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November 2010  
Sale of Central School Property Pending
5th Grade Morning Helpers
Riddle Students Honor Veterans
Kindergartners celebrate Thanksgiving
Trueblood attends Scrubs Day at SBLHC
Some Kids You Should Know
NWS releases winter weather fact sheet
Winter Update?
MHS recognizes Colgrove and Lowry
District offers text messaging to alert for closings, emergencies
Mattoon CUSD #2
1701 Charleston Avenue
Mattoon IL 61938
Tel: 217-238-8850
Web: www.mattoon.k12.il.us
Email: Newsletter@mcusd2.com
Sale of Central School Property Pending

The Mattoon Board of Education has patiently tried to sell the Central School property located at the west end of the downtown area for the last several years.

Before the old school was demolished in late 2005, the Board solicited sealed public bids for the building and property. At that time, the Board received an $18,000 bid from a private individual contingent upon the Board replacing the roof. Given the high cost of replacing the roof, the Board rejected the bid.

After demolition of the old school in the spring of 2006, the Board had two appraisals completed for the vacant block. The low appraisal was for $185,000 and the high was for $228,000.

In the summer of 2006, the Board held a public auction for the property and no bids were received.

On three occasions, from 2006 to 2009, the Board solicited sealed public bids for the vacant property. In two cases the bids were too low; and in the 2009 solicitation, no bids were received.

After five failed attempts to sell the property, Commercial Refrigeration of Mattoon approached the Board of Education late this summer with interest in buying the property for its expanding business. Even though the school district had an interested buyer, Illinois law required the Board to again place the property up for sealed bids.

After soliciting public bids during August and September, Commercial Refrigeration submitted the lone bid at $220,000 for the Central School property. The bid and sale were contingent upon the property being rezoned from residential to commercial.

In October, the school district and Commercial Refrigeration petitioned the Mattoon City Planning Commission to rezone the property C4 commercial. The City Planning Commission was reluctant to rezone C4 and instead suggested a more appropriate rezoning to C3.

At the November meeting, the City Planning Commission voted unanimously to approve the C3 petition and sent it to the City Council for final approval. The Mattoon City Council subsequently approved the Commission's recommendation the following week.

With the Central School rezoned to C3 commercial, the final hurdle was cleared. Over the next month, the Board of Education's patience will pay off with the closing sale of the Central School property to Commercial Refrigeration.

"This is a win-win situation for all parties," said Larry Lilly, Superintendent of Schools.  "Idle property goes on the tax roll benefitting taxing bodies and taxpayers; a fast-growing business has an opportunity to expand; and the school district will finally sell the old Central School property."

5th Grade Morning Helpers

"Good morning! Welcome to Williams School." Williams Elementary student citizenship team has once again emerged by helping students, adults, and visitors by being the friendly and helpful face at school each and every morning. The 5th grade students, which are recognized by their 'Student Leader' message on the back of their fluorescent green vests, have volunteered their personal morning time to be a service and help for others. Together WE Can!

Riddle Students Honor Veterans

Honor, courage, pride, love, freedom and thankfulness were among the words and feelings expressed by students and staff at Riddle Elementary School during its annual Veterans Day Parade.  Families and community members were invited to join in the walk around the school to pay tribute to all veterans.  Second graders escorted the veterans through the hallways lined with hundreds of students waving American flags and singing patriotic songs.  Applause and words of appreciation and gratitude echoed throughout the school.


This annual parade grows each year and teaches our students the true meaning of patriotism and what Veterans Day is all about. 

 2nd grade students decorated the hallways with patriotic artwork including soldiers
(click image to enlarge)

(Bob Miller Veterans Day Parade photo)  Local veterans gather to walk in the Riddle School Veterans Day Parade
(click image to enlarge)



Kindergartners celebrate Thanksgiving

Dressed as Pilgrims and Native Americans, the kindergartners at Arland D. Williams Jr. Elementary School celebrated Thanksgiving with a feast Wednesday in the cafeteria.

The students and teachers have been preparing for Thanksgiving for weeks. They cut out and dyed their costumes and decorated them with beads. They also decorated place mats and made patterned necklaces from noodles.

The teachers read stories to the students about the first Thanksgiving and discussed how the first Thanksgiving compared to their Thanksgiving.

"We culminated all of our lessons by celebrating Thanksgiving with all of the other kindergartners by having a wonderful feast on Wednesday in the cafeteria," said Kelsey Aikman, kindergarten teacher. "Every student was able to dress up as either a Pilgrim or Native American. We sang songs about turkeys, and ate chicken legs, grapes, bread with butter, and a special turkey snack that we made."

