PO Box 200, 453 West Collins St. - Mendon, IL 62351 - 217.936.2111 - FAX 217.936.2643
Brian Kurz - Superintendent | Carolyn Hussong - Bookkeeper/Treasurer
Danette Rabe - Receptionist | Marci Fessler -Assistant Bookkeeper


Mr. Kurz Q & A

Question 3: 
Where can I find a copy of the district budget? 

Answer 3:
Copies of the district budget from the past five years are located on the district website. To find those, you can go to: District > Finance > District Budget. At that point you can select any year you want to view. Or, for a shortcut, you can follow this link: CUSD #4 District Budget


Mr. Kurz Q & A

Community Night was a great event. Thanks to all who participated. From that event, there were a lot of outstanding questions. I want to share as much information as possible - and plan to do that over the next several days. The post below was the first article of many in the days ahead. The Board of Education has stressed the importance of improving communication over the past year. I hope you can think of some ways we are improving. And I hope you’ll be able to see plenty of additional examples in the weeks and months ahead. 

Question 1: 
When is the Board going to make a formal decision on what the plan is to balance the budget? 

Answer 1:
There will not be one meeting where all these decisions are made. The path forward is not clear cut - there are lots of discussions and decisions to be made. However, at the September meeting we agreed that the first decision that needs to be made is whether or not we are going to close Greenfield for the 2015-16 school year. For that reason, we will have an action item at the October 15th meeting to decide whether or not to close the school.

Question 2: 
Will you post the presentation from Community Night to the website? 

Answer 2:
That presentation will be posted to the website by the end of this week. I am working to put an audio presentation of the information together. That will be posted soon. 


Unit 4 Community Night Feedback

The CUSD #4 Board of Education hosted a district-wide Community Night on Wednesday, September 10th. There were approximately 80 community members, parents, staff, Board members, and even students. The information that follows is a summary of the 4 discussion questions and a summary of the feedback provided. 

Question 1:
Would you rather reduce the district’s deficit by a) increasing property taxes, b) cutting spending, or c) both increasing property taxes and cutting spending?

Feedback on Q1:
Below are the number of cards turned in with each response: 
A) Increasing Property Taxes: 1 
B) Cutting Spending: 14
C) Both Increasing Property Taxes and Cutting Spending: 39 

Question 2: 
What feedback do you have regarding cutting programs?

Feedback on Q2:   
Below are the number of cards turned in with each response: 
*Don’t Cut CoCurriculars or ExtraCurriculars: 33
* Cut Some CoCurriculars or ExtraCurriculars: 12
* Cut All CoCurriculars or ExtraCurriculars: 0
* Other:
     * Charge User Fees for CoCurriculars and Extracurriculars: 4
     * Cut ExtraCurricular Transportation: 2
     * Change to More Online Classes / Share Teachers With Other Districts: 2

Question 3: 
What feedback do you have regarding the potential closing of Greenfield?

Feedback on Q3: 
Positives of Closing Greenfield
* Less transportation costs.
* Significant cost savings of over $300,000. 
* More time for 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grade students to be in classroom learning (21.8 days!).
* This is the only chance to close the building when no one will lose a job.

Negatives of Closing Greenfield
* K & 1st grade class sizes would be big. What if those class sizes grow?
* 4th grade students are very young to be at the middle school.
* Expensive HVAC upgrades at Greenfield seem to be wasted.
* ME would be crowded. Where would the library be?

Question 4: 
Based on what you know and have heard tonight, what solution do you propose to balance the $500,000 deficit?

Feedback on Q4: 
* 48 cards had closing Greenfield as part of the suggested action.
* 7 cards had responses that did not include closing Greenfield.  


School Reach Call

The following SchoolReach call went out to all parents and staff at 2:00pm on Thursday, September 25th.

Good afternoon. This is Superintendent of Schools, Brian Kurz. We had an incident today I want to make you aware of. A young man with a knife was walking around town and came on school property. Local authorities were called and he was taken into custody. At no time were any of our students or staff in danger. However, we take the safety of our kids seriously. We did go into lock down at Unity for about 10 minutes. I am proud of the communication of our staff, the quick response, and the focus on keeping our kids safe. I am also very pleased by the timely response of the local authorities. I wanted to share that information with you so no one is wondering what may have taken place. 


2015 School Board Elections

Community Unit School District #4 will have 5 school board seats to be filled at the April 7, 2015 Consolidated Election. 

Candidates for the office of school board can begin to circulate nominating petitions for signatures beginning September 23, 2014. The period for filing nominating papers runs from December 15 through December 22, 2014.

Unlike previous years, changes in the state election laws have moved the responsibility of school board elections from the local board secretary. Those duties will now be handled by the county clerk, or board of election commissioners. Candidates may want to contact the county clerk or the board of election commissioners to see if there are places other than the main county office where they can file their nomination papers. The contact information for the Adams County Clerk is as follows:

Geogria Volm, Adams County Clerk
507 Vermont
Quincy, IL 62301
(217) 277-62301

Candidates for school board will not be filing any paperwork at the local district. The county clerk may have petition forms available or blank petitions may be downloaded from the State Board of Elections website, http://www.elections.il.gov/.

Candidates may also want to consult the “2015 Candidate’s Guide,” which can be downloaded from the State Board of Elections website, or contact the county clerk or board of election commissioners regarding the requirements of filing. Candidates and voters can get information about the district from its website, and learn about being a school board member from the Illinois Association of School Boards, at: www.iasb.com/elections.



New District Email Addresses

All CUSD #4 employees received new email addresses as of Monday, July 7th. We hope the new emails will make communication with staff throughout the district a little easier in the long run. We do recognize it is usually challenging in the near term. All new emails will follow this pattern: fname.lname@cusd4.com. For example, Brian Kurz will have the email address brian.kurz@cusd4.com. 

If you have questions about any contact information, please don’t hesitate to call either the district office (936.2111) or one of the school offices.