FRONTENAC — At the USD 249 school board meeting Corey Schultz with Schultz Architects spoke to the board about FEMA grant opportunities.

Superintendent Rick Simoncic said he invited Schultz to present to the board to see if they were interested in the option and opportunity of building a new storm shelter.

“We are needing new classrooms and some can be built into a storm shelter,” he said.

Schultz said it is a good opportunity to go after those monies available to create a safe room.

“We work really hard to make sure we giving you the staff and kids the best opportunity to withstand one of these monsters (tornadoes),” Schultz said to the board.

The district must fill out an application to see if it qualifies for the funding which could cover between 75 to 25 percent — most likely 50 percent — of the cost, Schultz said.

The board agreed to fill out the application and see if the school qualifies and depending on that, they will go from there.

“We may be able to save some money in the next few years,” Simoncic said. “Let’s see if we can get it and we’ll see what we can do from there.”

In other business, Simoncic discussed the ACT score results.

“All four areas are all above this year — they are above state average for the first time in all four areas,” Simoncic said and then praised the teachers for helping the students reach better scores.

During the principal’s report, Frank Layden Elementary Principal Courtney McCartney said she has connected with another principal in Houston through a program called Principals Helping Principals. She said the students will be pen pals and help with a gift card fundraiser for the school in Texas.  

The board also discussed raises during executive session. Upon open session the board had a motion to ratify the teachers agreement with the FDA which gave a 4.5 percent raise for teachers.

There was a motion to raise administrators salaries 4.5 percent and directors also at 4.5 percent.

Classified staff will receive a dollar per hour raise plus $20 on the fringe.

Simoncic said there were a few factors which lead to the district’s raises, one of which was the Gannon lawsuit and the school finance formula provided a little with the school’s small increase in enrollment.

— Stephanie Potter is a staff writer at the Morning Sun. She can be emailed at or follow her on Twitter @PittStephP and Instagram @stephanie_morningsun.