The Carrollton School District recently removed a teacher from its online instruction program through a third party.
According to the Greene Prairie Press, the Carrollton School District sent letters home to parents on January 19th notifying them that Kristy L. Sicard had been removed permanently as the district’s online math instructor. Sicard was employed through Chicago-based third party online vendor ELEVATE K-12. The district had been using the online vendor for math instruction after unsuccessfully finding a full-time in-person math instructor for the district.
Superintendent Mark Halwachs asked ELEVATE to remove Sicard permanently after an unidentified individual forwarded information that Sicard’s Missouri teaching certificate was surrendered after Sicard pled guilty to felony assault in Maries County, Missouri.
According to a Ozark First News, Sicard was originally charged with a felony count of sexual contact with a student in May 2018 in Waynesville, Missouri. According to the report, the alleged sexual contact with the student happened twice between March and May 2016. According to a probable cause statement in the case, the victim also was said to have received several nude photos of Sicard with messages exchanged with her over SnapChat. Several of the victim’s juvenile friends also allegedly saw the photos while over at the victim’s house.
On August 20, 2018, Sicard pled guilty to third degree assault and in June 2019 permanently surrendered her teaching license and was ordered to serve 5 years of probation, perform community service, and undergo a sex offender evaluation per the plea agreement.
The stories on Sicard were easily accessible by a simple Google search. According to the Greene Prairie Press report, Superintendent Halwachs said that all of the required background checks done by the district did not turn up any of the information. The third-party vendor also is said to have conducted their own criminal background checks and they also did not reflect the criminal felony plea in Missouri. Halwachs says at the time that Sicard began online instruction with the Carrollton District, Sicard possessed a valid teaching certificate from the Illinois State Board of Education.
The information of Sicard’s felony plea has been forwarded to ISBE for appropriate action, according to Halwachs. The district has also requested a permanent replacement of Sicard for their online math program and have asked the company and ISBE to perform more thorough background checks on potential instructors.