Standardized testing is back on the calendar for Illinois’ 2020-21 school year.

Joppa-Maple Grove superintendent Dr. Vickie Artman informed the school board of the testing dates at the board’s March 22 meeting.

The Illinois Assessment Readiness test will be April 14-16 in math and April 19-20 in reading at both Joppa Jr./Sr. High and Maple Grove Elementary schools. Fifth-, eighth- and 11th-graders had their Illinois Science Assessment testing March 30-31.

Students are on spring break this week.

Artman noted the last day of the 2020-21 school year will be May 27 and June 3 for teachers.

The board also discussed plans for in-person prom, approving the event as long as Illinois Department of Public Health and Illinois State Board of Education guidelines are followed. How best to hold graduation is still under discussion.

Artman informed the board:

• Another round of emergency relief funds to address COVID-19 will be distributed to districts over a three-year period in September of 2021, 2023 and 2024 to prepare, prevent and respond to coronavirus.

• ISBE has awarded Education Career Pathways Grants totaling $1,548,872 to 10 regional entities to recruit and support future educators at 38 high schools and vocational centers across the state. Through the program, students will get a head start on teacher preparation through opportunities for hands-on learning, dual credit, credentials and mentorship. Through two rounds of grants, ISBE has awarded more than $3.5 million in state funding to the initiative, supporting more than 1,000 high school students toward becoming teachers. Ten Education for Employment systems and community colleges will receive the grant to support the development of education career pathways at area high schools and vocational centers.

In other business, the board:

• Approved employment of extra-duty staff as many clubs and sponsors were able to begin holding meetings in January.

• Approved re-employment of tenured licensed staff for 2021-22 school year.

• Approved re-employment of non-tenured licensed staff for 2021-22 school year.

• Approved long-term substitute teacher employment for the 2021-22 school year art position.

• Accepted the resignation of instructional aide Kerry Krempasky.

The Joppa-Maple Grove school board held a special-called meeting on March 10.

The board took action on three items during that meeting:

• Employed Cassidy Hill as a secondary math teacher.

• Contracted with Financial Services for bookkeeping.

• Accepted the resignation of special education teacher Kathy Dunning.

The board’s next regular meeting will be Monday, April 26, at 6:30 p.m. in the Joppa High School library. The meeting is scheduled to include the swearing-in of board members elected in Tuesday’s Consolidated Election.

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