. - Virtual (information on signup will come closer to the date)
OUTDOOR MOVIE NIGHT - OCT. 15
Kickoff the Halloween season with an outdoor Movie Night featuring Hotel Transylvania hosted by the Unit 5 Educational Foundation.
When: Saturday, October 15
Where: Normal Community High School
Time: Movie starts at 7 pm, gates open at 6 pm
Tickets are $5 per person or $20 per family and can be purchased online at https://www.myschoolbucks.com/
ver2/getmain?requestAction=or at the event. Be sure to bring lawn chairs and blankets, seating will be first come first serve. Concessions will be available to purchase. Parking available on the west side of NCHS. home
All proceeds benefit the Unit 5 Educational Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization with a mission to enhance educational opportunities that inspire personal and community excellence within the district.
If you use Seesaw to communicate with your student’s teacher, please be aware that the messaging service on the platform has been temporarily disabled. The platform was hacked and is experiencing a nationwide issue where some school district families and teachers were receiving links to inappropriate content.
If you have received a Seesaw message that appears to be from your student’s teacher or anyone else in the last 24 hours that contains a link, please do not click on it or open the message. Seesaw is aware of this issue and is working to resolve it. Once they inform school districts that it has been resolved, we will let you know. If you need to speak with your student’s teacher, please send them an email or call the school office to leave a message.
EARLY RELEASE DAY - WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 26
This Wednesday, Oct. 26 is the second early release day this school year for students in grades kindergarten through 12th grades. Students in those grades will attend classes for three hours.
Transportation will be provided for students who qualify. Breakfast will be served and grab-and-go lunches are available.
Early learning students will follow a regular schedule.
Early Release Days allow time for Unit 5 staff members to meet for professional development and collaboration, which improves classroom instruction and enhances opportunities for students.
COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT SESSIONS
Unit 5’s mission is to educate each student to achieve personal excellence. Our students have access to opportunities few other districts provide. While enjoying all the benefits of a big school district, our staff works tirelessly to build relationships and foster a sense of connectedness with students and families.
To put Unit 5 on more stable financial footing and ensure our students continue to have access to the quality education they deserve, we need our community to come together to collaborate on a plan for the future of our school district. Over the next several months, we will be engaging members of the community to help us develop a sustainable, long-term plan for Unit 5’s future. We hosted three public engagement sessions to help us review our options.
Last month, Unit 5 kicked off its community engagement process by hosting three public meetings to engage members of the community to help develop a sustainable, long-term plan for Unit 5's future. Based on feedback from those meetings, Unit 5 hosted an additional three meetings to gather guidance on how to proceed.
We are continuing this community-driven process by utilizing a phone survey for those residing in the Unit 5 school district. Please take the survey, as your feedback will help determine our plan for the future of our schools. You may receive a phone call from 309-260-4209, and to take the survey you simply need to answer the call and participate until it is completed. (Please note, your response will not count unless you complete the entire survey). You are also welcome to call 309-260-4209 to participate at your convenience any time until Saturday, July 9.
Here is a link to the previous presentations, and a survey of priorities you are able to take.
We hope you are able to attend one of the public engagement sessions that will help determine the future of our schools.