What’s New At Limestone Walters?
Welcome back to another school year at Limestone Walters. We have just
completed our first grading period and are looking forward to the upcoming
Parent/Teacher Conferences this week. As with the start to any school year,
there are always new items or initiatives from the previous year. From a building
standpoint, you will immediately notice that we have a “new look” in the
classrooms. New carpet and tile was installed in all of the classrooms along with
new stair treads this summer. Many of the rooms were also painted. The district
was able to use the new revenue source, the Peoria County Facility Sales Tax, to
help cover this expenditure. I will have more information on the Peoria County
Sales Tax later in this edition. With regards to the curriculum, we have
implemented a new online science curriculum in grades 4 – 8. Our teachers have
updated their 4 quarter plans in math and will have the ELA 4 quarter plans
completed this year. While we have always taught Digital Citizenship to our
students, we are making that topic more of a focus every nine weeks. Technology
changes at a rapid rate and for many of our students, technology has always been
a part of their young lives. However, students do not always understand the
great responsibility that accompanies the use of technology. So, our staff has
made teaching Digital Citizenship a priority this year. Those are just some of the
many new happenings at Limestone Walters for the 2018 – 2019 school year. We
look forward to working with your children this year, and as always, please call if
you have any questions or concerns.
Illinois State Board of Education School Designation – COMMENDABLE
The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) provides the opportunity for districts and
schools to build on existing strengths and to close the academic gaps. ESSA
creates the statewide conditions to support districts, schools, and most
importantly, students who need additional assistance and resources. This year is
the first year that the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) is beginning its
comprehensive implementation of ESSA as required by the federal government.
The summative designation is based upon on a data set consisting of several
factors. A list of the summative designations and the factors that were part of the
summative designations is attached to this edition. I am pleased to report that
Limestone Walters was given a Commendable designation.
You will notice that one of the large factors of a school’s designation is chronic
absenteeism. ISBE is looking at each school’s attendance regardless of whether
the absences are excused or unexcused. Attendance at Limestone Walters is one
area where we can improve. As I have mentioned in previous newsletters, we do
want your children here at school. Obviously, if they are sick we understand that,
but in cases where appointments can be made outside of school, vacations, or
times when students can “tough it out,” we want them here.
As we navigate through the ISBE data, we will always use the information to make
decisions on “What’s best for kids!”
Peoria County Facilities Sales Tax
Since July 1, 2017, Limestone Walters has been one of 18 school districts in Peoria
County that have been recipients of the county-wide sales tax. This new revenue
stream can only be used for facilities. School districts have three options in which
to use the funds: 1) Pay as you go for projects, 2) Save over time and then use the
funds to pay for projects, or 3) Issue bonds for larger projects and then use the
funds to cover the bond payment. In Limestone Walters’ particular case this
summer, we saved the funds for the first year to help cover the cost of the new
carpet and tile. The Board of Education also lowered the tax levy in the Building
Fund since this new revenue can be used for the upkeep of facilities. The sales tax
revenue is distributed to each district based upon their district’s enrollment. That
is, the more students you have, the more funds you receive. Listed below is the
allocation per month that Limestone Walters has received since July 1, 2017. You
will notice that increases and decreases generally follow a spending pattern.
Back-to- school and holiday time is usually higher distribution months while
winter months tend to be less. Regardless, folks that shop locally in Peoria
County do help schools with building projects that they might not have been able
to do previously. Thank you for your support of Limestone Walters and the Peoria
County Facility Sales Tax. The Board of Education is currently prioritizing future
projects based upon need.
If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me at any time.
You may reach me by phone at 697-3035 or by email at
Remember that the best gift you can give your son or daughter is your time.
Tim Dotson, Superintendent