From the Desk of Mr. Felesena...

Winter Weather & E-Learning Days

December 20, 2019

Winter has set in and the Holiday Season is upon us.  On behalf of Erie CUSD1, I would like to wish you and your families a very blessed Christmas, a hopeful New Year, and a very safe winter.


As the Polar Vortex sets in, winter weather is right around the corner.  We will once again be monitoring our road conditions very carefully on school days and we will do everything we can to have students in attendance.  In the event of hazardous weather, we will be posting our closure and late-start announcements via Skylert and Facebook.  Other avenues of communication include local radio stations and local television channels (KWQC-TV, WQAD-TV, KLJB-TV). 


New this year will be the implementation of E-Learning Days in place of snow days.  On December 16th, 2019, the Erie School Board approved the utilization of a maximum of three (3) E-Learning Days that can be used in place of snow days during the 2019-2020 school year.  An E-Learning Day will include assigned student work that can be completed at home.  Our teachers will be available electronically for questions and assistance.  Each school has a slightly different process for E-Learning Days and that information will be disseminated to parents and students on January 7th, 2020.  This is a pilot program and we ask for your patience as we roll it out and work through some very unique challenges.  Philosophically, we do not believe that an E-Learning Day replaces the educational experience that a student receives with a face-to-face teacher, but it does promote continuity in the learning process.  We will only utilize a maximum of three (3) E-Learning Days this year and any emergency days beyond those three will be made up in the normal fashion (at the end of the school year).


As always, please contact us at 309.659.2239 if you have any thoughts or questions.

News Story here

Strategic Goals for 2019-2020

September 27, 2019

With another busy and successful school year behind us, we look forward to our challenges and accomplishments during the current and future school years.  The District leadership worked diligently during the spring of 2019 to establish SMART strategic goals for the District moving forward.  These goals are:


Community Relations

1. ECUSD1 will improve communication and cooperation with the community-at-large by being active listeners, soliciting more community feedback, working with the Village of Erie, sponsoring the efforts of the Revitalize Erie group, and sustaining a school system that reflects community values and priorities.  This will be accomplished by seeking community input for all future building projects, by coordinating infrastructure improvements with the Village of Erie, and by supporting Revitalize Erie efforts.


2. ECUSD1 will work with the Village of Erie to establish a shared school resource officer position within the community.  This position will primarily serve the needs of the District during the day on school days and will primarily serve the needs of the community on non-school days.  The intergovernmental agreement and job description will be approved by June 30, 2019 and the estimated position start date will be August 1, 2019.


Curriculum & Instruction

3. ECUSD1 will establish and implement innovative STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math) facilities and curriculum for all students in grades PK-12.  STEM facilities will be completed by December 31, 2019, STEM curriculum enhancements will be recommended by April 1, 2020, and STEM curriculum enhancements will be fully implemented by August 15, 2020.


4. ECUSD1 will improve the quality of school-sponsored co-curricular programs, including but not limited to, all fine arts programs, all academic teams, all school clubs, all school service organizations, and all school athletics by promoting system-wide processes and procedures (i.e. meetings, job descriptions, evaluations, off-season programs, etc.) for building and sustaining consistent programs throughout the District.  This will be accomplished by ensuring that all shareholders within each specific program work cooperatively towards one, common goal of excellence.  Every individual employee within a respective program will be held accountable for the success of the entire District program.  Evidence of improvement should be measurable by June 30, 2020.


Social-Emotional and Safety Needs

5. ECUSD1 will improve the social-emotional learning environment for students in grades PK-12 by implementing the Franklin Covey Leader in Me® program and character education framework.  The staff development component will be initiated during the 2019-2020 school year and the student component will be initiated during the 2020-2021 school year.


6. ECUSD1 will improve the safety and security of students by establishing more secured entrances in current and future buildings and by updating and managing District crisis plans and maps more efficiently.  The physical plant improvements will be completed by August 10, 2019.  The crisis plan and maps will be updated and managed via NaviGate Prepared® by August 10, 2019.



7. ECUSD1 will address the aging physical plant needs of the elementary school and the annex building by finalizing a plan for Phase III of the school construction project.  A formal plan of action will be approved by October 1, 2019 with a projected completion date of July 31, 2021.  Increased community involvement will be initiated and expected during this process.


A few of these strategic goals (#2 & #6) are approaching 100% completion, others (#3 & #5) are well on their way, and the rest (#1, #4,  & #7) will be a continuous work in progress.  We are excited to have a realistic roadmap to measure the success of our District.


As always, if you would like to discuss our District goals and/or anything else, please call me at 309.659.2239 or email me at

ECUSD #1 Identified As Some Of The Best In Illinois

November 01, 2018

Recently, Erie CUSD1 schools were identified as some of the best in Illinois. The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) recently released designations for every school in the State of Illinois. The designations provide a public benchmark of each school’s progress toward the goal of preparing all students for success in college and career.

