DeKalb Education Board discusses 300 percent tardiness increase, emergency radio system


Tom Matya, President of the Board of Education for DeKalb Community Unit School District 428 brought new issues to the board and community members at the first meeting of the year Tuesday evening.

By Ryan Felgenhauer

The DeKalb Community Unit 428 Board of Education met Tuesday night to discuss the lengthening of passing periods at DeKalb High School and possibly hiring a manager to run DHS’s new auditorium.

Doug Moeller, principal of DeKalb High School introduced the notion that the four-minute passing periods at his school were too short.

The number of tardy students rose 300 percent from last year, Moeller said.

Moeller proposed that, effective Monday, the passing periods would be increased to five minutes at the expense of cutting three minutes from first period and five from the students’ “flex period.”

The board passed the motion with a general consensus.

Travis Erikson, choir director for DHS and Steve Lundin, band director for DHS, presented the concept of the need for a manager for the auditorium at the new DeKalb High School.

The auditorium has a large amount of potential renters in the near future and the complicated equipment should not be put into the hands of someone the school does not know, Erikson said.

The cost of the manager’s salary would be covered by the money earned from renting the theatre, Erikson said.

The concept should be further researched by Erikson and Lundin, and will be discussed again at the next meeting, said board President Tom Matya.

The proposal to work with Legal Resource Group LLC of Georgia to register and copyright logos and mottos for DeKalb High School was also reopened Tuesday night.

For $1500, LRG LLC would do all the work to register and collect money from local businesses selling items with the DeKalb High School logo, said Dan Jones, director of athletics and activities for DHS.

Tracy Williams, school board vice-president , spoke out against such action, saying it was preferable to work with local retailers to come to agreements, instead of making a move he believed would not be cost effective.

Despite Williams’ reservations, the motion passed with a vote of 5-2.

The board also discussed the decision it had reached on the subject of the district’s emergency radio system.

At the board’s last meeting, the motion to spend $100,000 to upgrade some of the districts’ radios was deferred to allow for more research, Matya said.

Since then, it had been discovered that the older radios could be reprogrammed to communicate with the newer models, said District 428 Superintendent James Briscoe, so it would not be necessary to spend the $100,000 on upgrades.

Matya spoke on the reductions of cost to the district achieved over the summer.

These reductions included adjusting the start time of school and the busing system, as well as finding ways to lower the cost of the district’s insurance, Matya said.

The board approved the district budget for 2011-2012, though it would attempt to save money where it could, Matya said.

At the school board’s next meeting, it will discuss the willingness of local banks to participate in a $5,000,000 bond concept, to fund the district while simultaneously reinvesting money into the community, Williams said.

The next District 428 School Board meeting will held at 7:00 p.m. Oct. 4 in the DeKalb High School Forum Room at 501 W. Dresser Road in DeKalb.