Kris Maleske, principal, joined in the celebration by reading The Night Before Thanksgiving.

"All of the kindergartners learned a lot and had a great time," said Aikman.
(click images to enlarge)

Trueblood attends Scrubs Day at SBLHC

Miles Trueblood of Mattoon High School participated in an event called "Scrubs Day" at Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center.

At this event, selected male students spent a day in intensive job shadowing with health care workers to see firsthand the profession and learn about the breadth of health care careers. Students shadowed professionals in a variety of departments including radiology, adult care, surgical care, physical therapy, orthopedic, cardiac rehab and sterilization.

In addition, students received information about the educational requirements for health care professions. Some students commented that the event was "awesome." Many reported that the event helped them understand the importance of working hard and staying focused while in high school.

The event, in its seventh year, is a partnership between Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center, area high schools and Lake Land Partnerships for College and Career Success.

"The students learned that they could make a career in this field," said Diana Glosser, Perkins coordinator. She also said "the students liked meeting people in the health field and learning that there are thousands of medical fields."

Men are vital to health care careers and it's not just a woman's job, some students added.

This program has been recognized by the National Association of Tech Prep Leadership "Best Practices Tech Prep Across the United States" compendium. This recognition was a result of Glosser's promotion of the program titled "Are you man enough to be a nurse?"

Some Kids You Should Know

The Neil Armstrong Program is a self-contained school for students with special needs. This school is part of the Mattoon Community Unit # 2 district. In the early 1980's the Neil Armstrong Program staff established a recycling program to assist the students by enhancing their accuracy and on-task abilities toward their work skills, within a vocational workshop setting.

The work these students perform is processing and recycling aluminum cans, plastic bottles, and corrugated cardboard boxes. All of these products are collected from over 50 businesses and organizations within the Mattoon area, as well as Eastern Illinois University. The Neil Armstrong Program focuses on assisting students towards greater independence through community-based activities. These activities within the community provide students with the opportunity to anticipate costs, make purchases, access facilities, etc. The proceeds generated from the recycling program provide part of the funding for these community-based activities for the students.

The volume of recyclable materials is quite substantial coming from a group of local students. The Neil Armstrong Recycling Program processes approximately one ton of cardboard, and ten thousand pounds of both aluminum cans and plastic bottles annually.

This collaboration with local businesses and organizations is a great way to demonstrate to the community that individuals of any ability can work towards becoming a contributing and productive citizen.

(Click Images for larger pictures)

NWS releases winter weather fact sheet

from the National Weather Service

Cold Temperatures
A total of 109 people have died from exposure to cold temperatures in the state of Illinois since 1997. This is much more than severe thunderstorms and tornadoes (30 deaths), floods (20 deaths) and lightning (12 deaths) during the same period.
The coldest temperature on record in the state occurred on January 5, 1999 when the mercury dipped to -36 °F near Congerville in Woodford County!

Winter Storms
Illinois normally experiences five severe winter storms each year. During the winter of 2007-08 there were 16 severe winter storms, five of which impacted one third or more of the state.

As few as two (in the winters of 1921-1922 and 1980-1981), and as many as 
18 (in the winters of 1977-1978 and 1981-1982) winter storms have occurred.

There has not been a winter in Illinois without a winter storm in the past century.

Average annual snowfall ranges from nearly 39 inches of snow in Rockford 
and Chicago, to as little as 10 to 15 inches in the southern tip of Illinois.

The greatest snowfall on record from a single storm occurred near the town 
of Astoria, in west central Illinois, where 37.8 inches was measured 
February 27-28, 1900.

Ice Storms
Locations from just south of Quincy, through Lincoln, to Watseka experience more freezing rain and ice storms than any other part of the state, on average.
Several major ice storms have impacted Illinois recently. On December 1, 2006 
most of southwest and central Illinois had 1 to 2 inches of ice, which disrupted power to about 500,000 people and caused more than $125 Million in damages.
Another major ice storm impacted southern Illinois from Jan. 26 through the 28 in 2009. Nearly two inches of ice caused more than $50 million in damages and caused week long power outages.

Winter Update?

from the Mattoon School District Transportation Director Mark Nelson

As I write this, the temperature is 32 degrees and it is raining. I may have forgotten some important facts from my eighth grade science class but I do remember that water freezes at 32 degrees.

While we can't do much when it comes to changing the weather, the technology that we can access today when it comes to forecasts and real time conditions are very helpful in our decision on whether to use a snow day or to hold classes.

The go or no-go decision actually begins about 9:00 PM the evening before. As Transportation Director, I am consulting with Superintendent Lilly and advising him of the forecast for the overnight hours and what is expected to be occurring at 6:00 AM the next morning. Mr. Lilly and I plan to be on the road at 4:30 AM the next morning.

