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Property tax relief grant, summer school, and new Coolidge principal discussed at District 158 meeting

LANSING, Ill. (February 27, 2024) – Lansing School District 158 held its February Board meeting on Wednesday, February 21. The board discussed summer school updates, the benefits of the recent property tax relief grant, and appointed a new principal at Coolidge Elementary School.

The evening began with a pre-recorded video of students from the district leading the pledge of allegiance. According to Board President Mary Kelly, the students were chosen for their perfect attendance record.

Property tax relief grant

District 158 is among 32 districts to receive state money to reduce local property taxes and replace that revenue with state funds.

The district has applied for and received the Property Tax Relief Grant every year since 2018. The grant has made it possible for the district to abate over $15.6 million in property taxes that would normally be paid by Lansing residents.

“We have examined local property tax bills, and some Lansing residents are only seeing increases around $20 from last year,” said Dr. Nathan Schilling, Superintendent of Lansing School District 158. “I know they are thankful for that.”

Summer School update

District 158’s summer school program will be held at Oak Glen Elementary instead of Coolidge Elementary for rising grades K-5 while rising grades 5th through 8th will continue taking classes at Memorial Junior High School.

The district will offer two school buses for students attending Oak Glen and four buses for the students at Memorial. There will also be one crossing guard stationed at each school.

Summer school is expected to run from June 17 – July 18.

New Principal at Coolidge Elementary School

During closed session, the board appointed a new principal for Calvin Coolidge Elementary School. Kristin B. Foster will replace retiring principal Pam Hodgson for the 2024-2025 school year.

Kristin B. Foster was appointed the new principal at Coolidge Elementary at Lansing School District 158’s  February Board meeting. (Photo provided)

Foster currently holds the position of Associate Principal for Operations and Activities at Memorial Junior High School. She worked at the Park Forest School District 163 before joining District 158 two years ago.

“Throughout her career, Mrs. Foster has established herself as a caring, positive, and student-centered leader with exceptional communication and organizational skills,” said Dr. Schilling. “She is an innovative, experienced, and forward-thinking educator, drawing from a diverse background in the fine arts, technology, student discipline, and the principalship, and we are confident that she will lead Coolidge successfully into the 2024-2025 school year and beyond.”

Other agenda items:

  • Angelina Bravo was appointed as District Social Worker for the 2024-2025 school year.
  • Family and Medical leave was approved for Memorial Junior High School Character Education Teacher Valerie Kooy effective February 14, 2024 for 60 days followed by intermittent leave for an additional four months.
  • Twenty-one Memorial Junior High students who participated in the Science Fair will be heading to regionals at North Central College on March 16.
  • McDonald’s on Torrence Avenue in Lansing has proposed a partnership with District 158 after two successful McTeacher nights. The restaurant would like to donate dessert vouchers to students who have perfect attendance.

More information about District 158 is available at Meetings are typically held on the third Wednesday of the month.

Kinise Jordan
Kinise Jordan
Kinise Jordan brings local experience and a long list of journalism skills to her work with The Lansing Journal. She understands the need for reliable, factual information in equipping people to build community. An Audio News internship with WBEZ honed her interviewing skills and her sense of timing and deadlines. A native of Calumet City, Kinise is familiar with the interplay of local government, local schools, and local businesses.