December 2010 Archives

Plainfield School Board will hold a public forum at 7 p.m. Jan. 11 to listen to the public's comments regarding the proposal to cut $7.6 million.

One of the ideas to save about $600,000 is to change school times which means Plainfield South and East high schools will start about an hour earlier.

The meeting will be held at Plainfield Central High School, 24120 W. Fort Beggs Drive, Plainfield.

The board said it wants make cuts to eliminate its $6.7 million deficit this school year. The board plans to meet seven times in January and February to address the deficit issue.

The board intends to make its decision on the proposed deficit reduction plan no later than Feb. 28. However, a decision could be made earlier, depending on the board's progress, said Spokesman Tom Hernandez.

The board will meet at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 10 at Crystal Lawns Elementary School, 2544 Crystal Drive, Joliet. Public comment will be heard at this meeting as required by law. Audience members are encouraged to limit comment to topics other than the deficit reduction plan, Hernandez said.

A challenge was filed by George Smith to the petitions of Valley View school board members Steve Quigley, Rick Gougis and Leo Venegas.

Quigley is currently school board president.

In Valley View School District, there are three four-year seats and one two-year seat that are open. Board member Mike Evans is not running.

Eight folks are seeking one of the three four-year seats:

Incumbent Steve Quigley, of 124 Pepperwood Drive, Bolingbrook
Incumbent Leonel "Leo" Venegas, of 802 Ontario Drive, Romeoville
Incumbent Richard "Rick" Gougis, III, of 1670 Aster Drive, Romeoville
April Gavin, of 229 N. Schmidt Road, Bolingbrook
Philip A. Wilson, of 382 Clubhouse St., Bolingbrook
Claudia Simmons, of 381 Orchard Drive, Bolingbrook
Kenneth Harris, of 222 Carol Lane, Bolingbrook
Kenneth Williams, of 553 Bluebird Drive, Bolingbrook

There are two people seeking the 2-year seat

Chrystal Hansen, of 418 Foxborough Trail, Bolingbrook
Robert Leach, of 278 Malibu Drive, Romeoville


Look who's running

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Here's a quick list of who is running for school board in the area.

PLAINFIELD SCHOOL DISTRICT

Three seats on the seven-member school board are up for election on the April 5th ballot. The seats up for election are currently held by board President Stuart Bledsoe, board Vice President Dave Obrzut and Roger Bonuchi. Candidates elected will serve four-year terms expiring in April 2015. Bledsoe announced last month that he was not seeking another term.

The candidates are:

Greg Nichols, of 25200 Round Barn Road, Plainfield
David Obrzut, of 7002 Superstition Court, Plainfield
Roger Bonuchi, of 23702 W. Spring Hill Lane, Plainfield
William P. Dargan Jr., of 16157 Burgundy Drive, Plainfield
Tommie L. Van, of 7418 Southworth Circle, Plainfield
Kevin Kirberg, of 24156 Pear Tree Court, Plainfield
Anthony Scala, of 7609 Heatherstone Lane, Plainfield

VALLEY VIEW SCHOOL DISTRICT

Three 4-year seats:

In Valley View School District, there are three four-year seats and one two-year seat that are open. Board member Mike Evans is not running.


Three four-year seats:

Incumbent Steve Quigley, of 124 Pepperwood Drive, Bolingbrook
Incumbent Leonel "Leo" Venegas, of 802 Ontario Drive, Romeoville
Incumbent Richard "Rick" Gougis, III, of 1670 Aster Drive, Romeoville
April Gavin, of 229 N. Schmidt Road, Bolingbrook
Philip A. Wilson, of 382 Clubhouse St., Bolingbrook
Claudia Simmons, of 381 Orchard Drive, Bolingbrook
Kenneth Harris, of 222 Carol Lane, Bolingbrook
Kenneth Williams, of 553 Bluebird Drive, Bolingbrook

One 2-year seat

Chrystal Hansen, of 418 Foxborough Trail, Bolingbrook
Robert Leach, of 278 Malibu Drive, Romeoville


JOLIET GRADE SCHOOL DISTRICT

There are four spots open on the Joliet Grade School Board, including two on the East Side, one At Large and one on the West Side. There is one person running for the two spots on the East Side.

Board members Tonya Myers and Sandra Archambeau are not running.

