WELCOME TO 2016 - 2017! Welcome back to the beginning of another school year! We thank you for choosing Limestone Walters, and our staff is extremely grateful and honored for the trust you place in us working with your children each and every day. Please contact us throughout the year if you have any questions or concerns. As we begin the 2016 – 2017, I want to highlight some items for you. I would also encourage you to view the Parent Information Night power point on our website, www.limestonewalters.com. WHAT’S NEW AT LIMESTONE WALTERS FOR 2016 – 2017?
Chrome books & IPads – We have definitely made the move to a one-to-one school with every student having access to at least one electronic device. We have a classroom set of IPad for grades K – 3, grade 4 will have a classroom set of chrome books, and grades 5 – 8 will have a set of chrome books that each student will be allowed to take home. We still intend to have a “blending” of instruction with textbooks and technology. The use of this technology allows the teachers to push out information to students in new and exciting ways.
My Math – One of those new ways is our new online math curriculum, My Math, for grades K – 8. Students will have a workbook to utilize, but parents, along with their child, will be able to access the curriculum online that will have additional teaching videos, vocabulary words, and worksheets.
Increased Instructional Day – Beginning this year, our school day will be extended by 20 minutes with a new regular dismissal time of 2:45 PM. That additional time will be used to provide individualized instruction to students based upon their specific test data. Instruction will be tailored to meet the student’s academic needs. Throughout the year, students will be benchmarked to document their growth and determine what additional supports they may need. We are excited about the endless possibilities this increased instruction time will mean for our students.
BUILDING UPDATES The final phase of our parking lot upgrade was completed this summer. No longer should we have to deal with standing water in the parking lot. Since the completion of the parking lot, we have had several heavy rains, and the drainage has been great. At Limestone Walters, building needs have always been “phased in projects” as funds become available. Building needs are prioritized and then the funds necessary to complete these projects are either saved over time or gathered through the use of grants. We currently have no outstanding bonds and no debt. One project that is being considered on the horizon is air conditioning, and the Building Committee is aware of that desire. Potential air conditioning options are being researched, but with that need, ways to pay for that project are also being discussed. In other words, is there a revenue stream to pay for that project? One way that an air conditioning project can be moved forward is through the Peoria County Facility Sales Tax.
PEORIA COUNTY FACILITY SALES TAX (CFST) On the November 8, 2016 general election ballot, there will be a referendum for voters in Peoria County to consider if a ½% sales tax can be collected for school facilities. If the sales tax is approved by the voters of Peoria County, Limestone Walters would receive approximately $50,000 annually to be used strictly for facilities. If the sales tax referendum were to pass, how would that impact Limestone Walters?
If the sales tax referendum were to pass, our district would implement air conditioning immediately because the sales tax would be a revenue stream to pay for that project. Our district would also be able to lower the property tax rate. The Board would be able to lower the property tax levy in certain funds because the sales tax would then provide that revenue for the district. The sales tax is funded by everyone that passes through Peoria County, not just property tax owners. That is, people that shop or visit Peoria County will be providing the revenue through the sales tax. Looking forward to a wonderful school year! Remember, the greatest gift you can give your children is your time. Sincerely, Tim Dotson, Superintendent