July 29, 2016
The ISVI Advisory Council meeting for July 29th, 2016 was called to order at 10:09 a.m., by Chairman Dr. Geoffrey Goodfellow.
In attendance were Jess and Sharon Rogers, Mark Peters, Marsha Schoth, Aimee Veith, John Thien.
Dr. Goodfellow wished everyone a good morning and pointed out that there was no quorum. He explained that we had surveyed for a quorum and though Dan Thompson had intended to attend the meeting he came down with the flu at the last minute. He said the meeting would not be a total waste. There will be an electronic vote of the issues for people who are not here.
A motion to approve the minutes was made by Mark Peters, seconded by John Thien, all in favor and minutes approved.
Dr. Goodfellow said the agenda was circulated electronically and asked if there were any revisions to the agenda. Education Principal Veith added an Outreach report. Motion to accept the agenda was made by Mark Peters and seconded by Jess Rogers. All were in favor and revised agenda was accepted. There were no conflicts of interest.
Education Principal reported on this year's Opening Doors program. She said there were a lot of dads at this year's program. The program was reduced from four to three days. She told the group the annual ISVI-P we were not able to host due to a lack of staff to pull it off. She said six new families would be coming to ISVI. There is an in-service day for educators on the 17th and students will begin school on the 22nd. She said online registration went well this year with 56% of parents having registered online. She said ISD has been doing it for six year and we beat them. This is only our second year of online registration. A few families had to be walked through the process which is expected. Schedules have been completed. Four students along with the new P.E. teacher Mr. Mansell attended Camp Abilities in St. Louis. She told the group that the math educator, Amanda Rodda-Tyler had taken a new position at the Washington School for the Blind. She said there were seven laptops designated for computer coding program. We will be live streaming with Amanda during the school year. She will continue to be our technical advisor and will work remotely. Gina Carr and Barb French have adjusted their schedules so they can assist. Nothing is lost at this point. Notre Dame is happy and will be here the middle of August to deliver the laptops. Notre Dame comes here twice and our kids go there twice. There are three students in Computer Coding II and three in the beginning class. This is funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation.
She said High School Jr's will not participate in PARCC, they will take the SAT. Educators will soon attend training at the ROE in Quincy to learn more about SAT.
She said we are ready to start school, the campus looks good. We've had some sidewalks replaced to take care of ponding water. We hope to complete a roof project by the start of school as well. ` Education Principal Veith said the Lego theme will stay with ISVI throughout the school year
Administration and staff received praises from council members on a job well done and for the many positive things going on at ISVI. Education Principal Veith said that despite the budgetary constraints we faced this past year there were no programs that were not able to offer.
Mark Peters reported on the Alumni. Although he was unable to attend the reunion he said the reunion was well attended with many participants over the age of 30.
Director of Residential Services Malinda Pollard said most of her written report focused on events that took place while school was still in session last spring. She said TLC was ready to go
Jess Rogers reported on Blind Vendors. He said the news was not good. He said there would not be a Christmas party this year. He said there were new people in power in the community of Blind Vendors, but he was going to do what he could to provide something. He talked about last year's Elvis impersonation and how everyone really enjoyed it. He said that some of the students had to leave last year due to sports commitments and some of the Blind Vendor members got upset about that. He said having a new leader has created a lot of changes and they just have to go with the flow. He said he would find a way to still have a Christmas party. The cost per student for past Christmas parties ran about $50 per student for a meal and gift. He talked about setting up a time to talk to students about Blind Vendors and the opportunities they present.
John Thien updated the group concerning the Lion's. He said Dr. Taylor enjoyed his time with the Low Vision Clinic. He said about 25 patients were served in the spring and 30 something in the fall. Dr. Goodfellow said the Low Vision Clinic serves about 50 patients each year. After some discussion as to how people learn about the low vision clinic and Opening Doors and other programs, John Thien suggested Lion's and Dr. Goodfellow set up a Facebook page. Dr. Goodfellow said Lion's already has a Facebook page but agreed that might be the way to go.
Marsha Schoth, Admissions, reported that she was working on six new applicants for a total of seven new prospective students.
Dr. Goodfellow told the group this was the last meeting for the previous school year and we will start a new cycle. This is where we usually have to tie up loose ends of terms and elect new officers. There was discussion of where nominees should come from, i.e., someone who is blind or visually impaired; a parent of a student who is blind or visually impaired or an alumni and someone who has knowledge of education and their needs. Many names were discussed and a suggestion was made for Mollly Pasley, ODM to replace Dr Goodfellow whose term has expired. Council member Thien has one year left on his term and will continue as secretary while Jess Rogers accepted another term 2016-2019. Dan Thompson's terms expired as well. There was some discussion as to what the Chairman's responsibilities were. Mark Peters volunteered to accept that position. After some discussion Education Principal Veith expressed concern that they should follow protocol and ask Vice-Chair Ann Panthem to serve as Chairman since she is the most senior member and has is the current Vice-Chair. Everyone was in agreement.
The last order of business is to establish meeting dates. Dr. Goodfellow said they tried to schedule meeting the fourth Friday of every quarter but that was not realistic for him because the Low Vision Clinic in the fall was around that time and would require him to stay an extra day to attend Advisory. He asked for any ideas. The fourth Friday of every quarter for the next year is October 28th, 2016; January 27th, 2017; April 28th, 2017; July 29th, 2017.
Kris Smith said the first issue she wanted to talk about was the stop gap budget. She said it would help us to move forward with FY16 and part of FY17. She said they are monitoring things very closely, that the budget was not 100% funding. She said the lack of a budget really had a negative impact on for some provider centers for independent living that had to close their doors and put people on furloughs. She said they were watching these centers to help as much as possible. She said some of our students here had concerns about not being able to register for college classes in the fall because DRS could not pay their bills. But we have started paying bills and expect students will be able to attend college classes and higher education programs. Looking at vocational rehabilitation programs and pre-employment programs and people with disabilities we are serving more customers in school than ever before. Illinois is involved in WIOA, (Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act); a federal program aimed at employing Illinois workers with disabilities making subminimum wages. DRS wants to reach to these individuals but do not know who they are and estimate there are about 13,000 of these workers. She told the group the ISD Superintendent position is still vacant but they do have some interested candidates and they are setting up initial interviews now. She said John Miller and Serena Preston will conduct the initial interviews. She said some candidates were in state and some out of state.
There was no new business.
The meeting adjourned at 10:40 a.m.
Kris Smith thanked Chairman Dr. Geoffrey Goodfellow, whose term ended this date, for everything he has done for ISVI.