Here who is running:

At Large

Norveea Clerk, 102 Stryker Ave., Joliet
Deborah K. Ziech, of 417 Cornelia Street, Joliet

West Side

Quinn Adamowski, of 520 Knox Place, Joliet
Lorraine Guerrero, of 625 W. Jefferson St.

East Side

1. Tony Pena, 420 Jackson St., Joliet
2. No one filed

JOLIET TOWNSHIP HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICT

In Joliet Township High Schol District, there were six candidates who will be running for three spots.

Those candidates were: Don Dickinson, of Joliet; John Gerard Linehan, of Joliet; Jeff Pierson, of Joliet; Paige Stonich-Vanderhyden, of Elwood and Arlene Albert, of Joliet, and Chet June, of Joliet. Incumbents are Pierson, Albert and June.

On Sunday, I was the cop reporter which basically means going through a stack of police reports and writing about crime.

I was amazed by how many school items showed up last night and wondered if it's always like this the days before winter break.

In addition to the items listed below, there was report of a principal keeping an eye out for a student, questioning the injuries, calling the police and alerting the Illinois Department of Children & Family Services.

There were also a couple of incidents that were not school related, but folks were concern about the welfare of a child and called police.

It's nice to know that even in this busy season there are folks out there making sure that the children - the ones often without a voice - are heard.

Cyberbullying reported

JOLIET--A 15-year-old girl at Plainfield South High School reported a cyberbullying incident that happened Thursday after a verbal argument in the school cafeteria. A 14-year-old girl posted mean comments on Facebook about the girl and allegedly said "I'm (expletive) you up first thing tomorrow morning," police reported. The mother of the 15-year-old girl said she would talk to school staff about the issue.

Bus fight

JOLIET--A 18-year-old Plainfield girl was injured during an altercation on a school bus Thursday afternoon when another girl allegedly scratched and punched her, causing pain and numbness. The victim received treatment at Provena St. Joseph Medical Center. The victim told police that the girl said, "I'm going to kill you" before punching her five times in the face. The bus driver told police that he heard a screaming match and that the bus has cameras. The students attend Lincoln School: Will County Safe School Program. Lincoln takes students who would otherwise be expelled from their home schools or those with multiple suspensions

School cash theft

JOLIET--Hufford Junior High School staff reported on Friday that there was a theft of $550 in cash that occurred between Oct. 8 and Nov. 1 at the school, 1125 N. Larkin Ave.

Staff reported that $550 was stolen from a drawer in a bag where there was $670, leaving about $119, Joliet police reported.

Out of the $7.6 million proposed cuts in Plainfield School District, some of the recommendations are resourceful, such as replacing copy clerks with additional copy machines at the high schools at no additional cost to the district.

By placing more copy machines at the high schools, teachers won't have to stand in line to make copies, said Superintendent John Harper at Monday's board meeting.

The district pays per copy not per machine so this idea won't cost the district additional money. By cutting four copy clerk jobs at the high schools, Harper said the district will save $134,130.

It is important to note that salaries assigned to the jobs include base pay plus benefits. So a person isn't taking home that amount, but that's what it costs the district to keep the person on the payroll.

Harper unveiled about $7.6 million in proposed cuts that included eliminating 112 full-time equivalent (FTE) positions district-wide. The board is expected to take public comment on this issue next month.

Harper's presentation was long and detailed. I couldn't get all of it in the paper so here's more of it:

The district is also proposing to cut 10 instructional technology specialists at the middle and high schools for a savings of $469,471 at the middle schools and $201,202 at the high schools.

Harper said he anticipates that the jobs of media specialists will be reposted in order for staff to show they have the appropriate skills and certification.

At the middle school, instructional technology specialists usually teach computer classes. At the high school, they assist teachers with integrating technology into the classroom, said Spokesman Tom Hernandez..

LARGER P.E. CLASSES

Harper is also suggesting to restructure the high school physical education and health curriculum to cut four FTE teaching jobs, saving $268,269.

Students get their health requirement through a course that moves them every few weeks from physical education to health/wellness class. Under the proposal, students would take physical education one semester and health the other semester during their freshman year

Currently, P.E. class sizes are in the lower 40s and are projected to increase to the low 50s which is big, but manageable, Hernandez said. Health class sizes would drop down into to the 30s.

