Billtown Cafe is pleased with the excellent response to our cuisine again this year! As we unveil new and exciting items to keep your kids eating healthy, it is more important than ever to keep an eye on your child’s account. So far this year we have asked that you keep your student’s charges to a maximum of $15.00. Thanks to all of you who are utilizing www.myschoolbucks.com to preload the meal account or who are sending money to Billtown Cafe.
If you are one of the few who still owes $15.00 or more on your child’s account, please be advised that beginning Monday, September 19th, your child will not be served a meal. Please make arrangements with Nancy Brown, Food Service Director, prior to that date or send cold lunch from that date forward until your past due account is brought current. In the meantime, your child may pay cash for lunch, breakfast, milk or other items.
It is important to note that beginning October 1st, no one may charge any item unless there is a credit on his or her account. Much like a checking account, unless there is money in the account, no items may be purchased. To put money in your child’s account, you may use a debit or credit card on the myschoolbucks website or bring cash or check to the snack bar cashier between 7:45 am and 3:15 pm on school days. You may also mail a check to Billtown Cafe 325 W. Kentucky Ave., Williamsfield IL. 61489.
Tim D. Farquer
Good news...on most devices, both Canvas mobile apps now display current grade! Students and parents can now quickly view their current course grade and drill down into assignments showing growth and areas where improvements can be made. The first screenshot below shows the Canvas Parent app with student grades blurred. The second shows the regular Canvas app with student grades blurred. Utilize the following links to download these tools onto your favorite mobile device. Let's work together and use this technology to keep learning moving forward!
Financial Statements & Graphic
- Our fund balances remain strong. I project we will have around $3.3 million in reserves at the end of this fiscal year.
- I project we will have around $750,000 of reserves in the Building Fund at the end of this fiscal year.
- Our local levy increases remain low.
- Our school tax rate projects to be at a 4-year low this year and continues to be the lowest around.
- Earnings on investments are at an all-time high.
- Total food service revenue is at an all-time high.
- We have secured $144,400 in building grants from the state over the course of the last few years.
- We have received $575,301 in Knox County penny sales tax revenue since voters approved the tax. This money can only be used for capital improvements.
- In my first year, Building Fund expenditures were at their lowest level since 2010. Only after we had over $1 million surplus in the Building Fund did we decide to begin strategically spending down the balance on much needed building upgrades.
- Technology expenditures since my arrival have risen out of need. That said, 58% of this investment ($66,041) has been made with federal grant money. This strategy was highlighted by the United States Department of Education in their 2016 National Education Technology Plan.
Audited numbers to support the statements above are included in the graphic below. The information contained within the graphic can be found in our annual financial reports located online HERE.
- How does the local levy work? Each December our school district submits a levy request to the County Clerk. The County Assessor submits local property values to the Clerk as well. Those two values combine to determine the local school tax rate. We levy based upon projected expenditures, cash on hand, and stability of other revenue streams (e.g., state funding). Our annual levy goal is to have the lowest tax rate around while maintaining as consistent a rate as possible for our local tax payers. At the end of the day, we are solely responsible for the amount of money we levy and indirectly responsible for the tax rate (the rate is also dependent on property values, homeowner exemptions, etc.).
- How does our school tax rate compare to others in the area? Our rate projects to be $4.22 for the 2015 taxing year. Our's went down, everyone else's went up. See below for previous year's rates from some of our neighbors. (UPDTAED 2/6/16)
- Williamsfield $4.22 (2015)
- ROWVA $4.55 (2014)
- Knoxville $4.56 (2014)
- Galva $4.72 (2014)
- Brimfield $4.73 (2014)
- Farmington $5.13 (2014)
- Elmwood $5.28 (2014)
- Princeville $5.72 (2014)
- What is a STEM Center? A STEM Center is a collaborative lab space with equipment and materials to help students build skills in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). Our proposed STEM Center will be located adjacent to the MS Science classrooms a short walk from the Chemistry/Physics and Agriculture/Construction classrooms. The Center would contain wet labs, working gas, proper exhaust, proper safety equipment, and engaging tools to help all kids build skill. This space would be accessible to all students in grades PK-12. Elementary STEM (each grade has STEM once/week), 5th-8th grade Science, and HS Science courses will directly utilize the space for courses. Our STEM team will also utilize the space and it will be available for other uses as well.
- Why not just renovate the current Life Science lab and the current Chemistry/Physics lab? Space for space, it would be more expensive than transforming the current district office. The 50+ year old Life Science lab would need a complete overhaul to add an exhaust hood, an eye wash station, and an emergency shower. Both locations would require Chemical resistant lab tops in order to conduct proper experiments. Neither lab would be directly available for PK-5 or Agricultural course use.
- Why move/consolidate offices? Moving the district office allows us to utilize the current district office space for the STEM Center. Moving the main office to the currently under-utilized old locker room space will increase security within our building. Visitors will be viewable prior to entry and be able to check in right as they enter the building. Our current check-in location is in the middle of the building, which for security reasons, is not ideal. Also, with our current set-up visitors to the Principal's Office are frequently exposed to student health and discipline issues. Efficiency in administrative processes and one location for parents/visitors to go for information will also be ideal.
Tim Farquer, Superintendent/Curriculum Director