Present: Sandy Dorst, Amy Grau, Jane Redmon, Jeff Schulte, Lyle Stauder, Dr, Derrald Taylor, Dr. Michael Zost, Theresa Cummings, Dr. Toni Heinze, Trudy Diepholz
Absent: Tom Crane, Van Stone, David Hauck
Guests: Marjorie Olson, Robert Kilbury, Joe Lanier, Carmen Dennis, Janet McGovern, Brenda Stewart, Pat Langdon, Brenda Christian, Josh Webster, Sharon Wimmer, Richard Schrumpf
Executive meeting: There was a closed executive meeting held from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. for Advisory Board members only. Dr. Zost recorded this meeting and he will take care of typing the minutes. An ISVI representative was not included in this meeting.
I. Roll Call/Introductions
Dr. Mike Zost, Chairperson, called the meeting to order. Each person present introduced themselves.
II. Approval of Minutes/Adoption of Agenda
Members were asked to review the minutes from the December 14th meeting for any changes or additions. No changes were made. A motion and second was made to accept the minutes as written.
III. Student Council Report . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Josh Webster
Josh read the report that was sent out to all Advisory Board members prior to the meeting. Josh gave an update on the recent basket raffle $466.00 was made off the raffle. ISVI Student Council will be using the proceeds from this fundraiser for the Senior Prom. Student Council also decorated boxes and placed them in different areas on campus to collect items for the Women’s Crisis Center. Student Council also shipped 12 boxes of items that were collected from staff and students to soldiers in Iraq. The fundraiser that is planned for spring is to sell Uncle Jerry’s T’s which the student council will make 50% of all items sold.
Dr. Zost asked Josh what his plans were after graduation and he explained that he is planning on attending college. His goal is to become a Braille teacher.
Dr. Zost asked guests to hold discussion to the end and let the members complete their meeting. This is a more productive way of having the meeting. Guests would be allowed to speak toward the end of the meeting.
IV. Old Business
Nominating, Membership & Bylaws Theresa Faith Cummings
Membership Recommendation Update –
The sub committee would like to move on and appoint two new members today. One is the vacant position (Ella Foster). A fellow Lions member will fill this position. Mr. Richard Schrumpf is here and is willing to become a member. A motion was made to nominate Mr. Schrumpf to the council by Trudy and Lyle seconded the motion. Sandy Dorst is retiring and brought Sharon Wimmer to be nominated into her position. Sharon is a Vision Itinerant Teacher from South Holland, Illinois. Prior to the meeting she was given a tour of ISVI and we are hoping she will bring fresh ideas to the Council. Sharon had previously worked at the Indiana school, is an O & M instructor and an AER member. This meets several requirements for the membership recommendations. The motion was made by Amy and Sandi seconded it. We now have two new members to add to the council.
Superintendent . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Reggie Clinton
Mr. Clinton gave a PowerPoint presentation with these topics being covered:
§ Assistive Technology
§ Braille Challenge
§ NCASB Wresting & Cheerleading
§ NCASB Swim & Forensics
§ IHSA Solo/Ensemble Contest
§ Goals Advocacy Transition Empowerment Short courses (GATES)
§ New Employees
§ ISD & ISVI Library Grant
§ Transition Committee-New Summer Camp Program
§ IAER Conference
§ Security Measures
Questions & Answers:
Dr. Zost commented that we as Advisory Council members need to get active on securing grants. Reggie explained that ISD & ISVI have applied for a Library grant that will be split. We are asking for large print books, Braille books, shelves, training and a librarian to be shared with both schools. We will not have an answer until late summer on this grant. ISVI also received a grant from Secretary of State, and the Lincoln for Learning grant. Lyle asked if the money was spent in the media center. Mr. Clinton explained that yes it has been spent on things needed in the media center. Lyle asked if educators use blog sites. At this time no they do not. Amy suggested that we purchase more descriptive videos. Right now WGBH has a large sale and would like to see ISVI purchase new videos. Dr. Taylor replied that maybe the Blind Children’s Foundation could donate some money. Lyle asked if we planned on replacing the 40-year-old encyclopedias that we have. Dr. Taylor asked why we would need to replace them? Lyle feels that there isn’t enough information in the ones we have and this is a library and should provide current information. Reggie stated that when he was at Arcola they used the on line service which was updated and could be accessed by everyone. Lyle feels that we need to have accounts set up for all students and educators and update our media center. Reggie will look into this service to see the cost and if we could provide this service. Amy suggested that student’s research on the Seedling resource site and should have a response back in a three-day turn around. Dr. Zost feels that after spending time in the media center ISVI needs to update it. He feels we should take down the encyclopedias and replace with new books. ISVI needs a Grant person who has an interest in expanding the media center. Reggie thought through the grant ISVI and ISD have applied for, the schools would be looking to hire a retired educator, which would give us 120 days in the school year. Theresa asked if we were working with the Secretary of State and their resources for the Library. Reggie will check with Nancy on this. Dr. Taylor suggested that we get a list of movies that the students’ would be interested in. Amy will send an e-mail to educators. Jane also suggested that an email be sent to our residential staff for their input also. Joe Lanier also would like to be involved so that alumni can provide funds.