80 DAYS OF IN-SCHOOL SUSPENSION

At the middle schools, there are teacher's assistants who monitor Alternative School Day Assignment for students who are given an internal suspension. Harper said the schools do not have internal suspension every day so he is proposing that the aides are called in when needed. Each middle school would get 80 days per school year. Harper is proposing cutting each support person at the middle schools for a savings of $194,134.

TEACHING MORE CLASSES

The district is reinstating an assistant athletic director at Plainfield South High School because the other high schools currently have that position. The assistant athletic directors at all four high schools would teach four classes - up from two - for a savings of $44,567. So, the savings would come through additional value for the time they give the district, Hernandez said.

CONSOLIDATING COURSES

Harper said the district is not cutting any high school classes, but some courses will be consolidated. For example, German III and Honors German III could be combined to teach a total of 27 students rather than 12 in one class and 15 in another. He sees opportunity to consolidate courses in social studies, sciences and career & technology. By doing this, he will be able to cut six teaching positions for a savings of $402,404.

REDUCING NURSING STAFF

Currently, there are 43 registered nurses in the district, including one nurse supervisor, eight certified registered nurses and 34 registered nurses - two at each high school and one at each of the middle and elementary schools. The plan is to lay-off one nurse at each high school, leaving a total of 39 registered nurses, saving $177,057.

The nurses are given extra hours to check students' records and make sure students' shots are up-to-date. Harper is suggesting to reduce those hours to 365 hours each year and reallocate those hours based on school size. So the high schools would still get 50 hours per year, but a smaller school like Crystal Lawns would get 20 hours. This measure would save the district $8,505.


Plainfield Superintendent John Harper unveiled about $7.6 million in proposed cuts Monday night that included cutting 112 full-time equivalent positions as well as changing school times.

The Plainfield School Board did not take public comments or vote on the proposal because they heard the plan for the first time Monday night. Harper was directed to make cuts to eliminate the entire $6.7 million projected deficit for next school year without increasing student fees other than the registration fees already approved by the board.

john_harper.jpg

To save $598,298, Harper recommended a triple tier bussing system that would save money by having a bus driver handle three routes instead of two.This bussing system would eliminate the need for about 30 buses by tightening transportation schedules and adjusting school times.

However, Harper said he understood this recommendation could prove controversial since school times would change drastically for the high schools.
Currently, students at Plainfield South and Plainfield East high schools attend school from 8:10 a.m. to 3:21 p.m. while Plainfield Central and Plainfield North students attend 7:20 a.m. to 2:31 p.m.

With the proposed change, all high school students would attend 7:05 a.m. to 2:16 p.m. which would be about an hour and five minute adjustment for Plainfield South and Plainfield East students and about a 15-minute difference for Plainfield Central and Plainfield North.

If approved, all seven middle school students would attend from 8 a.m. to 3:01 p.m. instead of 7:30 a.m. to 2:31 p.m.

All elementary school students would attend from 9:10 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. instead of 8:55 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Lakewood Falls would have a 10-minute difference to reduce car traffic near Creekside Elementary.

"Notice, we did not cut any minutes from the instructional day," Harper said.
However, high school and middle school students will have to walk longer to their bus stops. He estimates students will walk will increase from two-tenths of a mile to four-tenths of a mile. There will be no change for the elementary school students.

"We recognize that for two of our high schools this is quite an adjustment to the day," he said.

Also, during Standard Daylight Time, elementary students would be coming home at 4:15 p.m. or 4:30 p.m. when it is close to getting dark, he said.

Overall, the administrative recommendation would cut about 12 percent more than the anticipated $6.7 million deficit if the school board decides to keep the provision to implement a triple tier bussing system.

"If the board chooses to not include the triple tier bussing recommendation, we could remove it and still meet our goal of eliminating about $6.9 million," Harper said.

"The adminstration is not recommending that we eliminate $7.5 million when the deficit is $6.7 million. But at the same time, however, we recognize the potential controversy over triple tier bussing and the changing of school times. If the board does not embrace that recommendation, we can remove that from the recommendation and still arrive at $6.9 million in savings to eliminate the $6.7," Harper said.

If the school board embraces the new school times, Harper said there is some opportunity to add back some positions.

"We recognize there are some challenges with this and we also recognize the potential savings and the opportunity to save some positions," Harper said.

