(Image From Minooka CCSD #201)

The Minooka District 201 Board of Education was briefed on remote learning and student engagement during its meeting on Monday.

Assistant Superintendent Joshua Ruland said the district has had good student engagement under its remote learning model. The district has been offering multiple opportunities for students to submit assignments and demonstrate mastery.

Superintendent Kris Monn said most of the incompletes have been noted in the areas of fine arts and physical education, but he doesn’t expect it will persist. The district has a building team which uses check-ins, one-on-ones and guidance to address student engagement issues, officials said. The district has not yet received guidance as to whether it must turn to remote instruction in the fall.

Also at the meeting, the school board was briefed on the impact of COVID-19 to the district’s budget. Mary Robinson, business manager for the district, said the tax collections for the Will County and Kendall County portions of the district is up 6.24% and 6.2%, respectively. The district is waiting for Grundy County to report tax collections, which Robinson said has no impact to the fiscal year 2020 budget. The district’s revenues are higher, while the operational costs are down, officials said.

School Board Member Renee Thompson and Monn had this exchange.

Monn said insurance claims are down amid COVID-19 because people are were not receiving elective services and that it could have a positive impact to the fiscal year 2020 budget, if not the fiscal year 2021 health plan.

Robinson said next year, the opposite effect could incur. In other developments, the Board of Education authorized a five-year lease agreement with American Capital to help finance the district’s buses. Officials had previously agreed to award funding to Central States to acquire buses. Robinson said the bid specifications this year allowed the district to seek out additional leasing options in order to save additional funds.

Through American Capital, the district will pay $66,734.63 per year with a 2.541% rate, according to school district documents. Robinson said the financing lease agreement will save the district approximately $5,300 in interest.