Regional Superintendent of Schools Lorie LeQuatte updated the Massac County Commission at its Nov. 16 meeting.

The Regional Office of Education #21 is one of six in the state to be identified as a lead hub. That designation, she said, has opened the ROE to a number of grant opportunities. A strategic planning consultant has been hired to identify what the district needs and the best grants to pursue.

“We’ve hired 17 people since January to cover all of these grants,” LeQuatte said. “It’s a great opportunity to be a lead hub, but because it’s been so dry for so long, having such a resource and money flowing from our office out to our districts, we’re having a hard time saying no. We want to deliver what’s the best impact for our stake holders.”

LeQuatte said the ROE is looking over data from last five years to identity what’s needed, its mission and its vision. With funding to begin these services, she noted the ROE is making sure they are impactful and sustainable over the long term.

LeQuatte said the ROE has revamped its truancy arm.

“Our focus now is to identify what the barriers are to getting kids to school, providing the supports, working with the school, parent education,” she said. “We’re focusing on the elementary age before they get to junior high and high school. That’s going well.”

The ROE has also hired a social worker to help with wrap-around services in the various districts and a professional development coordinator to work with the districts in honing in on education areas they need to focus on. ROE is also implementing networking opportunities for the ROE’s principals, curriculum coordinators and social workers.

In other business, the commissioners:

• In three separate motions, approved the yearly resolutions for the County Highway Department and its funding. The first motion, the commission approved the county maintenance resolution under the Illinois Highway Code — $131,460 for 2022. The second transferred $67,500 in county motor fuel tax funds to the county unit road district motor fuel tax fund for the township roads. The final resolution appropriated the funds to pay for the county engineer’s salary and expenses, a total of $123,808.

• Approved, at the request of Sheriff Chad Kaylor, an amendment to the 2021 budget, transferring $1,000 from the elevator maintenance fund to the maintenance supplies fund.

• And, met with David Andreas and Jeremy Billington of Mutual Medical to discuss the county’s medical insurance renewal for 2022.

The commissioners will have a budget meeting at 12:30 p.m. today, Thursday, Nov. 18.

The next regular meeting will be at 8:45 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 30.

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