Highlights of the meeting include:
- Washington School Assistant Principal selected - D64 welcomed Janet Van Arsdale as the new assistant principal. An experienced administrator, Ms. Van Arsdale has "a genuine love and enthusiasm for education and has become deeply invested and passionate about working with students to make sure they have everything they need to help them grow as learners,” according to Superintendent Laurie Heinz. Read more about her selection here.
- Outstanding student achievements for 2017-18 recognized - Board members congratulated students for their outstanding efforts during the year, including Special Olympian teams, Young Authors winners, Spelling Bee winners, IMEA musicians and choral performances, national art awards, Eagle Scout projects, Tech Showcase, and other accomplishments.
- Emerson Middle School honored for "four-peat" as Horizon School to Watch - Principal Jim Morrison accepted the Board's congratulations on behalf of the school for being recognized for a fourth time as a Horizon School to Watch by the Association of Illinois Middle-Grade Schools and the National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform. Only 15 Schools to Watch across the U.S. have been designated for a fourth time. “We are delighted that Emerson has been able to sustain this elite level of performance for the past nine years and that its ‘growth mindset’ will carry forward these exemplary practices for another three,” according to Dr. Heinz. Read more about this prestigious award here.
- D64 grants tenure to teachers and announces other career milestones - Having completed a rigorous four-year probationary period, 10 teachers received tenure, a major career milestone as they join the ranks of District 64's professional educators. As the 2017-18 school year draws to a close, District 64 also announced the retirements of 21 staff members -- including three with more than 30 years of service, along with staff members reaching the 25-year service mark. Read more here.
- Special education recommendations for 2018-19 - The Board received key takeaways, recommendations and priority areas of focus for 2018-19 from Mr. Mike Padavic, Interim Director of Student Services, gathered during his 100-day in-depth review/audit of the department. His report focused on staff rapport, meetings and team building; professional development of staff; parent/guardian outreach; curriculum; and staffing, including a recommendation to add several new positions for 2018-19. The Board also reviewed areas of strength and opportunities for improvement identified by LMT Consulting from its review/audit conducted earlier this spring. New Student Services Director Lea Anne Frost and D64 administration will now work to prioritize the staffing recommendations and other steps for improvement in preparation for the upcoming school year. "We believe the insights from Mr. Padavic's in-depth 'audit,' along with the perspectives from LMT Consulting, offer D64 and Dr. Frost an opportunity to re-boot and re-focus on improvement areas identified for staff and parents/guardians, which are fundamental to increasing the growth of every child," Dr. Heinz reported.
- PTO-funded playground for Washington School approved - The District approved a bid for new playground equipment on behalf of the school PTO, which is the primary funder of the renovation that will begin this summer. The action wraps up more than a year of fundraising and planning by the PTO and school. The Board also reviewed guidelines on how D64 coordinates the acceptance of PTO/A donations for large improvement projects.
- School Resource Officer discussions continue - The Board continued discussions regarding the draft Mission Statement and proposed revisions to the Intergovernmental Agreements with the Village of Niles and the City of Park Ridge regarding a pilot program to introduce SROs a few hours weekly at the two middle schools.
- Other financial actions - An asbestos abatement project related to the summer 2018 HVAC replacement of selected areas at Carpenter School was approved. The Board also authorized the transfer of funds to the Debt Service Fund from the Education Fund for payment of leases and from the Operations & Maintenance Fund for payment of Debt Certificates.