Central District 51 Newsletter

Fall 2021

A Message from the Superintendent

Central 51 Families,

We are 8 weeks into the school year and our students and teachers continue to make the best out of a challenging endeavor. While we are not completely back to normal, we are as close as we can get. Students continue to have full days of learning, switching for classes and participating in extracurriculars. Life in our schools continues to be different from last year, but the goal of creating the best possible learning environment that we can still remains our focus.

Over 80% of our teachers and staff are fully vaccinated. Central 51 will comply with Governor Pritzer’s Executive Order and provide weekly screening for COVID-19 for those teachers staff that are not vaccinated. We have worked with the Tazewell County Health Department to secure around 6 weeks of screening supplies. At this time, the district is not planning to test students.

We cannot thank our parents and students enough for your continued support and flexibility as our district navigates the pandemic. Updates will continue to be provided each Friday on our website which summarize the number of students and staff who are in quarantine, isolation and those that have tested positive with COVID-19 in our district.

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.

Dale Heidbreder, Superintendent

Budget Highlights

Central School District 51 has an annual budget of around $12.7 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 $13,606,313 and expenses are projected at $13,873,762. The District is utilizing dollars in reserve to cover the additional $267,449 needed this fiscal year.

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

Revenues by Source - FY2022

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Expenditures by Objects - FY2022

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2021-2022 Enrollment

Each year the administration and Board of Education analyze our 6th day total enrollment for Kindergarten through 8th grade. Central School District 51 saw an increase in enrollment from 1,346 students last year (2020-2021) to 1,351 for this school year (2021-2022).

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October is National Principals Month

The Central 51 Board of Education will pass a resolution recognizing the work of our principals and assistant principals at the Board meeting on Thursday, October 14, 2021. The Illinois Principals Association has declared the month of October 2021 as “National Principals Month” in coordination with the efforts of the National Association of Elementary School Principals, the American Federation of School Administrators, and the National Association of Secondary School Principals, working with the U.S. Congress, to designate National Principals Month

Principal Appreciation Day provides learning communities an opportunity to publicly recognize the work, commitment and importance of principals, assistant principals, and deans throughout the state. Lifetouch and the IPA invite all teachers, students, parents, and community members to perform some act of appreciation on Friday, October 29th to acknowledge the leadership of building administrators in Illinois’ public and private schools.

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. They are entrusted with the education and development of young people, the most valuable resource. We appreciate all that our principals and assistant principals do every day for our students, teachers and staff.

Transportation Update

  • You may have noticed that the district leased 10 new buses this year. The district leases buses on a five-year rotation. The new buses have LED lighting and automatic door opening. The buses continue to utilize cameras inside and outside of the buses.

  • The Board of Education approved the purchase of another bus at the September 9th Board Meeting. This additional bus will be mainly used to transport students to and from after school extracurricular activities. It will also free up an additional bus to be used to create another route to help ease overcrowding on the buses. Ridership for this year is up about 100 students from last school year.

  • We continue to turn in bus stop arm violations to the Washington Police Department and Tazewell County Sheriff's Office. It is illegal for a driver to pass a school bus with its lights and stop arm engaged while it is stopped to pick up or discharge passengers. It doesn’t matter if it’s in a roadway or parking lot, if you’re caught passing a stopped school bus with its lights on and arm engaged, expect to be ticketed. The majority of children injured or killed in pupil transportation are injured outside of the bus. Most are struck by motorists who fail to stop for the flashing red lights and extended stop arm.

  • What is a stop arm violation? This applies to drivers heading in both directions. Even if the bus is headed in the opposite direction, you must stop so that occupants can discharge and cross the street, or for others to safely cross the street and board the bus if necessary. The only exception here is if it is a 4-lane road (at least two lanes traveling in the opposite direction). In this instance, the vehicles traveling in either lane heading in the same direction as the bus must stop for a bus with its stop arm engaged, but drivers headed in the opposite direction on a 4-lane road can continue to proceed past the bus with caution. A law took effect on January 1, 2020 that doubles the fine for drivers who pass a stopped school bus with its stop arm out. First-time offenders now face a fine of $300, as opposed to $150. Repeat offenders will face a $1,000 fine, as opposed to $500 for a second or subsequent offense. Driving privilege or vehicle registration suspension could also occur.

Special Education Update

District 51’s special education services continue to evolve and improve as they aim to meet the ever-changing academic and social-emotional needs of the special education student population. Some of these changes include additions to special education curriculum and assistive technology applications, changes in teaching assignments, and the addition of 3 new positions that include a Director of Special Education, School Psychologist, and School Social Worker. Collectively, these changes were made to provide more support to students with disabilities and to improve the overall delivery of special education and related services in the district.

