Central District 51 Newsletter

FALL 2022


Central 51 Families,

It has been an energizing start to the 2022-2023 school year. Our students, teachers and staff are off to a great start. Each year our building comes to life when the students arrive and this year is no exception. It is wonderful to see our students engaging in the many activities that are offered in our district. The district has been committed to providing a variety of activities from athletics to Art Club to Knitting Club to The Central Scoop (Central Newspaper) to Youth Coding League. We continue to survey students and add additional activities each school year. I encourage our students to get involved and try something new this year.

I wanted to remind parents that this year we will not be utilizing E-Learning Days in place of Emergency Days (snow days). Each year school districts in Illinois build 5 Emergency Days into the school calendar. Traditionally, these days are added to the end of the calendar so the last day of school may fluctuate based on the number of days that we take this year. If we do not use any Emergency Days, our last day for student attendance will be Thursday, May 25, 2023. If we use all 5 Emergency Days the last day for student attendance will be Friday, June 2, 2023.

Student safety is always our first consideration when it comes to canceling school or events. Typically, three physical factors impact the decision to close schools. Road conditions, temperature, and visibility are all considered when determining whether or not conditions are safe enough to have school.

When these conditions are impacted, we will consult with a number of different people: Township Road Commissioners, Area Superintendents, and our Transportation Directors. There is no single rule of thumb for accumulation amounts and much of the decision depends on the presence of blowing and/or drifting snow especially on country roads.

Every effort will be made to make a decision and inform families as quickly as possible, but a decision to cancel school and/or events will not be made solely on a forecast. We will always try to have a call go by 6:00 am for a school closure due to weather. The automated system can take about 20 minutes to complete all calls depending on the number of schools closing at the same time. We will put information out on our twitter, Facebook, and our website immediately for instant notification.

One of the goals of the administration at Central is to ensure we are communicating with our parents and keeping them up to date on district news. The district office will provide a glimpse of what is happening district-wide a few times throughout the year in our district newsletter. We encourage you to also follow us on our social media sites to get frequent updates on the awesome things that are happening at Central.





If you have questions regarding Central School District 51 please don’t hesitate to contact me at (309) 444-3943 or at dheidbreder@central51.net.


Many of you are aware that the playground area has needed to be replaced for quite some time. I believe it has been discussed for over a decade and the Central District 51 PTO has been fundraising for many years to provide the district with assistance with this project. We greatly appreciate all the effort from PTO and our community to help with the funding of this large purchase.

After many years of discussion, the Central School District 51 Board of Education approved at their Regularly Scheduled Board Meeting on October 13, 2022 to move forward with the purchase of a new playground and basketball areas for CPS and CIS. The total approved at this time for the project is $483,679.12. There are other aspects of the project that are still in the works based on feedback from our students. Picnic table areas for CPS and CIS, a pavilion at CIS, and painting of lines on the CPS and CIS blacktops for activtiies are also being planned. The reaction of the students that provided feedback during a focus group with our architect from BLDD, Damien Schlitt, was exciting to witness.

The construction of the new playground areas could begin as early as this spring. More information will be shared in the future. You can view the presentation that was provided to the Board of Education in September. Playground Plans


Central School District 51 has an annual budget of around $15 million.

The Board of Education’s main priority has been focused on our students and academics. Despite these very difficult times, the District has maintained fiscal responsibility without elimination of student programs or student opportunities. The Board has been adding and expanding programs and extracurriculars (S.T.E.M., Art, Spanish, Golf, Central Scoop).

The District continues to operate soundly despite the past reductions by the State of Illinois to Mandated Categorical Grants, Evidence-Based Funding/General State Aid(GSA), and Transportation revenues.

The primary objective of the Central 51 budget is to provide the greatest educational opportunities for our students within a balanced budget.

Central School District 51 anticipates revenues at $15,590,681 and expenses are projected at $14,976,881.

Central School District 51 received the highest rating of Financial Recognition from Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) since 2016.

Revenues by Source FY2023

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Expenditures by Objects

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Student Enrollment

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Each year the administration and Board of Education analyze our 6th day total enrollment Kindergarten through 8th grade. Central School District 51 saw a decrease in enrollment from 1,351 students last year (2021-2022) to 1,265 for this school year (2022-2023).