ISVI has two positions open, Dietary and outreach person. The Dietary position has been posted and we are waiting for approval. The outreach position hasn’t been posted. Amy asked if we would consider University support. ISU sends students over to help out, is it possible that Northern would send students to ISVI. Toni Heinz replied that no this wouldn’t be a possibility. Lyle asked if there would be a possibility of having an internship here at ISVI. Toni will check into this and get back to everyone.
Dr. Zost asked about the progress that Paul Drake has made with Wal-Mart in getting our students hired there. Reggie replied that ISVI hosted a luncheon at Hamilton’s this year for all employers. First time business were Wal-Mart, Home Depot and Walgreen’s. Walgreen’s, Wal-Mart and holiday Inn will transfer the students that have worked here in Jacksonville to their home area. This is the first time for this to take place. Paul is also working with businesses to employee our students over the summer months in their home area. Amy suggested that Goodwill be contacted for summer employment. Dr. Zost questioned about the progress on the snack bar. Reggie has been working with Jane Breen on securing a grant to cover the cost of the oven. Jane explained that grants are very tight this year. Parent Infant grant was $40,000 in the past but this year we only received $18,000. This has impacted the program to limit us to only accepting 28 families when in the past we serviced 37 families. We are taking new families first before accepting families who have previously been served. Lyle asked if IPVI could come over and give a presentation during parent infant and they have done in the past. Jan McGovern will get with him after the meeting to discuss this.
The question came up about students living in TLC and why they were required to check in every 30 minutes when they are off campus. Reggie explained that even though they live in TLC, ISVI is still responsible for the students whereabouts. You have to remember that these students are our responsibility and checking in with staff helps if there does become a problem or a student goes missing. The problem with this regulation is that people view ISVI as being run like a prison. Dr. Zost feels that we need to defend ISVI against these rumors and why changes are being made. Reggie explained that each student is on a level system in order to be off campus. Jane explained that last summer State Police did an overall security check of ISVI. Since this, ISVI has installed cameras in some buildings. They recommended that we install a new phone system that would record all phone calls and other security measures. We are at this time looking into these suggestions and looking for funding to cover these. Jane, Reggie and supervisors meet with students each month and try to address their issues and explain why ISVI has their rules and regulations for them to follow.
Dr. Zost asked if ISVI has received the E-rate grant yet. We have applied and are waiting for a response.
The question came up about the fire codes being violated. Jane replied that there is a meeting planned for May 22 on the windows and a temporary fix until new ones will be installed. Dr. Zost asked what kind of windows would be installed. Jane replied that we are looking at installing slide windows with screens.
Dr. Zost asked what was happening with the ISVI mission statement. Reggie replied that the NCA committee is working on this through the summer. Dr. Zost asked about our outreach program. Reggie explained that we have three employees in the 0-3 programs.
Dr. Zost stated that the Low Vision equipment and trial kits are outdated. He feels the equipment needs to be updated. Dr. Taylor replied that he did receive a grant from AOA for $10,000 and will be making a video for educational purposes. The Blind Children’s Foundation has also made contributions to the school when ever possible. The question came up about SECA and if ISVI could be designated charity. Dr. Kilbury said there are several different funds within SECA which is payroll deductible but they also take a percentage off the donation prior to sending it to the charities.
Brenda Stewart explained the process for MIS requests and why the process is so long. CMS has put into effect a new rule that each agency rents their computers; pay a fee for GroupWise, which would have cost ISVI $350,000 a year, which is not in our budget. At this time DHS has picked up the cost for ISVI on this.
