GIFFORD — Three board members who were elected in  April 2 were seated on the Gifford school board last week.

Newcomers Candy Franzen and Alyson Suits, and Traci Harris, who was appointed to the board last year, were sworn into office.

The board elected Matt Lomax president, Travis Huls vice president, Neil Baker secretary, Diane Baker recording secretary and Jaci Davis treasurer.

All prices approved by the board for the 2019-20 school year will remain the same as this year.  

They include $1.30 for breakfast, $2.40 for lunch and 35 cents for extra milk. The textbook fee will remain at $55 per student, and the athletic fee $15 per sport.

The board approved extending the intergovernmental agreement with Thomasboro Grade School to provide speech services for pre-k students from Gifford who attend the program.

The amended school calendar for the current year was approved. The final day of school will be May 28. Two days had to be added due to the use of back-to-back snow days.


A tentative calendar for 2019-20 was approved. It might be modified if changes are necessary due to action taken by the Illinois General Assembly.

“The state hasn’t released what we are able to do with a calendar yet,” Superintendent Rod Grimsley said. “We just wanted to get our starting date, ending date, Christmas break and Easter break (set). It will all depend on the legislators.”

If left unchanged, the first day of student attendance will be Aug. 15, which is a half day of attendance. Final day of student attendance would be May 29.

Thanksgiving break would be Nov. 27-29; Christmas break Dec. 23-Jan. 3; spring break would run the week of March 16-20, while Easter break, which would include Good Friday and the Monday after would be April 10-13.

Full days of teacher in-service would be Aug. 14, Oct. 11, Jan. 3 and Feb. 14. Half day of student attendance would be Sept. 20 and May 21. Early-dismissal days would be Aug. 15, Nov. 26, Dec. 20, April 9 and May 21.  

The board learned the south wall of the old gym has been power washed and is ready to be tuckpointed. It will then be painted.

Grimsley said when the roof on the old gym was being replaced, it was discovered the south wall was bowed.

Work will also be done on the school parking lot, including repair of a hole in front of the bus barn, a low spot in the middle of the lot and re-sealing the entire lot.


The board learned it would be necessary to amend the budget in the operations and maintenance fund because more was spent than budgeted on boiler maintenance and work on the south gym wall.

Grimsley also reported that as of last week, Champaign County has not released the levy totals, which are normally in by now.

Upcoming event dates at the school include National Junior High Honor Society induction May 1, eighth-grade Trade-Up field trip to Parkland College May 3, eighth-grade field trip to Chicago museum May 14, kindergarten graduation at 9 a.m. and eighth-grade graduation at 7 p.m. May 17, sports banquet May 20 and seventh-grade field trip to Springfield May 22.


Gifford Grade School scholastic bowl team went 17-0 and won the conference title.

In track, Gavin Parkerson set a shot put record, while the 4 X 200 relay team of Cooper Hannagan, Bryce Sjoken, Parkerson and Carter Evans also set a record.

Twenty-seven of the 29 school entries received a first-place rating and two received a second in solo/ensemble competition.

Earning perfect scores were Holden Cargo, trumpet; Lee Glabinski, clarinet; Caroline Kuntz, clarinet; Kyle Meccoli, baritone; Tesa Millburg, clarinet; Tinley Parkerson, flute (two perfect scores); Josie Roseman, flute (two perfect scores); Chelsea Suits, clarinet; and Gigi Mulvaney and Cami Saltsgaver, perfect score and Best of Day.