We welcome our new teachers and staff members for the 2022 - 2023 school year!
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The Illinois Principals Association (IPA) has declared the month of October as “National Principals Month” and encourages all communities in Illinois to celebrate Principal Appreciation Week October 16-22, 2022, and Principal Appreciation Day on Friday, October 21, 2022.

“This year, we celebrate our state’s school leaders for what they are – Leaders of Hope,” said Dr. Jason Leahy, IPA Executive Director. “These courageous individuals lead their learning organizations with optimism, humility, vision, perseverance, and a deep commitment to do what is best for their students. Both research and common sense tell us how critical these servants are to positively influence young people, teachers, and communities. For this, they deserve our respect and gratitude.”

Principals and assistant principals are educational visionaries, instructional leaders, assessment experts, disciplinarians, community builders, public relations experts, budget analysts, facility managers, special programs administrators, and guardians of various legal, contractual, and policy mandates and initiatives. Not only are they making a difference, they are the difference. We appreciate all you do everyday to help make us better. #thankaprinicpal #ourprincipalsrock

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Gala Grant Winners

The Trojan Gala is a collaborative effort with the Washington Community Foundation, a community foundation that is designed to support projects that will enhance the recreational, civic, educational, and cultural activities in our community. The net proceeds generated by the gala have benefited Central School District through the Central School District 51 Fund.

These are the seven Grants awarded by the Gala committee during the first semester.

  • Enhanced video and podcast productions-using photo boxes and sound board/podcasting equipment Mrs. Kennedy (5th and 6th grade)

  • Good cemetarian- researching veteran and cleaning headstone Mr. Speiden (7th grade)

  • As above, so below- stomp rocket launcher Mr. Deatherage (3rd and 4th grade)

  • QBall- throwable microphone wrapped in durable foam Mrs. Armstrong (5th grade)

  • Working toward becoming lifelong learners-Read Naturally Live fluency practice Mrs. Perko (4th-8th grade)

  • Making CPS a Calm Place for All-sensory room additions for students Mrs. Cox (Kdg-3rd grade)

Curriculum Review

  • During the 22-23 school year, art teachers are revising the art curriculum document to incorporate additional art mediums used in instruction for pre-K- 8.

  • K-8 P.E. teachers are updating the list of materials used with the P.E. curriculum to incorporate more variety for students to use. Meetings with both groups of teachers will continue throughout the year.

Induction Academy

Prior to the start of the school year, the district provided an Induction Academy for paraprofessionals and certified staff members. The purpose of these days is to provide necessary support and resources for those who are new to Central. On August 4th both groups met with district leaders and building leaders. On August 5th certified staff along with mentors met in each of their buildings.

LEA American Rescue Plan (ARP-ESSER III)-

  • The American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief fund provides states and school districts help to safely reopen and sustain the safe operation of schools and address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the nation’s students.

  • An additional school counselor was hired with these funds to support the social emotional needs of students and staff. Now each school has a full-time social worker and school counselor. A summary of all the ESSER funds from 2019-2024 may be found at the website link below.


We are excited about the start to our tuition-based, blended early childhood classroom setting, which is a first in Central Primary School’s history! Early Childhood Education Teachers, Mrs. Angela Bauer and Ms. Kaitlyn Masching, are able to offer a more traditional Pre-K, play based experience that is designed to serve students who have been identified through our screening process as benefiting from an early childhood program to prepare them for kindergarten. Collectively their classrooms allow for more flexibility in providing quality pre-academic, functional, and social emotional instruction for all of our early childhood students.

Another first for Central Primary School is our new Autism classroom. The students are being provided with a solid evidence-based curriculum that focuses on research based strategies that are deemed most effective for working with students with Autism. Mrs. Cox, Autism Teacher, is implementing the STAR Autism Support curricula that focuses on the most effective research-based teaching strategies for working with students with Autism. These curricula align to student objectives and effective student progress monitoring that translates into data informed decision making.