He said there are lot of questions they don't have answers for such as what happens to early bird classes in the high schools. Harper thinks those classes may turn into late bird classes, if it turns into anything at all.

Harper's complete recommendation is posted on the district website at www.psd202.org.

He recommended cutting 112.1 full-time equivalent administrative, certified and non-certified positions, including:
- 9.4 full-time equivalent (FTE) administrative positions to save $959,208. This represents 6.9 percent of the total administrative category. These cuts would include:
Consolidating the curriculum and instruction and student services departments into a new "Department of Teaching and Learning" and eliminating the assistant superintendent for student services position. Assistant Superintendent Sharon Gronemeyer would return on a 100-day consulting contract next year to help the transition for a total savings of $247,446.

Eliminating one district student services director and one district administration and personnel director for a savings of $297,625.

Eliminating the English Language Learner Assistant Director position for a savings of $123,167.

Eliminating one assistant/associate principal position at Plainfield Central, Plainfield East and Plainfield North high schools. No reduction would be made at Plainfield South High School because that building's enrollment is significantly higher than the other three for a savings of $290,970.

Cuts to the teachers union: 56.7 FTE certified positions to save $3,903,872. This represents 3 percent of the total certified staff. These cuts would include:
- 12 Reading Recovery positions, while offsetting the initial impact of this loss by bolstering reading support by four FTE positions. These four positions would be assigned as needed to help implement a new reading intervention program and assist the most challenged readers, saving $804,808.

- 15 differentiation specialists as the district transitions to another model for providing accelerated curriculum for elementary gifted students, saving $1,006,010.

- 10 middle and high school instructional technology specialists, saving $670,673.

- Consolidating various high school courses, allowing for the elimination of six FTE teaching positions, saving $402,404. For example, combining German III with honors German would save money.

Restructuring the high school physical education/health curriculum, allowing for larger classes to save four FTE teaching positions, saving $268,269.

Eliminating the Catalyst program, which helps high school students who have committed various infractions to return to their regular school environment as soon as possible, with appropriate supports. While Catalyst is a highly effective program, it very expensive since it serves only about two percent of the student population, Harper said. By eliminating Catalyst, the district will save $403,203.

Cuts to support staff union: 45 FTE non-certified positions to save $1,615,911. This represents 6.8 percent of the total non-certified category. These cuts would include:
- Four FTE high school secretarial positions, saving $189,823.

- One office clerk each at Aux Sable, Timber Ridge and John F. Kennedy middle schools, saving $85,775.

- Reducing four registered nurse positions, saving $177,057.

- Restructuring the middle school "in school suspension" program, allowing the elimination of seven FTE positions, saving $194,134.

- Eliminating four 11-month high school bookkeeper positions, saving $178,816.

-Eliminating the community relations coordinator position to save $81,798.

Overall budgetary cuts to save $991,577. These cuts would include: Cutting building and departmental budgets by 5 percent to save $355,659. Eliminate building administrator cell phones to save $37,620.

The board is expected to hold at least one public forum in January to hear public comment on the proposed budget cuts.

Biscuit - the service dog

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When I heard Principal Ed Boswell volunteered to be the main handler for the Ira Jones Middle School's service dog, I was not surprised.

I first met Boswell about four years ago when he saved a greyhound from drowning in an icy pond.

Now, he's principal of Ira Jones Middle School and is the main caregiver of a 2-year-old yellow Labrador, Biscuit.

Biscuit lives with Boswell, his wife, Heather, 4-year-old daughter, Chloe, and adopted basset hound, Sugar.

When he has his work vest on, Biscuit is all business, but when they get home and take the vest off, Boswell says Biscuit is all puppy.

He loves to go into their closet and take one shoe downstairs one by one and surround himself with a circle of shoes.

Last week, he chewed his first shoe. Unfortunately, it was Heather's and she wasn't too happy about it.

On Saturday, according to Biscuit's Facebook page - Biscuit and Boswell spent the morning outdoors, perhaps, due to the shoe. You can find it on Facebook under - Biscuit the Service Dog.

Even though he's full grown, Biscuit is all puppy, discovering a world outside of an Indiana prison where he was bred and trained.

For example, last week Biscuit checked out the neighbor's snow blower and let the snow blow in his face until Boswell called him away so he wouldn't get hurt.

Biscuit is adapting to life in a real world compared to a prison life, Boswell said.

