Mercer County Board of education members learned more about the school's academic coaching program from teacher Ryan Koresko on Wednesday night, Feb. 20, 2019.

ALEDO — Mercer County Board of education members learned more about the school’s academic coaching program from teacher Ryan Koresko on Wednesday night, Feb. 20, 2019. Two hires for the program — Koresko and Katie Dengler — have been working with teachers and students using the “Go Math” program and other technology to track progress and strengthen teaching techniques.

“Technology has been a big, big part in our district,” Koresko said. “There are lots of online components available to both teachers and students.”

This is the second year for teacher mentoring in first through sixth grade and the first year for junior high teachers.

“Go Math” technology is being used in the classroom that gives teachers and students “an opportunity to use technology that gives feedback,” according to Koresko.

The board learned that the district’s annual audit has been completed, with $14,390,464 shown as the total expenses for 2017-2018. The total fund balance as of June 30, 2018, was around $10.3 million, according to district superintendent Scott Petrie. He said the district’s financial health, according to the audit, was rated 3.55 on a 4.0 scale, which was down from the previous year’s audit.

According to board president Julie Wagner, the decline was due to the district receiving loans in 2017 that weren’t expended until 2018.

Petrie said the 3.55 rating showed the district still was in good shape financially. “The end of the year fund balance has continued to grow the past few years,” said Petrie. The board approved the audit.

The board agreed to transportation changes including a bus lease program from Midwest Bus Sales, Princeton. The board approved a two-year lease program for six 72-passenger buses for $171,754. The district also will sell four buses for $6,000.

Petrie said the district had received only one transportation payment so far this year and anticipates receiving only one more before the fiscal year ends. The board directed the superintendent to work out some new bus routes this spring in anticipation of many of the gravel roads being impassible.

The board also approved the low bid of three received from R.A. Oldeen Inc., Kewanee, for $76,434 for roof work.

In other business, the board approved resignations from junior varsity volleyball coach Amy Degelman and junior varsity girls’ basketball coach Ty Goben.

Fall coaches approved included: girls golf, Aaron Heartt; boys golf, Darrin Clawson; head high school football, Andrew Hofer; junior varsity football, Eric Russell; and football assistants, Fred Lucas, Dustin Murray, Jason Kenney and Monte Smith.

The board also approved hiring high school varsity cross country coach Pete Nelson and high school varsity volleyball coach Erica Biddle.  Also volunteer employee Jodi Powell (Mercer County Health Department) was approved.

In closed session the board discussed the 2018-2019 school calendar changes that were needed due to the amount of snow days used and agreed to change all future School Improvement Plan days (shortened school days) into full attendance days, changed April 23 into a full student attendance day (removing it from spring break) and made May 30 the last student attendance day and May 31 the last teacher attendance day.