Pat Landgon shared with the council her activities so far this year. Pat is a member of AER and has been working on hosting the National Conference that will be held in Chicago this July. AER will forego the annual state conference and offered mini grants to sponsor workshops. On March 6th training was offered at the Assistive Technology Project office. Freedom Scientific came to ISVI and did some training for educators. Because more educators are utilizing the equipment and students are benefiting from this, ISVI has decided to have a technology committee meet to discuss new options. There was a first annual South of Eighty Conference held at ISVI on April 5th. There were seventeen families that did attend the one-day conference. Five sessions were provided: Living and succeeding with vision loss, working and living the American dream, Just Like You!, Daily Living and Independence, Daily Living Skills for older children, and Daily Living skills for younger children. Also a Technology Fair was held where parents and students could browse through the new technology being used at ISVI. A student panel was held giving the student perspective. They shared their life and school experiences. We are looking at holding another one here at ISVI November 1st. The second annual South of Seventy Conference was held on April 19 in Mt. Vernon. Eleven families participated at this conference as well as students from ISVI.
Low Vision Clinic was hosted at ISVI on April 6,7 & 8th. There were services provided for 31 visually impaired public school children. A little over $20,000 were spent on exams, low vision devices and prescription glasses. The Illinois Lions Foundation has been supporting the clinic financially since 1976. They provided $20,000 for the two clinics held at ISVI so financial resources had to be found to cover expenses. The Mokena Illinois Lions Club, Illinois Society for the Prevention of Blindness and the Blind Children’s Foundation has joined together financially to support the Low Vision Clinic.
Parent Association Report: Flora Dennison gave this report. The parent association recently held a 50/50 raffle with proceeds going to many projects on campus. ISVI will also be holding a rummage sale this fall. There has been a new swing set installed by Unit 2 which our students have really enjoyed. We are also purchasing a wheel chair swing, which will be purchased and installed this summer.
Trudy asked where we were with the Legislative breakfast because Stephanie hasn’t contacted her recently on this. Jan replied that we are having one May 14, 2008. Trudy was disappointed that there had been no contact with her, as she wanted to be involved.
Dr. Zost would like members to review the goals for the future of ISVI that were given out last meeting. He would like to see the council work toward these goals. Joe Lanier stated he would like to see more communication and feels that is the key to success. Leann asked if she would be able to have brochures of ISVI before she leaves today. Not a problem. Carmen asked about the comment of ISVI being run like a prison. Reggie replied that last month we did have police on campus to remove a student and since this time that student and another one involved in the incident have been removed from ISVI. The question came up if ISVI keeps records of students when they are arrested. Amy replied that ISVI isn’t the only school who have had an incident where police were involved; JHS also has. Jane explained that we need to keep our kids safe and if this involves having police escort a student off campus we’ve done the right thing. Amy asked if ISVI has night support from social workers at this time. Reggie has been meeting with the union, social workers, and school psychologist to change their schedules to include 3 nights to be worked. At this time it’s not in place for the remainder of the school year but we’re hoping for the start of the 08-09 school year. Jane replied that this is a good starting point on covering the nights.
Dr. Kilbury: There is no news on the budget at this time. We do know that there will be no revenue enhancements at this time. As citizen and board member you can contact your senator and legislature at any time.
There has been a new Assistant Director appointed to DHS. Francisco Alvarado, fills the vacant position left by Kris Smith. He was unable to attend this meeting but is planning on attending future meetings. Amy asked what his background was. Dr. Kilbury replied that he has been a rehabilitation counselor in the Chicago area. He has worked with people with disabilities and the Spanish speaking community. Joe Lanier asked if Marjorie is still with DHS and Dr. Kilbury replied yes, she is just at ISD’s Advisory Council meeting today. Lyle asked if Mr. Alvarado is a direct link between Dr. Kilbury, Reggie, and Marjorie? Dr. Zost questioned if Marjorie’s title is still educator liaison and if she is active with ISVI and if Mr. Alvarado will be her boss. Dr. Kilbury replied yes he is and Marjorie has worked on many projects for ISVI. She and Dr. Taylor worked on a grant just recently and she also works on grants for ISVI. Dr. Zost feels that as an advisory board they have missed many opportunities to apply for grants.
Theresa Cummings and Jane Redmond expressed how they’ve enjoyed being on the Advisory Council and will continue to support it in any way they are needed. This is their last meeting. Dr. Zost thanked them both for their dedication to both ISVI and the Advisory council.
VI. Committee Reports:
Public Relations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Trudy Diepholz/Sandy Dorst
None given at this time.
Long Range Planning . . . . . . . . . Dr. Taylor
VII New Business
Dr. Zost presented a hand out on Goals for the Future of ISVI.
A motion to adjourn at 1:35pm, a second was made and accepted.