At Central Intermediate School, we have a lot of new, but experienced special education teachers that are making a difference in the lives of our special education students. Collectively, these teachers are providing special education instruction and support at very high levels and students are being very successful as a result.


Central 51 is always seeking substitutes to step in when our teachers and staff cannot be here. If you are interested in becoming a substitute, please apply using the links on our employment page.

Pay Rates:

Substitute Teachers (Requires Substitute, Short-Term Substitute or Professional Educator License): $120/day

Substitute Aides/Paraprofessionals (Requires ELS (PARA), Substitute, Short-Term Substitute or Professional Educator License): $110/day

Substitute Bus Drivers - Regular Routes (Requires ability to obtain an Illinois Commercial Driver’s License with appropriate endorsements as well as school bus driver certificate): $25/hour

Substitute Bus Drivers - Extracurricular Routes (Requires ability to obtain an Illinois Commercial Driver’s License with appropriate endorsements as well as school bus driver certificate): $20/hour

Cafeteria Subs: $13/hour

Substitute Teacher or Aide:

If you are interested in becoming a substitute teacher or aide at Central but do not currently hold a license, you can obtain a Substitute License if you have a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution. If you have an associate’s degree or 60 college credit hours from a regionally accredited institution, you would need to apply for a short-term substitute license or the paraprofessional license.

To apply for a license:

1. Create an account in the Educator Licensure Information System (ELIS):

  • Go to www.isbe.net
  • At the top where it says "System Quick Links", click on the dropdown arrow and choose "Educator Licensure Information System".
  • In the box labeled "Educator Access", click where it says "Login to your ELIS account".
  • Then click "Sign Up Now" on the left hand side.
  • Enter the information it asks for and then click continue. The login name you enter will need to be somewhat unique, or it will reject it. Click "Continue" again, and you should be in your account.

2. Bring in or mail an official transcript (in the original unopened envelope) to the Regional Office of Education (ROE #53) at 414 Court Street, Suite 100, Pekin, IL 61554. To be considered official, transcripts must be submitted in the sealed envelope from the college or university or be sent directly by the institution. Transcripts received that are not in a sealed envelope from the university or sent directly from the university will be considered unofficial and cannot be used for evaluation purposes.

3. Once you have signed up for an account, and the ROE has your transcript, you may log in to ELIS and apply for the appropriate license.

4. Once the license is granted, it will say 'Issued' in your account. You must then register your license for Region 53 by logging into your ELIS account and clicking 'Registration' in the Action Center.

5. To substitute as a freelance sub throughout our Mason/Tazewell/Woodford region, you must possess the “Substitute Authorization” letter from the Regional Office of Education. You get this letter by being fingerprinted in the ROE 53 office. Fingerprinting costs $57.00. You can call and schedule an appointment in advance at (309) 477-2290 or schedule your appointment online.

6. Once the fingerprint results are received at the ROE, a substitute authorization form and the background check results will be mailed to the applicant. The applicant must provide the background check results to each school district so they can make a copy.

7. The last step would be obtaining a physical or statement of good health issued from a physician. The physical must be from within 90 days of employment.

Once these steps are complete, please complete the online application.

The district will need the following:

  • The Substitute Authorization letter from the ROE along with the background check results
  • A copy of the employment physical

Substitute Bus Driver:

Subs are needed to cover for drivers that are out ill or on personal leave.

Substitute driving for a regular route involves running a morning and/or afternoon shift transporting students to and from school. Extra-curricular routes entail transporting students to and from club events, sporting events, field trips, etc.

If you already have a bus driver’s license, please complete an online application. For information on how to obtain a license, please contact our transportation director, Cody Young, at cyoung@central51.net for more information on paid training opportunities.

Substitute in the Cafeteria:

Being a substitute in the cafeteria will involve covering for a staff member that is out ill or on personal leave. Duties typically include washing tables between lunch periods, helping younger students open lunch items and cleaning up after all students have had lunch. If you are interested in filling in for this position as needed, please complete an application.

If you have questions regarding the Central application process, please contact Heather Ford in the District Office at hford@central51.net or (309) 444-3943 ext. 2405.