Start of the Year

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

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