Erie Elementary School (Grades PK-4) has a final designation of EXEMPLARY, Erie Middle School (Grades 5-8) has a final designation of EXEMPLARY, and Erie High School (Grades 9-12) has a final designation of COMMENDABLE. The state’s new support and accountability system evaluates schools based on a more accurate picture of school quality, including the performance of individual student groups and measures beyond test scores. We are extremely proud that both our elementary school and our middle school are among the top 10% of all schools in the State (approximately 2 of the top 400 schools in Illinois). We are also very proud of our high school’s designation due to the increased accountability and rigor found within the rubric at the secondary level. To learn more about the school designations, go to: and about Erie schools’ current performance at

District Tidbits

September 11, 2018

We are set to begin our brand new process of MAP (Measures of Academic
Progress) Assessments in mid-September. Students in grades K-10 will take
these assessments in the areas of reading and mathematics three times per year
(September, January, and May). The results from these assessments will allow us, as
parents and teachers, to monitor student achievement and academic growth
throughout the school year. The resulting MAP reports that are produced for
parents and educators are very informative and easy to understand. It is our goal
that this new process will foster increased communication and collaboration
between school and home and allow us to adjust our instruction to meet the needs
of every student. More information about MAP assessments can be found HERE.


We need substitute teachers. If you are interested in being a substitute teacher in
our district, the State of Illinois recently approved a new procedure that allows
individuals with an Associate’s Degree to substitute teach for up to five consecutive
days in the same classroom. Pay rates for substitute teachers can range between
$90 and $100 per day. If you are interested in exploring this opportunity, please
contact one of our building principals or the District Office for more details.


We continually strive to improve our communication between the school district
and the communities that we serve. In an attempt to improve our communication,
we have made some minor adjustments to our process. Beginning in September
2018, our Take Me Home newsletter will become a monthly document highlighting
district-wide events and information. This monthly Take Me Home will also include
both our breakfast and lunch menus for the following month. The Take Me Home
will still be sent home with all elementary students, it will be available for all
students in grades 5-12, and it will still be distributed at businesses throughout the
community. The most recent electronic version of the Take Me home can be found
HERE. Another slight change to our communication strategy will be the production
of The Call magazine. Beginning this year, The Call will be produced three times per
year. The first production of the year will be in June or July and will focus on back-
to-school information and will include our fall athletics/events calendar. The
second production of the year will be in early December and will celebrate our first
semester happenings and will outline our winter athletics/events calendar. Our
third and final production of the year will take place in March and will highlight
second semester achievements and will include our spring athletics/events
calendar. We trust that by streamlining these processes, we can provide the
community with pertinent information in a more timely and appropriate manner.
Digital versions of the The Call magazine can be found at:

New Staff, New Theme, New Construction...New School Year

September 07, 2018

The 2018-2019 school year commenced with an abundance of positive energy.
Students returned to school on August 16 th a year older (as wiser) and were met by
our amazingly qualified and dedicated group of educators, both veteran and new.
We are excited to introduce new elementary educators Paige Yarger and Olivia
Wickes; new middle school educators Brad Tichler and Andrew Tenboer; new high
school educators Mariah Pratt and Stephen Rudnicki; and new district staff Alicia
Eyrich (Crossing Guard/Food Service), Tiffany Vittori (District Secretary), and Taylor
Howard (District Finance/Public Relations).
We will also be sad to say goodbye to our veteran educators who will be retiring at
the end of the 2018-2019 school year, they include: Jon Wederquist at the
elementary; Keith Morgan, Mindy Morgan, Karen Urick, Jan Unruh, and Tom Unruh
at the middle school; and Cindy Saad and Lori Border at the high school. Their years
of service and dedication to ECUSD1 have been invaluable.
The ECUSD1 theme for year is “212 Degrees”, a self-improvement and motivational
approach authored by Sam Parker and Mac Anderson. The fundamental premise of
the 212 Degrees program is that at 211 degrees…water is hot, but at 212
degrees…water boils and turns into steam. Over the course of history, the power of
steam has changed the world in many positive ways. Our mantra with students,
staff, and the community is to “GO THE EXTRA DEGREE”. We believe that if we ALL
take steps to improve just that one extra degree, then we, as an educational
community, can move our school district from being a very, very good district to
being a GREAT one. 212 Degrees items for purchase can be found HERE and/or you
can watch the 212 Degrees motivational video HERE.
Our building projects continue to progress. We are adding the finishing touches to
the new high school parking lot that include perimeter lighting, grading of soil, and
seeding of grass. The high school addition is making its way up and out of the
ground and we should see structural steel in the air by October. The high school
addition will house our Industrial Arts Program, our Visual Arts Program, and a
state-of-the-art STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) lab.
The high school addition is being completed by Vissering Construction with
architectural services provided by B.L.D.D. Architects. Construction of our outdoor
locker room facility, located behind the middle school, will begin in the next several
weeks. The locker room project is being managed by Valley Construction with
architectural services provided by B.H.M.M. Architects. Links to floor plans for these
projects can be found at: HS Addition and Locker Room Facility.

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Erie Community Unit School District #1 - 520 5th Avenue - Erie, IL 61250 - 309.659.2239