Mendota reporter | District 280 approves new parent class and discusses state required courses

MENDOTA – A new course proposal was presented by Principal Denise Aughenbaugh and approved by the Mendota High School Board on November 15th. Moved by Melissa Sallee, family and consumer science teacher and recommended by the high school curriculum committee, the new parents class will be offered next year as enrollment over the same period with the child development, which will be a prerequisite for the course.

Aughenbaugh said it was a similar format used with other higher electives, such as combining the Advanced Styles and Textiles class with a Level 1 class. The few students who are in the Advanced class do more independent work with teacher assessments and advice.

The curriculum committee also reviewed updates to the Information and Registration Guide for Students and recommended updates to the course descriptions for Biology I Honors and Chemistry I Honors. Aughenbaugh said he better designates the criteria for the increased rigor of these courses and she thanked the students and board representatives and department chairs for their time on the committee.

Aughenbaugh also reported on a new state law that will change the graduation requirements for Illinois high school students. Requirements must take effect over several years and include one year of IT (fall 2023); two years of laboratory science (fall 2024); and two years of world language (fall 2028). Aughenbaugh expressed concern about the feasibility of the foreign language requirement. “I sincerely doubt that this will materialize in 2028 as written,” she said. The two main problems would be that the students do not have enough time in the school day to fulfill all the requirements and the fact that there are not enough foreign language teachers available to teach the courses.

Illinois State Scholars

Aughenbaugh congratulated this year’s 12 Illinois State Fellows who will graduate with First Class Honors with the Class of 2022. They include Faith Anderson, Elly Buettner, Ted Landgraf, Paige Manning, Maya Martin, Meredith McConville , Liam McGann, Olivia Ross, Elizabeth Schillinger, Andrew Stamberger, Allison Stewart and Jacob Swope.


The board has approved several winter coaches. Assistant Bowling Coach Kassidi Guerrero will be made up of three volunteers, Kirk Ross, John Holland and Tim Dessing. The first-grade boys’ basketball coach will be Nick Myers. Volunteer wrestling coaches have also been approved.


Aughenbaugh thanked the Department of Social Sciences and Mr. Artman for preparing educational information on Veterans Day that could be shared with the student body and the MHS group, which performed at the Day of the Dead ceremony. city ​​veterans.

She also congratulated Mendota High School FFA for working with the Rotary Club Interact Club for a student-led tree planting event. Tree-Plenish is a student-run environmental organization helping high schools offset their paper consumption by hosting tree-planting events. MHS students will set a tree goal based on the school’s paper consumption, and students will encourage residents to request that saplings be planted in their yard or volunteer to plant saplings on the day of the school. event. The program offers mentoring during planning and saplings to plant on the day of the event. Last year Tree-Plenish worked with schools to plant 20,000 saplings. Mr. Meyer and Ms. Stewart will work with program coordination at MHS.


November 24-26 – Thanksgiving break

4 and 5 Dec. – Madrigals

December 12 – Orchestra concert


Superintendent Jeff Prusator provided an overview of the FY21 fiscal year audit, which was presented to the finance committee on November 9 by Russ Rumbold of Gorenz and Associates. Prusator said it was a clean audit with very strong fund balances. “Ms. Phalen did a good job and Russ had no concerns,” he said.

  • The board approved the district risk management plan, which is used to prevent risks at school. Prusator said the plan had not been updated since 2013.
  • Council approved a project to repav the front parking lot and high school driveways next summer. Board member Jim Sundberg said the front parking lots are in a much worse condition than the rear parking lot, and the new coating will correct those issues.

Prusator noted that the cost will be considerably higher than the rear parking lot due to the amount of work involved, but will not exceed $ 1.1 million.

  • As expected last month, Prusator said the AVE is up more than 5% and the levy will be around 6%. He expects the tax rate to be almost the same as last year or to drop a little. Further information and a tax truth hearing will take place at the December meeting.
  • Prusator announced some good news after meeting with the district health insurance provider. While increases of 5-8% on average have been seen statewide, high school will only have a 1.4% increase. “It’s a really impressive number,” he said.

The next regular education council meeting will be held at the high school on Monday, December 20 at 6 p.m.

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