"He's still not sure (about) people walking with book bags and stuff. He's like 'What is that?' So he'll bark. He'll want to play with it. That has been an adjustment for sure in regards of him getting used to that. ..... It's been an adjustment, but he's been getting used to it," he said.

He also tends to bark at people wearing shirts with glitter and any one wearing red. Boswell and the social workers are helping him adjust.

Boswell's principal's office is all puppy these days with a bed, bowls and toys. And, Biscuit's favorite spot? The chair next to Boswell. He sits on it so he has a bird's eye view of the office.

"I'm his go-to guy. I'm his safety place," he said. "My social workers are the heartbeat of the program because he's with them all day."

During lunch, Biscuit can be found in Boswell's office or just outside in another bed, waiting for a chance to help a student.

Special Education Administrator Christy Ernst is the brainchild of bringing a service dog to Ira Jones. She is now working at Plainfield Central High School.

In Plainfield, there are special education programs at Grand Prairie and Wesmere elementary schools, Ira Jones and Plainfield Central High School. There are two service dogs already in the district. Biscuit is the third.

Ernst hopes to apply to be a dog handler for a service dog at Plainfield Central High School, serving about 50 students in their special education program.

"We see how the kids respond. It's a calming influence," she said. "Everybody is attracted to a dog - how can you not?

"A lot of our kids don't feel accepted. Dogs have a calming influence and they are specially trained to help our kids calm down when they are in crisis or when they are upset about things," she said. "It will be a huge benefit."

Well, the process to get a dog through Indiana Canine Assistance Network (ICAN) is pretty intense. As part of ICAN, Biscuit was born in a prison where he was raised by prisoners who train puppies.

"They said we have a dog that we will think will be a match. Let's set up a date. I had to go out there to the prison and meet the handler," Boswell said. "I was basically being interviewed for the day and they videotaped my interactions with a dog."

He was also interviewed at school and at his home. However, the first dog they brought to the school had a bit more energy that was needed to work with children so Boswell had to wait.

"They said it could take up to 18 months which is heartbreaking to hear - but I get it," he said.

"Then, they called a couple of weeks later and said, 'Hey, we have this dog that we think is you on four legs, Ed, come out and meet him.' " he recalled.

So he did and they were.

"He's a good guy," Boswell said. "He's loyal."

We've all heard that the early bird catches the worm, but when it comes to elections - the early candidate gets a chance to get his or her name placed first on the ballot.

Seven candidates filed first thing Monday morning for the four Valley View School District seats that will be contested in the April 5 election.

Candidates have until 5 p.m. Monday, Dec. 20 to file their petitions. Nineteen have taken out petitions over the past several months, said Spokesman Larry Randa.

A lottery will be held to determine the top ballot position for the three 4-year seats that will be on the ballot. Included in that lottery will be Romeoville residents Richard "Rick" Gougis III and Leonel "Leo" Venegas as well as Bolingbrook residents Phillip A. Wilson, Claudia Simmons, April Gavin and Steve Quigley. Quigley, Gougis and Venegas are incumbents.

Chrystal Hansen of Bolingbrook was the only candidate who filed for the two-year seat and, as such, will be in the number one position on the ballot for that race.

After the first round of early morning candidates, Kenneth Harris, of Bolingbrook, also filed for one of the four-year seats, but won't he won't be part of the lottery for the first place on the ballot.

Petitions for candidates who want to run in the election are still available by visiting the office of Delorise Ivy, board clerk, between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. this week at the administration center, 755 Dalhart Ave. (formerly Luther Drive) in Romeoville.

PLAINFIELD

In Plainfield School District, there will be a lottery to determine the place on the ballot for three candidates.

Those candidates are: Greg Nichols, of Plainfield; Incumbent David Obrzut, of Plainfield and Incumbent Roger Bonuchi, of Plainfield.
William P. Dargan Jr., of Plainfield, is also running.

Petitions must be filed by 5 p.m. Dec. 20 at the Administration Center, 15732 Howard St.
Three seats on the seven-member board are up for election The seats up for election are currently held by school board President Stuart Bledsoe, Obrzut and Bonuchi. Candidates elected will serve four-year terms expiring in April 2015.