Chris King, Special Education Director

Substitutes Needed

We would like to extend a special thank you to our long term substitutes, Holly Ammerman, Laura Hoffman, Eymarde Lawler, Tammy Miller, Stephanie Redlingshafer and Lindsey Jenkins, who have covered classrooms since the beginning of the school year. We appreciate your help this year!

Substitute teachers are needed each day to cover for teachers or paraprofessionals that are away from the classroom due to illness, professional development, meetings, etc.

Becoming a substitute teacher can offer flexibility to those who cannot commit to a full-time position. Central Dist. 51 currently pays $120 per day for substitute teachers and $110 per day for substitute paraprofessionals. This is a great way to supplement your income while maintaining a flexible schedule.

If you are interested in becoming a substitute teacher or aide at Central but do not currently hold a Professional Educators License or Substitute License, there are several options for obtaining a license:

  • SUB - A traditional substitute license can be obtained by individuals with a bachelor’s degree.

  • ELS(PARA) or STS - Two other options are available to those with an associate’s degree or 60 college credit hours. Both options include some restrictions. The first option is to apply for a ELS (Para) license. This license will only allow you to sub for paraprofessionals/aides. The second option is to obtain a Short-Term Sub (STS) license. The STS license is non-renewable.

  • PEL - Most certified teachers receive a Professional Educators License (PEL). Individuals with a valid PEL can sub without obtaining an additional license as long as the license is registered in Central’s region.

To apply for a substitute, short term substitute, or PARA license:

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


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 and choose “Apply for a Sub License” (or short-term sub 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.

In addition to obtaining the appropriate licensure, substitute teachers are required to present a fingerprint based criminal background check and an employment physical. The fingerprint based background check can be completed at the Regional Office of Education in Pekin, IL. Appointments can be made by calling the ROE at 309-477-2290.

For more information on obtaining a substitute teaching license, please go to the Regional Office of Education’s website at: https://www.roe53.net/substitutes

Once you obtain your license, fingerprint based background check and employment physical, you can complete an application for Central District 51 at: https://www.applitrack.com/central51/onlineapp/JobPostings/view.asp?FromAdmin=true&AppliTrackJobId=239

Please contact Heather Ford at (309) 444-3943 ext. 2405 or hford@central51.net with any questions.

Curriculum Update

Elementary and Secondary Emergency Relief Survey-

District 51 is applying to receive Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Funds (ESSER) to address learning recovery and the impact of COVID-19. These funds are designated for one-time or short-term expenditures to address the ongoing impact of the pandemic.

District 51 is seeking feedback from all district and community stakeholders to help determine how the district should best utilize these resources to address unfinished learning, ongoing COVID-19 recovery, and Federal Program grant funds.

Please take time to let us know your opinion by completing the brief survey below by Friday, October 22nd. Thank you for your feedback!


K-5 Pathblazer-

Pathblazer is a personalized learning program that provides supplemental online instruction with fun, motivating content that builds foundational skills in English Language Arts and math for grades K-5. Existing student data from Renaissance Star assessments identifies where students are struggling and then each student has a learning path created specifically for them.

Please use the link in the student links section of the website to have your child log-in at home.

Student Links

Trent Halpin, Curriculum Director

New Staff at Central

We welcome our new teachers and staff members for the 2021-2022 school year!
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Row 1, left to right:

Amanda Ware, CIS Para-Educator

Rita Mourisse, Speech Language Pathologist

Amy Jacobs, CPS Para-Educator

Lindsey Jenkins, CPS Para-Educator

Rebecca Plummer, Educational Interpreter

Row 2:

Jennifer Brown, CPS Nurse

Amanda Fluegel, 3rd grade

Alayna Miller, School Psychologist

Chelsey Sunderland, Kindergarten

Samantha Bell, Para-Educator

Row 3:

Chris King, Special Education Director

Lydia Miller, CIS Para-Educator

Sarah Cox, 7-8 Life Skills

Kimberly Martin, CIS Assistant Principal

Mark Copley, Bus Driver

Row 4:

Chanthala Renshaw, CPS Cafe

Holly Snyder, 4th grade

Wesley Lane, 6th grade Social Studies

Tracey Miller, 4-6 Special Education

Elizabeth Hahn, CIS Math Interventionist

Central School District 51

Encourage Excellence Every Day with Compassion, Commitment and Community