News from December 10, 2018 Board of Education meeting

News from December 10, 2018 Board of Education meeting

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Lincoln's Chamber Orchestra under the direction of teacher Max Hellermann performed a selection of holiday favorites to kick off the meeting!

Interscholastic sports teams from the two middle schools are being recognized for the first time this year at Board meetings. Cross Country and Girls Basketball teams were congratulated for their efforts during the recently concluded fall season, including these 2018 Emerson Eagle players.

At the outset of the regular meeting, Board members officially voted to appoint Bob Johnson to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of member Eastman Tiu. He was immediately sworn in by Board President Tony Borrelli and will serve until the new Board is seated following the April 2 election.

In addition to approving the 2019 Worlds of Wonder summer program and the official 2019-20 school year calendar, other highlights of the meeting included:

  • School Resource Officer pilot program discontinued - The Board officially directed D64 to discontinue work to plan/implement an SRO pilot at the middle schools, and also dissolved its SRO Board Committee.
  • Carpenter and Franklin will receive office renovation/secure entries and other improvements - The Board approved Health Life Safety (HLS) projects and main office renovation with secure vestibule entry at Carpenter School and HLS projects along with main office relocation with secure vestibule entry at Franklin School, as well as limited flooring replacement at both schools for a total of almost $2.5 million. The District received 10-11 competitive bids on each of the two major projects; the work will be completed in summer 2019.
  • Tax levy for 2018 adopted - Following a public hearing in November and many months of analysis and discussion, the Board adopted an estimated property tax levy of $68.1 million for 2018, which is a 4.64% increase over the previous year. The percentage increase is deliberately set high enough to capture any funds available from new construction within the D64 community. No matter how large the levy request is for 2018, however, District 64 will only receive a 2.1% increase plus the taxes associated with the new construction, as allowed under the tax cap (Property Tax Extension Limitation Law). District 64 has only one opportunity to benefit from new construction when it is added to the tax rolls. But because the actual amount of new construction is not yet known, District 64 sets the levy percentage at a high enough level to make sure it can receive the full benefit. In other financial news, the Board tabled the issuance of $9.9 million in working cash bonds intended to fund summer 2019 facility improvements.The Board went forward to approve new management software that will streamline and more effectively mesh the work of the Business Office and Human Resources to increase the District’s overall efficiency and transparency.
  • Annual audit maintains highest standards - D64 reported that independent auditors had again issued an unqualified audit opinion, and did not propose any adjustments to the District's year-end balances for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2018. The auditors also had no reportable findings in their communication letters. The audit is an important tool to validate the accuracy of the District's financial information, and the opinions of the auditors add transparency regarding how the community's money is being spent. The audit and accompanying letters are available on the District's financial data webpage.
  • Additional staffing authorized for special education - A half-time special education coordinator will be added for the remainder of the school year to support the extensive change efforts underway. The recommendation was included in the Student Services department's monthly update reviewing the steps undertaken from November to December in the four key areas of staffing, professional development, consistency across the District, and creating a message of inclusion. The presentation may be viewed here.