JTHS

In Joliet Township High School District, there were six candidates who filed for three spots. Those candidates were: Don Dickinson, of Joliet; John Gerard Linehan, of Joliet; Jeff Pierson, of Joliet; Paige Stonich-Vanderhyden, of Elwood and Arlene Albert, of Joliet, and Chet June, of Joliet. Incumbents are Pierson, Albert and June. The only two in the lottery will be Don Dickinson and John Linehan. The lottery will be held on Dec. 27. The last day to file is Dec. 20. The office at 300 Caterpillar Drive will be open until 5 p.m.

Joliet Grade

There were only two folks who filed in Joliet Grade School District. Norveea Clerk, of Joliet, for the At-Large seat and Incumbent Tony Pena for the East Side seat. In total, there are four spots open. Two on the East Side, one At Large and one on the West Side. The district office, 420 N. Raynor, will be open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday.

Plainfield School District needs a club for principals who became superintendents.

Superintendent John Harper can lead it since he was principal at Grand Prairie Elementary School and Timber Ridge Middle School.

The most recent former principal turned superintendent is from Walker's Grove Elementary School.

Mannheim School Board unanimously appointed Kim Petrasek as the new superintendent of the district effective July 1, 2011, according to FranklinParkHeraldJournal.com.

The school district, preK-8, has five schools in Franklin Park, Northlake and Melrose Park, serving 2,705 students.

Petrasek will be replacing Bruce Lane, who is retiring from the district after nine years.

Petrasek is currently the assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction in Villa Park School District 45. Previously, she served as a principal in both Hinsdale School District and Plainfield School District.

She joins a long list of former Plainfield principals who now serve as leaders of their school districts, including Lane Abrell, Steve Wakeley, Pete Pasteris, Michael Early and Larie Godinez.


PLAINFIELD -Superintendent John Harper will present his proposed budget cuts to the board at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 13th in the auditorium at Plainfield Central High School.

The board asked Harper to erase the $6.7 million deficit in one year without increasing fees for extra-curricular and co-curricular activities except for the ones already planned.

Thumbnail image for Harper.JPGHarper will present his proposed budget deficit elimination strategy at the high school at 24120 W. Fort Beggs Drive in Plainfield.

Last year, Harper presented a plan that the board sent back to administration to change after hearing seven hours of comment at four public hearings. In the end, the board approved a plan to save about $22 million by eliminating 159 full-time positions, reducing operating expenses, cutting administrative salaries and raising student extra and co-curricular fees.

Spokesman Tom Hernandez stressed there will be time for the public to hear the proposal and make comments to the board.

"This presentation is only for information. The board is not expected to take any action on Dec. 13," Hernandez in an e-mail to parents. "We expect the board will then hold public forums in the coming weeks to discuss the proposal and hear public comment, as it did last winter."

The proposed budget cuts will be posted on the district website at www.psd202.org on the evening of Dec. 13, he wrote.

Some board members have expressed concerns about erasing the entire deficit in one year.

Board members Mike Kelly and Michelle Smith were in favor of options.

"I want to see how much pain that $6.7 million is going to be," Kelly said last month. "We had a lot of pain last year and I'm looking to see if there is a way to ease that."

But some members disagreed.

"I would prefer that we do what we can to erase the budget this year," Dave Obrzut said.

Smith wanted options in case she disagreed with some of the recommendations.

John Prince, assistant superintendent of business and operations, said he was in favor of making the difficult decisions up front and that only waiting another year will add to the deficit.

The district is conducting an online survey at www.psd202.org, asking the community what services and programs can be eliminated. So far, the district has received 688 responses.

Hernandez said the board will seek community input on the actual proposal later this fall or early winter.

Have you made any suggestions? If so what?

If you hear word that the Bolingbrook High School is locked down Thursday morning, well, it's just a routine search. There is no danger, said Larry Randa, director of community relations for Valley View School District.

Bolingbrook High School is conducting a soft lockdown for the purposes of a routine search of lockers by state and local law enforcement authorities, Randa said. Though not a drill, this is a routine procedure conducted at least one time annually at most high schools.

Catherine Ann Velasco


Catherine Ann Velasco has covered education and children and family issues for The Herald-News since 1997. She keeps an eye on schools in Will and Grundy counties. Her best stories always come from readers’ tips or public comment during a board meeting. So if there’s some good news or bad news at your school – she’d like to know. Join the conversation about the twists and turns and surprises that pop up on her beat. And, find some extra news that she just can’t wait to tell you.

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