ADVISORY COUNCIL NOTES
May 19, 2017
The meeting of the ISVI Advisory Council was called to order on May 19th, 2017. In attendance were council members Olaya Landa-Vialand, Jesse Rogers, Mark Peters, Ann Panthen-Chairman, Quinetta Wade via phone conference, Superintendent Serena Preston, Vocational Principal David Miller and Education Principal Aimee Veith and student Cody Parker on behalf of the ISVI Student Council.
No minutes of previous meeting were available for approval. The agenda was approved on a motion by Mark Peters, seconded by Jesse Rogers and approved unanimously. There were no conflicts.
Cody Parker presented information in all programs of study that supported him in furthering his career. There was no official written Student Council Report.
Superintendent Preston reported that there are currently the following vacancies: four educator positions, two RCW, one O & M and one residential supervisor. Retirements included Educators Vicki Mullis and Christie Best and Chief Engineer Nick Preston. Currently there is no budget but we do have grant funds and are able to make purchases to life, health and safety for immediate needs only. Mennonites donated $120 to the student fund account and Kiwanis did a .5k run raising $4,486 for our Out of State Travel Fund.
Residential reported on the Valentine's Dance, Prom which was a huge success and held on May 6th, JACIL's, Topics for Young Adults and their annual Trash to Treasure Contest that raised $165 to be used for recreational needs in the residential areas.
Vocational Principal David Miller reported on AdvancEd that continues to meet monthly, Summer Camp which is coming along nicely. The theme this year is "Powered Up". STEM will be about how to use power. It is a broad theme that we can do a lot with. There were 13 IEP's completed in April. When asked how many students actually come to ISVI after these camps Mr. Miller said he could not give an exact number but estimated overtime probably a third of the attendees will enroll at ISVI. Chairman Ann Panthen agreed. She said attending camps over the years is what inspired her to enroll her Lucas at ISVI. Mr. Miller explained that the real benefit to kids attending these camps is that they get some orientation before the school year begins should they enroll. Jess Rogers stated that his two grandsons attended camps. He said they live in a sighted world but are losing their vision. This he said allowed them to have access to the blind community.
The Health Center reports that Dr. Hankins has retired and the hunt for a new care provider is underway.
The Dining Hall reports that they received a grant valued at $18,000 for the purchase of a freezer and six burner gas stove. They received another 100% satisfactory rating on their Health Department inspection.
Maintenance reported on power issues in December, the problem was fixed quickly though. An energy grant was received which provided ISVI with 605 LED light bulbs that will save the school $22,500. Those bulbs have all been installed. Sidewalks, roofs, AC are all issues that need to be addressed.
Superintendent Preston told the group that the LLCC schedule for fall 2016 had five students taking seven courses. Spring 2017 had seven enrolled taking 11 classes. She said this is great for transition into the college world. Vocational Principal Miller said it was a great learning experience for students to learn more about self-advocacy. Our teachers support them but the students do the work. Students tend to grow in the area of advocacy, they have to work with WCMT and DRS for support.
Admissions Marsha Schoth reported there are 11 potential new students, one of them inquiring just this morning. The end of the year Ice Cream Social will be held May 18th.
Jess Rogers asked about generators to which Superintendent Preston replied that we do have generators to use during power outages. One backs up the dining hall, freezers and power plant. Another one brings heat and etc. to campus so we can run as usual. This year's outage caused damage so the generators could not work. As a result we eliminated two buildings to keep the campus going, moving ISU students to ISD and Unit 17 to the main building. We used back-up generators to run fire alarms and safety filters.
Director Quinetta Wade reported that currently there is no budget so it is expected that there should be no unnecessary spending. She said she spoke recently at the Jacksonville Chambers and attended a Blind Vendors meeting in April. She reported on Legislation SB698 and HB2377, supported by both CD Davidsmeyer and Sam McCann that should help direct hiring for our schools, moving things in a faster direction. Superintendent Preston reported that the legislation has been passed and was waiting for Governor's signature. She said the HSP overtime policy begins August 1 and the job description for the Education Liaison position had been changed.
Education Principal Veith reported that Opening Doors had 22-24 families interested in participating. This year's theme is "Powered Up". ISVI has partnered with APH Sue Sullivan and Mindy Ely. Jesse Rogers will be the graduation speaker this year. The Parent Association is creating an Athletic Booster Club. They hope to have a Facebook page for some activities next year. The PTO will have the ice machine fixed in the Teen Center so the students and staff can use and enjoy that again.
Membership terms-Ann Panthen must go off the council next year. Current openings have not been filled. There is one opening for a parent. July's meeting under New Business there will be a vote to approve potential new members, positions and terms. Superintendent Preston and Chairman Panthen reached out to new possible members. They are as follows:
- Olaya who will stay on as council.
- Alana Henley, Taylorville and Mrs. Green, Macomb, representing the parents
- Sue Brosmith, as professional in the field.
Jesse Rogers may have to attend meetings via phone conference. Not sure when he will cycle off this committee. The election of officers will take place in July.
ISVI's website is back on line and has been updated. Mike Scott is our contact person in Springfield who must give the final sign off for now before placing items on the website.
Jesse Rogers expressed great concern about a movement supported by Indiana Representative Banks to do away with rest areas essentially putting 400 Blind Vendors out of work and eroding the Randolph/Shepherd Act. He said there is a hotline to call into for updates, 312-663-0279. He said Cook County is looking to add a one cent per ounce tax on soda which would also impact Blind Vendors. He asked that everyone call their representatives to try and stop this move.
The meeting adjourned at 12:00 p.m., May 19th, 2017 on motion of Mark Peters, seconded by Olaya Landa-Vialand and all in favor.