We have seen some interesting things at that time of morning; the most interesting is not being able to see anything at all because the snow is blowing so hard. While I typically travel north, Mr. Lilly will drive on Old State Road and south. If the conditions are just too risky, Mr. Lilly will advise me that he will cancel school for the day.

The decision to cancel school becomes more difficult when the current, early morning conditions are acceptable but the forecast paints a very different picture. While closing school early is an option, it is not our first choice.

As many parents know, changing the time our students will return home from school creates difficulties for families, especially those that have children under the age of 12. "Who will meet the children when they get home, who will stay with them until I get off of work?" are examples of the challenges that an unplanned early dismissal brings to many parents.

As you can see, winter weather and the decision to close school contain many factors for school officials to consider. When everything else is considered, safety is at the top of everyone's list.

Please use the district weather-hotline number (238-8891) to access the status of school on any day that looks questionable. Parents may also sign up for an "AlertNow" message that will call you when school is canceled for the day. Parents may find information that will guide you in getting on the "AlertNow" list at www.mattoon.k12.il.us.

MHS recognizes Colgrove and Lowry

Rex Colgrove and Shannon Lowry were selected as Mattoon High School Rotary Students of the Month for October.

Colgrove is the son of Phil and Susie Colgrove of Mattoon. Colgrove is a member of the MHS school improvement team, National Honor Society and the District Curriculum Coordinating Committee. Inspired by his three brothers, who are all in the military, to pursue academics, he plans to attend Eureka College in Eureka. Colgrove plans to become a secondary educator in the subject of English. He was nominated by his English teacher Amanda Bright.

Lowry is the daughter of Kent and Jean Lowry. She plans to attend college at a university and major in business. Lowery has been a member of the MHS basketball and volleyball teams for four years. She is also a member of National Honor Society, prom committee and Teen Court. She was nominated by MHS Calculus teacher, Ryan Ghere.

District offers text messaging to alert for closings, emergencies

To sign up for school closings and emergencies, log onto www.mattoon.k12.il.us and click the Text Messaging Notification sign up on the home page. The text messaging program will enable delivery of messages to thousands of users in minutes. Communication may include school closures, emergency alerts, and general information and standard text message rates will apply. Standard text messaging rates will apply.

Important Dates in Dec. & Jan.

Dec. 22: End of 1st Semester
Dec. 23 - Jan 2: Winter Break

Jan. 03: School Resumes
Jan. 07: Report Cards Home (except MHS)
Jan. 14: Dismiss 2 1/2 hrs early
Jan. 17: Martin Luther King - NO SCHOOL

Sign Up for Emergency Text Notifications and School Closings!

You can sign up to receive Text Alerts from Mattoon CUSD #2 by visiting our webpage.

Standard text messaging rates will apply.

Sign up here...

Green Wave Football Honors

The Mattoon Green Wave football team has received postseason honors for four different players.

Ben Harrington was named to the All-Conference team as an offensive lineman. Treye Williams was named to the All-Conference team as a running back. Michael Heller was named to the All-Conference team at the wide receiver position. Mason Hayes was named to the All-Conference team as an honorable mention defensive back.

"Congratulations to the entire football team because we all know that individual awards earned in such a team sport is a reflection of the whole squad. Good Job," said Coach Troy Johnson.

MHS Homecoming Court Announced

The 2010 Mattoon Homecoming court was recently selected. The following students include:
Jenna Jackley; Aaron Tardy; Shelby Cox; Jamie Packer; Hannah Sinclair; Molly Ravetto; Whitney Beals; A.J. Diepholz; Michael White; Shaunesy Carlen; Reynae Hutchinson; Albert Adkins; Chase Beason;Ethan Brandenburg

Click here to view the 2010 Court
Photo by Gaines Photo

Williams Elementary Honors Our Veterans

On November 12, 2010, Williams Elementary students and staff proudly displayed their creative and meaningful door decorations that were focused on honoring our veterans. During the making of the door decorations, students learned about the dedication and sacrifices that veterans have endured to make sure that we can enjoy being free. On this day, students also wore red, white, and blue to show their support and respect to those that have served our country. Together we can honor our veterans!

Important Phone Numbers

Administrative Service Center:
(217) 238-8850

Hawthorne School:
(217) 238-8800

Mattoon Middle School:
(217) 238-5800

Mattoon High School:
(217) 238-7800

Riddle Elementary School:
(217) 238-3800

Williams Elementary School:
(217) 238-2800

Transportation Office:
(217) 238-3270

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